Susan Haymore, lead advising coordinator in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2012 President's Award for Excellence.

The President's Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

For more than 13 years, Haymore has translated department- and college-level responsibilities into significant improvements in the areas of curriculum and advising that have been implemented campus wide. One of Haymore’s nominators stated that she had “set the tone and standard for the college to work diligently on behalf of students and treat each one with the utmost respect, integrity, and compassion.”

The College of Science serves more than 3,500 undergraduates and delivers 100,000 student credit hours per semester to the university.

“Rather than simply meeting the responsibilities of her position, Susan has consistently exceeded them, and she has emerged as the point person in the college to whom departmental advising staff turn for clarification of policy and advice on difficult advising issues,” said Jill Sible, professor of biological sciences and associate dean for curriculum, instruction, and advising for the college.

Last year, Haymore worked with the Office of the University Registrar to make the college’s curriculum review process electronic. As a result, course proposals can be tracked throughout the review process. The savings to the university will be significant because paper copies of each course proposal will no longer be needed. The system will also greatly reduce the lag time it takes from the inception of a course or degree proposal to the completion and acceptance into the course catalog.

“I am humbled by this award,” Haymore said. “But I didn’t accomplish anything by myself.  I have a lot of support from my colleagues in the college as well as other college academic units, the graduate school, the registrar’s office, and the Center for Assessment, Evaluation, and Educational Programming.”

Another example of Haymore’s initiative was her development of a self-assessment form for all students going on academic probation. The assessment requires students to consider the many facets of their lives that may have contributed to academic troubles and to develop a plan to utilize available resources to improve their academic performance.

“A number of other colleges have requested this form so that they might adopt a similar practice with their at-risk students,” Sible said.

Haymore currently serves on eight college and university committees, including the Envisioning Virginia Tech Presidential Task Force to develop the next University Strategic Plan.

“Susan generates innovative solutions to some of our most pressing problems for how to best advise and teach an ever-increasing number of undergraduate science majors,” Sible said.



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