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Pushing students to do their best common trait among NSU professors who receive faculty advising awards
Aug 28, 2014 | 143 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Donald Stewart, left, and Pia Wyatt, right, were recipients of Northwestern State University’s Academic Advising Awards, presented by Steve Hicks, center, executive director of NSU’s Academic Advising Center.  Stewart, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Wyatt assistant professor of theatre and dance, were honored for their commitment to student success, mentorship and accessibility to students.
Dr. Donald Stewart, left, and Pia Wyatt, right, were recipients of Northwestern State University’s Academic Advising Awards, presented by Steve Hicks, center, executive director of NSU’s Academic Advising Center.  Stewart, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Wyatt assistant professor of theatre and dance, were honored for their commitment to student success, mentorship and accessibility to students.
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Northwestern State University honored faculty Pia Wyatt and Donald R. Stewart with Outstanding Faculty Advising Awards.  The awards are presented annually by Steve Hicks, executive director of NSU’s Academic Advising Center, based on advisor knowledge, helpfulness and accessibility.

“Great advisors recognize the importance of building relationships with students,” Hicks said. “They take ownership, build these relationships and have a sincere desire to see students succeed in their programs.”

Wyatt is associate professor of theatre and dance and the head of performance and directing in the School of Creative and Performing Arts. In her nomination, one student described her as “a pusher.”

“She pushes me to do my absolute best,” the student wrote. “Her door is always open to me and my problems or just to talk. She has inspired many of her students to excel at their craft and to think outside the box. She prepares her students for the world outside of college. She is an amazing woman and mentor.” 

 “I feel one needs to be a really good listener when advising,” Wyatt said. “The ability to listen and to hear one’s students is paramount in enabling them to progress in their journey.  I enjoy seeing my students flourish and achieve their goals. It is in my best interest that my students do well - their success is a direct reflection on where they came from. It is time consuming and exhausting, yes, but the payoff is immeasurable.”

 Stewart is an assistant professor and coordinator of the homeland security program in NSU’s Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences. His student described him as one who goes the extra mile and puts in as much effort as possible to make sure the students he advises are on the road to graduation.

  “When I feel down on my luck, I always could count on my advisor to offer words of advice and encouragement that helped me keep going.  He double-checked my schedule and made sure I was on the right track.  He helped me as an undergraduate and is still working with me as a graduate student.  

 “I enjoy advising students because it gives me an opportunity to give back to the student some of the knowledge and experience so kindly shared with me by others,” Stewart said.  “I am very well informed about the positive and negative aspects of the profession they are choosing. I want the student to be as well it is interesting when during the advising to see the light come on when the student says wow I had no idea there were so many opportunities in the criminal justice system.“Great advisors recognize the importance of building relationships with students,”
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