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Award for Excellence in Career Advising

For faculty and staff at Virginia Tech who provide career advising to undergraduates

About the award

  • The Award for Excellence in Career Advising was established in 1989 to recognize the value of career advising at Virginia Tech.
  • It is presented annually to an individual faculty or staff member within Virginia Tech, but external to the office of Career and Professional Development, who provides career advising to undergraduate students at Virginia Tech.

Nomination criteria:

  • Nominees must be faculty or staff members at Virginia Tech [and external to Career and Professional Development] who provide career advising to undergraduate students at Virginia Tech.
  • Personal characteristics such as creativity, communication skills, concern for students, and enthusiasm as they pertain to the role of career advisor.
  • The development of innovative career advising resources and outreach programs for the academic department or other undergraduate student population with whom the advisor works.
  • While these individuals might also serve as academic advisors, it is important to distinguish their career advising accomplishments.

Nomination and selection process

  • The call for nominations goes out each fall. Nominations are welcomed from students, faculty and staff. See for complete information.
  • Since 2002-2003, a $500 monetary award has been given to the award recipient. In 2024 the monetary award was raised to $1000.

Award recipients and Virginia Tech affiliation at the time of the award:

2023-2024: Ms. Dawn Knight-Withers | English
2023: Mr. Michael Kender | Finance, Insurance, and Business Law
2021: Dr. Young Kim | Sustainable Biomaterials
2020: Dr. Olga Isengildina Massa | Agricultural and Applied Economics
2019: Ms. Kara Lattimer | Civil and Environmental Engineering
2018: Dr. Lisa M. Tucker | Interior Design, School of Architecture + Design
2016-2017: Dr. Jody Thompson Marshall | MAOP
2015: Dr. Marlene Preston | Communication
2014: Dr. Alex Niemiera | Horticulture
2013: Dr. Matt Eick | Crop and Soil Environmental Science
2012: Ms. Mary Taylor | Electrical and Computer Engineering
2011: Ms. Donna Sedgwick | Sociology
2010: Ms. Lorraine Borny | Management
2009: Mr. Derek Klock | Finance, Insurance, and Business Law
2008: Ms. Mary Ellen Verdu | Human Development
2007: Dr. Wayne Moore | Pre-law Advising
2006: Dr. Jerry Williams | Horticulture
2005: Dr. Rosemary Goss | Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management
2004: Dr. Alan McDaniel | Horticulture
2003: Ms. Vickie Mouras | Civil and Environmental Engineering
2002: Dr. Ed Bunce | Pre-medical and pre-dental Advising
2001: Dr. Ruth Lytton | Near Environments
2000: Ms. Sarah Wheeler | College of Engineering
1999: Ms. Pam Crewey | Electrical and Computer Engineering
1998: Dr. William Eigel | Food Science and Technology
1997: Dr. Harold Bell | Chemistry
1996: Dr. David Parrish | Crop and Soil Environmental Science
1995: Dr. Thomas Howard | History
1994: Dr. Leslie Graham Pendleton | Industrial and Systems Engineering
1993: Dr. George Simmons | Biology
1992: Ms. Virginia McWhorter | Electrical Engineering
1991: Ms. Sandra Birch | Computer Science
1990: Dr. Bill Beal | Animal and Poultry Sciences

Contact for questions:

Ms. Amy McPherson
Senior Director for Career and Professional Development
Smith Career Center
Virginia Tech