Alicia Abney, MTSU College of Education advising manager and adjunct instructor, is a 2022 NACADA Scholarship recipient from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising as part of the 2022 Global Awards Program for Academic Advising.
Abney, who came to MTSU in 2015 as an advisor and has a doctorate in education, was honored and presented with the $1,000 research scholarship in Portland, Oregon, during the 2022 NACADA Annual Conference Oct. 23-26.
The NACADA Scholarships are presented to selected members who are pursuing graduate education at either the master’s, Ph.D. or Ed.D. level. Funds are provided to encourage the relationship between scholarly work in advising and professional practice.
Abney said only two such scholarships were awarded at the conference, one for doctoral work completed and one for master’s work completed.
Candidates must have a two-year history of membership with NACADA, present a well-developed personal advising philosophy, articulate clear goals related to their future in advising and solicit detailed endorsements from their faculty advisor, as well as their employer.
“I know how imperative academic advising is to the institution, but more importantly, I know how vital academic advising is for each and every student at the institution,” Abney wrote in her career goals statement required of scholarship applicants. “I know this based on my own undergraduate experience and how an academic advisor may have prevented me from making embarrassing and costly mistakes that first year.
“I want every student entering post-secondary education to unequivocally know that there is a specific person on campus for them that will support them, advocate for them, provide guidance for them, hold them accountable when needed, and celebrate their every success.”
In an endorsement letter for Abney, interim College of Education Dean Rick Vanosdall, who appointed Abney as advising manager in August 2020, noted that Abney “has demonstrated her visionary leadership and is among the Student Success programs across the university. … She demonstrates a passion for students as whole human beings and strives to support her advisees and her team members as they serve our students.”
Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The mission of NACADA is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students.
NACADA’s membership has grown to over 14,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs staff concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. The organization acts as the representative and advocate of academic advising, and those providing that service, to higher education.