Sean Navarro
Undergraduate Studies

University announces 2021 KU Academic Advisor of the Year Award

Wed, 05/19/2021

LAWRENCE — Rosana Godinez, Academic Advisor II in the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC), was named the 2021 KU Academic Advisor of the Year during a virtual awards ceremony May 11.

Rosana Godinez“Academic advisers play a crucial role in student success,” said Barbara Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas. “I so respect the work of Rosana and of all the Advisor of the Year nominees. This past academic year called on them to go above and beyond, and to take measures to manage the pandemic as it impacted the way they do their work, as well as how it affected their personal lives. They are so important, and I appreciate their commitment to our students, their colleagues, the university and to their own growth and learning.”

Godinez has served as an adviser in the UAC for five years and primarily advises those who are exploring their academic options and have not yet declared their major. “I was surprised to find out I was even nominated for the award,” Godinez said. “I am touched to know I have students who think I am a good adviser, and I am even more touched to know that I have colleagues who found it worthwhile to nominate me. I am absolutely honored.”

“Rosana set herself apart as described by her nominators who highlighted her passion for helping students, team-oriented leadership style and commitment to social justice,” said Susan Klusmeier, vice provost for academic success. “Her commitment to advising excellence is exemplified through her nomination letters, all of which describe the impact she has had during an exceptionally challenging year.”

After graduating from high school in Overland Park, Godinez attended a Hispanic-serving university in the Chicago area. She knew she wanted to work in higher education when as an undergraduate student the staff and faculty knew how to pronounce her name, among other ways they helped her feel connected and welcome.

“It can be hard to be in a place where no one looks like you or understands your background,” Godinez said. “It can make it hard to share your interests or even just being able to say that you don’t know what you want to do. It is gratifying to work in a space where I can be that person for my students in an office where more than one person identifies as Latinx as I do.”

The KU Advising Network (KUAN), with support from Academic Success, established the Academic Advisor of the Year Award in 2017. The award recognizes outstanding academic advisers for their service to KU’s undergraduate students. Nominees for the award must be in a staff role and directly advise undergraduate students. All nominees were evaluated on qualities and practices that demonstrate effective advising and distinguish an outstanding adviser. Characteristics went beyond occupational knowledge and included advocacy for students and student success, campus and community engagement, cultural competency, inclusiveness, leadership and more. These characteristics are in line with the professional guidelines and standards outlined by NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising.

Thirteen professional academic advisers on both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses were nominated for the award by members of the KU community. All were recognized during the ceremony. The list of nominees includes advisers from across academic units and enrichment programs on campus.

  • Tanay Adams, Hawk Link — Academic Retention & Engagement Center
  • Joey Anguiano, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Anna Balmilero, School of Business
  • Rosana Godinez, Undergraduate Advising Center
  • Taylor Hanna-Peterson, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Ben Herron, KU Edwards — College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Sandra Issa, Applied English Center
  • Laura Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics
  • Frances Lyons, School of Journalism & Mass Communications
  • Shelly Mann, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Cortney McKay, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Robin Merritt, Undergraduate Advising Center
  • J.D. Smith, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

The KUAN is comprised of academic advisers and student service professionals from across the university. The KUAN fosters opportunities for professional growth, personal development and community building. The KUAN also provides a forum for discussion and the exchange of ideas, resources, best practices and information regarding academic advising within the campus community.

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