NACADA Region 6 will honor South Dakota State University’s Jody Owen and Howard Bonnemann at its May 2018 conference in Minneapolis.
Owen, the director of the First-Year Advising Center, was selected to receive the Excellence in Advising-Advising Administrator Award while Bonnemann, a lecturer/dairy plant research manager for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, was chosen for the Excellence in Advising-Faculty Advisor Award. They are the first SDSU faculty recipients of a NACADA regional award. Brooke Walker was a 2015 Region 6 graduate student scholarship recipient.
“I was a little curious when individuals asked me for some information, stating they were putting in a nomination. It’s always nice when someone nominates you for an award but one never thinks something is coming back. I was rather surprised when something came back,” said Bonnemann, who was the 2014 recipient of the J. Walters McCarty Award, which is given in recognition of outstanding academic advisors of undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.
Unlike Bonneman, Owen did not know she was being nominated. She appreciates the efforts of those who made the submission but, in the end, it’s all about the students.
“I love working with students. I really like that we see such a variety of students, ranging from students who need some guidance along the way to students who are excelling or working in the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College,” Owen said. “I really like to celebrate student successes, particularly for those students who might be struggling. Their successes may be fewer but when they do happen, they are cause for greater celebration. I like to see the students grow and succeed through the work we do.
“Academic advising now is a primary part of our student success program,” she continued. “It's really been great to provide leadership to that transition, working with the other advising coordinators and professional and faculty academic advisors across campus to see how we can improve our advising services in our quest to help SDSU students succeed.”
Bonnemann is one of those faculty academic advisors. Shortly after being honored at State in 2014, he attended the Appreciative Advising Institute, a four-day event held each summer, sponsored by the Office of Appreciative Education at Florida Atlantic University.
“The workshop was a confirmation that the approach I’d been doing was reasonable and a little more caring in attitude than just the nuts and bolts details or ‘let’s get you a schedule’ approach,” said Bonnemann, who started at State in 1997. “I like getting to hear peoples’ thoughts on what they would like to do. Some of them have really good thoughts about what their future impact can be and why they’re choosing dairy science or food science. I try to help them and guide them to ask questions of themselves and explore some of the directions along the way.”