Gordon Yee, associate professor of inorganic chemistry and director of undergraduate programs for the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science, has received the university’s 2017 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.
Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to a Virginia Tech faculty member who has been particularly dedicated and effective while advising undergraduate students. Recipients may be nominated by university colleagues or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a $2,000 prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.
Yee has contributed countless improvements to academic advising, including new administrative pathways to assist in transfer student’s transitions and an entry-level course that gives students who struggle with math a “softer landing” into general chemistry. Yee has also redesigned the senior-level courses for chemistry into a variety of Capstone courses, which allows students to tailor their degree to suit their post-grad ambitions.
Often seen outside of his office in the Clifford Atrium of Hahn Hall South, Yee encourages his students to ask him questions and engage in discussion. Occasionally these talks are accompanied by “liquid nitrogen ice cream” which Yee makes in his office. To further assist in the needs of undergraduates, Yee created “Sophomore Sibs” which pairs second-year students with first-year students for peer mentoring.
“Dr. Gordon Yee genuinely cares about his students. He strives to enable each advisee to excel both academically and in their personal life. He is always genuine and works to understand students instead of advising from a checklist.” wrote Linda Linn Allworth, student in the Department of Chemistry, in a letter of nomination.
Recognizing Yee’s contributions to mentorship, students nominated him to be named a Senior Fellow in the Honors Residential Commons. In this role, he has mentored two applicants for the Odyssey Fellowships, one of which was awarded and the other currently in preparation.