LAWRENCE — Carsten Holm, academic adviser in the Undergraduate Advising Center, was named the 2019 University of Kansas Academic Advisor of the Year during an awards ceremony May 6 in the Burge Union.
In his role, Holm advises between 300-350 students, primarily those who are exploring their options and have not yet declared their major. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor in the School of Education and is working on a doctorate in social and cultural studies in education.
“I am delighted to present Carsten with this year’s award,” said DeAngela Burns-Wallace, vice provost for undergraduate studies. “His curiosity and unique background allow him to help students from various backgrounds to both succeed and thrive throughout their undergraduate experience. The quality of our award nominations continues to rise and speaks volumes of the work that Carsten and our entire advising community provides to the KU campus.”
Holm was one of 19 individuals nominated for the award.
“I am quite surprised and honored to receive this award,” Holm said. “I take a lot of what I’m learning from being a student to think about the questions that matter so I can apply them to my work, then share those experiences with my colleagues so we can better work with our students. It’s been a real joy getting to work with the students at KU, and it’s great to know that the daily work I’m doing is making a difference.”
Originally from Denmark, Holm has over 20 years of experience in the education setting. He has taught on the high school level in Sweden and Latvia, as a second-language teacher for adult immigrants in Denmark and as a foreign-language instructor at the University of Minnesota. He came to KU in 2012 where he was hired as an academic adviser for UAC.
“I have never been in an environment where I taught or worked with students of my own cultural background,” Holm said. “My experiences have led to my commitment and appreciation for working in spaces where there are people from multiple cultural backgrounds in the room at all times. I am grateful that KU allows me to continue this work.”
The KU Advising Network (KUAN), with support from the Office for Undergraduate Studies, established the Academic Advisor of the Year Award in 2017. The award recognizes outstanding academic advisers for their service to KU’s undergraduate students. Nominees for the award must be in a staff role and directly advise undergraduate students. All nominees were evaluated on qualities and practices that demonstrate effective advising and distinguish an outstanding adviser. Characteristics went beyond occupational knowledge and included advocacy for students and student success, campus and community engagement, cultural competency, inclusiveness, leadership and more. These characteristics are in line with the professional guidelines and standards outlined by NACADA, the Global Community for Academic Advising.
“I was genuinely surprised to receive this recognition but also humbled because of the work that my colleagues do every day,” Holm said. “Where I come from, awards are not commonly given, which made this award even more special and emotional. I look around me and see the skills that other advisers bring to the job. There are so many who are deserving of the award, and it’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing team of advisers.”
Nineteen professional academic advisers on both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses were nominated for the award by members of the KU community. All were recognized during the ceremony. The list of nominees includes advisers from the UAC, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, several professional schools and from enrichment programs on campus.
- Samantha Cloon - Undergraduate Advising Center
- LaTisha Davis - TRIO SES
- Renee Denton - Undergraduate Advising Center
- Denise Farmer - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Debbie Forsyth - School of Business
- Ed Healy - University Honors Program
- Carsten Holm - Undergraduate Advising Center
- Sandra Leppin - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences—KU Edwards
- Melissa Mikkelsen - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Brenton Miller - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Samantha Montague - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Paula Naughtin - School of Education
- John Nelson-Hronek - Undergraduate Advising Center
- AJ Rain - School of Education
- Rita Riley - School of Music
- Dawn Shew - School of Engineering
- Zac Shields - School of Architecture & Design
- Lauren Spain - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Jessica Stringer - Undergraduate Advising Center
The KUAN supports the academic advising community by providing professional development, social and networking opportunities. The network consists of various standing and ad hoc committees, which are supported by committee chairs and the Office for Undergraduate Studies. Members volunteer their time to the committee of their choice, and KUAN representatives serve on various campus and departmental committees.