Trista Strauch, assistant teaching professor of Animal Science and Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, is the 2012 recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region VII Outstanding Faculty Academic Advising Award. Strauch will be honored at the annual NACADA conference this March in Rogers, Ark.
Strauch joined MU in 2004 and has been advising since 2007. She teaches the Captive Wild Animal Management course and a zoology class. Strauch’s advising load averages more than 40 students with additional “unofficial” advisees. Most Animal Science faculty advisors advise 15-20 students.
Students’ First Choice
“One of the strongest indicators of Trista’s success as an advisor is the request that I receive from students asking if they can have Dr. Strauch as their advisor,” said George Jesse, professor of Animal Sciences and director of undergraduate studies.
The Outstanding Faculty Advising Award is given to individuals with an outstanding record of advising students. NACADA’s membership is more than 10,000 from 2,400 institutions and organizations related to higher education. Region VII encompasses the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“As Advisor Chair for Animal Science, I learned many years ago that it does not matter if you assign an equal number of students to faculty advisors,” Jesse continued. “Students will drift to those advisors who they feel do the best job of answering questions and showing a genuine interest in their future. Dr. Strauch, without a doubt, is this kind of an advisor.”
Keeping Students Informed
Student Nichole Johnson agrees: “As an advisor, Trista is always up to date on what classes are offered and new university regulations. I have always found her to be very timely in sending out reminders for deadlines and replying to questions. I especially appreciate the effort she makes to inform her students about seminars, classes and internships. I have received many e-mails informing me of opportunities that she knows I have a specific interest in. In particular, she was very influential in a St. Louis Zoo nutrition internship that I participated in over this past summer.”
“I am pleased to present this Outstanding Faculty Academic Advising Award to someone who truly is devoted to students, possesses excellent skills and has the ability to guide students through the decision making and goal setting process,” stated Patricia Griffin, NACADA Region VII chair. “Trista is what this faculty award embodies.”