For the first time in three years, one of UW-Eau Claire’s academic advisers is the recipient of the Wisconsin Academic Advising Association’s 2005 Advising Excellence Award.
Rebecca Matter, an adviser in the Advising and New Student Initiatives office, received the award during the WACADA conference Wednesday and Thursday in Sheboygan.
The award recognizes her interpersonal skills, her caring attitude toward advisees and her willingness to initiate and support advising programs that benefit students, according to a university press release.
Although her services are available to all students, Matter works primarily with undeclared majors.
Jeannie Harms, also an academic adviser and former Advising Excellence Award winner, recommended Matter for the award.
In her nomination letter, Harms wrote about Matter’s extensive experience in multi-cultural and international environments, which has enabled her to understand the importance of diversity and international experiences in the college curriculum, rules, procedures and community.
In addition to getting a nomination letter from Harms, Matter had to put together a portfolio and submit it to the WACADA.
“It was a good experience to create the portfolio,” she said. “Regardless if I won or not, it was still a lot of fun.”
Matter said she also was very excited and honored when she found out that she was nominated.
“I am also excited for the whole office,” she said. “Everyone here is wonderful.”
Matter said she went into this field because she enjoys guiding people and is willing to give any advice to students who ask for it.
“I like being an adviser because of the great variety of students,” she said. “I enjoy working with them and helping them. That is why I am here.”
Among the advising programs that Matter initiated was a contract for students on probation. The student would sign a contract that required him or her to meet with advisers a specific number of times in a semester and study a specified number of hours each day, according to the press release.
It is a non-legal contract for students so they might become more committed to doing better in school, she said.
“Being an adviser for undeclared majors is a lot of work. You have the knowledge of the university and be flexible in dealing with such a huge variety of students.”