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ODU Provost and Academic Advisor Selected to Receive NACADA Awards

Carol Simpson, Old Dominion University provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Morgan Morrison, academic advisor with ODU's Advising and Transfer Programs, have been selected by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 2 to receive two of its top awards for 2011. Both Simpson, who was named Outstanding Advising Advocate, and Morrison, named the Outstanding New Mentor, will be recognized at NACADA's regional conference in Charlottesville, Va., April 6-8.

Sandra Waters, ODU assistant dean for Advising and Transfer Programs, nominated Simpson and Morrison for the honors. In her nomination letter for Simpson, she commended the provost for her yearlong conversation on how student-faculty/advisor relationships are critical to student success. Simpson spearheaded a program of faculty conversations on campus, focusing on the theme "Retention at ODU: Assuring Students' Success," which has been presented 14 times by professors and advisors across campus.

"In her role as the chief Academic Affairs officer, Dr. Simpson has supported faculty and professional advisors in numerous ways. She clearly promotes the 'advising as teaching' philosophy and understands how good advising propels a student to success," Waters said.

She also cited Simpson's prominent role in the development of ODU's 2009-14 Strategic Plan, which includes goals to improve academic advising and student support services, as well as her work in the classroom. A renowned geologist, the provost teaches a course on Natural Disasters, which is one of the "Teach Your Passion" transition courses in the First Year Experience program offered through University College.

Morrison, the 2010-11 ODU New Advisor Award winner at ODU, was recognized by Waters for her role in advising students as part of a team that works together to help students identify their academic and career goals. As a student success advisor, Morrison focuses specifically on first-year students who may be experiencing academic transition issues. She handles a caseload of about 350 students from the College of Arts and Letters.

Waters also noted that Morrison developed a Blackboard site for all of her advisees to provide them with a variety of resources on major and career exploration, which includes video clips on each major and track at the university that she taped herself. According to Waters, the video clip project was so well received by the Arts and Letters students that the other five colleges within the university wanted to duplicate it.

"So, Morgan stepped up in her usual fashion and volunteered to interview faculty from the rest of our 69 undergraduate programs. By the end of the fall term, another 15 videos were completed and ready to upload to new advising websites for each college - another project to which Morgan lent her expertise," said Waters.

Both Simpson and Morrison will automatically be nominated for national NACADA awards.

This article was posted on: February 24, 2011

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