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OSU students given opportunity to note thanks, appreciation for academic advisers

Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer

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Advisers across Ohio State were recognized during Adviser Appreciation Week with thank-you notes from students.

To recognize OSU advisers, the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Academic Advising Association sponsored Adviser Appreciation Week April 16-20.

“We don’t do it for the money, let’s just say that,” said Jane Palmer, an academic counselor in the Fisher College of Business. “But we really enjoy helping students across all walks of life achieve what it is they’re here to achieve.”

It is that kind of sentiment that Adviser Appreciation Week recognized.

“Advisers have been working overtime and on weekends to support students through the semester conversion, so in thinking about all of the different creative ways to recognize them, this week was developed,” said Amy Soter, an academic adviser in the School of Communication, and Jen Belisle, an advising resource coordinator in the Office of Undergraduate Education, in an email.

One way for students to recognize an adviser was through the “Thank an Adviser” initiative. Students could send electronic thank-you notes through the Office of Undergraduate Education’s website or write a handwritten thank-you note at one of the tables set up throughout campus during Adviser Appreciation Week.

Soter and Belisle said in the email they received about 150 electronic thank-you notes and more than 100 handwritten notes. Students will be able to send electronic thank-yous throughout the academic year, and handwritten notes will be sent to advisers during each annual Adviser Appreciation Week, Soter and Belisle said.

Palmer was able to deliver some of those thank-you notes, not just receive them, because she is on the executive board of Academic Advising Association.

“I’ve been on both sides, been able to receive some of these great benefits and also help provide them to other advisers across campus,” Palmer said. “Yesterday when I was at the table and students were coming to fill out the thank-you cards, just the number of students, it was just as rewarding for me to be standing there hearing students say, ‘Wow this is a great thing to be able to thank my adviser,’ and then again to actually participate in delivering the thank-yous.”

Elizabeth Riter, an engineering scholars program manager, displayed one of her handwritten thank-you notes on her desk.

“I had a student who was really appreciative of me helping them plan their major, and so I received a nice thank-you note from her, which was really nice just to see what sort of impact we’ve made on students,” Riter said.

Adviser Appreciation Week also provided advisers with free coffee coupons, 10-minute massages, a tote bag that included a letter thanking advisers and a party at the end of the week.

Riter, however, said she was too busy to take advantage of the week’s events.

Kristen Rupert, an academic adviser in the College of Education and Human Ecology, said she took advantage of the massage. Her supervisor brought coffee and bagels to the office throughout the week as well. But it wasn’t the massages and coffee that were the most important to Rupert.

“I got a really nice card from a student, which was awesome, because I think that’s kind of the most important thing to me,” Rupert said.

Palmer, who also took advantage of the events, agreed.

“I think that the thing that stands out most to me is the ‘Thank an Adviser’ opportunities,” Palmer said. “Just to see how when we’ve delivered the thank-yous to the different advising staff, you can see that it helps us remember why we do what we do.”

But while the thank-you notes were the highlight of the week to many advisers, only about 250 notes were sent.

Lars Benthien, a third-year in history, didn’t participate in Adviser Appreciation Week but said he was “dimly aware of it.”

Benthien, however, supported the purpose of Adviser Appreciation Week.

“Advisers are somewhat underappreciated, so I’m all for it,” Benthien said.

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