Excellence in Advising & Student Services

Excellence in Advising & Student Services Awards Program 

We are looking forward to hosting two events to celebrate our advising and student services community in December. One will be an in-person event for award recipients and their guests, and the second will be an online celebration of the entire advising and student services community.

The virtual event will be an opportunity to come together to acknowledge and celebrate the positive impacts of our profession, the necessity of our work, and our perseverance in spite of great odds during these times. Our advising and student services community continues to support students through the residual impacts of the pandemic. We know that each of you is doing the best you can to support our students and each other during a very stressful time that includes daily challenges to our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Below you will find information about the awards program and nomination process. We look forward to spending time in community with all of you at the online celebration of advising and student services staff on December 15, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. for some much needed joy, laughter, music, games, and prizes.


The Excellence in Advising and Student Services Awards program recognizes outstanding work and innovation in advising and student support. Awards will be made to individuals and teams who have been nominated for their significant positive impact on students, student support programs, and/or the student services community as a whole. Student support plays a critical role in student engagement, belonging, and success, and because advising matters at Berkeley, we believe significant contribution deserves campus-wide recognition. Award recipients will be recognized at an in-person ceremony on December 12, 2022.

We encourage nominations of student services staff throughout our Berkeley community, including Student Affairs, Equity & Inclusion, Undergraduate Education, Schools & Colleges, University Extension, Berkeley International Office, and beyond! 

Nominations are due by the end of the day, Monday, October 31. This deadline is firm, as there is a short window of time for the volunteer readers to review and score nominations. Please review the following answers to some of our most frequently asked questions as you consider submitting your nomination:

  • Eligible nominees do not have to have the term “advisor” in their title. All advising and student support staff at UC Berkeley may be nominated. 

  • Nominations can be made by anyone in the campus community including students. We accept self-nominations, including for team awards. 

  • Staff can be nominated for more than one category, but each nomination must be submitted separately. 

  • Though there is not a predetermined limit on team sizes, key contributors on teams typically range from two to ten individuals. 

  • Previous winners are not eligible to receive the same award within the past three award years (2019, 2020, 2021). If membership of a team has substantially changed (50% new members) since that team won a category, the team may be considered for the same category it won in the past. See this document for a list of previous winners.

  • Entries within each category will be independently reviewed by two to three readers using the criteria outlined below. 

  • Once nominations are reviewed, the committee may move a nomination to a different category if it is determined to be a better fit.

We encourage you to attend an online information session about the nomination process if you have questions. Please RSVP in order to receive a bCal invitation with a Zoom link for one or both of the following dates:

  • Friday, October 14, 10-11 a.m.

  • Thursday, October 20, 3-4 p.m.

If you are unable to attend one of the information sessions, please direct questions to advisingmatters@berkeley.edu.


Descriptions of Award Categories

  • Equity Champion (Staff)

  • Individual Advising Innovation (Staff)

  • Team Advising Innovation (Staff) 

  • Excellence in Data and/or Research-Driven Student Services (Staff)

  • Service to the Advising and Student Services Community (Staff)

  • Outstanding New Advisor or Student Services Staff (Staff with three or less years of experience)

  • Outstanding Advisor or Student Services Staff (Staff with more than three years of experience)

  • Outstanding Peer Advisor, Mentor, Counselor, or Ambassador (Student)

  • Outstanding Advising or Student Services Administrator, Director, or Manager (Staff/Supervisor)

  • Advising Champion (Faculty/Administrator)

Award for Special Performance and Contributions (Staff)


Nomination Process

Please completely fill out the nomination form, linked below, paying particular attention to the award categories and the nomination scoring rubric

In the form, you will be asked to: 

  • In 3000 characters or fewer (including spaces), address how the individual or team meets the criteria for the specific category. Within the context of that category, ensure you give specific examples of how the individual or team demonstrates:

    • A positive impact on individuals and/or communities (students and/or staff) and an authentically student-centered, caring, and connected approach to advising and student service;

    • Innovation (e.g., in methods, approaches, tools, programs, resources, etc.);

    • Alignment with Berkeley’s Advising & Student Services Goals and Principles

  • In 750 characters or fewer (including spaces), summarize the key points of your nomination for publication on the awards website, should your nominee be selected.

  • Additional question for Mary Slakey Howell Award nominations: The Mary Slakey Howell Award is the most prestigious advising and student services award. In 1500 characters or fewer (including spaces), please elaborate on why you think your nominee's service rises to this level.

If you prefer to submit a video nomination, please email advisingmatters@berkeley.edu for guidance.

Applications Open on Friday, September 30!

Nomination Cycle

  • September 30: Nominations open

  • October 31: Deadline to submit nomination

  • November 1 – November 18: Committee reviews nominations


Recognition Events

  • December 12, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m: In-person Ceremony for Awards Recipients and Guests

  • December 15, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m: Online Celebration of the Advising & Student Services Community

2022 Award Cycle Committee

Sarah Acosta, Operations and Programming Coordinator - Office for Graduate Diversity, Graduate Division

Paige Corey, Academic Records Evaluator, Office of the Registrar

Amber Dillon, International Academic Specialist & Dual Degree Programs Coordinator 

Sydney Ji, Cal Student Central Advisor

Julian Ledesma, Executive Director, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence (CE3)

Sharon Mueller, Director of Advising and Policy, Engineering Student Services

Isela Peña-Rager, Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Advising, College of Letters & Science 

antmen pimentel mendoza, Assistant Director, Cross Cultural Student Development, Multicultural Community Center

Liza Schlosser-Olroyd, Communications Specialist, Advising Strategy + Training

Donna Vivar, Manager of Advising Strategy + Training