Suzanne Wyatt, master advisor and assistant director for the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the Academic Advising Council’s 2022 Academic Advisor of the Year award. To be nominated, advisors must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, mastery of policies and procedures, participation in development programs and a caring, helpful attitude. Wyatt demonstrated these characteristics and more.
AU of A alum, Wyatt has been a full-time academic advisor with Fulbright College since 2015. She currently advises over 500 undergraduate students in addition to teaching sections of UNIV 1001 University Perspectives. According to her nomination packet, Wyatt has been a beloved advisor for many years. This year in particular, however, she was extremely effective at maintaining student relations during the transition back to in-person classes and advising.
In her own words about working with students:
What do you like best about working with students?
I enjoy hearing about our students’ amazing long-term goals and dreams. It’s great to be able to suggest opportunities available on our campus for them to seek out to help them take steps towards these goals.
What is something working with students has taught you about being an advisor?
I’ve learned that a lot of students appreciate some reassurance that they are on the right track. Sometimes they may come to an appointment knowing most of the answers to their questions already, but I can be the person that cheers them on and says, “you’re doing great!”
Any words of advice or helpful tips for other advisors on this campus?
Actively listening to each individual student’s concerns and questions is important. I used to try to anticipate what a student would want to meet about or talk about in an appointment, only to realize they had a completely different topic or question in mind! Now, I try not to overly plan each conversation and just listen to what they need from me at that time.
About the AAC: The Academic Advising Council serves as the advisory group for undergraduate academic advising and reports to the provost regarding all matters related to its charge. The Academic Advising Council is charged with assisting the institution to increase the academic success and retention of undergraduate students by highlighting and providing additional support to the academic advising processes.