Fairmont State University’s Amie Fazalare, Director of Legacy Engagement/Academic Success Coordinator, was selected as an Outstanding New Advisor Certificate of Merit recipient as part of the 2020 Global Awards Program for Academic Advising from NACADA: The Global Academic Advising. This award is presented to advisors who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students and who have served as a professional advisor for three or fewer years.
Fazalare, a Fairmont State alumna and first-generation student, was honored when she was told she was being nominated for the award. After reading the support letters submitted by students and colleagues, she was humbled.
“I have a passion for Fairmont State and the students, I want every student to have the same experience I had because I loved my time as a student,” she said. “I treat them as if they were my own child or family member because we are now a family and they look to us for guidance.”
Students are looking for more than academic advising, Fazalare noted, and it means a lot when a student comes to her with a question unrelated to advising.
“I love working with students and being in advising has been a nice transition from recruiting where I talked to students about coming to Fairmont State,” she said. “That background has really helped me because I knew about our program areas and transitioning from high school to college and the needs of non-traditional students.”
Jennifer Jones, Director of the Advising Center, nominated Fazalare for the award. A lot of effective academic advising is unseen, she said, from emails answered after hours attending a variety of events, and even a hug before a test or presentation.
“Amie exemplifies the definition of an outstanding academic advisor. She works tirelessly to advocate for and help any student who reaches out to her,” she said. “She is caring and compassionate, while still being able to have the “mom” talk with the students that need a reminder of expectations, with the hope of motivating them to take their studies seriously so they can excel.”
Fazalare is able to quickly build relationships with her students and encourages them through their time at the University, Jones said. She takes pride in her work and seeks to provide the most current, correct information as possible.
“It’s no surprise to me that Amie was honored as an outstanding advisor,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “When Amie says that she treats students as if they were her own family, she embodies the very spirit of the Falcon Family. We don’t use that word, ‘family,’ lightly – we understand the trust that students and their families place in Fairmont State, and, like Amie, we each strive to go the extra mile for our students, just as if they were our own children.”
This is a prestigious, global, annual award and is highly competitive. The award nomination process is rigorous. The nominee is required to prepare an updated resume and job description, as well as writing a formal Advising Philosophy. The nominee is allowed to submit two files for consideration. The first file is a nomination letter from the nominator that includes excerpts and evidence from the second file as well as the materials drafted by the nominee. The second file can be a total of 50 pages (not one page more) and can contain additional recommendation letters, samples of work, and copies of thank you cards and emails from students.
Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. Our goal is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of members to enhance the educational development of students.
NACADA’s membership has grown to over 14,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. In addition, NACADA is the representative and advocate for academic advising and for those providing that service to higher education.