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Health and Public Affairs Advisor Wins National Advising Award

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By Karen Guin

Gail Raymond, an academic advisor in the College of Health and Public Affairs' Undergraduate Student Services office, is one of just 12 professional advisors nationwide selected to receive the 2014 Outstanding Advising Award-Primary Advising Role from the National Academic Advising Association. NACADA selected Raymond for the award to recognize her outstanding delivery of academic advising services to students.

The scope of Raymond's work in the undergraduate advising office is considerable. She creates and maintains the degree audits for all undergraduates in the college, which numbered nearly 7,500 this past spring. She also coordinates the intake of all intent-to-graduate applications.

"On average, Gail reviews over 3,700 intent-to-graduate applications and over 2,500 course-substitution requests each year," said Mary Rente, director of Undergraduate Student Services and Raymond's supervisor for the past eight years.

They are demanding responsibilities that require great attention to detail and excellent organizational skills, and Raymond shines at both, Rente shared.

In addition, Raymond meets with students on a daily basis to discuss schedule planning, provide career information and review their degree requirements. For her, the most rewarding aspect of academic advising is being able to help students reach their full potential and attain academic success.

"My knowledge of university policies and procedures can often help students avoid frustrating and discouraging mistakes," she said. "Working with students to problem-solve issues with their record builds their self-esteem, confidence and sense of accomplishment. My ultimate reward is when I certify their degree at graduation."

NACADA will present the award to Raymond at its annual conference this fall. The recognition follows Raymond's 18 years of service to UCF, initially as a part-time degree-audit specialist in Academic Services and since 2000 as a full-time academic advisor in the College of Health and Public Affairs.

(Photo by Abi Bell)

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