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Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education to Receive the Virginia N. Gordon Award for Excellence in Advising

Elizabeth Guertin, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Executive Director of Advising at Indiana University Bloomington will be honored with the Virginia N. Gordon award

May 21, 2020

Elizabeth Guertin, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Executive Director of Advising at Indiana University Bloomington will be honored with the Virginia N. Gordon award by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising (NACADA) for the significant impact she has made in the field of academic advising.

The Virginia N. Gordon Award is a nomination-based, global award named in honor of Virginia N. Gordon, a founding member of NACADA, and a major contributor to the field. Her research and work focused on promoting a student-centered approach to undergraduate education.

“I am deeply honored by the award, and I am grateful to IU and to Vice Provost Dennis Groth for nominating me. Virginia N. Gordon is an iconic figure in the field of advising. She was an innovator and a pioneer in the profession whose work most of us in the field still reference. She championed a student-centered approach in advising and in higher education long before that term became commonplace. I remember Virginia from NACADA conferences many years ago, and I am humbled to receive an award named after her,” Guertin said.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dennis Groth, lauded Guertin’s creation of an academic advisor promotion structure at IU as just one great achievement during her tenure, stating, “Elizabeth led the charge for implementing a formal promotion structure for academic advisors. She worked with the directors of advising and advisors across campus to establish a set of expectations in advising theory, practice, and professional development. She established both a unit-level committee as well as a campus-wide committee to review and recommend advisors for promotion.”

He continued, “Over the past four years, more than 35 advisors have achieved promotion. More importantly, the promotion process and standards have had a profound effect on advisor professional development, advisor satisfaction/morale, and advisor engagement in research and professional organizations—dramatically changing the culture of advising on our campus.”

In addition to the Virginia N. Gordon Award, three advisors from IU will be recognized for their work in academic advising in 2020. They are:

  • Will Smith (The College), Outstanding Academic Advising Administrator, Certificate of Merit
  • Renee Henry (UD), Outstanding Academic Advising (Primary Role), Certificate of Merit
  • Pete Giordano (The College), Outstanding Academic Advising (New Advisor), Certificate of Merit

Under Guertin’s leadership, University Division and IU have championed professional development initiatives among academic advisors as a part of the advisor promotion structure. For her, strong and engaged advisors make the institution a better place for everyone.

“Advisors stand at the intersection where student needs and aspirations and institutional goals and expectations meet. Advising translates the institution, its programs, curriculum, policies and expectations to students, and advising translates students, their aspirations, frustrations, expectations and challenges to the university. I hope my work has contributed to an understanding that those institutions that listen to the perspective and heed the advice of their advising communities are better positioned to understand and educate each new generation of college students.

Jessica Staten is the Director of Advising for Students in Transition and Advisor Professional Development, and she chairs the IU Bloomington Advising Awards Committee, a committee that facilitates the nomination of advisors and administrators for national and international awards.

Staten says professional development opportunities are critical for academic advisors because, “Our work affects students from orientation through commencement. Since we are the guides to whom students come for answers, we must continuously engage in professional development activities to learn new methods, observe trends, and collaborate on approaches to advise today’s college students. Nominating our colleagues for awards is only one way we honor them for their dedication to our profession.”

The 2020 award winners join a notable group at Indiana University that have been recognized internationally by NACADA over the last few years.

The award categories and award winners from 2019 are:

  • Elizabeth Guertin (OVPUE), Outstanding Advising Program Award, Certificate of Merit
  • Alice Dobie (UD), Advising Technology Innovation Award
  • Mary O’Shea (UD), Outstanding Academic Advising Administrator, Certificate of Merit
  • Eric Beckstrom (SIT), Outstanding Academic Advising Award (Primary Role)
  • Cynthia Allen (EDUC/UD), Outstanding Academic Advising (New Advisor)

2018 awards and winners:

  • Elizabeth Guertin (OVPUE), Michael C. Holen Pacesetter Award
  • Sharon Hay (SIT), Outstanding Academic Advising Award (Primary Role), Certificate of Merit

2016 awards and winners:

  • Mark Hurley (The College), Outstanding Academic Advising Administrator
  • Constance Hanson (UD), Outstanding Academic Advising Award (Primary Role)

UD advisors’ student-centered approach has been informed by Guertin’s greatest inspiration throughout her career, the students themselves.

“Every student has a story to tell, dreams of what they will do with their life, questions about what is possible. I find students endlessly interesting and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many of them. It is the work with students that has always fascinated me, that has driven me to advocate for changes in advising and in undergraduate education that provide students with richer opportunities, easier access and a better understanding of how to harness the breadth of programs and experiences offered,” Guertin concluded.


Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The goal of NACADA is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students.

NACADA’s membership, worldwide, has grown to over 14,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. The organization acts as the representative and advocate of academic advising, and those providing that service, within higher education.

About UD

University Division (UD) serves as the academic home to first and second year exploratory and pre-major students at Indiana University Bloomington. UD promotes student success through academic advising, and by educating students about academic disciplines and enrichment opportunities, helping them design comprehensive plans of study, and preparing them to progress into their chosen degree-granting programs.

For more information about the NACADA awards and recipients, contact Jessica Staten at

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