"Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience."
Mark Morlock - Advisor of the Year - 2003
Social Science Program
Economics professor Mark Morlock has been named the Outstanding Academic advisor 2002–2003 by the Faculty Recognition and Support Committee.
Morlock graduated from CSU, Chico in 1973 with a B.A. in economics. He took his PhD at Washington State University in economics, with an emphasis in labor economics in 1978, and returned to CSU, Chico in 1980 after teaching in Tennessee and Utah. He was chair of the Department of Economics at CSU, Chico from 1985 until 1987.
As director of the Social Science Program from 1996 through Aug. 2002, Morlock was responsible for advising more than 180 majors in a complex program. The program presents “a dizzying array of variety and possible combinations,” said Jeanne Thomas, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “It is arguably one of the most complex majors on campus.”
First, said Thomas, the program serves students who are preparing for a teaching credential, so the social science director must be familiar with California’s credentialing requirements. Second, the social science major is available online, so many of the majors are distance students who bring a whole set of considerations to the advising setting that are outside the realm of on-campus students. Third, social science students elect both a primary and secondary area of concentration, choosing from more than 20 options, which increases the demands on an advisor’s expertise. Morlock’s colleagues describe him as “committed to students, a strong communicator, attentive to detail, and compassionate.” His successor, Judy Bordin, the new coordinator of the Social Science Program, said, “Dr. Morlock was unbelievably knowledgeable and quick to answer the most complicated student questions and requests for information. He has left big shoes for me to fill.”
Pamela Healy, Career Planning and Placement, said of Morlock, her professor and an advisor on her master’s thesis committee, “He monitored and encouraged my progress toward my career goal by giving concrete, appropriate advice and encouraging academic excellence. Because of his encouragement and assistance … I was able to complete my thesis, acquire my master’s degree, and become a professional in the field of career counseling.”
“The greatest honor was being recognized by my colleagues,” said Morlock. “The people I work with every day—for the work I’ve done in the Social Science Program and advising for it. It was great to receive the award, but it felt like the real honor had already been given to me.”