Laurie Beck, College of Health and Human Sciences coordinator for advisement, recruitment and retention was recently named University of Nevada, Reno Advisor of the Year. Beck was nominated for this award by Charles Bullock, acting dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.
"I noticed that (Provost) Jannet Vreeland was at our staff meeting and had no idea why she was there," Beck said. "I was totally flabbergasted when I realized she joined our group to present me with this award."
Since joining the College in January 2005 Beck has made nearly 10,000 advisement contacts with students. She has had more than 1,704 appointments, 2,873 phone calls, 3,371 e-mail exchanges and has met with more than 123 students in a group setting. "I want to thank the College for providing me with the means to create an effective advising center for our students." As the College's Advisement, Retention and Recruitment Coordinator, Beck prepares recruitment material and participates in all recruitment events for incoming freshman and transfer students.
The College of Health and Human Sciences has more than 1,300 students enrolled. Beck and her staff provide academic advising for approximately 375 pre-nursing students, 85 pre-social work students, and about 200 health ecology students as well as all disqualified students, providing information including class selection and University policies and procedures. "Laurie goes above and beyond for students," colleague Jennifer Laslo said. "She works until 7 p.m. at night and skips lunch to do what needs to be done to advise students. She is awesome."
When asked why she decided to pursue a career in advising Beck said, "My brothers always said I was a bossy big sister, so I guess advising is a natural fit for me! I stumbled through my own academic career, major to major" I had good advising, bad advising and studied counseling but couldn't decide what type of counseling I wanted to do," Beck added. "I was offered a graduate assistantship advising student athletes and loved the campus environment." Beck even has her own advising philosophy. "In an employment interview, I was once asked what I wanted every student to take away from their advising session with me," Beck said. "I want every student to leave my office feeling better about themselves than they did when they arrived. I want students to develop a positive connection to campus, feel supported in their endeavors, knowing they have a trusted source of campus information and feeling they will receive non-judgmental assistance no matter how dire their situation."
Since she was selected as the University's Advisor of the Year her name was forwarded to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. She will compete with the finalists from other NSHE institutions for the Regent's Undergraduate Advisor Award to be announced in May 2008. "We all look forward to hearing the outcome of this competition and wish you the best of luck," Vreeland said.
Prior to serving in this role for the College of Health and Human Sciences, Beck was an academic advisor in the University's Advising Center. She is also a counselor/advisor for national and elite level in a private consulting business, Athlete Concerns, served as the academic counselor for all intercollegiate athletes for seven years and was a program director for the University's Collegiate Ski Team for four years. Prior to coming to the University she was an events coordinator for the Salt Lake Olympic Committee where she facilitated international event production including bobsled, skeleton, luge, aerial skiing and Nordic jumping sporting competitions. She also served as the athletics department coordinator for academic services at the University of Utah and served as an academic and career counselor for the United States Ski Team.
Beck is a member of the National Academic Advisors Association and has been involved with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes and American Association of Applied Sports Psychologists. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., and a Master of Arts in counseling guidance and personnel services from the University of Nevada, Reno.