Congratulations to Gateway Center adviser Kurt Xyst, recently awarded the 2009 National Academic Advising Association Region 8 Academic Advising Award! The newly-created award goes to experienced faculty or professional advisers with a demonstrated record of excellence in academic advising.
Xyst primarily advises pre-major second-year students through the Individualized Second Year Advising Program but also serves as the liaison between Undergraduate Advising and the College of Built Environments. Additionally, he and colleague Clay Schwenn developed the award-winning advising podcast project that now boasts more than 5,000 subscribers. Xyst contributes to the field of advising in multiple ways, including presentations at national and regional NACADA conferences. Encouraging new way of approaching advising at the 2008 NACADA national conference, Xyst and a colleague presented “Email Is for Old People: Wikis, Blogs, and Social Networking Oh My.” Xyst is a student the UW’s doctorate program on educational leadership and policy studies.
In nominating Xyst for this award, colleagues repeatedly noted his leadership, integrity, collegiality, professionalism, and ability to connect with students. UAA vice provost and dean Ed Taylor notes “Kurt has shown remarkable attitude, industry, motivation and dedication to his work. He is industrious, capable, and deeply devoted to every student he encounters.”
Fellow adviser Leah Panganiban wrote, “I was overwhelmed when I started working as an adviser at such a large institution and he took the time to meet with me and give me advice about how to best get involved in the university community.”
Xyst “keeps us asking the tough questions,” notes Laura Avila, assistant director of Undergraduate Advising. “Are we doing what we set out to do; are we being innovative; can we be better; what are our learning outcomes, and how will we know if we have met them?”
Perhaps the most-telling commendation is this, from a student Xyst advises: “He knows how I am different from someone else, and advises me in terms of my interests, my personality, and my goals.”