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Fleming Honored With Two National Advising Awards

June 7, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Bill FlemingWilliam Fleming, executive director of SHSU's Student Advising and Mentoring Center, has been selected to receive two elite awards from the National Academic Advising Association as part of the 2013 Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising.

He will receive the Outstanding Advising Administrator Award and the Gail Rola Award in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the association’s annual conference this fall.

The Outstanding Advising Administrator Award recognizes individuals who possess strong interpersonal skills; demonstrate the ability to engage in, promote and support advising grounded in sound theory, research and educational practice; have participated in and supported adviser development programs; have received institutional recognition for outstanding advising administration; and have participated in larger campus or higher education initiatives related to the efficacy of academic advising.

Those selected for the award have proven evidence of student success rate; departmental growth and development, including successful initiatives, implementations, or enhancements, brought forth under the direction of the advising administrator; and successful collaboration with other academic or student support units on campus.

The Gail Rola Memorial Award recognizes both “outstanding leadership and the ability to administer that leadership with heart and with care,” according to the association.

The person selected must be a current Outstanding Advising Award winner in the administrator category. Individuals selected for the memorial award will have exemplified a passion for ‘whole’ person advising; have a compassionate, caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty and staff; demonstrated inclusion of those under his/her direction; demonstrated empathy and caring in his/her work with advisers and students; administered a project, program or training that demonstrates his/her desire to truly impact the lives of advisees; and demonstrated potential impact on the larger field of advising through his/her leadership.

This is not the first time that Fleming, who has served as the executive director of the SAM Center since its establishment in 2002, has been honored by the association. In 2004, he received a NACADA Certificate of Merit.

“That honor prompted me to look closely at our centralized advising model to determine how we could improve our services to students and devise programs to assure students would be retained at our university and would graduate,” Fleming said.

“I also examined ways which would elevate the profession of advising and to encourage others to examine this profession,” he said.

Since 2005, under Fleming’s leadership, the SHSU SAM Center has implemented such activities as a regional conference for community colleges; re-advising of probationary students; mentoring suspended students; mandatory advising of graduating seniors; the creation of a graduate certificate in academic advising; the establishment of a mentoring award; and the creation of the ELITE program dedicated to promoting academic development and encouraging civic engagement among incoming minority males.

Fleming also testified before the Texas State Legislature concerning the importance of academic advising in higher education in 2010. In the spring of 2012, he was named to serve on a 10-person panel which devised criteria for assessing advising models in the state as mandated by State Senate Bill 36, 82nd Texas Legislature.

The SAM Center was featured in the U.S. News & World Report in both 2009 and 2010 and was the subject of a 2012 article in The Texas Tribune entitled “Sam Houston State Sees Payoff with Advising Center.”

Twice since its establishment, the SAM Center has been recognized by NACADA as an outstanding advising and mentoring model in the United States.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the nation’s premier advising organization as one of the most outstanding administrators,” Fleming said. “Being the primary administrator in the SAM Center is an exciting and rewarding venture.”

Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.



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