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.
Since coming to UT’s Department of Geography in 1987, Chancellor’s Professor Sally Horn has helped hundreds of students navigate graduate school, job interviews, first jobs, and the challenge of work-life balance. She has worked with students in a myriad of ways—as a thesis or dissertation committee member, course instructor, teaching or research supervisor, research collaborator, and employer. As one colleague noted, Horn has a unique ability to work with students to develop a research trajectory that matches their skill sets. Another colleague wrote that Horn seems to bring out the best in students, enabling them to reach heights they did not know that they could attain.
Liam Hysjulien, coordinator for academic advising in political science, has transformed the advising and undergraduate experience in his department by creating an engaging experience for students in one of the university’s largest majors. His efforts include holding a welcome reception for first-year students, connecting new students with the right resources and extracurricular opportunities, organizing panel discussions with alumni, developing the international relations concentration, leading a service-learning experience for students related to public service, and creating a graduation check-in of every political science senior, to name a few. Hysjulien carries an enormous workload that makes each faculty and staff member’s job easier—and, as a faculty member wrote, “he is legendarily good at his job.”
Joanne Logan, associate professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, has changed hundreds of students’ lives by helping them graduate and find jobs. A Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation coordinator and undergraduate student advisor, Logan is gifted in connecting with her students. “An advising meeting with Dr. Logan is not a five-minute affair but almost a professional counseling session,” one student wrote. “[She] brings compassion, experience, interest, and passion to her advising role.” A popular and effective teacher, Logan developed a mini-term study abroad class to the Dominican Republic and helped create the Greenhouse Living and Learning Community for students with an interest in the environment.
Every semester, Lucy Simpson, academic advisor and internship coordinator in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, helps about 60 students create their academic plans. As one student put it, “I would not have had the academic success or wonderful experience I have had at [UT] without her. . . . Lucy always encourages us to try our hardest and push ourselves.” A colleague noted that “her door is always open and she genuinely cares about others.” Before coming to UT, Simpson was a store manager and divisional merchandise manager for Proffitt’s department stores. This wealth of experience, her connections, and her dedication to students make her, in the words of another colleague, “the perfect individual to serve as an advisor and mentor for future retailers.”
Countless students have Jana Spitzer to thank for their successful college careers. As the interim director of the advising and student services center in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, she is known as a compassionate, skilled, and knowledgeable advisor. Her colleagues laud her unique ability to assess students’ academic needs toward meeting their career goals and set them on the path to success. As one wrote, “Jana Spitzer is one of the most student-oriented professionals I have had the pleasure to work with in the almost 38 years I have worked in higher education.”