InsideODU: News for Faculty and Staff
Monday, February 25, 2013


Ferrara, Cigularova Selected to Receive NACADA Region 2 Advising Awards

Two advisors from Old Dominion will receive awards at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 2 Conference in New Brunswick, N.J., March 14-16.

Katie Ferrara, from the College of Health Sciences Advising Center, and Daniela Cigularova, assistant director of the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center (VBHEC), will be presented awards for New Advisor and Advising Administrator, respectively. Both of them have also been nominated for national NACADA awards in their categories.

As winners of the Region 2 awards, Ferrara and Cigularova received complimentary conference registration. Region 2 Mid-Atlantic consists of the following:Delaware,Maryland,New Jersey,Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

This is the third year in a row that ODU advisors have been recognized at the Region 2 level, and the second year the university has had two winners out of the four main categories. To be eligible for nomination, one must successfully complete the ODU Master Advisor Certificate program and be selected in the same category for the annual ODU Advising Awards.

Ferrara has served as an academic advisor at ODU for two years. Currently, she is an advisor for new students interested in majoring in the health professions. Her duties include meeting individually with each new student twice the first semester. She also provides academic support services specifically for students in the program who are in academic difficulty.

"As a new advisor, Katie has implemented her philosophy of advising fully," said Sandra Waters, assistant dean for Advising and Transfer Programs, who nominated her for the award. In her letter, Waters included several comments that Ferrara's students had submitted to her supervisor, Sandra Breeden. One student wrote: "Katie is always so helpful. She answers all of my questions and always has me in her best interest. I feel as though she was invaluable to me in planning my future."

Faculty members in the College of Health Sciences also supported the nomination, including Scott Sechrist, associate chair of the School of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences.

"She truly is my 'go-to' person for all issues and questions regarding advising my students," Sechrist wrote in a letter of recommendation. "Beyond knowing the technical details of our curricula, Katie understands the nuances of each of the health sciences programs - I have seen her advise one student on the phone, respond to an email with another issue, and move right into a one-on-one advising one of my students with a smile, all the while assisting students make critical decisions regarding their majors. Her eye for detail within our curricula is balanced by a 'big picture' viewpoint of the students and their extracurricular lives that all successful advisors should have."

Cigularova served as the acting assistant director at VBHEC for two years before being selected for the job permanently a year ago. During this time, she became involved as an active participant in the ODU Excellence in Advising Committee, particularly representing issues for students not attending classes on the main campus.

"Indeed the scope and scale of Daniela's advising and student success administration, collaboration and hands-on academic advising are unique and distinct within Old Dominion University, and her efforts have reaped tremendous benefits for the academic community at ODU-VB. For the students themselves, and in fact for the entire university, her efforts and those of her staff are actually felt on main campus since a number of students attend classes in both locations, or are in online or hybrid courses rather than exclusively on-site at the Beach," said Renee Olander, associate vice president, ODU Regional Higher Education Centers, who nominated Cigularova for the award.

In a supporting letter of recommendation, Waters wrote: "We at ODU consider ourselves very lucky to have found such a student-focused person to manage advising duties at our flagship higher education center. Because of Daniela's background working in advising-related roles at the Colorado State University-Fort Collins, and at a university in her native Bulgaria, she brings a depth of understanding diverse student issues and skills that have helped her streamline processes and offer programs for her students."



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