University News

Honors College Advisor at WIU Wins National Advising Award

May 1, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – Academic Advisor Molly Homer, of the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University, has been awarded the "Outstanding Advising Award–Primary Advising Role Certificate of Merit" by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). She will be honored and presented with the award during the NACADA Annual Conference in the fall.

According to NACADA, the award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding advising of students. The category in which Homer received the award includes individuals who spend more than 50 percent of work time advising students and who have more than three years of advising experience.

"I am thrilled and honored to be recognized by NACADA in this way," said Homer. "I feel privileged to work with Honors students and to be part of the wonderful advising community at WIU."

Homer has worked in the Honors College for nearly 16 years and was nominated for the award by Centennial Honors College Dean Rick Hardy, with supporting letters from Bill Knox, Bill Thompson, Jennifer Grimm and WIU senior Crystal Brooke. She was named the campus advisor of the year in 2018.

"For many students, Dr. Homer's office is a safe haven from the anxieties and pressures associated with the high expectations of Honors students," said Hardy. "She puts students at ease, always encourages them to do their best and enjoys learning about their experiences. This is what good advising is about."

Hardy said Homer also publishes a weekly "Honors E-Letter" that showcases the activities and accomplishments of those she advises and keeps students informed about upcoming campus events and opportunities for scholarships and awards.

Homer's nomination for the award included input and quotes from several of the students she advises, calling her courteous, caring, compassionate, enthusiastic and committed.

"Dr. Homer plays a vital role in promoting the Honors program in a myriad of ways," said Hardy. "She never misses Discover Western recruitment events and has developed special Honors promotional programs at each of our 6-12 summer orientation and recruitment events. Dr. Homer has taken the lead role in our fall and spring on-campus recruiting events. This past year, some 179 eligible students joined the Honors College as a result of our on-campus recruiting."

WIU academic advisors who also have been honored with the NACADA "Outstanding Advising Award–Primary Advising Role Certificate of Merit" include: Cheryl Hutchins (2014), Ember Keithley (2012), Dianne Fullenwilder-Bracey (2010), Gloria Coursey Barr (2004) and Julie Standard (2001). In 2005, Kathleen Miller garnered the "Outstanding Advising-Primary Role Winner" award, and in 2001, James Nielsen was honored with the "Outstanding Advising-Secondary Role Winner" award from NACADA (Region 5, Award-Recipients.aspx). Jennifer Grimm won the Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role in 2017.

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