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.
Betsy Gullett is an invaluable resource for both students and faculty in the Haslam College of Business. She advises more than 150 students each semester, helping them with academic planning, internships, study abroad experiences, and career exploration. As assistant director of undergraduate programs, Gullett creates and conducts a comprehensive two-week training program for the college’s new advisors, making sure they understand curriculum, policies and procedures, student programming, and academic and campus resources. She also plays a key role in approving curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and serves as the first point of contact when academic departments have questions regarding university policy.
When advising or mentoring students, Jennifer Morrow tries to focus on three things: strengthening their skills, supporting them through their graduate school journey, and helping them find areas in which they can become specialists. And she does it with a personal touch. “Graduate school is difficult and at times stressful, and many students do not like to ask for help. Reminding students that we are on this journey with them is an important aspect of how we teach our students,” she said. An associate professor who has been at UT for 18 years and serves as the graduate certificate coordinator in the Department of Education Psychology and Counseling, Morrow has mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students on their research projects. She has been awarded more than $750,000 from organizations including the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education to study topics such as student-friendly teaching methods, students’ sense of belonging, and strategies for reducing student substance misuse.
Thanks to Melissa Hinten, students interested in pursuing a career in the field of sustainability have an example to follow and someone to go to for guidance. Hinten, the director of UT’s sustainability program and a lecturer in the Department of Geography, takes an experiential and service–learning approach in teaching the connections between society, economics, and the environment. Both her scholarship and instruction encourage students to become involved in sustainability initiatives on campus and in the surrounding community. Hinten also advises the Geography and Sustainability Club and serves on the Sustainability Working Group and the Committee on the Campus Environment.
Kirsten Pitcock, coordinator of academic advising for the Departments of English and History, works to get students who have been placed on academic probation back on track. She has mentored countless students through careful course planning, goal setting, and review of their academic strengths and interests—all in addition to advising roughly 300 students each year and overseeing other advisors in the two departments. Pitcock also serves as an information liaison, maintaining frequent communication with department heads to stay abreast of curriculum changes and answering faculty members’ questions about academic advising policies, course petitions, graduation checks, and other matters.