Category Archives: Why We Do What We Do

The Intercultural Development Inventory: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Beth Jones was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2017 year. Beth is an academic advisor in Exploratory Studies and used her funds to attend the NACADA regional conference!

Article by: Beth Jones

We’ve all had those experiences—the ones where it feels like you are having one conversation and your student is having an entirely different conversation. Something just isn’t clicking. You feel like your message is clear, but how is it being received? And, are you accurately interpreting the message you are receiving?

For anyone who has worked with students or has had a conversation with anyone EVER (so all of us!), these aren’t uncommon experiences, but they are more common when two people come from different cultures. Did you pick the right word? Did you read their body language correctly? Did you use an obscure idiomatic expression like when pigs fly that made no sense to the other person? Intercultural conversation is a minefield of potential misinterpretation. In his book The Art of Crossing Cultures, intercultural communications consultant Craig Storti defines an unsuccessful “cross-cultural encounter” as “whenever one or more of the parties is confused, offended, frustrated, or otherwise put off by the behavior of any of the other parties” (26). Sound familiar?

This is exactly why intercultural competence is such an important skill to cultivate. But, what is it exactly? Intercultural Development Inventory, LLC defines intercultural competence as “the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities.” Study after study has clearly proven the importance of developing intercultural competence for learning, working, and beyond. According to research by IDI, LLC founder Dr. Mitchell R. Hammer, students who study abroad gain many benefits from greater intercultural competence including an increased interest in other cultures, more intercultural friendships, less anxiety about other cultures, and higher overall satisfaction with their study abroad experience. In fact, many Purdue courses and programs use the IDI as their primary assessment tool to measure intercultural competence among their students. Some programs even require students to complete the assessment to participate in study abroad programs. But, the assessment is not just for students. The IDI is available to all faculty, staff, and students through Purdue’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR).

Purdue’s academic advising web page on advising competencies lists cultural competency as one of the core skills advisors need to master to have successful interactions with students. This particular competency, as explained on the Purdue web page, suggests that advisors should “engage in self-reflection, be aware that cultural identities influence thinking and behavior,” and “exhibit the relational skills to advise effectively across differences.” It is important to note that these skills do not just extend to interactions with international students, however, but to any interaction where there is difference.

There are, of course, many ways to improve your intercultural competence skills such as through traveling abroad and getting to know people from other cultures, but there is a catch when we attempt to freestyle how we gain these skills. Human nature means we are pretty terrible at actually assessing just how refined our intercultural competence skills are—a notion the IDI supports. In other words, we most likely have a mindset that doesn’t align with our actual skillset—a gap, if you will. We may see ourselves one way but interact with the world differently. According to IDI, LLC, it is a myth that we can gain deep intercultural competence through experience alone—as if it is as easy as getting a tan while soaking up the sun’s rays. The truth is we often enter those experiences from our own cultural perspective thus limiting what we may actually gain in intercultural awareness. In the words of CILMAR Intercultural Learning Specialist (and my husband) Dr. Daniel Jones, the formula for intercultural development is “intentional interactions + time + reflection.”

So how can you lessen or close the mindset/skillset gap so that your heart and mind are more in sync? This is where the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment comes in. According to the IDI, LLC web article “Why Should You Consider Using the Intercultural Development Inventory?”, the IDI is the “only theory-based assessment of intercultural competence [that] allows you to see an individual’s or group’s progression along a continuum of cross-cultural competence.” It is a highly researched instrument that can help individuals and groups “make sense of cultural differences and also how they respond to cultural differences.”

Once you have taken the 50-question assessment, an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator (just over 100 at Purdue including me) holds a debriefing session with you to review your results and make a plan for further development along the IDI continuum. You receive an individualized developmental plan that “guides the person through a series of activities and self-reflections” to help you intentionally move forward on the IDI continuum and to better understand and notice “patterns of difference” (“The Individual Development Plan”). These activities can include brief writing exercises and suggestions for continued learning and reflection such as attending training programs, traveling, and reading journals and books. The goal is that you complete these activities using the intentional skills that make them meaningful intercultural development opportunities rather than passive experiences informed by the limited worldview we all start out with.

Before becoming an administrator, I had to take the assessment and be debriefed. The experience was deeply meaningful—almost therapeutic. It forced me to reflect on aspects of my past and how they inform my outlook and actions and how to grow beyond my limitations. The entire experience is designed to be objective and developmental.

Taking the IDI and being debriefed can help those of us who work in higher education become better at what we do most—serve students. I have found that my experience with the IDI has not just broadly improved my intercultural competence but has also given me better language for how to engage with others wherever there is difference.

If you would like to learn more about the IDI, visit where you can read more about the assessment as well as view some short introductory videos. Additionally, you can contact an intercultural learning specialist with CILMAR by emailing The assessment is $15 for staff/faculty and $11 for students. CILMAR also offers training to become a qualified administrator of the IDI as well as ideas about mitigating costs of the assessment.

If we are going to talk to students about the importance of study abroad and developing skills for an increasingly global workplace, we have to do our part by seeking out opportunities to develop these skills for ourselves. Knowing where we are on the IDI continuum and how we can grow can help us all better navigate the often tricky, culturally ambiguous situations we sometimes find ourselves in and that can only make us better advisors, instructors, or whatever it is we may be to our students and each other.

Suggested readings and resources:

  1. The Art of Crossing Cultures, Craig Storti
  2. Cross-Cultural Dialogues: 74 Brief Encounters with Cultural Difference, Craig Storti
  3. Students Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They’re Not, and What We Can Do About It, Michael Vande Berg, R. Michael Paige, Kris Hemming Lou

NACADA – 41st Annual Conference – St. Louis

Pat George was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2017 year. He used his funds to attend the NACADA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO. See below for more information about his experience!

Article By: Pat George

There are many familiar words associated with St. Louis. Three that come to mind are gateway, arch, and Cardinals (sorry Cubs fans). However, during October 11-14, 2017, NACADA was all the buzz at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.

I was fortunate to receive a PACADA professional development grant to attend this conference, and I was equally privileged to attend with some of my office colleagues who I believe are some of the most dedicated and caring advisors on this campus. Our Senior Associate Dean, Dr. Holly Mason, supports our Office of Student Services in the College of Pharmacy in numerous ways, and my colleagues and I benefit tremendously from his confidence and conviction.

Speaking of conviction, I am reporting on what I thought was one of the most intriguing and bold sessions at this conference, “The Problems and Promise of Big Data in Advising.” Kudos to NACADA and the selection committee for allowing this proposal to become a reality. It could have easily been passed over due to its subject matter and outcomes that challenge a service retailed by one of the main sponsors of the conference.

Adrienne Sewell, Director of Advising for Retention and Sophomore Initiatives at Indiana University Bloomington provoked thought and insight regarding the academe’s infatuation with big data. “When it comes to data, we aren’t always sure what we are looking at,” stated Sewell. She continued, “Expectations are that we will be able to search like Google® and make recommendations like Netflix®. Big Data can solve anything!”

Sewell stated, “Predictive analytics, data mining, and pattern recognition are now common terms in our digital world, and they promise to practically solve any problem. Looking back at our past Presidential election, it appears Big Data missed the mark as some of the most sophisticated predictive analytics tools in the world were all but certain of the outcome of the election.”

I was fascinated by her explanation of the evolution of computer programming. She explained that initially, computers were programmed by people. Programmers looked at data and made a hypothesis. Today, we are teaching computers the ability to learn without being programmed – to not only have the logic to answer questions, but to create the questions. A couple of examples are Netflix® which predicts what you would like to watch and our smart phones learning about us through typos, voice recognition, routes on GPS, etc.

How does this impact advising? Sewell referenced an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying old- school advising is about who appears in front of you – it’s very limited. New-school advising is using predictive analytics to target a specific group. But is this true?

Sewell argued, “Our responsibility as advisors is to make sure we monitor how well the system is working. Keep good records of any errors (screen shots are ideal) and when systems are developed or enhanced, make sure we are advocates for advisor input/testing. Recognize that not all predictions have equal accuracy. Big data makes predictions for all students which leads to false-positives because it must select an answer.” She quoted Baer and Norris (2013) asserting analytics is only one piece in a student success system. It requires commitment to persistent, personalized actions, and interventions to improve student success guided by analytics-based insights.

Sewell concluded by asking us to ponder these questions: When do our data points become ethical issues? What about economic background, financial need, race, etc.? Can assessing risk become a self-fulfilling prophecy? She followed with acknowledging that data can help answer questions, describe/discover a pattern, figure out students to reach out to, but we must continually adjust and use data wisely because approaches matter and data alone won’t save us.


PACADA Retreat 2017 Tentative Itinerary

**Schedule Subject to Change**

Time Title  Description
8:00am-8:30am Check-In Registration Check-in, Light Breakfast (Coffee, Donuts, Bagels, etc.)
8:30am-8:45am Opening – 30th Anniversary Kickoff Welcome, Intro 30th Anniversary Items, News Reels, Recognizing Membership Activity
8:45am-9:15am Family Feud Fun Activity For All!
9:20am-9:50am Founders Panel 30th Anniversary Founding Members Panel
10:00am-10:50am Block #1 See Below
11:00am-11:30am PACADA Recruiting/Business Reports 30th Anniversary Edition; State of the Association &  Committee Reports
11:30am-1:00pm Lunch and Social Activities Honey Baked Ham Lunches, Outside Games, Board Game Room,
Tour of Phenotyping Facility, Yoga/Zumba
1:00pm-1:50pm Block #2 See Below
2:00pm-2:50pm Block #3 See Below
3:00pm-4:00pm Keynote Dr. Tim Elmore
4:00pm-4:30pm Closing Celebration Cake, Door Prizes, Final Remarks

NACADA Region V Conference- Holly Englert

Holly Englert was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2016 year.  She used her funds to attend the NACADA Region V Conference in Chicago, IL. See below for more information about her experience!

NACADA Region V Conference – Chicago, IL – March 15-17, 2017

I was able to attend the NACADA Region V Conference in Chicago, IL in March (my very first NACADA conference) thanks to a grant received from the PACADA Professional Development Committee. I was very much looking forward to attending this conference to learn best practices in advising and to perhaps learn some new and creative strategies when working with various student populations.

I attended a session titled, “Got Grit? A New Advising Method.” The presenters discussed the differences between grit and resiliency and how to advisors can work to instill grit in students. The presenter’s defined grit using phrases like; “perseverance and passion for long term goals,” and “living life like a marathon not a sprint,” and that “grit is the stamina not the intensity” or the “consistency of effort over time.” The presenters stated that resiliency is the ability to bounce back after adversity and that resiliency is a pre-cursor to grit. A surprising fact they shared was grit is more predictive to a student’s success than IQ and/or test scores. Students who display grit often will have lower test scores but a higher GPA, these students work harder to keep up with their peers. Often times, the high achieving students (those with high test scores, high GPA, high IQ) display low levels of grit. So how can we as advisors instill grit in students? First, the presenters shared we need to work with students on how they respond to new challenges. We can do this by helping them to examine their perceptions, assist them in developing a plan, and being a member of their support network. Second, advisors should ask directed questions such as; what did you learn this semester? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at this semester? Third, it is all about goal setting. Advisors should work with students to set long term goals and revisit and revise those goals in each meeting. Fourth advisors should work to foster a culture where a growth mindset is developed. Advisors should be supportive but demanding, discuss self-motivation, and do goal setting when working with students who need to develop grit. The presenters stated that students should be praised for their effort and not their intelligence.

Another session I attended was titled “Reasons for their Departure: A Look at Undergraduate Women who Abandon STEM Majors.” I was particularly interested in the session since I advise in a STEM major. The presenter did a small qualitative study at the mid-size state school where she advises. While interviewing female students who left STEM majors for a non-STEM major she shared that five themes developed. The first theme was lack of preparation. The students shared that they had never had to study or didn’t learn how to properly study. They shared they had little to no exposure in STEM classes prior to enrolling in college and that they lack experience in these settings. They also shared this was their first time failing and they didn’t know what to do. The second theme that emerged was failure to access resources. The students shared they knew about the resources available but they were afraid to go. The third theme was regarding the method of instruction of their courses. Most of their courses were in large lecture settings where exams made up most of the grade. The students found that when they had interaction with the faculty they seemed uninterested, stale, and not friendly. There was no community and little interaction in the courses and it was all independent work. The fourth theme that emerged was there was no sense of belonging in the students STEM majors. They discussed issues of alienation that while not obvious, was easy to notice. The students talked about feeling like outsiders. The students stated that their peers seemed more prepared and that they felt intimidated asking male faculty and students for help because they didn’t want to perpetuate the stereotype of women not being capable of the work in a STEM field. The last theme to emerge was about career expectations. Many of the students shared that they didn’t know what a career in a STEM field would actually be like and once they got internships or worked in labs they found they didn’t enjoy the field. Lastly, the presenter discussed what advisors in STEM fields can do moving forward to assist female students. Advisors should review the major and encourage early career exploration. Advisors should normalize the use of academic support resources. Advisors should encourage participation in women in STEM initiatives. And the advisor should always validate the student’s experiences.

In addition to being an attendee at the conference, I presented a poster presentation alongside my colleague Ashley Maloff. Our poster centered on global opportunities for students in STEM majors. We shared some best practices for advising students in STEM fields who would like to study abroad, timelines to consider, and some facts about our program.

Poster Presentation at NACADA Region V Conference by Holly Englert and Ashley Maloff

Overall, my first experience attending a regional NACADA conference was successful. Thank you PACADA for the opportunity to attend!

MBTI Certification Program- Molly Gilbert

MBTI Certification Program Participants
MBTI Certification Program Participants

Molly Gilbert was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2016 year.  She used her funds to attend the MBTI Certification Program by the Myers & Briggs Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana.  See below for more information about her experience!

Hi – my name is Molly Gilbert, and I am an ENTJ.

Chances are you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), or will at some point.  It is the world’s most widely used personality assessment with approximately two million people taking it each year.  It has been used by over 2,500 colleges and universities and is popular in career counseling offices around the world.

Although I have taken the MBTI more than a few times – high school, college, a few times as an employee of various organizations – it has never made an impact.  I am notorious for giving the deer in headlights blank stare when asked my “type.”  That all changed in 2015 when I attended the First-Year Experience Annual Conference in Texas.  I attended a session that focused on combining the worlds of MBTI and advising and I was hooked!  In the past, the workshops I attended were the standard, and rather boring, “this is your type and this is what it means” session.  The conference I attended was the first time the MBTI principles were talked about without having to know your type or the type of everyone around you – and I wanted to know more!

I had the opportunity, with the help of the PACADA Professional Development Grant, to attend an intense 4-day MBTI Certification Program in Indianapolis.  I was filled with anticipation and excitement as the date approached.  That is, until a rather large, heavy box showed up full of my pre-work materials.  I very quickly learned why this was called an intense program.  Each of the four days consisted of eight hours of interactive learning followed by a couple of hours of homework each night.  This was no vacation!

While the MBTI Certification Program is no walk in the park, it was completely worth it.  While I value the information I learned about all of the types, I learned more about myself than I ever anticipated.  One of the most dramatic results I see is the improvement in my communication style, especially in my work with students.  I am able to notice subtle clues from students and quickly tailor my style to fit their needs.  While I thought I had always done this, I am more confident in my ability to “read” students and react in a more appropriate way since completing this program.

Though the information I brought back from the MBTI Certification Program is not always as clearly applicable to the world of advising as attending a student services focused conference, I feel like my experience was just as valuable as any conference I have attended in the past.  As a newer advisor, I relished the opportunity to slow down and reflect on my role in the most basic aspect of our profession – our relationships with students.  Thank you PACADA for helping to make this experience possible!

2016 NACADA National Conference- Storie Pedley

Storie Pedley was a recipient of a PACADA professional development grant for the 2016 year. She used her funds to attend the 2016 NACADA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. See below for more information about her experiences!


2016 NACADA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA

Presentation by:  Karen Hauschild, College of Charleston

Title:  Generation Z:  Advising Across the Generations

Experienced by:  Storie Pedley

I learned some interesting information from this presentation – a short summary is below.

  • Definition of Generation Z:

They were born after the millennials. There is no consensus for beginning and ending dates, but in general, it spans from 1992-2012, 1995-2012 or 1998-2015, depending on the research

General Characteristics of Generation Z:

  • They are accustomed to instant gratification
  • They are social – they like to share, just not really personal stuff
  • They often think in and talk about big ideas/aspirations
  • Very short attention span (on average: 8 seconds!)
  • Highly visual – prefer video over text
  • Entrepreneurial (DIY friendly)
  • They are the first generation to have grown up with social media – very tech savvy – it’s all they have ever known
  • Very diverse – LGBTQ and a black president is normal to them
  • They have witnessed an erosion of trust – today’s students have seen politicians, religious figures and sports icons fall from grace in a very public way
  • They tend to have a feeling of insecurity – they grew up in the wake of the great depression and full knowledge of terrorism
  • They want a college major that leads to a job that then leads to $
    • Yet they also want their work to have meaning – it’s not ALL about the $
  • Have a desire to design their own major – they want flexibility

A fun reference that is updated every year – to help keep things in perspective:            Beloit College Mindset List

Why is this information important?
Here are some of my own take-aways from this presentation:

  • Why is it important to understand this generation better? This group of young adults will be the next group to enter our offices, and ultimately the work force. Understanding what makes them tick could help us improve our advising, recruitment and retention strategies.
  • We (Professors, Advisors, Admissions, Employers, College Administrators, etc.) need to find other/new ways to communicate with these students besides the traditional email and newsletters. Perhaps embedded video messages, short video clips, better/more frequent use of our webpages and social media, etc. This affects teaching style as well.
  • Instead of getting frustrated with who they are/what they do – work to understand them and accept them, and ultimately learn from them, so they in turn can learn from you. Start the relationship knowing you won’t change them, so meet them where they are. We just may need to ask for their patience while we try to catch up!
  • Consider whether we can we give them any freedom within their own major – to pick courses that THEY find relevant – without having to get special permission or jump through a bunch of hoops?
  • Take advantage of their entrepreneurial spirit and use that to better teach practical problem solving and coping skills.
  • From a recruitment/admissions perspective – if we don’t adapt and adjust, colleges will end up targeting only those students who see the message the way that college is putting it out there. We could potentially miss a LOT.
  • Because they have grown up hearing about the dangers of global warming, seeing their parents struggle financially and being very cognizant of potential terrorist threats, they see themselves as the solutions to these problems. That may cause them to pursue careers that they think may help society.

2016 NACADA Regional Conference- Jacqueline Brown

Jacqueline Brown was a recipient of a PACADA professional development grant for the 2016 year. She used her funds to attend the 2016 NACADA Regional Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. See below for more information about her experiences!


I had the pleasure of attending my first Region 5 NACADA Conference which was held in April in the beautiful city of Toronto Ontario Canada. It was a great opportunity to go with some of my advising colleagues in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. It started off as an adventure from the very beginning, when we decided to drive to the conference instead of flying. The morning that we were leaving, my colleagues and I decided to meet at the Transportation Service Center to pick up the car. I did not realize that the center had moved to a new location. I was franticly trying to find the place, and I eventually got directions and found my way. My colleagues did not leave without me.

One of the reasons that I wanted to attend the conference was to take away valuable information that I could use at my own institution. I am on a Purdue Polytechnic Transformation Team that was looking at mentoring. Mentoring is not a new concept in higher education and the research does show that mentoring enhances a student’s undergraduate experience. As a result, it fosters retention and a sense of belonging and validation as student’s transition to college. The Purdue Polytechnic has been focusing on transforming how undergraduates learn and the issues facing higher education for several years.

I had the opportunity to attend a presentation presented by advisors from The Ohio State University on how they created their Peer Mentoring Program for first year students in Engineering. The instructors used more knowledgeable undergraduate students in their course as teaching assistants. The students then served as peer mentors to the students enrolled in the course. The mentors were able to provide leadership, tutoring and other support services. They definitely had some positive results from their mentoring model. The mentors had taken the course before and they were well acclimated to campus and campus life. However, the teaching assistants were involved in grading and reporting grades of undergraduate students. They also reported that the roles that the teaching assistant played in the classroom had a negative effect on some of the mentees. Supervision collaboration and formal training are key to a successful peer mentoring program. I realized while listening to their presentation that our mentoring model is very different but I greatly appreciated their insight on mentoring.

The conference was a great opportunity to network and learn about best practices from across the country. I want to thank the PACADA Grant Sub Committee for the opportunity to attend such a diverse topic and I would encourage other advisors to consider applying for professional development opportunities to attend a national, regional or state conference.

2016 NACADA National Conference- Shavonne Holton

Shavonne Holton was a recipient of a PACADA professional development grant for the 2016 year. She used her funds to attend the 2016 NACADA National Conference in Atlanta, GA. See below for more information about her experiences!


2016 NACADA Annual Conference – Advising To Learn in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, affectionately known as Hotlanta, was the host city for the 2016 NACADA Annual Conference. Not only were the themes and content of the sessions hot and trendy in advising, but the rooms were packed with eager practitioners! Many sessions were in demand requiring ad hoc accommodations and overflow sections for the participants who did not want to miss the valuable insights shared by the presenters.

I was fortunate to attend this conference with assistance from the PACADA grant. I enjoyed networking with advisors from every region and learning strategies that would take my practice to the next level. Three of the most impactful sessions are included below.


Student Stressors and Pressures: Navigating the Global Mental Health Epidemic on Campus

Shavonne Holton with Mental Health presenter- Susan Toler Carr
Shavonne Holton with Mental Health presenter- Susan Toler Carr

Susan Toler Carr is a professional engineer and founder of the Justin Carr Wants World Peace Foundation. Carr became aware of the lack of attention given to mental health issues when she lost her son, Justin, due to an undetected medical condition at the age of seventeen. It was during this time that she inquired about some of Justin’s surviving friends only to find that some of them had a difficult time grieving his loss. Since then, Susan has made it her mission to spread awareness and advocate for the mental health of adolescents and young adults.

During her workshop, Carr elaborated on a plethora of conditions and circumstances that plague today’s pre-college and college-aged students. For instance, she redefined the non-traditional student to include students who grew up in adverse conditions, are a part of veteran/military families, and consider themselves socially isolated amongst other things. One recommendation she shared was to enhance student ID cards to include counseling and crisis hotline numbers on the back. She stated that some institutions have already implemented it and have found it to be successful.

What I appreciated most about her session was that it was a great reminder to look up from the demands of our work to be present with our students. It is only natural to be preoccupied by the countless emails we receive and our never-ending task lists. Sometimes the most effective strategy for student success is to be present, which demonstrates that we care for our student’s well-being.


#BlackGirlMagic : The Role of Advisors in Supporting the Successes of Black Women  

#BlackGirlMagic The Role of Advisors in Supporting the Success of Black Women

During this workshop, Dawn Matthews, Kelsie Patton, Ky’Eisha Penn, and Sabrina Smith of Florida State University used Critical Race Feminism and Womanist Identity Development theories to provide a framework for advising Black women in higher education. Critical Race Feminism acknowledges the various groups within a marginalized population. The Womanist Identity Development Model specifically illuminates the experiences of African American women to provide a more accurate perspective of their experiences.

During the session, the presenters shared various stereotypes that Black women at both Historically Black Colleges and Universities and predominately White institutions identify with including “being the only/tokenism”. By the end of the session, we learned more about the advising styles that work best for the success of Black Women including developmental advising which focuses on helping students define goals through collaboration with their advisor. Another recommended style was proactive advising. In it, the advisor initiates contact with the student during critical points or circumstances including if the student is high risk, on probation, high achieving, and other critical milestones throughout their academic career.

This particular workshop won Best of Region 4. With the number of practitioners that filled the large breakout room for this session at NACADA, it was clear the level of need and interest in this issue. Attendees from all ethnic and gender backgrounds were engaged in the critical conversations that took place. Even as a professional who identifies with #BlackGirlMagic, I found my biggest takeaway was to assess and approach each student according to her unique needs.

Shavonne Holton with BGM Presenters
Shavonne Holton with BGM Presenters

ATL: It’s HOTlanta: Don’t Burn Out

Presented by: Wiona Porath and Robert Detwiler (Siena Heights University), Jaimie Newby (University of Illinois – Springfield), Dana Hebreard (Calvin College)

With the many demands in our work, it is difficult to know when to turn down a project. It can feel as if everything is a priority even if it is a distraction. We all know that trying to manage a student load, committee work, participating in professional organizations, adjusting to curriculum changes, and other duties as assigned can lead to burn out. What is even more disheartening is that you can unknowingly lose the zest for the work you once found meaningful to you.

During this session, the presenters gave some of the signs of burn out including a change in sleeping and appetite, developing cynicism about your job, and finding it difficult to ease into the workday. Although I am in my second year as an academic advisor, I could see how our work could become less fulfilling as compared to the first day on campus or in a new role.

The presenters did well at reminding the attendees about the most powerful word ever: No. They stressed the importance of establishing boundaries with students, colleagues, and supervisors to prevent burnout. They also shared tips for incorporating relaxation into the workday and in life to create harmony. Some recommendations included taking your lunch outside of the office, going for walks, being present and more. Though the presentation covered signs you may have heard before, it definitely made me more aware of my own professional limitations and I can manage them when I returned to Purdue.

Overall, attending the NACADA annual conference gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing presenters, reinforce what I was doing well in my current role at Purdue, and introduced me to some new perspectives on advising. Thank you PACADA!


2017 PACADA Outstanding Advisor Award

Written & Presented by Erin Schultz, 2016 recipient of the PACADA Outstanding Advisor Award

Kristin Deckard Dawson (center), surrounded by family and colleagues
Kristin Deckard Dawson (center), surrounded by family and colleagues.

It is my complete honor to present the 2017 PACADA Outstanding Advisor award.  This recipient was nominated and given glowing reviews by his/her supervisor, colleagues, and by our Director of Undergraduate Advising, Sandy Monroe.

This advisor is known to be compassionate, extremely organized, someone who goes above and beyond, is a leader and mentor, always displays a professional attitude, has a philosophy of empowering students to take ownership of their academic goals, and values the importance of professional development.

This advisor has personally walked several students, who were in distress, to the Dean of Students as well as CAPS on several occasions.  This individual is known to develop creative approaches in advising, especially when the advising team has been understaffed.  Seeing a need in his/her advising department, this individual also collaborated with the Office of the Dean of Students for QPR suicide training for the advising team and arranged for team members to take the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment.  This advisor has been an active member of PACADA and has volunteered as a Co-Chair previously and is currently dedicating his/her time on the PACADA New Advisor Training Committee.

Colleagues have shared:  “This outstanding advisor has been an invaluable resource and mentor and demonstrates his/her commitment to students, commitment to advising, commitment to professional development, and overall drive to provide each student with a successful advising experience while at Purdue.  This individual deserves the recognition for the tireless hard work and passion he/she displays on a daily basis.”  Others say, “Whether interacting with a student, serving on a committee with fellow academic advisors or other university colleagues, this advisor is respectful of others, willingly listens to opinions and ideas that may be contrary to his/her own but remains diplomatic and articulate in sharing his/her perspective.  This advisor is an excellent listener, communicator, and an exceptional role model for the academic advising community.”

And so, with all of this being said, it is my privilege to present to you the 2017 PACADA Outstanding Advisor, Kristin Deckard Dawson, from Mechanical Engineering!  



2017 PACADA Outstanding New Professional Award

Written By: Christine J. Hofmeyer

Elizabeth Byers-Doten (Center) surrounded by her supportive supervisor and family members

The criteria for the PACADA Outstanding New Professional Award includes effective interpersonal skills, availability to advisees, demonstration of a professional attitude toward advisees, evidence of active involvement in helping students achieve career and academic goals, use of information resources and referral agencies, and evidence of professional development.  This year’s recipient has exceeded all of these criteria.

She joined her department in June 2015, hitting the ground running during the first week of STAR, and due to the need to learn Purdue advising procedures and work to establish new relationships with her advisees; she broke the sound barrier with her speed of action and this rate of speed continues. 

What does movement at the speed of sound look like?

In addition to serving as an exceptional academic advisor and viewed by her department as one of the most “approachable” Purdue advisors, our award recipient has led the development of a formal professional communication internship to help students achieve their career goals.  The focus of the program is to help document the learning and growth of student interns for the development of stronger professional relationships in the agricultural communication industry, which will help assist in academic preparation and employment placement. As a point of success, the academic program enjoys nearly 100 percent job placement “in the field” within three months of graduation.  Our recipient is actively involved in multiple initiatives, some of which she has helped to create in her short time in the department.  She manages multiple social media accounts that enhance departmental communication efforts, writes a monthly department newsletter and biannual alumni newsletter, and authors three different monthly features for the website.  She serves as a leadership coach for the College of Agriculture Leadership Development Certificate Program, advisor and mentor for student Ambassadors, the Agricultural Communication Program’s student organization, and the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). She co-advises the Purdue Dairy Club, and extends her advising and disciplinary expertise throughout the College of Agriculture.

Ongoing professional development is a key component of her professional life.  She is an active member of the Purdue Career Advising Council and PACADA.  She is a member of two PACADA subcommittees: Communications and Connections Committee and Professional Development Committee — having served as the secretary for the Professional Development Committee.  She is a member of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA).  Earlier this year, she attended the Agricultural Careers Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

She will increase her momentum by serving as chaperone for the upcoming Haiti Study Abroad course offered through YDAE.  Whoosh!  She is truly an amazing and accomplished person!   BREATHE!

2017 PACADA Outstanding New Professional Award recipient is Elizabeth Byers-Doten, Youth Development and Agricultural Education (YDAE) Student Services Specialist.  Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved award! 

Learning Community Instructor Awards

PACADA members were once again well-represented at the Learning Community Instructor luncheon where awardees for the 2016-2017 academic year were recognized. The list of award winners can be found below with PACADA members identified in bold text. Congratulations all of the award winners, especially our outstanding PACADA members!


Advocate Award – Awarded to Learning Community Instructors who have been nominated by their students for displaying a commitment to learning, exceptional involvement within the Learning Community, and providing opportunities for connection outside of the classroom.

  • Katherine Chartier
  • Michelle Mullen
  • Bill Oakes

Exceptional Event Planner – Awarded to those LCIs who plan events that are engaging, exciting, and integral to student learning and development during their first semester here at Purdue.

  • Aviation – Todd Brewer, Brian Stirm
  • Global Science Partnerships – Laura Starr, Terry Ham
  • Environmental Sciences – Michael Mashtare

Academic Connection – Awarded to LCIs who plan events and activities that directly connect classroom learning with hands-on experiences.

  • The Nature of Wild Things – Julie Pluimer, Robert K. Swihart, Linda Prokopy, Jeff Dukes, Reuben Goforth
  • EPICS – Bill Oakes, Sarah El-Azab, Beth Wilson, Priya Sirohi, Elizabeth Boyle, Carla Zoltowski

Student Impact – Awarded to LCIs who have demonstrated exceptional success in connecting students to peers, faculty and professional staff, campus resources, and the community at large.

  • Explorers – Jennifer McDonald, Mandy Chalk, Margaret Sheble, McKinley Murphy, Danielle Corple, Beth Jones
  • Exploratory Studies Purdue Promise – Rachel Ravellette, Cara Wetzel, Jessica Ramsey
  • Exploring Business Majors – Scott Vana
  • Exploratory Scholars – Kylie Geiman, Colleen Brown
  • Exploratory Studies Honors – Mary Beth Lencke
  • Agriculture Technology and Innovation – Dennis Buckmaster, Amy Jones
  • Nursing Nexus – Sandra Kuebler, Laura Curry

Real-World Experience – Awarded to LCIs who plan events and activities that offer introductions to various opportunities within their respective academic fields.

  • Engineering for the Planet – Inez Hua
  • Dietetics – Rachel Clark, Dinah Dalder, Mridul Datta, Lisa Graves, Donna Zoss, Kathleen Hill Gallant

Veronica Rahim in Purdue Today


Veronica Rahim, Purdue United Way Campaign spokesperson, delivers the keynote speech at the Victory Celebration on Wednesday (Nov. 16). (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Wilcox)

Purdue faculty, staff, retirees and students accepted the challenge of meeting the 2016 Purdue United Way goal by raising more than $778,647 for the campaign.

Purdue volunteers and community leaders of the local United Way campaign gathered Wednesday (Nov. 16) at Purdue Memorial Union to celebrate raising $778,647, or 101.11 percent of the $770,134 goal.

Pam Horne, Purdue United Way Campaign chair and vice provost for enrollment management, and Becky Hershey, director of Purdue United Way, made Purdue’s presentation.

They thanked Purdue volunteers for their dedication and highlighted special events held on campus to promote awareness and raise funds for the campaign.

“I appreciate the opportunity to lead the Purdue United Way Campaign through a significant change with ePledge and other initiatives this year,” Horne says. “I’m so proud to work with so many wonderful volunteers and community leaders. Purdue University once again has demonstrated its commitment to our community.”

Though the campaign tally is complete, contributions to the United Way are welcome at any time. Donations may be made by visiting

A New Textbook on Higher Education and a Published Author in Our Midst

A new textbook titled Student Involvement and Academic Outcomes: Implications for Diverse College Student Populations provides insight into what faculty and staff can do to help students from many backgrounds be successful in higher education. The textbook was edited by Donald Mitchell Jr., Krista M. Soria, Elizabeth A. Daniele, and Purdue’s own John A. Gipson. John is the Recruitment Specialist in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

After doing some research in graduate school, John and his team saw a need for new literature focusing on outcomes for students from diverse backgrounds, particularly as these populations grow on college campuses. Well-known researchers in the field of higher education and student affairs contributed chapters on topics such as working students, first-generation students, and undocumented students. Links between student involvement and various outcomes are highlighted, noting particularly the importance of GPA to student success. The book can be a great resource for faculty, staff, and graduate students in academic and student affairs.

The book was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Selected New Books on Higher Education last month!

The book can be purchased on Amazon.

Educational Children’s Book Features Purdue – and Brooke Linn’s Talents

Brooke linn

BoilerMAKER: Discovering Purdue University is a children’s picture book three years in the making. The main character, Maddie, visits campus for the first time with her mother and while she is here, she discovers all the great things she can do with a Purdue degree.

The author, Brooke Linn, is an Assistant Director in the College of Pharmacy who assists students with academic advising and career planning. Through this story, Brooke was able to combine her love of writing with her passion for helping students find their way in the world. To learn more about Brooke as an author, visit her website at Brooke worked collaboratively with her two sisters to complete the book. All three girls hold degrees from Purdue and are proud to give back to the university through this project.

Brooke’s main objective when writing this story was to get children excited about higher education. In the story, Maddie visits every college and several Purdue monuments as she travels around campus. The book comes complete with a curriculum guide for teachers as well as family activity ideas. At the Boilermaker Maddie website (, Maddie’s personality and passion for Purdue will continue to grow over time, providing readers new opportunities for connecting with Maddie and introducing higher education to their children. You can sign up to join Maddie’s mailing list on the website.

BoilerMAKER: Discovering Purdue University will be available at University Bookstore, University Spirit, and Follett’s. Copies can also be ordered online through the website at

Several local bookstores will be hosting a book signing with Brooke Linn as well – let’s show our support for one of our own by purchasing the book and have it signed at one of these dates/locations:

  • University Bookstore – Saturday, November 22nd, 9:30am – 12:00pm, Northwestern Ave store (by the stadium)
  • Follett’s Purdue West – Wednesday, December 3rd, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, and this is Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day (discounts on everything in the store!)
  • University Spirit – TBD (but coming!)

Integration Initiatives in International Programs


By Beth Tucker

– Program & Engagement Coordinator, Office of the Dean of International Programs

Fall 2014 international student enrollment at Purdue West Lafayette now tops 9,000 with 5,350 international undergraduate students and 3,720 graduate students.

The impact of this mix of students with domestic students – in the classroom, the residence hall and around town – is keenly felt. Hence the formation of the “IP Integration Team” creating “IP Integration Initiatives,” geared to involving international students in American culture and providing them with opportunities to share their cultures and unique perspectives with one another. We seek to assist both the local community and international students in identifying and breaking down barriers to integration while providing opportunities for meaningful connections through large group events, mentorship programs, sports events, service-learning opportunities and matching programs.

Our charge is to create and facilitate quality programs, activities and training for international and domestic students, faculty and staff with integration of the international students into the campus and community as its core mission.

Multinational Integration Xchange (MIX) – a cohort of nearly 100 trained student leaders, both domestic and international, tasked with assisting new international undergraduate students to cross cultural boundaries and build relationships with domestic students. The program offers an innovative cross-cultural certification for MIX leaders. Goal: To provide every new international student with a meaningful interaction with a domestic student. For more information, contact Annette Benson or visit MIX Facebook page.

International Friendship Program (IFP) – a cadre of community volunteers, from Purdue and the community, are matched with new international students interested in meeting and connecting with community residents from Greater Lafayette. Goal: To provide incoming international students the opportunity to build friendships during the students’ first semester at Purdue. For more information, contact Beth Tucker at

Boiler Out Volunteer Program – a cohort of 240+ international and domestic students selected each semester who commit themselves to volunteer with local non-profit agencies and service organizations in Greater Lafayette. Goal: To provide 240 international and domestic students meaningful community service projects that reflect its three core values of Outreach, Understanding and Teamwork as they work together alongside local community members. For more information, contact Kathryn Burden at or visit Boiler Out Facebook page.

The International Programs (IP) Student Events Grant – a grant that seeks to encourage student clubs and independent student leaders to bring internationals to American student group events, Americans to international student group events, and to encourage diverse cultural groups to co-sponsor each other’s events. Groups interested in this grant should fill out the application and submit it to Leighton Buntain. Applications can be found at

In addition to these and other programs, trips and events, we create linkages and partnerships with others at Purdue and the community who share our mission and goals. So keep us in mind as you design and develop programs of your own! We want to partner with you!

We’re located in Young Hall, Room 120, Office of the Dean of International Programs. Email us at or call 765-494-9399.

If you are interested in events or activities facilitated through the Office of International Programs, please follow:

twitter logo @IPPurdue on Twitter

facebook logo  or like the Purdue International Programs Facebook page.

The Integration Team:

David Ayers, Associate Dean of International Programs; Annette Benson, Beth Tucker and Leighton Buntain, Programs and Engagement Coordinators; and Kathryn Burden, Immigration Counselor.

In Recognition of Excellence….2013-2014 Advisor Awards

Awards Excellence

PACADA presents two advisors with distinguished awards recognizing excellent work each year – one award for Outstanding Advisor and another for Outstanding New Professional in Advising. Candidates are chosen through a peer nomination process and winners consistently demonstrate excellence in advising as experienced by students, colleagues, and faculty alike.

Additionally and perhaps less well known by PACADA members at Purdue, some Purdue advisors are also recognized by their own College or Department or are honored with awards from organizations outside Purdue like NACADA – PACADA’s national organization.

In order to spread the word on campus and beyond, it is critical to honor these individuals for a job well done.

Please congratulate the following Purdue Academic Advisors for the excellent work they do each day to help Purdue students reach their academic, personal, and professional goals:

PACADA Outstanding Advisor 2013-2014: Anneliese Kay, Assistant Director, College of Agriculture

PACADA Outstanding New Professional 2013-2014: Peter Vasher, (former) Advisor, Exploratory Studies

NACADA Outstanding Advising Award Certificate of Merit Recipient, Primary Advising category 2014: Anneliese Kay

NACADA Outstanding Advising Administrator Award Certificate of Merit Recipient, Advising Administrator category 2014:                   Dr. Mark Diekman, Faculty/Advisor, Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture

Richard W. McDowell Best Advisor Award for 2014: Jeffrey Myers, Advisor, First-Year Engineering

Outstanding Service to Students Recipient for the College of Agriculture, 2013-14: Andrew Oppy, Advisor, College of Agriculture

Outstanding Management Advisor Award for 2013-14: Jennifer Walters, Senior Academic Advisor, Krannert School of Management

NACADA Student Research Award Winner (Master’s category): John Gipson, Advisor/Student Program Specialist, College of Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Earl P. Notestine Award for Excellence in Academic Services, College of Liberal Arts, 2013-2014: Angie Palikaris, Advisor, College of Liberal Arts

Again, we offer a heartfelt thanks and congratulations for your hard work and dedication.

*If an award was missed, please email the author Colleen Brown at to have the award/recipient added to this list.

The Career Advising Council: Origins, Purposes, and Goals

By Colleen E. Brown, Academic Advisor CLA & Career Council Member

Which came first – the chicken or the egg?  This age-old question is similar to what many students face when thinking about the relationship between their college majors and their eventual career paths upon graduation.  Do I know what I want to be ‘when I grow up’ and then pick a major to fit that goal?  Or do I pick a major and eventually find my career path as I move through my program?

The answer to these and other student career- related questions may lie in the extent to which our students think about their career development early, often, and effectively.  In order to assist students in these endeavors, it is essential that the academic advising community have access to the latest career information as well as up-to-date tools and techniques so we can better assist students on this journey.  Toward this end, a Career Advising Council was formed consisting of academic advisors and career/student services professionals from across campus.  This council will discuss the major issues regarding Purdue students’ career development paths including implementing new initiatives at the student, advisor, and university levels.

The idea for the Career Advising Council was first formed when a group of academic advisors and career/students services professionals from a variety of Colleges and units across Purdue’s campus volunteered to take an online class offered through the University of North Carolina titled “Models & Methods of Student Advising:  Promoting Career and Academic Success & Transition”.  With financial support from their individual academic units and Sandy Monroe’s office, the participants took the 4 week class focusing on how career advising can more efficiently integrate with academic advising.  The course was taught by Dr. Paul Gore, a noted researcher in the field of career advising/development.

While the class was conducted online, the Purdue participants (making up 13/25 of the class members) met in-person weekly to discuss the readings, assignments, and to review best practices gleaned from the class.  The participants learned that many models of career & academic advising exist at universities across the country with each model having relative pros and cons.  Most importantly, the class members agreed that full integration of academic/career advising on a campus of Purdue’s size and shape was not the best route.  Instead, many new ideas about how to improve/highlight the career culture here on campus were discussed and debated with the ultimate goal of aiding Purdue students on their career planning pathways.

Each participant ended the class with a written review of their own College’s academic advising model, the career services available within their respective Colleges, and how these career services fit in with the services offered to students campus-wide by the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO).  Each participant produced an institutional assessment from their own perspective addressing some/all of the following issues:

1.  Strengths & weaknesses of Purdue’s current academic & career advising model

2.  Barriers and benefits to academic/career advising integration at Purdue

3.  Successful current practices as well as gaps in knowledge/missed opportunities for improving career development services campus wide

4.  Short and long term goals of better aligning academic & career advising at Purdue

Through this process and in consultation with Sandy Monroe (Director of Academic Advising), Tim Luzader, and Cher Yazvac (Director & Associate Director of the CCO respectively), the class came up with a set of recommendations to improve the career development experience here at Purdue.  The recommendations including some of the following highlights:

1. Purdue students would benefit from a consistent career development activity/message campus-wide beginning early and being revisited often as they move toward graduation.

2.  Helping advisors show students the benefits of engaging in self-reflective/self-discovery techniques is a key component to career development at the college level.

3.  Current models of advising on campus should be systematically studied as should any programs/initiatives created.  The student body should be an active participant in assessing current/future needs.

4.  The career services within each College complement, rather than supplant, the services offered within the CCO.  The key is to orient students to what each unit uniquely offers.

5.  Academic advisors play an important role in the career development path but given the demands on their time and the focus of their jobs, it is essential that the variety of stand-alone career services offer a separate and more in-depth function for students.

6.  Academic advisors already engage in many positive forms of career advising during their interactions with students but would benefit from the additional training and be given easy-to-implement career planning tools for their advising toolboxes.

7.  A centralized, standing committee to help address the above needs/issues would help fill gaps and improve quality all-around.

Thus, the Career Advising Council was created.  Sandy Monroe and Cher Yazvac will serve as the Council’s co-advisors and Brooke Linn (academic advisor/student services in PHARM) and Kaletra Dispennett (career services consultant at the CCO) agreed to act as the Council’s first co-chairs.  Invited members of the Council include the class participants (most of whom agreed to serve), academic advisor representation from each College and a variety of career services professionals from across campus.

When asked about the purpose/goals of the Career Advising Council, Sandy Monroe stated that, “In terms of the advising community, the key mission of the council will be to help advisors integrate key career advising strategies into their everyday advising appointments.…this might include, for example, raising advisor’s awareness of the tools our students can utilize as they explore or affirm their career options.  It is my hope that the Council members will provide personalized guidance to their own advising community regarding career information.  We also hope to help academic advisors better orient to career advising techniques and practices through a series of targeted, ongoing, and interactive professional development sessions for the advising community as a whole.”

The first general meeting of the Career Advising Council took place at the beginning of January.  The main task included brainstorming about a campus-wide activity at Freshman Orientation to assist incoming students in beginning to think about their career development and to immediately familiarize them with the wide variety of career services available here.  The initiatives are currently being discussed an finalized on this front.

Other topics of discussion and future directions for the Council included:  Program success assessment/tracking, CODO-in surveys regarding career knowledge of major, promoting the CCO and College-specific career services more actively/effectively, effectiveness/need for career orientation courses (i.e. COM 100- 1 credit), career clubs across campus, career mapping, tools for advisors, and professional development session topics.

Any questions about the Career Advising Council, its purpose, goals, outcomes, and membership can be directed toward the Council’s co-advisors and/or facilitators.  Sandy Monroe’s office will offer the first campus-wide event for academic advisors to hear more information about the Council during the Spring Academic Advisor Gathering on Monday May 12th from 3-5 pm in the Co-Rec Center.   We hope you can all join us to celebrate your hard work and give us your input about the new-found council.

An Interview with Sandy Monroe: Director of University Undergraduate Advising

An Interview with Sandy Monroe:

Director of University Undergraduate Advising

By Danielle Gilbert and Jennifer Radecki

 Sandy Monroe’s connection to Purdue was forged early.  A daughter of Seymour, IN farmers, she sought out the diversity and opportunity she wasn’t receiving at a small Chicago university by transferring to Purdue.  The change afforded her access to excellent advising and experiences, culminating in the opportunity to be the first student from Purdue to complete an Indiana University-sponsored student teaching semester on a Navajo Indian Reservation.  There she learned what it was like to be a minority, how to fully respect another’s culture, and what the 24/7 lives of her students really entailed.  Her commitment to teaching was solidified and she graduated with a B.A. in Social Studies Education.

Afterwards, Sandy dove into a Purdue graduate degree in counseling (College Student Personnel).  While completing her degree, she served as the “house mom” for Shoemaker Cooperative.  This experience brought her into contact with wonderful mentors at the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) who encouraged her professional development, such Bev Stone, Barb Cook, Betty Nelson, and Linda Ewing.  She transitioned to a full-time generalist counselor position with ODOS where she stayed for 10 years, continuing to advise co-operative housing through what is now called Student Activities and Organizations.

ODOS is also where she met her husband of 32 years, Jim Westman, who recently retired as the Director of the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH).  To have both spouses working in the student affairs field is almost ideal, she said, because serving students is “a lifestyle and not just an 8 to 5 job” – a commitment they both understood.  Over time, Sandy held varied positions in the Office of the Dean of Students.   As an Associate Dean of Students, she served as the director of the On-Call Team to assist students in crisis.  Later, as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, she led the Behavioral Intervention Team.  Her career so far has allowed her the joy of “[being] invited to be a part of students’ lives” and to affect them positively.

At the time of our interview with Sandy, she had been the newly-minted Director of University Undergraduate Advising for a grand total of 8 weeks.  The position was the result of a Foundations of Excellence (FOE) recommendation encouraging a “unified academic advising focus,” with a “central point person” representing academic advising at the highest levels.  This person would be a “centralized resource responsible for advisor advocacy, as well as best-practice review.”  Sandy hopes that the creation of this position will bring visibility to the importance of academic advising in the undergraduate experience.

Sandy believes that academic advising is a student’s introduction to the higher education experience and it is important for that student to establish a one-to-one advisor connection early.   Advisors can challenge students to think critically about their personalities, interests, goals, and the different worldviews they are experiencing.  In her interaction with advisors, she has always been constantly impressed with what we do, our hard work, and our commitment to students and to the Purdue community at-large.

Sandy feels she has made good progress in her work with the Academic Advisor Project, which focused on the restructuring and standardization of academic advising positions.  A task bank, created by a committee of academic advisors and advising directors, was implemented to assist in delineating new advising levels.  Career ladders within each level will follow.  A new standard for student to advisor ratio has been set (at 225:1) and new advisor hiring has been proposed to move this goal toward fruition.  Throughout, Sandy has been representing advisors at campus-wide committee meetings.

Sandy feels that our advising community’s greatest challenges are to obtain recognition of, and respect for, our profession and our accomplishments.  Collecting student feedback, continuing to be involved in student-related projects, committees, and programs, and actively participating in professional development opportunities are just a few ways for us to address these challenges.  Ultimately, advising needs to remain student-focused and centered on continuing to assist and improve our services to them.

Positive changes for advising are just beginning.  Sandy would love to hear advisors’ ideas for continued improvements, whether it’s through e-mail, during her attendance at a staff meeting, or through an informal talk while returning from an advising event.  Her e-mail is and her phone number is 494-5779.   Meetings can also be set by calling Julie Wise, her administrative assistant, at 496-2690.

More Inspiration from Award Winning Advisors

Last time we hoped to inspire you with quotes from former Outstanding Advisor Award winners.  This time we have more inspiration for you—but from further back!  Enjoy this blast from the past!

Rita Baker, 2002 Winner

A successful advisor will remove the word “I” from their repertoire when talking with students.
If a minute count were done, a successful advisor will have spent more minutes listening than speaking.  A successful advisor puts the world aside and listens with ears and eyes.
A successful advisor puts themselves in the seat of the student, literally and figuratively, often.  Empathy is a key player in quality advising.
The student leaving the advising session should leave feeling like someone has not only listened, but heard and cared.  “You have all the qualities it takes to do well…please let me know how it goes” can be the one statement that makes a student feel cared for at college.

Erik Props, 2000 Winner

To me, the most important advice is to be a good listener. By listening you’ll find out what their goals are and what they are passionate about so you can help put them on a path to success. You’ll also hear about their struggles; and, sometimes, what they do not say is very telling. You should also know as much as possible about your own programs as well as other campus opportunities and resources. Share your knowledge with the idea of empowering the student to make their own decisions and take control of their career and college experience. Help them grow by pushing them beyond their comfort zone.

Cher Yazvac, 1995 Winner

Being a successful advisor is a combination of being knowledgeable about the myriad of programs and procedures at Purdue, being an insightful & creative listener and communicator, and being 100% “for” each student.

Roberta Schonemann, 1994 Winner

Advisors need to be well-informed on university and school (They call them “colleges” now?) policies. Importantly, they should be good listeners, make an effort to learn their advisees’ names, and encourage independent decision making (not make the decision!) through the discussion and evaluation of options. Above all, like and respect young people.

Alan Welch, 1992 Winner

Just one thing? Wow. I doubt I’ll stop at one!
Treat students like adults, whether or not they are acting like adults. Resist the urge to be their parents away from home. People will generally respond appropriately, and if you talk to them as an adult, they’ll learn how to respond that way. The students need to learn to talk to their parents the same way.
Make a connection with your advisee that’s something more than their name and major. It will help you remember them better and will let the student know that you care about them as a person.
Don’t get hung up on ‘the company line’. Help your students dream about what they can really accomplish and what they are passionate about, even if it’s not furthering the current stated goals in retention or goals of the University. If the goals they have are not matching with evidence (grades, progress, etc.), give them that evidence and let them draw their own conclusion; you don’t need to spell it out for them. It might take a little longer, but the effect will be more lasting.