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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Carla Harrell Wins ODU's Top Advising Award

By Brendan O'Hallaran

Carla Harrell, master lecturer in Old Dominion University's communication & theatre arts department, has been selected as the University's 2018-19 Excellence in Advising Faculty Advisor winner.

Harrell, who has been a faculty member since 2002 and chief departmental advisor since 2006, is one of four University faculty and administrative members who received Excellence in Advising awards.

Trey Mayo, director of advising with the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies' Career and Advising Resource Center, is the Advising Administrator award winner. The Advisor in Primary Role award was presented to Robert Batchelder, academic adviser and business manager of the same office. Nnamdi Small, student success director with the Office of Distance Learning/ODU Online, was presented with the New Advisor award.

Award winners will attend the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 2 annual conference in Atlantic City, N.J., in March. Harrell will be the University's Region 2 faculty advisor award nominee.

"The ODU Excellence in Advising awards allow us to recognize the significant role faculty and professional advisors, and advising administrators, play in aiding students with setting academic and career goals as well as navigating the path toward earning the degree," said Sandra Waters, executive director of the University's Center for Advising Administration and Academic Partnerships.

"Carla Harrell is a great example of the faculty we have at ODU who care for our students inside and outside the classroom."

Avi Santo, associate professor and chair of communication & theatre arts, lauded Harrell's long-time service to the department. "Professor Harrell is such an integral factor in our students' success, and I am so glad to see her receive this recognition," Santo said.

Harrell became chief departmental advisor in communication & theatre arts in 2006 and completed the Master Advisor Certification program in 2010. The program houses close to 900 majors and more than 100 minors. Harrell works directly with nearly 350 majors and every student who has declared communication as a minor.

"One aspect of advising that I enjoy the most is raising student awareness about and interests in career possibilities within the field of communication," said Harrell, who added that finding distinctive pathways for undergraduates seeking to make a difference in the community gives her particular delight.

The Excellence in Advising awards were founded at ODU in 2009. Since advising is a form of teaching, then-Provost Carol Simpson supported having the awards presented along with the annual faculty awards at the end of the spring semester.

All four Excellence in Advising award winners will also be recognized at ODU's annual Faculty Awards banquet.

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