College of Liberal Arts

COLA Advisors, UTURN Program Honored with NACADA Awards

Mon, Apr 28, 2014

The National Association of Academic Advisors (NACADA) has recognized two members of the College of Liberal Arts advising team as examples of outstanding academic advising.

The NATIONAL Annual Awards Program was designed by the NACADA to honor individuals and institutions that are making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.

Linda Mayhew, a humanities and liberal arts honor advisor, is the recipient of an Outstanding Advising Award as an advisor in a primary role.

Mayhew discovered her passion for advising while attending UT as a graduate student. During her studies she worked as a mentor and assistant to the academic counselors in women’s athletics. Her work with students there inspired her to apply for advising jobs after she earned her Ph.D. in Slavic literature. She began working as a UT advisor full-time in 2005.

“I love advising as a whole – each conversation with a student is different,” says Mayhew. “I guess I’m most passionate about helping students set goals – studying abroad, internships, research projects – and helping them achieve them during their four years on campus. I enjoy talking to students about making the most out of their entire undergraduate experience.”

Mayhew will be honored at an awards ceremony during the NACADA’s annual fall conference. As an honoree, Mayhew will receive a complimentary basic registration for the conference, a recognition plaque and a one-year membership in NACADA.

“Receiving this award is a huge honor. I was excited when ACA nominated me in the first place and recognized me among so many outstanding advisors on campus,” Mayhew says. “Being selected among a pool of national applicants is incredible. I really appreciate that my colleagues put my name forward as a representative of advising at UT.”

Ben Burnett, an advisor with the Office of Student Success, is accepting an Outstanding Advising Program Award for the UTurn program, which helps liberal arts students on academic probation get back on track.

The NACADA Advising Program Awards recognize programs that document innovative and exemplary practices that result in improvement of academic advising services.

UTurn was launched as a pilot program in 2009 with Burnett at the helm as program coordinator. It became a collegewide initiative in spring 2013, when the program moved into the College of Liberal Arts Success (CLASS) Center.

The program provides free tutoring and supplemental resources, an academic mentor (Burnett), monthly group meetings and many additional resources to help students learn how to succeed in college. 

“It is such an honor for UTurn to be recognized as the Outstanding Advising Program by NACADA. It is truly humbling,” Burnett says. “I have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such amazing students. Without their efforts to be academically successful, the program would not be able to thrive.”

“In addition to thanking Dean Musick and Dean Diehl for the opportunity to establish UTurn as a collegewide initiative, I would like to thank all the peer mentors and front desk staff who have worked for UTurn. UTurn’s success is and has always been a collaborative effort,” he adds. 

Burnett and UTURN will also be honored at the awards ceremony at the NACADA’s annual conference. The program will also receive a plaque in recognition of the award.

“Being honored with this award just means there is more work to do,” says Burnett. “To me, the award recognizes the need to help students who are struggling academically. Hopefully, UTurn will be able to expand to serve more students in the future.”

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