July 20, 2009
UAA’s Kay Balston Named Adviser of the Year
UW advising and counseling community honors adviser’s service to UW
Congratulations, Kay Balston, who was recently named Adviser of the Year by the UW’s Association of Professional Advisers and Counselors (APAC)! Balston, an adviser in Undergraduate Advising in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, received the award “in honor of exceptional service to the University of Washington students, staff, and faculty.” One adviser each year receives this award. Read the University Week article about Balston.
Balston came to Undergraduate Advising in 1999 from Highline Community College where she served as director of advising for nine years. Before that, she coordinated the Social Sciences Graduate Programs at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.
Since coming to the UW, Balston has worked primarily with pre-nursing and other pre-health science students, as well as coordinating the Roadmap to Choosing a Major workshop. Kay also served as the Coordinator of the National Student Exchange for three years. As part of her new focus on low scholarship students, she partnered with Chanira Reang Sperry to offer the Academic Success Workshops, which help students evaluate and improve study habits and study skills.
“The more I collaborate with my colleagues across campus,” says Balston, “the more committed I become to helping students experience the power of an education that includes both classroom learning and community engagement. When they become involved in their community and use the skills they’re learning, they can accomplish amazing things, just as we as an institution can accomplish amazing things when we share our strengths with each other.”
Balston earned her BA in History from Pacific Lutheran University and her MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the UW.
Formed in 1976, the Association of Professional Advisers and Counselors is a community-driven organization for advisers and counselors at the University of Washington. APAC supports the engagement and development of the advising community by offering opportunities for networking, recognition of exceptional performance, connection to professional resources, and sharing of best practices related to advising and counseling at the University. Membership includes academic advisers, career and admissions counselors, program coordinators, and other staff involved with student services from each of the three UW campuses.
About Undergraduate Advising
Undergraduate Advising helps students design an overall curriculum, drawing from the programs and opportunities across the entire University. In addition to helping students choose a major and plan their course schedules, advisers work with students to clarify academic and personal goals. As educators, advisers emphasize the core skills of critical thinking, decision-making, and the value of broad exposure to a diversity of perspectives. Advisers also provide pre-professional advising in a number of areas such as pre-medicine and pre-law.
About Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Undergraduate Academic Affairs shapes, advances, and stewards a world-class undergraduate academic experience for students at the University of Washington. We deepen and enrich the learning experience for all undergraduates, recognizing and supporting the unique learning path of each individual student and the commitment of each academic program to excellence in teaching and learning.