School of Music (SOM) Undergraduate Advisor Mutlu Çitim-Kepic said she was speechless when she was recognized as the UF Advisor of the Year in 2015.
This year, Çitim-Kepic was awarded Winner of the Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).
“I thought I was speechless last year,” she said. “This was beyond speechless.”
NACADA is an association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students working to enhance the educational development of students. Its Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising was established in 1983 and honors individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of advising.
Each year, NACADA selects 15 to 20 individuals to be recognized for the Outstanding Advising Award, according to Çitim-Kepic.
The packet from her 2015 award was forwarded to NACADA to be considered along with hundreds of other advisors from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and a European contingency.
Last week, SOM Director Dr. Kevin Orr congratulated her on being one of the winners.
“That was the ‘Nobel Prize’ for me,” Çitim-Kepic said, “for being recognized for what I try doing every day: guiding students.”
Now that she has been recognized by NACADA, Çitim-Kepic said she will try to pass on the gift of advising to the next generation of advisors.
Listening and hearing to what a student is really saying is the key to being a good advisor, she said. Students see an advisor to get answers to their questions and to seek guidance on their path to success. Çitim-Kepic’s job is to get them to the light at the end of the tunnel: a UF diploma.
“I hope that all my students realize I have the best interest in their academic and personal success,” she said. “After all, advising is teaching.”