The National Academic Advising Association has named Dr. Lori Richard a 2021 Outstanding Advising Award Winner as part of their 2021 Global Awards Program for Academic Advising.
Dr. Richard received her award in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the NACADA Annual Conference held from Oct. 6-9. This is the second time she has been recognized by NACADA for her advising this year. In March, she received an Outstanding Advising Award for District 7, which includes Louisiana.
“To be recognized by NACADA, an organization that I have been a student of for years is surreal,” Dr. Richard said. “I have such a deep level of respect and admiration for the work the NACADA organization produces to progress the advising profession. The NACADA organization has had a tremendous impact on my professional development as an advisor, which has truly shaped how I advise and interact with students in the classroom.”
To qualify for the international award, faculty need three years of experience in their field as teachers who spend a portion of their time on academic advising. Dr. Richard was selected for demonstrating excellence in each of the NACADA Core Values: caring, commitment, empowerment, inclusivity, integrity, professionalism and respect.
When it comes to working with students, Dr. Richard said it is important to listen with the intent to understand. Doing that creates an effective and positive relationship between the teacher or advisor and the student.
“When I take the time to get to know who they are as a person, I can gain their trust, learn their personal goals, anticipate their needs and understand their perspective,” she said. “I can then tailor my advice to match their desired degree and career outcomes while also building an authentic and professional relationship.”
Dr. Richard first joined the Nicholls family in 2009 and over the last 12 years has held a variety of roles, including as the assistant athletic director of academic services and assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies and teacher education. Throughout it all, Dr. Richard has spent time in an advising capacity.
“Advising is a critical aspect of a student’s college experience. A bad piece of advice or an absent advisor can break down and erode the student’s trust in the university,” Dr. Richard said. “As advisors, it’s our job to lead and mentor students to the correct path to meet their goals. We help them overcome obstacles, think through important decisions and help them understand their options. Advising is such a rewarding role, and it’s a hat that I’ve always been proud to wear.”
Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The mission of NACADA is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students. NACADA’s membership has grown to over 14,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs staff concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. The organization acts as the representative and advocate of academic advising, and those providing that service, to higher education.