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MTSU’s Abney awarded research scholarship by natio...

MTSU’s Abney awarded research scholarship by national advising association

Alicia Abney, advising manager and adjunct instructor for MTSU’s College of Education, is a 2022 NACADA Scholarship recipient from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising as part of the organization’s 2022 Global Awards Program for Academic Advising.  

Dr. Alicia Abney, advising manager, College of Education
Dr. Alicia Abney

Abney, who came to MTSU in 2015 as an advisor and has a doctorate in education, received the $1,000 research scholarship when she was honored during the 2022 NACADA Annual Conference Oct. 23-26 in Portland, Oregon.

The NACADA scholarships are presented to selected members who are pursuing graduate education at either the master’s, Ph.D. or Ed.D. level. The funds are provided to encourage the relationship between scholarly work in student advising and professional practice. 

Abney said only two such scholarships were awarded at the conference: one for completed doctoral work, which she received, and one for completing master’s degree work.

Candidates must have a two-year history of membership with NACADA, present a well-developed personal advising philosophy, articulate clear goals related to their future in advising, and solicit detailed endorsements from their faculty advisor as well as their employer. 

“I know how imperative academic advising is to the institution, but more importantly, I know how vital academic advising is for each and every student at the institution,” Abney wrote in the career goals statement required of scholarship applicants.

“I know this based on my own undergraduate experience and how an academic advisor may have prevented me from making embarrassing and costly mistakes that first year.

“I want every student entering post-secondary education to unequivocally know that there is a specific person on campus for them that will support them, advocate for them, provide guidance for them, hold them accountable when needed, and celebrate their every success.”

Dr. Rick Vanosdall, interim dean, College of Education
Dr. Rick Vanosdall

In an endorsement letter for Abney, interim College of Education Dean Rick Vanosdall, who appointed Abney as advising manager in August 2020, noted that she “has demonstrated her visionary leadership and is among the Student Success programs across the university. … She demonstrates a passion for students as whole human beings and strives to support her advisees and her team members as they serve our students.”

Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The organization promotes quality academic advising and professional development for its membership to enhance students’ educational development.

College of Education logo

NACADA’s membership has grown to over 14,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors and others in academic and student affairs staff concerned with the intellectual, personal and vocational needs of students.

The organization acts as the representative and advocate of academic advising, and those providing that service, to higher education.

— Jimmy Hart (

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