“This is the 11th year we’ve presented the award,” said Steve Hicks, executive director of NSU’s Academic and Career Engagement Center (ACE). “The university’s initiatives in recruiting, retention and graduation dovetail with what we do in academic and career advising to maximize students’ learning experience and academic achievements. Recipients of the Excellence in Academic Advising Award are those who are knowledgeable, helpful and accessible to the students they advise.”
Northwestern State’s academic and career advising initiatives assist students in fulfilling their academic potential and in establishing and accomplishing life goals and ambitions, Hicks said. He offers several professional development workshops for faculty during the academic year.
“Dr. Pierson has been consistently cited by students and colleagues for having sincere concern for students, as well as a willingness to participate in all our professional development opportunities for advisors,” Hicks said.
Pierson has worked in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences since 1992, serving as department head from1993 to the present. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the hospitality management and tourism degree, the culinary arts concentration, and adding the online concentration in child development and family relations. Under her leadership, the department has gained and maintained national accreditation. In 2006, she was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award. Prior to her tenure in academics, she served as Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Northwestern State from 1978-1987 and then as head women’s basketball coach at East Carolina University from 1987-1992.
Regarding her philosophy of advising, Pierson noted “ students need someone to be genuinely interested in them and someone to help them develop realistic educational goals for themselves. As an advisor, I try to do this by providing them with a roadmap of sorts, illustrating to them how they can get achieve their degree. Advising is one of the most rewarding parts of my job and I really love working one-on-one with college students. I am honored and humbled in receiving this award since recommendations for it come from students.”