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By Jesse Sunski | December 9, 2022

Image of the ALC Awards Committee as Scooby Doo characters
The Advising Leadership Council (ALC) Awards Committee hosted a Scooby Doo-themed Advising Awards Ceremony. Photo by Jenna Nobili.

Scooby Doo, where are you? The mystery gang – UCF’s Advising Leadership Council (ALC) Awards Committee – traded in their mystery-solving gig to join the UCF academic advising community. However, as they helped recognize the 2022 Academic Advising Award recipients, it turned out their mystery-solving services were also needed at UCF.

The mystery gang, Jesse Sunski (Fred), Nanette Rank (Daphne), Tracy Griffith (Velma), Troy Hahr (Shaggy), and Wayne Jackson (Scooby Doo), through some expert sleuthing, discovered Meena Turner (Ghost, Dr. Workday) was the source of all the mysterious happenings on the UCF campus. The script was co-written by Meena Turner, Nanette Rank, and Chauntrice Riley-Stanford. Rex Roberts, chair of the ALC Awards Committee, narrated the program.

Pegasus Awards

Vanessa Gonzalez, from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, is the 2022 Pegasus Advisor Award recipient. Gonzalez made significant efforts to reduce the number of disqualified students at the Rosen College and also has been accepted to present at state, regional, national, and international conferences nine times in the past two years.

For the inaugural Pegasus Coach Award, Vanessa Delgado, from UCF Connect, is the recipient. Delgado took on the additional role of trainer for the recently created UCF Coaching Academy which serves members of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities. Delgado also serves as the lead for the international DirectConnect to UCF transfer student recruitment effort.

The Pegasus Awards are both sponsored by the Division of Student Success and Well-Being. Both Gonzalez and Delgado will receive a one-time payment of $2,000.

Advising Leadership Council Awards

Kassidy James, from the College of Business, was selected as the 2022 Dr. Judith Sindlinger New Advisor Award recipient. The award recognizes, appreciates, and celebrates outstanding new advisors at UCF. James taught multiple sections of the College of Business SLS 1501 course and managed their Lack of Progress program, increasing the retention of Lack of Progress students by 22% from her first to the second term.

The recipient of the 2022 Dr. Terry Hickey Academic Advising Advocate Award is Paul Edlen from the Registrar’s Office. The award recognizes, appreciates, and celebrates non-advisors who support advising at UCF. Edlen’s support of the Pegasus Path advising tool allows academic advisors to use the tool effectively to help move their students through and toward graduation. Edlen also participates regularly in New Advisor Training orientations to ensure new advisors know how to utilize the tool.

Donna Mercado, from the College of Nursing, is the 2022 Dr. Judy Boyte Innovative Academic Advising Award recipient. The award recognizes, appreciates, and celebrates outstanding innovation in academic advising at UCF. Mercado created bilingual (English and Spanish) virtual BSN information sessions to engage both Spanish-speaking students and their families. She will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 supported by the President’s Strategic Investment Funding.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) is the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Advising Program Award. To meet the changing preferences for student interaction post-pandemic, the CECS advising office implementing an Advising Webcourse to connect with their students. An average of 10,000 students were enrolled in each team, with over 60% of the students utilizing a least one course component.

The 2022 Advising Administrator Award recipient, is Lori V. Safford from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Safford has been a member of the Rosen College since its separation from the College of Business. During her tenure, the college has grown to 3,000 students and programs like Peer Outreach Mentoring Program (POMP) and I Will Legacy Program have helped the college reach an FTIC retention rate of 96% and an FTIC 4-year graduation rate of 76%.

The 2022 Excellence in Faculty Academic Advising (UCF Founders’ Day Award) recipient, Dr. Elizabeth Hoffman, from the School of Teacher Education, was also recognized at the award ceremony. Dr. Hoffman’s recent work includes the development of “At-a-Glance Advising Guides” for Elementary Education faculty, the Professional Studies track in Elementary Education, and an Elementary Education Advising Webcourse.

The 2022 Outstanding New Faculty Advisor Award recipient is Dr. Taylar Wenzel, from the School of Teacher Education. Dr. Wenzel developed an interactive advising webcourse to prepare “pending” Elementary Education students for their transition to the major. She also championed the use of the advising tool myKnight STAR and encouraged adoption by other faculty.

Gonzalez, James, Safford, Dr. Hoffman, Dr. Wenzel, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science will represent UCF as nominees in the respective NACADA Global Awards and/or Region 4 Awards categories. Selected winners are announced at the Region 4 conference in March and the Annual conference in October.

Congratulations to all 2022 advising award recipients!

You can view a recording and photos from the awards ceremony by accessing the December 7 AEP folder in the AEP Resources Folder (requires UCF SSO sign-in). For a complete history of UCF Award winners and additional award information, visit the Academic Advising Awards page