Cook, Howard Receive Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards


Southeast Missouri State University has presented Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards to Amber Marisa Cook and Shantone (Shan) Howard, honoring their excellence in academic advising to students.

The fourth annual Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards celebrate the efforts of Southeast’s academic advisors. There were 27 faculty and eight professional advisors nominated for this year’s award, with 15 full submissions considered.

Amber Cook

Cook, assistant professor of theatre and technology area coordinator for The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance, and Howard, a professional academic advisor, were selected by an awards committee comprised of Southeast Academic Advising staff members, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and past award winners.

Cook and Howard were selected for their knowledge of academic information, resources, majors and career-related information and their use of that knowledge in assisting students. They were also recognized for how they make academic advising a priority and how they use innovative advising techniques, advising materials and systems.

Both were noted for their efforts to create positive relationships with students, their personal philosophy on advising, and their development of advising materials.

“It is flattering and humbling to receive this award. I was in very good company with regard to the other nominees, and it is an honor simply to have been thought of in this manner,” said Cook, who was nominated by multiple students for her empathy and collaboration skills. “My philosophy on advising actively serves my philosophy on theatre education. My goal is always somehow oriented around helping students become more confident, skilled adults who are goal setters and challenge conquerors.”

Shan Howard

Howard was nominated by multiple students for her compassion and dedication and said, “It is truly an honor to be recognized by the University, my colleagues and students. My goal as an advisor is to help develop life-long learners. I try to be a resource while teaching students resourcefulness. I am inspired when students who have graduated return and share how I helped them along their educational journey. It is very rewarding to know I played a significant role in the process of them earning a degree.”

Southeast now plans to nominate Cook and Howard for the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Award, using the information from their application packets to advance their consideration for this global distinction.

Carol Heisserer, director of Academic Advising at Southeast, said, “The Outstanding Advisor Awards highlight those who do an excellent job with their students every day. Our 2021 winners, Amber Cook and Shan Howard are amazing advisors who always put their students first and are personable and compassionate in everything they do for students.”