The National Academic Advising Association awarded one Virginia Tech administrator with an Outstanding Advising Award. In addition, a faculty member and advisor each earned a Certificate of Merit.
Kimberly Smith, director of Undergraduate Advising and University Studies, was named winner of the Outstanding Advisor Award – Administrator.
Nada Tamim, director of undergraduate programs in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, received a Certificate of Merit in Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising, while Natasha Smith, director of enrollment management for the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering, received a Certificate of Merit in Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role.
The organization’s annual awards program honors individuals and institutions that are making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.
Academic advising facilitates student success at Virginia Tech, providing one of the first opportunities for students to be actively engaged with a faculty or staff member who is concerned about their academic achievement.
Awards will be presented at the 2016 National Academic Advising Association Annual Conference being held October 5-8 in Atlanta, Georgia. The National Academic Advising Association has more than 11,000 members representing all 50 states and several countries outside the United States.
“Kim has served our institution and the Commonwealth of Virginia well in her efforts to enhance advising for all students. She is an effective leader, professor, and student advocate,” said Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs.
Throughout Smith’s 17-year tenure at Virginia Tech, her roles have centered on student success. One of her roles includes directing the University Studies program, which includes around 2,300 undergraduates each year who are exploring their studies before moving into a major. In addition, she directs the University Academic Advising Center and oversees campus-wide academic advising initiatives.
Smith recently received the National Academic Advising Association Region 2 Outstanding Advising Award in the Advising Administrator category.
“Kimberly is an administrative leader who collaborates with faculty and staff across campus to provide excellent academic advising to Virginia Tech’s undergraduate students,” said Rachel Holloway, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. “She is a problem-solver who recognizes the importance of adaptation, whether that’s to the varied structures of academic advising across our colleges and departments or to the differing needs of our students.”
“My passion in life is promoting growth and development. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see individuals stretch beyond their normal limits to begin to flourish in new ways,” Smith said. “I am blessed to be able to carry this personal passion into my professional world as well.”
Smith received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond, master’s degree from Radford University, and doctorate from Virginia Tech.
Tamim leads the undergraduate programs office in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, which serves as the advising hub for more than 600 students.
She most recently received Virginia Tech’s 2016 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.
“Dr. Tamim spends an inordinate amount of time in her office meeting with students. Her office is positioned in such a manner that I pass it every day I come to campus. With few exceptions, she is always in her office, often sitting across from a student that simply dropped in for some of her advice,” said David Gerrard, professor and head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences.
Tamim received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from American University of Beirut and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
Smith serves as director of enrollment management for the College of Engineering’s Department of Engineering Education. Among her duties, Smith developed a paperless filing system that is now used for all academic advisors to track student advising visits and notes.
Smith most recently received the university’s 2016 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising.
“Natasha has a real gift for guiding students through the process of academic advising and empowering them to make the best decision for themselves,” said Marlena Lester, director of advising for the Department of Engineering Education.
Smith received her bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. from Virginia Tech.