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2016 Excellence in Advising

Excellence in Advising is bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in advising.

Sekeenia Haynes

Sekeenia HaynesAs administrator for the National Institutes for Health–funded Program for Excellence and Equity in Research, Sekeenia Haynes draws on inspiration from her own great teachers and mentors to help students underrepresented in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics succeed. Haynes’s ultimate goals as an advisor are to empower students and encourage them to pursue socially meaningful careers in science, education, and health. She helps to engage students by enlisting speakers from various departments and businesses to talk about their experiences. Students she advises are impressed with her level of commitment to their success.

Remus Nicoara

Remus NicoaraRemus Nicoara is an associate mathematics professor and director of the Math Honors program. Focusing on the goal of embracing diversity, he views advising as a reciprocal process, treating his advisees and mentees as colleagues no matter what level of study they have attained. One of his advisees has this to say: “I have learned from Dr. Nicoara that advice is not something that you take out of a can for the person in front of you, but is rather something that you construct for the person in front of you.” Nicoara exemplifies this personalized approach by taking the time to get to know students by learning from them how to better develop their competence, confidence, and sense of purpose.

Emma Willcox

Emma WillcoxEmma Willcox, an assistant professor of wildlife management, believes that advising students is a way to provide them with a sense of belonging and direction at the university. “I want my students to feel comfortable when meeting with me,” she says. “I work hard to understand all my advisees’ individual situations and backgrounds, as only by doing so can I appropriately advise them.” Her passion for research on bat habitats and relationships allows her to forge connections with students. She has invited them to come along and volunteer on bat projects. Her students say that Willcox’s contagious enthusiasm for her research inspires them to pursue their own scholarly work.

Margy Wirtz-Henry

Margy Wirtz-HenryMargy Wirtz-Henry’s advising philosophy is that every student or potential student who reaches out to her is valuable and deserves to be treated well. As the undergraduate admissions coordinator for the Department of Kinesiology, she puts this philosophy into practice by combining her knowledge of UT policies and procedures with excellent customer service every time she advises a student. One of her advisees says, “From Margy, I have learned a wonderful work ethic and how to be a compassionate person.”

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