Excellence in Academic Advising Award

The goal of the Excellence in Academic Advising Award is to recognize the importance of academic advising. Excellence in advising, like other areas of faculty responsibilities, should be recognized as a significant aspect of faculty roles and responsibilities.  The nominee must demonstrate excellence in student advising and exemplify the criteria below. The award included a monetary prize of $750, awarded to the successful candidate at the annual Cortland Excels: Honoring Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service awards ceremony.


Nominations for this award can arise from faculty, staff or students.  The Committee on Academic Advising will serve as the selection committee.

  1. The names and departments of nominees should be submitted via this online nomination form or emailed to abby.thomas@cortland.edu no later than December 15, 2023.
  2. Each nominee will be contacted to inquire whether they are interested in being considered. Materials from nominees (as listed below) are due February 9, 2024.


Tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty who carry a consistent academic advising caseload and have completed at least four semesters of academic advising at SUNY Cortland prior to the year of nomination are eligible. 

Criteria for Selection

In nomination and selection for this award, excellence in one or more of the following areas should be documented. 

Evidence of:
- Sensitivity to the varied needs of students as they develop academically and personally.
- Ability to assist students in recognizing their academic strengths and weaknesses and monitor student progress toward academic and career goals.
- Accurate communication of College policies and academic expectations.
- Excellence in understanding college and departmental requirements as reflected in the College Catalog and degree audit.
- Excellence in creating or utilizing advising structures and procedures.
- Knowledge of appropriate campus resources for referrals.
- Building strong relationships with advisees.
- Availability and providing sufficient time in meeting with students.
- Assistance and support to colleagues in the advisement process.

Documentation Required of Nominees

Primary Documentation:
1. Statement of academic advising practice and philosophy of no more than two pages
2. Summary of advising caseload for four prior semesters
3. Two letters of support:

  • One from a Department Chair, Dean or colleague
  • One from a student

Secondary Documentation:
1. Supporting evidence that documents excellence in one or more of the criteria listed above. Evidence can include, but is not limited to: advising tools, assessments, communications, etc.
2. Additional letters of support.
Nomination materials not to exceed 20 pages.

Previous Excellence in Advising Award Recipients

2023    Dr. Elizabeth Bittel, Assistant Professor and Internship Coordinator, Sociology/Anthropology

2022    Dr. Avanti Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Economics

            Helene Schmid, Lecture III, Physical Education

2020     Dr. Kate McCormick, Assistant Professor, Childhood/Early Childhood Education  

2019      Virginia Wright, Lecturer, Physical Education  

2018     Dr. Deborah Matheron, Associate Professor, Communication Disorders and Sciences

2017      Dr. Peter Ducey, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Biological Sciences  

2016      Dr. Kate Polasek, Professor, Kinesiology

              Valerie Widdall, Lecturer III, Childhood/Early Childhood Education

2015      Dr. Paul van der Veur, Professor, Communication and Media Studies

2014      Dr. Kathleen Burke, Professor, Economics