Four advisers receive awards for excellence

Rachel Osfar

In an accolade which recognizes outstanding performance, four undergraduate academic advisers recently received the John Tate Award for Excellence.
Kate Maple, Rose Miskowiec, Patricia Solberg and M. Raj Karim were given recognition for achievements in counseling at the University and its three branching campuses in a ceremony Tuesday.
“It’s nice to be awarded for something you like to do,” said Solberg, an administrative associate in medical technology.
The advisers received a $1,500 cash award, a framed certificate of recognition and colleague acknowledgement.
The award is named after John Tate, a former professor of physics and the dean of University College from 1930 to 1941. The award was established to honor high quality academic advising within the University system and is sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
More than 35 advisers have been given the award throughout its 12-year history, and Solberg said simply receiving the award was a great honor considering the list of former recipients. “It feels pretty good to be included with those people.”
Miskowiec, an award recipient in the political science department, felt the greatest honor was not the award itself, but just being nominated.
“It’s nice to know that when you work really hard, your efforts are being appreciated,” she said.
She said she also enjoyed reading the recommendation letters written by her department, past employers and former students.
“It was amazing to see the little things (the staff and students) remembered,” she said.
The selection process begins with nominations by department faculty members. Next, a series of recommendation letters are written by staff and students who have worked with the adviser. The letters and the nominee’s personal statement are then sent to the Academic Advising Network, who choose the four recipients.
“It’s a pretty involved process,” said Ken Liss, College of Liberal Arts adviser and head of the network.
The committee is composed of a variety of University employees in order to ensure fairness, Liss said. Included are Pat Tollefson, a student support services assistant, and Harvey Carlson, an adviser in the General College.
The program was highlighted with a keynote address by Lud Spolyar, a retired assistant professor and counselor. He emphasized the importance of viewing students as whole persons — not just in academic terms. Student’s social, personal and spiritual, as well as academic, growth should be considered by their advisers, Spolyar said.
Most importantly, Spolyar wanted to stress the need to recognize academic advisers and their important role with students. He said the award recipients serve as role models to their students and peers.