Excellence in Advising Awards

April 24, 2023



MU’s Excellence in Advising (EIA) awards are given annually to outstanding academic advisors who go beyond their traditional duties to ensure that our students receive the best support and care both inside and outside the classroom.  This year, Kibby Smith, advisor in the College of Arts & Science and Advisors Forum Awards Chair, noted that 16 nominations were received for the EIA awards. Shown below are the nominees and the student/colleague/supervisor testimonials (in quotes) that say it best:

Nicolette Leiby, Department of Textile & Apparel Management, College of Arts & Science

“With her mentorship, I have learned the importance of creating personal connections with faculty and peers and being a strong communicator. The development of these skills has helped open the possibilities of what I can accomplish as a student and aspiring professional.”

Kati Abbott, Department of Economics and Truman School of Government and Public Affairs, College of Arts & Science

“Ms. Abbott was extremely helpful when I was considering graduate school and career options. I was concerned with my mathematical abilities and doubted whether I could finish the quantitative track of economics, much less a graduate program. It was Ms. Abbott’s words of encouragement that convinced me to go ahead and try my best. Thanks to her, I found confidence in my quantitative and analytical skills both in the classroom and in work.”

Alex Anderson, Departments of Communication and Theatre, College of Arts & Science

“He has been incredible. Helped me graduate a year early, and (he) would sit and talk with me about life and anything I wanted to. I left his office with a smile on my face every time I saw him…he has a vast knowledge of the University and is able to provide excellent advice, support, and direction.”

Laura Anderson, Sinclair School of Nursing

“One of my most memorable moments with Laura was getting accepted into nursing school. After telling Laura I was accepted, she hugged me as if she was my own mother…Having Laura’s support in my high moments were special, but seeing her support me during my times of trial is what speaks volume to Laura’s character. In times I may not have done so well on a test, or times where my personal life was hectic, Laura ALWAYS made time to listen and send me off with some encouraging words.”

Sarah Anthony, College of Health Sciences

“The preparation she puts into her appointments and communication to students is unparalleled. Every moment of her day is met with intention…Moreover, Sarah has been an invaluable asset with onboarding new academic programs and assisting Department Chair transitions in the School of Health Professions.”

Jennifer Bloss, Department of Psychological Sciences, College of Arts & Science

“She has had an impact in our department through her one-on-one advising with students; however, I believe she has had an even greater impact as an advisor with her leadership. She has been instrumental in helping the entire team excel in many ways. She continually thinks of new and better approaches for daily, periodic, and annual processes.”

Kristina Bradley, School of Journalism

“I believe Kristina’s success with students can be attributed to being an amazing human and to her personal goal of living a life committed to embracing diversity and inclusion. Kristina respects individuals’ personal pronouns and allows students to show up in a style that works best for them by adapting her advising practice and making appropriate referrals.”

Amy Bruer, School of Journalism

“She has been available to walk students in distress to the Counseling Center, where she sits with them until they feel confident they will be okay or are ready to meet with someone… Amy has encouraged many students to complete their program by (being) a friendly and supportive ally.  She enjoys discussing their life goals and outside interests.” 

Kirsten Caudle, Trulaske College of Business

“Not only does she reply promptly to communication attempts and offer advice on classes, she has always made it a point of saying hello and checking on me and how I’m doing when she sees me around campus. During Spring semester of 2022 I was struggling with finances and mental health issues, and after running into her in the hall she made an effort to ensure I was seeking help for my depression.”

Alison Lee, Discovery Center

“I am sort of a first generation college student. My parents went to college, but dropped out, not able to provide me any help with this process. I felt very unprepared coming here, really knowing nothing about how everything runs…(Ali) went beyond and talked me through college, the dorms, the transportation, the food. She was able to make me feel a bit more prepared for what to expect. She’s very easygoing, and incredibly easy to talk to and feel understood.”

Taylor Morrow, Trulaske College of Business

“He has asked me politely and respectfully about my life outside of academia, such as if everything is going well in my extracurricular activities , as well as the situation back in my home country – Ukraine. I am confident in saying that he genuinely cares for his students’ wellbeing and success.”

Emily Stoker, Trulaske College of Business

“Her commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for her students is remarkable. She has worked tirelessly to create opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to connect and learn from each other by volunteering to help organize the Bottom Line for Diversity Conference.”

Brennan Strand, College of Education & Human Development

“Not only is she a great academic role model and is wonderful at keeping her advisees on the correct path, but she also shows interest in their life. For example, this fall break, I went to New York to participate in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She sent an extremely kind email to me and one of my fellow colleagues wishing us luck with the performance.”

Carlynn Trout, College of Arts & Science

“She always listened to me and helped me choose classes that I was interested in as far as a career. With her guidance, I was able to finish my degree after two years at MU. I probably would have been lost without her. She also helped me be sure that I knew what to do for the graduation ceremony in December. I walked with the rest of the students, and my parents were really proud. Since I have high functioning autism, my perseverance and her guidance helped me navigate and succeed.”

Mikala Vaughn, Trulaske College of Business

“What I admire most about her is how she provided a safe, non-judgmental space for me to share my thoughts and feelings. Her caring and empathetic nature allowed me to open up to her in a way that I couldn’t with others. Her support went beyond academics, and she genuinely cared for my well-being outside of school.”

Sijie Yao, Trulaske College of Business

“What really stood out to me was her genuine interest in my life outside of the classroom, including my plans to participate in a summer voice program in New York and my recent selection to the 2022 Mizzou Homecoming Steering Committee. I could tell she was really excited for me. Additionally, she even wanted to know the date of my upcoming music concert, so that she could come to support me.”

This year’s awards went to Nicolette Leiby, Faculty Advisor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the College of Arts & Science and to Alex Anderson, Advisor in the Departments of Communication and Theatre, also in the College of Arts & Science. Congratulations to Nicolette and Alex.

Our work as faculty is incomplete unless we pass on our love for learning to the next generation. This happens when our students make continuous learning a way of life, knowing that they are, and will always be, supported. This does not happen without a dedicated advising team.  My deep appreciation to every one of our advisors for what you do and how you do it. 

Latha Ramchand, PhD

Provost &

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs