Hunt, Wade receive Excellence in Advising Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Brandon Hunt, professor of education (counselor education, rehabilitation and human services), and L. Vanessa Wade, academic adviser in the College of Health and Human Development, have been selected to receive the 2013 Penn State Excellence in Advising Award.

The award, established by the former 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 and career guidance, enthusiasm and assistance in decision making, and goal setting.

Hunt has been advising undergraduate students in rehabilitation and human services since she began teaching at Penn State in 1992. She also has served as the major’s Schreyer Honors College adviser since 1995. Although she typically works with 30 to 35 undergraduate advisees a year, this year she has 61 due both to growth in the major and to student requests that she be their adviser.

“I view the advisees I work with as responsible and capable adults who need support and guidance during their college experience,” she said. “I find that by treating the advisees in this way — by holding them accountable for their own decisions and their own academic programs — they are quickly able to meet and surpass their own expectations about how responsible they can be for their own education.”

In addition to face-to-face meetings, she uses technology to stay in touch with advisees. She has developed a listserv for sharing information with current and past advisees, and she uses her own LinkedIn profile and web page both to provide information and to serve as a model of how students might use social media and digital technology in their own careers.

Wade has been an adviser at Penn State since 1999, first as an adviser of international students and scholars within the University Office of Global Programs and then as an academic adviser in human development and family studies. Currently, she is the lead academic adviser for students pursuing majors and minors in HDFS as well as minors in gerontology.

“My style has taken a metamorphosis from one who provides direction for success to someone who teaches, supports/cheerleads and advocates for students while keeping in mind the students’ goals, whether it be graduation or finishing the semester without failing a class,” she said.

One student noted, “She not only checks on the status of my grades but she also gives me advice in multiple areas that are necessary to succeed in the hectic college years, such as how to stay organized, disciplined, setting future goals for myself and also reminding me that I am capable of doing and succeeding at anything I put my mind to.”

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Last Updated March 21, 2013