University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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May 14, 2004


UW-RF College Recognizes Outstanding Advisers

The UW-River Falls College of Arts and Sciences honored three outstanding advisors at its awards reception April 27.

Dean Gorden Hedahl presented Outstanding Advising Awards to Thomas Barnett, department of music, Earl Blodgett, department of physics, and Tracey Gladstone-Sovell, department of political science.

Since 1985 the college has annually recognized three outstanding teachers, one from each of its three divisions: Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics and the Social Sciences. In 2002, the CAS Student Advisory Committee decided to create an award to recognize outstanding advisors in the college in a similar manner. Comprised of one student representative from each major in the college, the committee meets with the dean to share news and concerns affecting students and the college. Many of these students have had very positive experiences with faculty, and they wanted a way to recognize those who had provided significant help. During registration this spring, students were asked to nominate candidates.

Final selections were made by students on the committee based of the information provided in the student comments.

Barnett, who joined the faculty in 2001, holds a B.M. from the University of Akron, an M.M. from Northwestern University and a D.M.A. from the University of Georgia. A student wrote: "Dr. Barnett will always be willing to take time out of his long busy days to sit down with his student to make sure all is going well at UW-RF. Being a freshmen can get very frustrating while trying to figure out what classes to take for my returning year, but with Dr. Barnett's great assistance in figuring out what classes to not only take next semester but for the rest of my time at River Falls has made everything a lot easier. He's also the kind of adviser that checks in on you throughout the semester, not just when it's time to sign up for classes. He has made my freshmen year a success and makes every day brighter."

Gladstone-Sovell, hired in 1986, holds a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. One student said: "I nominate Professor Gladstone because of what she did that was not required of her. The fall of my junior year I was having some issues in my personal life. Tracey emailed me and told me that if I needed to talk I could go to her. That meant so much to me to hear that she cared. Along with being there for her students she is always pushing them to achieve their potential. Because she believes in me, I have taken my Law School Admissions Test and will be applying to law schools. I have also heard from (others) that she is the reason they stayed in school. She makes it known that she is here for us, her advisees, no matter the issue at hand and we always know that we can go and talk to her about anything from politics to personal matters."

Blodgett is a professor who joined the faculty in 1986. In addition, he is an alumnus, with a B.S. from UW-River Falls. He also holds am M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University.

One physics student said: "Dr. Blodgett goes above and beyond the call of duty in being my adviser. He has also become a mentor to me and has led me in the right direction during the entire time since I have declared my physics major. He always has an ear to listen, and since my mother passed away in January 2004, he has been there for me. Dr. Blodgett sincerely listens to what I have to say and offers his advice in a non-threatening way. He always has wonderful ideas about how I can make myself feel better and therefore, live better. No matter what kind of day I am having or how busy Dr. Blodgett is, he always makes time for me to talk about life, homework, daily physics 'stuff' or whatever. He has made such an impact not only in my physics major, but also in my life. His outlook on diversity has made me respect him all the more. Dr. Blodgett has also helped me make huge decisions in my life, and without him, I would've had anyone else to talk to about it."

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