MTSU academic advisers play a big role in students’ success while enrolled at the university, routinely checking emails and answering phone calls, even after hours, to make sure students succeed.
College of Liberal Arts adviser Matthew Hibdon is the latest to earn national recognition for his efforts with an award from the National Academic Advising Association.
Hibdon will receive the 2017 Region III Excellence in Advising-New Advisor Award later this month.
An employee of MTSU for the last nine years who’s also earned two degrees from the university, Hibdon said the award is “a validation of our approach to advising within the College of Liberal Arts.”
“I enjoy helping my assigned students, but I cannot do it alone,” he said. “I help students navigate the logistical parts of their degree programs, while faculty advisers serve as the curricular and career experts for students. Great teamwork between us has made all the difference.”
Hibdon’s award follows last year’s honor for fellow College of Liberal Arts adviser Brad Baumgardner, who advises music majors. He received the 2016 Region III Outstanding New Adviser Award.
Baumgardner has worked at MTSU for a little over two years, a time during which the university has increased the number of advisers as part of its Quest for Student Success initiative to improve graduation and retention.
“I was honored to receive the award, mostly because I feel that it reflects the commitment to student success that I see daily in my department, college and across the university,” he said.
“I applied for the award in hopes of drawing attention to the changes we’ve been making in the advising model here at MTSU and the results we’ve been able to achieve.”
The National Academic Advising Association, or NACADA, is a professional association for individuals in the work of academic advising. The organization’s annual conferences have a great impact on advisers’ professional development, supporters say.
NACADA comprises 10 regions throughout the United States and Canada, and Region III covers Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Several MTSU advisers have received NACADA awards over the years.
Members who meet certain criteria have to be nominated and apply for the award. Applications also include letters of support from supervisors, colleagues and students. Winners receive their awards at NACADA conferences.
“To receive a NACADA award means two things to me,” said Lucy Langworthy, who manages the liberal arts advisers. “First of all, it means that the adviser is committed to making himself/herself a better adviser by taking advantage of this very resourceful professional organization.
“Second of all, getting a NACADA award reflects well on Middle Tennessee State University and recognizes the work that our young leaders are doing on our campus to help students be successful.”
The Region III conference, where Hibdon will receive his award, will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 19-21. The 2017 state NACADA conference will be held at MTSU on May 8.
— Faith Few (firstname.lastname@example.org)