Kodish, Daniel Receive NACADA Outstanding Advising Awards

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Dr. Slavica Kodish and Dana Daniel, faculty academic and professional advisors respectively at Southeast Missouri State University, are the recipients of the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) outstanding academic advising awards.

Kodish has been honored with NACADA’s Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Advising – Faculty Academic Advising. Daniel has been awarded a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Advising – Primary Advising Role.

NACADA’s Outstanding Advising Awards annually recognize individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration.

Kodish and Daniel recently received Southeast’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award. Nominees for Southeast’s Advising Awards must hold Master Advisor designation. They were recognized for their efforts to develop a strong rapport with student advisees and support students in their path to graduation. Both were nominated by student advisees and colleagues. After receiving Southeast’s award, Southeast’s Office of Academic Advising nominated them for the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Award.

Kodish, associate professor of communication studies and director of internships for Southeast’s Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages, was honored by NACADA in the faculty advisor category. Daniel, a professional advisor with Southeast’s Center for Academic Advising, was honored by NACADA for demonstrating qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students. Both awards recognize effective advising qualities and practices that distinguish the recipient as an outstanding academic advisor or faculty advisor, including, but not necessarily limited to, strong interpersonal skills; availability to advisees, faculty or staff; frequency of contact with advisees; appropriate referral activity; use and dissemination of appropriate information sources; evidence of student success rate; a caring and helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty and staff; meeting advisees in informal settings; and monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals.

“I feel happy and honored to be recognized by the National Academic Advising Association,” Kodish said. “The Certificate of Merit is a wonderful recognition not only of my work but of advising, as well. It is also a recognition of University-wide efforts to support advising as an integral part of education and student success. I also feel grateful and thankful for my wonderful advisees, supportive colleagues and the inspiring work of the Academic Advising team.”

The most enjoyable aspect of being an advisor is being able to help students, provide guidance when needed, and discuss different options with students that will lead to their success, she added.

“I am happy when my advisees take responsibility and overcome challenges, and I am happy when they graduate and get good jobs or go to grad school,” Kodish said. “I also enjoy staying in contact with my advisees who graduated. They usually contact me through LinkedIn, but sometimes I get a direct e-mail message whether it’s just to say ‘hi’ or to let me know about their new job. I enjoy the messages because staying in contact is so important.”

Amanda Eller, assistant director of Academic Advising at Southeast who nominated Kodish for the award, said, “Dr. Kodish’s commitment to advising is evident in the way she cares for her students.  She reaches out to each and every one of her students to ensure things are going well both academically and personally.  She truly cares about the well-being of her students, and her students think the world of Dr. Kodish. Each year, multiple students have nominated Dr. Kodish and they continually talk about how she always makes time for them and she truly cares about her students. It shows in the classroom and in her role as their academic advisor.”

“I am humbled to be recognized at the national level for my advising efforts,” Daniel said. “I appreciate the advising support provided by my supervisor, and other administrators, at Southeast. With the establishment and support of the Master Advisor Program, it is very evident our University places a high value on the role of academic advising in student retention. I’ve had the opportunity to serve as an academic advisor at this institution for many years, and still get excited when I see each of my advisees succeed academically. I honestly love what I do—and could not imagine a more rewarding career path.”

Daniel, who earned her undergraduate degree in psychology, and master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in higher education, said NACADA provided the foundation for her research on academic advising. It’s a real honor for this to come full circle and to now be honored by the organization for her advising service.

“I got hooked on the field of academic advising while working as graduate assistant and still look forward to what each new day holds,” she said. “Academic advising is an interesting and fun career—and, I love that I still learn something new each day. The students are the reason I’ve received this recognition, and I’m thankful to play a small part in their success.  I feel such pride when I see them outside of the university, working in their established careers, and reaching their goals.”

Carol Heisserer, director of Academic Advising at Southeast and who nominated Daniel for the national NACADA award, said, “Advising students is something Dana has always been passionate about. She especially connects with students in our region who come from smaller high schools and encourages them to become involved and make Southeast their second home, much like she did when she was a student here. I’ve worked with Dana in several capacities over the years and I’m amazed by her dedication to her advisees and her passion for advising as a profession. Dana is very deserving of this recognition by our profession’s global association, NACADA. Having Dana as a part of our remarkable advising team at Southeast makes all of us better advisors.”

Established in 1983, the NACADA Global Awards Program for Academic Advising honors individuals and institutions making significant impact on academic advising. NACADA is a representative and advocate of academic advising and those providing that service to higher education. The Association has more than 13,000 members.

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