By: Bill Bangert
The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing has received the UC Provost Exemplary Department Award for the 2016-2017 academic year. The award recognizes the work of departments that maintain exemplary scholarly environments for faculty and students.
Each year, the award focuses on a different theme; this year, the award recognizes efforts in developing and sustaining innovative and effective departmental approaches to advising at the undergraduate level. The centerpiece of the College of Nursing proposal was to create a training program for faculty who have student advisement roles within the college, particularly those working with undergraduate students who have expressed an interest in research and doctoral nursing programs.
"We certainly have a student-centered focus here,” says Julie McCullough, senior academic adviser in the College of Nursing, who led the four-person team which responded to the call for proposals by the Office of the Provost. "We really want to make sure that all of our staff and our faculty have great training and make the College of Nursing an even better experience for the students.”
The Provost Exemplary Department Award selection committee awards a total of $40,000 to the winning department or departments. The College of Nursing proposal requested $15,000, but the committee granted the college $20,000 "as a sign that we are committed to investing strategically in areas of excellence,” wrote Damion Waymer, PhD, associate provost for faculty development and diversity, when informing McCullough of the award.
"The committee wanted to commend you for your strong advising efforts and ever-increasing retention rates,” Waymer continued. "Additionally, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that you are achieving this level of success while simultaneously making diversity in the composition of your faculty and student body a top priority. It is our belief that this is the embodiment of inclusive excellence!”
The most significant usage of the award funds will be for an appreciative advising workshop in May 2017 at the College of Nursing. Jennifer Bloom, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and the co-founder of the Appreciative Advising movement, will hold the workshop for all College of Nursing undergraduate faculty, graduate faculty, student affairs advisors and nurse education students.
The goal for the workshop is for College of Nursing faculty and nurse education graduate students to be better able to cultivate more meaningful and impactful advising relationships with their assigned Undergraduate Research Scholars students and future students.
"Expanding our faculty’s advising skills will further connect them with the 21st century student and will provide a framework for advising and mentoring in a way that is best for our students,” says McCullough. "We believe the Appreciative Advising model is the best approach for this because it encourages open-ended questions and collaboration between the student and faculty advisor in creating and designing a plan that is best for the student’s future.”
McCullough says one possible use of the additional funds is to pay for a student to attend a national conference or presentation with their faculty mentor.