National Academic Advising Association honors academic coordinator Jackie McReynolds

Jackie McReynolds received an award for Outstanding Faculty Advisor at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Awards Ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. in October.  McReynold’s award followed recognition in Region 8 at a Portland, Ore. meeting last March. Her plaque is displayed in the McClaskey building stairway.

McReynolds said her co-workers encouraged her to apply for the Region 8 and national NACADA awards.

“I didn’t know this was a journey,” McReynolds said. “It was a lot of work I hadn’t anticipated, but it was worthwhile. It kind of all snowballed — I had no idea that it had that possibility. We were just thinking about recognizing our faculty because we have, I believe, an extraordinary group of faculty advisors in our department.”

McReynolds, who earned an interdisciplinary doctorate in human development, sociology and marketing at WSU Pullman, also won a WSU NACADA Faculty of the Year Award in 2011 and a WSU Vancouver Student’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000.

McReynolds, a self-described “anomaly,” is an expert on switching hats.  The WSU Vancouver human development senior instructor devotes 30 percent of her time to her role as academic coordinator for the department of human development and a tenth of her time to community outreach.

She also teaches class at the WSU Vancouver campus and online for University of Washington in Tacoma. This spring, McReynolds is teaching three human development classes. HD 300: Child Abuse and Neglect and HD 385: Perspectives in Human Services are offered at WSU Vancouver. The third course, HD 487: An Introduction to Case Management, is offered online through UW in Tacoma.

“I’m lucky because, in some ways, what I teach jives with advising,” McReynolds said. “From my perspective, advising students is almost a form of case management. Working with students, getting to know their situation and their goals, helps me identify resources that will help them meet those goals, which is in essence, case management.”

McReynolds is the initial adviser to new human development students each semester. After an initial mandatory meeting, these students are assigned to faculty mentors with whom they meet on a regular basis. McReynold’s goal is to ensure students make progress toward successfully completing their degrees.

“Advising is a resource that can help students understand what they are pursuing, how to pursue it and what resources are available to them so that they can be successful,” McReynolds said. “We don’t want to do everything for students. We want to make it possible for students to feel comfortable doing things for themselves. Bring your problems to me, I can help you.”

Although McReynolds is the only top award winner in this category from the PAC-13, according to WSU’s website, two other WSU academic coordinators also won awards from NACADA: Val Fisher, an academic advisor in Animal Sciences and Leisa Schmidt, academic advisor in WSU Pullman’s Center for Advising and Career Development.

Information about the awards can be found on the NACADA website at www.nacada.ksu.edu/programs. For more information about WSU ACADA, go to wsuacada.wsu.edu.

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