Light honored for dedication to fire administration program

Ann LightDr. Ann Light, director and academic adviser of the fire administration program at the University, received the Academic Advising and Mentoring Excellence Award at the Faculty Excellence Awards April 13.

The award recognizes an individual – faculty or staff – or group of individuals, who contribute to the educational development of undergraduate students through effective academic advising and mentoring. The recognition includes an award up to $1,000.

Light was nominated for this award for her work with the fire administration program.

“Ann was instrumental in developing the fire administration program from scratch,” wrote nominator Dr. Neil Englehart, political science chair. “Her commitment and service to the program and its students have been extraordinary.”

The fire administration program is an all-online program targeted to firefighters who wish to gain the skills required to advance to leadership positions in fire service.

“Because of her work with State Fire School, Ann was one of the first people nationally to see the need for a degree program to serve this need,” Englehart continued. “BGSU’s program remains the only true program of its kind.”

Light said her “position is almost unique in that it contains elements of program management, marketing, student recruitment and supporting student success through advising. I approach the advising component, which is by far the most personally rewarding, as having two distinct components: the structural work and the personal interaction and support.

“My approach is to treat each person like the accomplished professional that they are.”

Advising fire administration students is an extremely time-consuming, hands-on process, requiring a great deal of individual attention.

“My degree would not have happened if it were not for Ann,” wrote student Arthur Mead. “She is one of two people that I can say is my rock. I cannot say enough good things about her other than that I am indeed honored to know her and grateful that our paths have crossed.”

Jason Graber, a battalion fire chief and student, also credits Light with his success.

“I can without a doubt attest that my success in the fire administration program can be traced to Ann and the strong leadership attributes that she demonstrates in the management of the program,” he wrote. “During my two years in the program, there was never a time that I felt alone or out on an island with my planning of my degree program. Ann was tremendous in keeping every member of the various cohorts on task and moving forward in their respective programs.

“What is even more amazing is her personal pursuit of the Ph.D. while still managing the day-to-day operations of the program. I believe that this is an inspiration and unquestionably an example of leading by example to the students that are under her guided tutelage in the fire administration program.”