Student-focused Volgenau advisors know what it takes to be nominated for Advisor of the Year

Beneath the vital link between students and faculty lies another critically important connection—the connection between advisors and students. The Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions (CAART) congratulates three Volgenau School of Engineering Advisors as runners-up for the Academic Advisor of the Year Award: Kara Smith (Computer Science), Claudia Borke (Bioengineering), and Lisa Nolder (Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering).

“It's really all about the students. It's about ensuring they grow in the incredible learning environment that Mason offers,” said Claudia Borke, academic advisor in the Bioengineering Department.  “I'm honored by the voter turnout and deeply touched by the students' comments, but in the end, it is about everybody at Mason that works and strives to provide a quality learning experience.”

Among the 108 advisors nominated from across campus, 34 were from Volgenau.

Since 2005, students, faculty, and staff have been able to nominate an undergraduate academic advisor who has had a positive impact on students through academic advising. The recipient of this award embodies the following characteristics & skills:

  • Demonstrates a caring, helpful attitude toward students
  • Provides accurate information regarding university academic requirements
  • Is available to students, faculty, and staff
  • Makes appropriate referrals
  • Has knowledge of George Mason University regulations, policies, and procedures
  • Supports student development through advising

“Receiving this recognition and reading the positive comments the students wrote about me brought to light the fact that I have made an impact on their educational journey,” said Kara Smith, advisor in the Department of Computer Science. "It's very fulfilling to feel like what you're doing is making a difference in student's lives.”

Other nominees included from Volgenau included: Smriti Kansal, Lisa Sevilla, Rajesh Ganesan, Catherine Courtney, Cheryl Howe, Christy Genova, Chris Kaufman, Peggy Brouse, Colin Reagle, Kinga Dobolyi, Yotam Gingold, Andrew Loerch, Jill Nelson, Jeff Offutt, DaFran Ware, Jan Allbeck, Kristin Amaya, Katie Doyle, Geriel Ettienne-Modesto, Peelin Kurtay, Kathryn Laskey, Jessica Lin, Lance Sherry, Mark Synder, Arun Sood, Kathleen Wage, Pearl Wang, Elizabeth White, Tom Winston, Duminda Wijesekera, and Abbas Zaidi.