Tiffany Sandstrum from the George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development was recently named the V. Ann Lewis Academic Advisor of the Year in recognition of her outstanding care and commitment to supporting undergraduates’ academic achievement.
More than 600 students nominated 134 academic advisors from across the university for the award.
“I am honored to receive the V. Ann Lewis Academic Advisor of the Year award. I only hope that I can be the kind of advisor Ms. Lewis was,” Sandstrum said. “When I learned that I would receive the award, I was shocked and humbled that my students would think to nominate me. Winning reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to work with such amazing students every day.”
Supporting students and encouraging them to follow their dreams is what drives Sandstrum to excel in her work.
“College students, many who are away from home for the first time, need to know that they have advocates on campus. Academic advising allows me to help them with their programs but also allows me to be that safe space for them,” she said.
“One of the greatest qualities Ms. Sandstrum has is her ability to listen and support someone unconditionally,” said kinesiology major Cobi Matsumoto, who nominated Sandstrum. I've never felt judged or looked down on by her; she made me feel welcome and safe. I couldn't have gotten through it all without her.”
The top 10 Mason undergraduate academic advisors are also recognized from the same pool of student nominations for Academic Advisor of the Year:
- Ann Ludwick, Schar School of Policy and Government
- Michael Hurley, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Claudia Borke, College of Engineering and Computing
- Krystal Dains, College of Engineering and Computing
- Mary Getsey Bernier, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Valerie Bartush, College of Education and Human Development
- Jane Walker, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
- Matt Green, Schar School of Policy and Government
- Robert Yi, College of Visual and Performing Arts
- Martin Abruzzo, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
In addition, two new faculty or staff nominated undergraduate academic advisor awards were created this year. Sara Montiel of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences received the Patriot Inspiration Award. This award recognizes a member of the Mason academic advising community who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to, understanding of, and application of effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in their academic advising of students.
Jasmyne Rogers of the Honors College received the Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes a member of the Mason academic advising community who demonstrates strong advocacy for students within an academic unit or the university. This advisor is committed to a “student-first” perspective in academic advising practice by going up and beyond the distance to advocate for students, or students in a particular population.