Natasha Smith, director of enrollment management for the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering, has received the university’s 2016 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising.

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising is given annually to a Virginia Tech faculty or staff member who serves undergraduate advisees in exemplary ways. Awardees receive a $2,000 prize and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech professional community since 2010, Smith is regarded by both her colleagues and students as a dedicated and inspiring advisor.

“While a lot of Natasha’s work is done behind the scenes and may go unnoticed by students, her contributions to the undergraduate advising are supreme: She helps students even when they don’t realize they are being helped,” wrote Walter Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education, in a letter of nomination.

Smith has transformed the Department of Engineering Education’s advising program through her development of the paperless filing system that all academic advisors now use on campus, her implementation of a more effective and efficient method to track student advising visits and notes, and her easily accessible and informative departmental website design.

Smith’s number one priority is always her students. She is extremely knowledgeable about university policies and procedures in order to best advise her students. She is always willing to meet with students, has the ability to determine students’ needs before they do, and remains calm in difficult situations.

“She goes beyond her role as an undergraduate advisor,” wrote James McCray, computer engineering student, in a letter of nomination. “Whether it be creating an automated system to help process applications more efficiently or helping students plan out the next four years of their life, she seems to always give more than what is expected.”

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