Excellence in Advising Awards given to Gravish, Grow

University Park, Pa. -- The 2008 Penn State Excellence in Advising Awards will be presented to Lori Gravish and Debra Grow.

The Penn State Excellence in Advising Award, established by the Undergraduate Student Government's Academic Assembly and sponsored by each college, annually honors one full-time faculty member and one full-time professional adviser from any Penn State location who have at least two years of advising experience. Selection criteria are based on excellence in general advising, academic guidance, career guidance, enthusiasm and assistance in decision-making and goal-setting. Award recipients are expected to share their successful advising techniques and expertise with other faculty and graduate assistants by participating in lectures, workshops and symposia throughout the year.

Gravish is an instructor within the Department of Kinesiology and the Wellness Coordinator for the Village at Penn State Life Care Retirement Community. She has been a University faculty member since 1999 and has served as Wellness Coordinator since 2003. Before that, Gravish guided Penn State kinesiology interns when she worked as a cardiac rehabilitation director in the State College area for eight and a half years.
 
"I strongly believe that taking the time out of my schedule to educate students about therapy approaches, effective communication with patients and career choices that complement his or her career ambitions serves each student well, not only in the health-care environment but also in the demands of school," said Gravish.

In addition to instructing students to higher levels of clinical and practical learning, mentoring students for internships, graduate school and career opportunities, organizing educational conferences for students and offering courses in professional development, Gravish has done extensive work with conferences, workshops, presentations and consulting.

One of Gravish's advisees said, "The last day of classes for the semester tends to be a joyous time for most students and faculty members celebrating the end of all the hard work of the semester. However, in Lori Gravish's classroom, this day marks the end of something truly special and brings sadness to the hearts of all in her presence. She is not a typical teacher, I have never met someone with such care and consideration for their students."

Grow is an academic counselor for the Smeal College of Business Administration and serves as Schreyer Honor Programs coordinator for the Smeal College. She has been working at the University since 1978 and has 27 years of advising experience at Penn State.

"I have had the privilege and pleasure of advising thousands of Penn State students who have allowed me to be a part of their higher education journey," she said. "Along the way, I have had the chance to hone and revise my philosophy, beliefs and approach to academic advising."

Grow not only advises and counsels undergraduate students, she meets with prospective students and their families to facilitate the recruitment process, manages the Scholars Day process and Junior Gate process for Smeal each year, and collaborates on the development of outreach opportunities for business students. She has also served on various committees and teams to promote improvement in services for undergraduates.

"Debra Grow is the best adviser I have ever had," said of her students. "She is by far and away the most knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding adviser I have ever met. I truly feel she has my best interests in mind not only as a student but also as a person."
 

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Last Updated March 19, 2009