Two University of Wisconsin Oshkosh advising professionals will be recognized by the Wisconsin Academic Advising Association (WACADA) at a state conference in September.
Nominated by Liz Whalley, director of the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center (UARC) at UW Oshkosh, both Joann Cross, professor and chair of the accounting department at UWO, and Ann Kunkle-Jones, Graduation Project adviser, will receive excellence awards for their dedication to students at UW Oshkosh at the WACADA annual conference Sept. 26 and 27, which is being held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The WACADA Awards are intended to recognize individuals who work with, for and in favor of students in an academic advising capacity, and those who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the profession of academic advising.
Cross will received a Faculty Adviser Excellence Award, which acknowledges candidates who exhibit a wide range of effective qualities including strong interpersonal skills, mastery of regulations, policies and procedures and willingness to treat students as an individual of worth and potential.
In Cross’ nomination, Whalley wrote:
“Once a student is assigned to Dr. Cross as his or her adviser, she rarely refers them back to UARC, believing that she should find out any information they need from that body. Dr. Cross feels that students should not be put to the time-consuming, confusing and aggravating task of searching all over campus trying to find a piece of information when she can accomplish the same things via email and phone calls. The information she gleans from these treasure hunts has the added benefit of increasing her own body of knowledge.
“… In addition to serving as adviser and instructor to all accounting majors (all accounting students will eventually take at least one course taught by Dr. Cross) she also has other roles within the College and University which provide for a platform for communication. She is secretary and faculty adviser to the College of Business Honor society, and through that mechanism has the opportunity to congratulate those accounting majors who have won scholarships or other honors. Similarly, since she attends the advising sessions at the College of Business Networking Night event and also announces names at graduation, she has personal contact with every accounting student in a variety of ways.
“Dr. Joann Cross is fully engaged with the accounting students she advises and cares deeply about developing the programs to fit the needs of both her students and the industries in which they will find employment. Her passion for maintaining high standards and differentiating the program serves as an example of excellence across the university system.”
Kunkle-Jones will receive an Advising Excellence Award, which is awarded to those who exhibit exemplary qualities of an academic adviser, including strong interpersonal skills, a caring attitude toward students and mastery of regulations, policies and procedures.
In Kunkle-Jones’ nomination, Whalley wrote:
“Ann easily connects with students; calming their fears and alleviating their anxiety while being honest and straightforward. She is skilled at helping students make sense of detailed, complex information so that they can make good decisions. She goes out of her way to make time for students, often meeting with them before and after regular business hours. And, she is a great resource for students because of her broad knowledge of campus resources and her practice of referring to a specific person rather than a general office. Ann’s historical and comprehensive knowledge of policy and curriculum is unmatched.
“In addition to Ann’s “traditional” advising load of undergraduate students in a variety of majors in the College of Letters and Science, Ann is the Graduation Project adviser for the campus and has been since the program began in 2005. The Graduation Project is a program that identifies and reaches out to students who came close to graduating, but never completed their degree providing encouragement, support and resources so that they can do so. Students who express interest in participating in the program are connected with Ann. She is responsible for researching their deficiencies, which often involves a great deal of skilled detective work. Then, she works closely with department chairs to discuss options for degree completion for the student including coursework at UW Oshkosh, courses from other institutions, course substitutions, waivers or other curriculum modifications. She meets with Graduation Project students multiple times (either in person or by phone) to help them understand what they need to do to complete their degree and the many options from which they can choose. As you can imagine these students are all busy, working adults, many with families, who require a lot of extra time and specialized attention to return to higher education. Meetings with these students always involve a heart to heart conversation about how classes and studying can be added to an already full plate and what the pros/cons may be for the individual student at a given point in their life/career. Her comprehensive and compassionate assistance has resulted in more than 300 students earning a degree who otherwise may not have.”