Virginia Tech sponsors three Exemplary Academic Advising Awards annually to recognize the outstanding efforts of faculty and professional advisors and the role they play in retaining students and developing a supportive advising partnership.

Faculty, staff, administrators and students nominate individuals for the awards each fall. Winners receive a plaque, $2,000, induction into the Academy of Advising Excellence, and are honored at the faculty/staff awards ceremony.

If eligible, the recipients of the exemplary advising awards are also nominated for awards through NACADA (Global Community for Academic Advising). The global awards are presented at an invitation only ceremony at the NACADA Annual Conference held each fall in varying locations.

The following are the 2020 award recipients.

Maia Greene-Havas has been awarded winner of the 2020 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising by Virginia Tech and Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award - Primary Advising Role by NACADA. Greene-Havas serves as an academic and career advisor in the Department of Engineering Education

Kodua Kwarteng, a computer engineering student, wrote in a letter of support: “In my experience, Maia’s work ethic, kindness, and resourcefulness have proven to be simply unprecedented and it is upon these values that Virginia Tech may truly be a home for everyone. It is upon these values that foster an environment that makes one proud of their school and committed to a Virginia Tech education.”

Vernon N. “Vern” Ferguson has been awarded the 2020 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising by Virginia Tech and Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding New Advisor Award - Primary Advising Role by NACADA. Ferguson serves as an academic advisor in the School of Architecture + Design

“Vern has an intuitive sense of people and his ability to sense their needs is amazing to watch. I have seen students come to Vern in a state of anxiety or downright despair – but they stride out of his office with new energy and purpose and a look of relief on their faces,” wrote Robert Jacks, director of academic advising for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, in a letter of support. “Vern isn’t an advisor who prescribes information to students or simply tells students what they want to hear – instead he helps them find their own answers with just the right amount of guidance.”

Konstantinos Triantis has been awarded the 2020 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising by Virginia Tech and was nominated for NACADA’s Outstanding Advising Award - Faculty Academic Advising. Triantis serves as a John Lawrence Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

“At the time I was a graduate student, Dr. Triantis had a significant impact on my educational career. He took the time to provide me direction, suggesting new approaches, books, and other materials that would help my research. Kostas ... had great insights, recognized my struggles, and was always at hand with a deft suggestion that would allow me to solve the issue and view the problem differently,” wrote Vivek Caroli, a former M.S. student, in a letter of support.

Virginia Tech is celebrating the award winners and all academic advisors during Global Advising Week, May 3-9.

— Written by Chenaye Blankenship