Sarah Armstrong, senior associate director at Student Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS), has received the university’s 2018 Provost's Award for Excellence in Advising.

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising is given annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who serves undergraduate advisees in exemplary ways. Awardees receive a $2,000 prize and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

“Sarah has displayed the ability to build strong and trustful relationships with the student-athletes that she works with. Sarah skillfully works to balance the time demands of a Division I football student athletes with the academic demands of a Virginia Tech student. She also works with the sport of women’s golf. With excellent communication skills, Sarah has established strong bonds of trust with members of Virginia Tech and has become a trusted resource for all SAASS advising staff members,” Matthew Mayotte, director of SAASS, wrote in a letter of nomination.

Armstrong has worked with undergraduate students in an advising role for the past 14 years. She began overseeing the football program in 2010 and, since then, 98 percent of the senior football players have graduated, and 12 football student athletes have earned more than one degree from Virginia Tech. Last year, 21 football athletes made the ACC Honor Roll and 59 made the Athletic Director Honor Roll. Eighteen current NFL players have graduated with their degrees under her tenure. Her five key areas of focus for advising students include building relationships, consistency, graduation, fostering growth, and communication.

In December 2016, Time Magazine ranked Virginia Tech academics, based on the football NCAA Academic Progress Rate, fourth in the nation out of the 25 football programs. Armstrong supervises much of the SAASS staff and has mentored several of these professionals.

Armstrong produces unmatched results and makes all students feel valued and appreciated for their talents.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019