"Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience."
Kathleen E. Kaiser - Advisor of the Year - 1987
Department of Sociology
Kaiser attributes her success as an advisor to her own role models as a student. "I was the first in my family to ever go on to (college). I had a guidance counselor in high school who grabbed me by the ear and said 'go.'" At Florida State, Kaiser said she saw her advisor "once a semester if that often," but it was another advisor who said "listen kid," that motivated her to go on to graduate school. Kaiser said while in graduate school at Duke University she picked an advisor whose "style was to avoid me and mine was to avoid him. We had a hard time communicating." Kaiser said her personal style of advising students is confrontation. "I jump on their case," she said. Kaiser has coached boy's soccer and women's track and cross country that she said is a demanding role similar to advising. "You have to access the whole person, body and mind. I believe in this type of holistic model of working with people," she said.
Kaiser said she believes intensive relationships with students are important. "Not just advising but mentoring. Whether it takes meeting with a student on a weekend or just having coffee off-campus," she said. Kaiser added faculty should "put a little time into grooming students. (The students) will give you more feedback as far as performance." She said her award is important because it helps to generate recognition of advising. "(Advising) is time-consuming. It hurts in retention and promotion because the university over-emphasizes research and as a result faculty don't put enough time into students." "The award gives support in that advising is a significant part of academia," she said.
-- From an article by Linda Bosco
Orion Staff Writer,
December 2, 1987