University of Nevada, Reno Professor and Director of the Graduate Studies Program in English, Cheryll Glotfelty, was awarded the University's 2014 Graduate Advisor Award and the 2014 Regents' Academic Advisor Award for graduate students.
Glotfelty was hired as a tenure track professor in the English Department in the College of Liberal Arts at the University in 1990. She was the first professor of literature and environment in the nation, and helped develop a specialty in that field at the University. Today, Glotfelty oversees the entire graduate program for the English department, working with admissions, advising students, and acting as a liaison between students, faculty and the graduate school.
"I take a lot of pride in my work," Glotfelty said. "I really try to help students succeed. When I can be a part of that success trajectory, it is rewarding."
Glotfelty became eligible for the Regents' Academic Advisor Award after being awarded the University's Graduate Advisor Award. As part of nomination process, Glotfelty had to submit letters of recommendation from former students. She was touched to receive many letters back and to read the impact she has made in the lives of students.
"I am really proud of all my advisees, and reading those letters was the most special part of the award process," Glotfelty said. "A lot of times, a person doesn't realize the impact they are having on others."
She continually encourages her students to use her as a resource by inviting them into office, talking to students in the halls, and making sure that they have everything that they need to be successful in their graduate work. Glotfelty's approach to advising stems from her experience as a graduate student herself.
"I was a shy student," Glotfelty said. "I rarely saw my faculty members outside of classes, and I was completely intimidated by them. In retrospect, I would have had a better graduate experience had I gotten to know my professors and if they had gotten to know me."
Patrick Russell, a literature and environment graduate student who is studying urban bioregionalism, gave high regards to Glotfelty as an advisor.
"Glotfelty is a mentor in the most meaningful and profound sense," Russell said. "Not only has she been supportive and encouraging, she has also helped to open doors into disciplines and careers that I never knew even existed. Twenty years from now, when I stop to thank all the people who helped to put me wherever I am, Cheryll's name will come rather quickly."
According to Glotfelty, her success as an advisor is due in large part to the chair of the English Department, Eric Rasmussen. "I would like to thank Eric," Glotfelty said. "He is the one who nominated me for the award and it really touched me that he would take the time to do that. He has done a tremendous job. His support and encouragement have made it possible for me to be a good advisor."
The Academic Advisor Award was established by the Board of Regents in 1998 to honor outstanding academic student advising to a community college advisor and two awards to advisors at the state college or universities. Glotfelty will be awarded the prize during the University of Nevada, Reno Honor the Best ceremony, 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, May 13 on campus.