Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

UNO Office of Enrollment Services Presents First Year Advocate Award

This year, for the first time ever, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and UNO First Year Experience honored faculty and staff who have greatly contributed to the lives of first-year students.

"The First Year Advocate Award, sponsored by First Year Experience and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society is an initiative to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the lives of first year students," said Ana Munoz, president of Alpha Lambda Delta.

Students were asked to nominate one faculty and one staff member they felt embodied the nature of this award and Alpha Lambda Delta and First Year Experience collected endorsements for nominees from faculty and staff across campus, Munoz said. Winners and nominees were recognized last Tuesday at New Student Convocation, an annual celebration hosted by the Office of Enrollment Services and Student Affairs.

Fall convocation is a longstanding UNO tradition reinvigorated last year under the administration of University President Peter J. Fos, who during last week's gathering gave new students a warm welcome and told them what to expect at the University. Coordinator of Campus Programs Brett Hornsby emceed the event.

Alpha Lambda Delta and First Year Experience created the First Year Advocate Award to honor one staff member and one faculty member that followed these tenets, Munoz said:

• Contributed and promoted to the academic and personal growth and development of First Year Students
• Assisted in the First Year Transition and acclimation through knowledge of campus resources and tools
• Demonstrated a commitment to UNO and the student body though his/her involvement beyond primary responsibilities
• Promoted a welcoming and inclusive campus environment
• Embodied the mission of UNO, First Year Experience, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

"We received over 30 nominations and over 40 endorsements. These nominees were clearly people that impact and continue to touch students' and colleagues' lives," said Munoz. "Our two highly deserving winners were: Dr. Lura Williamson and Sarah Berry."

Williamson, a UNO biology instructor, "teaches a large variety of courses and received great comments from her students," said Munoz, citing student accolades of Williamson's helpfulness and vehement endorsements from faculty of her "contagious" enthusiasm.

Berry, who is assistant registrar at UNO, "goes above and beyond her duties to make students feel welcome and encouraged," according to a colleague, who cited Berry's friendliness and ability to set students at ease, while a student lauded Berry's outstanding advice on school-related topics and information regarding resources.

Munoz, who worked with First Year Experience staff Michael Hoffshire and Tonia Salas to honor nominees and winners, said that all nominees, including the winners, were recognized with certificates during the New Student Convocation on Tuesday.

An engraved plaque with the two winner's names will be displayed all year in the Student Success Center in the Privateer Enrollment Center, located on the main floor of the University's Earl K. Long Library.

Nominees for the 2013 – 2014 First Year Advocate Award included:

  • Sarah Berry, assistant registrar;
  • Emily Bomersback, admissions counselor;
  • Dr. Olivier Bourderionnet, assistant professor of French;
  • Dr. Elaine Brooks, a professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and director of the University's Bachelor of International Studies program;
  • Dr. Earle Bryant, English professor;
  • Charisse Celino, fine arts instructor;
  • Dr. Joseph Dew, biological sciences instructor;
  • Dr. John S. Farrin, English instructor;
  • Dr. Skip Gallagher, chemistry instructor;
  • Dr. Richard Goodman, assistant English professor;
  • Dr. Kevin Graves, dean of the College of Liberal Arts;
  • Erik Hansen, screenwriting instructor;
  • Henry Hauck, general assistant and stock coordinator in the UNO chemistry laboratory;
  • Dr. John Hazlett, Janet Dupuy Colley Professor of International Studies and Director of the BA in International Studies program;
  • Emily Horne, first-year academic advisor;
  • Dr. Edward Johnson, professor emeritus of philosophy;
  • Dr. Kim Jovanovich, associate dean of the College of Engineering;
  • Caleigh Keith, first year academic advisor;
  • Dr. Walter Lane, chair of the Economics and Finance Department;
  • Dr. Shelby Lovell Richardson, English instructor;
  • Amy Miller, first year academic advisor;
  • Dr. Joke Mondada, associate professor of Spanish, undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Foreign Languages;
  • Dr. Lena Nuccio-Lee, assistant professor of professional practice in special education and habilitative services;
  • Dale O'Neill, director of student involvement and leadership;
  • Amie Pember, a validator in the Office of Enrollment Services;
  • Dr. Gilda Reed, professor of psychology;
  • Steven Shalit, mathematics instructor;
  • Nora Steiger, an instructor in the English Department;
  • Dr. Michelle Thompson, urban planning professor;
  • Kate Uhle, admissions counselor;
  • Dr. Lisa Verner, English instructor;
  • Dr. Kim Williams, associate professor of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Administration;
  • Dr. Lura Williamson, biological sciences instructor.


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