June 19, 2017 12:00AM
But she’s not sure where she would be if not for Lynn Murray, associate professor of management and marketing at PSU.
“Dr. Murray was my adviser during my undergraduate program at Pitt State,” said Noyes, who graduated from Pitt with a marketing degree this spring. “She helped me choose the best courses, talked me through some of my challenges and treated me with respect and kindness. She’s the best adviser in the world.”
Murray said she fully understands the importance of being a good adviser, which is why she continues to find ways to be better. One step in that process was attending PSU’s master adviser training (MAT) program this summer.
The MAT program is conducted on campus to help faculty improve their advising skills. During the program, faculty cover a variety of topics including financial aid, federal privacy laws, ethics, academic rules and regulations and the wide array of resources available to students and advisers. They talked about theories of advising and how to make connections with students.
Murray said the trainings provide even those expert in advising with best practices and information for students.
“Advising helps students navigate the complicated world that is a university and specifically, Pitt State,” Murray said. “Advising is an opportunity to visit with students one-on-one, building relationships that extend beyond the classroom and last longer than a student's tenure at a specific college.”
Lynette Olson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said students clearly benefit from strong advising, which is why it’s important for faculty to continue to improve their skills.
“This fits very well with our institutional focus on student success,” Olson said. “Everyone needs a road map. If a faculty member can help a student find the right path or avoid going down the wrong one, it can make the difference between success and failure.”
Mark Johnson, professor in the human resource development (HRD) program, attended this summer’s training. He said he takes great pride in being a good adviser for students.
“Even after teaching more than 30 years at PSU, it is critical to the success of my students that I keep current on all issues related to their financial and academic well-being as a student,” Johnson said. “As I continue to learn, good advising is a lot more than signing my advisees up for classes. The training helps me stay up to date and connects me with some of the best faculty advisers on campus.”