February 14, 2018

PACADA honors academic advisors for outstanding work

Mandy Chalk and Tamara Groll Mandy Chalk, recipient of PACADA's Outstanding New Professional award, and Tamara Groll, recipient of PACADA's Outstanding Academic Advisor award. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Wilcox) Download image

The Purdue Academic Advising Association recently honored two academic advisors for their effective interpersonal skills and dedication to their students.

Outstanding Academic Advisor: Tamara Groll, Electrical Engineering Technology

Groll carries out her role as an advisor with a warm, caring and sympathetic attitude toward all students, prospective families and faculty members that she meets and works with, her nominators said.    

Colleagues expressed how Groll demonstrates student advocacy and genuine interest in her students on a daily basis, and praised her willingness to go above and beyond what is asked of her.

“Tamara actively participates in committees which impact student success and progression and will often communicate with students that are no longer part of the advisee caseload to continue to provide encouragement,” noted one nominator. “Her attendance at professional development and training activities, committee meetings and local and national conferences also demonstrates her desire to continually improve her skills and knowledge.”

Groll started her career at Purdue in 2012 as a limited term lecturer. After realizing that she had a passion for working with and helping students, she applied to become an academic advisor.

“While teaching at Purdue, I started to think about what it was that I wanted to do,” Groll says. “I realized that I really wanted to work with students, not just teach them. Becoming an advisor was a natural step to achieving that goal.”

Groll joined PACADA right after becoming an academic advisor in 2014. She has since attended the Region 5 National Academic Advising Association meeting and has met with advisors across the region and from Canada.    

Outstanding New Professional: Mandy Chalk, Exploratory Studies

Chalk has marked her time as an academic advisor with dedication, hard work and a desire to encourage her students.

“She truly cares for her students and is a lot of fun to be around,” says Scott Vana, senior academic advisor for Exploratory Studies. “She always works hard to assist, encourage and challenge each of her students.”

Chalk has served as an academic advisor at Purdue since 2015. Before coming to Purdue, she was the associate director of career services for the Ivy Tech Community College campuses of Michigan City and Valparaiso.

“After graduating with a master’s degree in public affairs, I decided that I wanted to move into a new adventure,” Chalk says. “I came across Exploratory Studies at Purdue and fell in love with their mission to help students in their search for a major.”

Her nominators conveyed how Chalk has provided opportunities for other professionals to grow in their careers. After deciding to serve on the Career Advising Council shortly after coming to Purdue, Chalk worked to develop a training program for advisors that teaches them how to help students identify their strengths and use them in their career exploration.

“I was, without a doubt, refreshed and impressed with her desire to take on this new opportunity at such an early point in her career,” says Kaletra Dispennett, senior career services consultant for the Center for Career Opportunities. 

Chalk has served as a mentor in the PACADA mentoring program, served on the PACADA professional development committee and served on the PACADA retreat subcommittee. She is also a member of the National Academic Advising Association.

Writer: Olivia Crouse, ocrouse@purdue.edu 

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