LEXINGTON (Feb. 28, 2017) — Being a college advisor is neither simple, nor mystical. Academic advisors are neither fortunetellers nor mind readers nor magicians, although an exceptional advisor can inspire that impression.
A university academic advisor articulates what students need to hear, when they need to hear it, in a gentle, respectful way.
The University of Kentucky honored two of its exceptional advisors last week with Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Awards.
The UK Advising Network’s Ken Freedman Selection Committee chose Lorraine “Lori” Garkovich as the recipient of the outstanding faculty advisor award and Anissa Radford as the recipient of the outstanding professional advisor award. Both work in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Radford is the academic coordinator in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
Garkovich is a faculty advisor and professor in the college’s Department of Community and Leadership Development. Both have received numerous other awards at the university.
Each will receive a $500 travel grant from UK Student and Academic Support, a unit of the UK Division of Student and Academic Life in the Office of the Provost. The UK Advising Network is sponsored by the Division of Student and Academic Life. UK will nominate Radford and Garkovich for the Region 3 Excellence in Advising Award and for the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Advisor Award.
Since 1995, the Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award has been presented by the UK Advising Network to one full-time professional advisor and one faculty advisor for outstanding service. Ken Freedman, the award’s namesake, was one of the founders of the UK Advising Network in 1986 and served as a professional advisor at UK until his death in 2001. To see the full list of previous Ken Freedman awardees, visit here. To see full list of the 2017 nominees, visit here.
Radford is in her fourth year as academic coordinator in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition (DHN) in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. She works with all prospective DHN students and advises all DHN majors until they enter upper-level status. Radford previously served for four years as director of First-Year Success in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. Prior to coming to UK, she served for nine years at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, as director of Academic Success and First-Year Advising. Radford earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in higher education policy studies at UK.
Garkovich received her doctoral degree in sociology in 1976 from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a specialization in social demography. Since joining UK in 1976, she has taught primarily undergraduate courses and advised several hundred undergraduate students. She is a recipient of the Rural Sociological Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Master Teaching Award from the UK chapter of the national agricultural honor society Gamma Sigma Delta, and the UK Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching. For more than 10 years, she was the sole academic advisor for students majoring in public service and leadership specialty area of the Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership program. She is now a primary advisor for Community and Leadership Development.
Below are only a few of the student comments obtained from nomination forms.
“Mrs. Radford has done nothing but show me love and compassion since stepping onto UK’s campus last year. She is the first person that made me feel like I mattered and was not just a number. I have gone into her office multiple times just to say hello, get a hug, or cry my eyes out because I was stressed. She goes above and beyond to make sure her students are successful. There is no one who deserves this award more than her.”
“Lorraine ‘Lori’ Garkovich goes above and beyond in finding relevant classes so 1) the student doesn’t have to pay for or take any classes not necessary for their degree and 2) she will intercede and advocate with instructors if there is a need related to the student’s success and the class. She takes as much time as a student needs when finding appropriate classes and acts as though the student is her only concern or responsibility. She does this with each and every student!”
“I went into (Mrs. Radford’s) office one day and explained how overwhelmed with college life I was. She sat down with me and wrote out a list of all the extracurricular activities I was involved in. She gave me advice on what things I should cut out, because I was involved in over eight student organizations. She always provides me and other students with encouragement to keep pushing.”
“If I had not had Dr. Garkovich as my advisor, I honestly think I would not have made it to just a couple semesters left to graduation. I know that at the university retention of students to graduation has always been very important, and in the last few years there has been an even stronger push. But Dr. Garkovich has been pushing this agenda (I would guess very successfully) for years and years. There is no one else like her! She’s an encourager, a supporter, a cheerleader, a confidante, a friend and a networker. She is phenomenal!”
“I recently transferred into the College of Agriculture, Food and Science in the hopes of using the knowledge I’ll accumulate over the years to help me with medical school. While it was a difficult transition, Ms. Radford was there every step of the way to make it easier for me. She would provide me with the four-year plan for my major and work around it in order for me to fit in my pre-med courses as well. She would also inform me of any opportunity that would benefit me such as research experiences, study abroad offers, and interesting organizations on campus. She encourages me constantly and molds me to the best version of myself.”
“Any time I tell someone that Ms. G is my advisor, they always say, ‘WOQ, you are so lucky!’ This semester, I decided to enroll in a program that would allow me to travel to 11 different countries starting in August of 2017. I thought that I would have to take a year off of school and graduate extremely late, but when I went to my advising conference, she helped me enroll in classes that would allow me to get credit and be a full-time student while traveling. She cares about student success and achievement, and she does everything she can to help us achieve our goals.”
“Ms. Radford has encouraged and exemplified the virtue of good citizenship, touched my life and the lives of others, particularly those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves. She has shown ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication and has always devoted herself to sustained and selfless voluntary service. She has shown me that helping others is a necessity and not a choice.”
“My experience at the College of Ag would be extremely different without Ms. Garkovich. She’s helped me achieve so much in so little time. She fights for me, and I’m thankful to have her on my team as my advisor, professor and friend.”
The UK Advising Network is sponsored by the Division of Student and Academic Life. For more information, visit www.uky.edu/advising.