Indiana Daily Student

Department recognized with advising award

Prelaw Information Center honored

The Health Professions and Prelaw Information Center was honored earlier this month in a contest by the National Academic Advising Association as one of four programs nationally that exemplify the innovation, creativity and commitment needed in advising programs.\nIt received the Outstanding Institutional Advising Award Oct. 7 in Orlando Fla. John Simpson, director of the center, traveled to Florida to accept the award on behalf of the department at the NACADA national conference.\nNick Hipskind, associate dean of University Division and associate professor of speech and hearing sciences, nominated the department and encouraged it to submit the necessary information needed to be considered for the award.\nHipskind said he made the nomination because he believed the department deserved it.\n"They do an outstanding job, and they deserved the recognition," Hipskind said. \nAs for receiving the award, several of the department's employees expressed surprise, including Mac Francis, a pre-law adviser.\n"It was a shock. We really worked hard and the competition was stiff," Francis said. "It's just not something you expect."\nThe department's main goal is to help students interested in pre-professional studies, Simpson said. It does that through sponsoring several events that allow students to meet with experts from their field of interest, providing students with current information and staying in contact with students via e-mail.\n"What we are trying to do is to expose students to up-to-date information so that they know how to make the most of themselves," Simpson said.\nCarol Bart, assistant director of the center, said the job is made easier by having good students to work with.\n"I think that our big thing is personal interest in the student," Bart said. "We don't look at them as if they are generic, each one has their own strengths."\nHipskind said he believes the department is strong because of the individual attention staff members give to students.\n"Their interest in students is phenomenal," Hipskind said. "When you are in there talking to one of them, they make you feel like you are the most important person in the world."\nAnother positive aspect of the center, Francis said, is that they are able to devote their full attention to the students and their needs.\n"This is our only job," Francis said. "We are able to concentrate on doing the best job we can for the students."\nBart said the credibility of the department was only further strengthened by them receiving this award.\n"It certainly makes an impression on perspective students and parents," Bart said. "We really are a quality advising service, and recognition of this sort really reflects that"

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