Excellence in Advising & Student Services

Excellence in Advising & Student Services Awards Program 

This year, we are combining Celebrating Our Collective Efforts with our awards program for advising and student services staff. This virtual event in December 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. Once again, this has been a challenging year, full of uncertainties. Over and over, we have created options and contingencies to prepare for situations we cannot predict. 

Our advising and student services community has shown great empathy and insistence on whole personhood while navigating the pandemic, the uprisings in response to anti-Black police violence, and the general intensity of our world. We know that each of you is doing the best you can to support our students and each other during a very stressful situation that includes almost daily challenges to our mental, spiritual and physical well-being. 

See a list of our 2020 and 2021 award recipients here!

You are warmly invited to join us in recognizing our 2020 and 2021 award recipients and Celebrating Our Collective Efforts on Wednesday, December 15, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. PST via Zoom. We look forward to celebrating the entire student services community and your on-going hard work and dedication to supporting students. We also look forward to spending well-deserved time together for some much needed joy, laughter, music, games, and some amazing giveaways/prizes!  There will be opportunities to share kudos and gratitude with each other. RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 6 for this event and take a few moments to add your words of gratitude and thanks to individuals and teams within our student services community on this 2021 Kudoboard.

Questions regarding our awards program can be directed to the Advising Strategy + Training Program team: advisingmatters@berkeley.edu.

Award Categories

Award for Special Performance and Contributions (Staff)

Award Criteria

In addition to addressing the criteria for each particular category, each nomination also referenced how the team or individual’s work is in alignment with Berkeley’s Advising Goals and Principles.

Nomination Scoring Rubric

The Mary Slakey Howell Excellence in Advising Award 


Mary Slakey Howell 1962-2017

The Mary Slakey Howell award for advising excellence is UC Berkeley's highest advising award. It recognizes visionary leadership and exceptional contributions and dedication to the advising community. Mary Howell was a Berkeley alum, front-line advisor, and Director of Student Advising and Policy at the College of Engineering and she dedicated herself to Cal, a place she loved and took pride in representing. Throughout her career she distinguished herself as a knowledgeable advisor, policy analyst, trainer, program developer, and director of advising programs, demonstrating an exceptional understanding of Berkeley’s people, policies, places, and complex practices. Most importantly she put student wellbeing and progress first. The many student testimonials at her retirement party told volumes about the lasting impact her care and individual attention has had on the lives of the many lucky students she advised, coached, challenged and supported. This award is a loving tribute to all she accomplished and contributed to making UC Berkeley a better place for students, advisors and the entire campus community.

Recipients of the Mary Slakey Howell Award

2020-21 | Kasra Sotudeh and Leah Carroll 

2019      | Elizabeth Wilcox and La Shana Porlaris

2018      | Barbara Felkins and Kay Burns

2017      | Susan Hagstrom and Sharon Mueller

2016      | Fabrizio Mejia and Julian Ledesma

Remembering Mary's impact: This video was originally presented at Mary's retirement celebration, 2017. Created by Laura Vogt. 

Mary Howell Student Messages

Mary Howell Student Messages

2021 Event Planning Committee

Micki Antovich, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, New Student Services

Paige Corey, Academic Records Evaluator, Office of the Registrar

Ivor Emmanuel, Director, Berkeley International Office

Barbara Felkins, Director Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Programs, Haas School of Business

Susan Hagstrom, Manager of Advising Strategy and Training

Louise Hon, Study Abroad Advisor, Berkeley Study Abroad

Joyce Huchin, Health Equity Coordinator, Basic Needs Center

Heather Iwata, Graduate Advisor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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

Mecca Shakoor-Cook, Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Advising, College of Letters & Science

Britney Stewart, Student Academic Advisor, Graduate Division