Myers honored for comprehensive service to students

Holly myersSenior lecturer Dr. Holly Myers is deeply committed to her role as a faculty adviser in the Department of the Environment and Sustainability. Helping students along their path to a timely graduation is only half her goal, though. Through one-on-one meetings with students and innovative classroom activities and assignments, Myers also works to make sure they graduate in a major they are passionate about and that leads to a satisfying career.

Her efforts have earned her the Academic Advising and Mentoring Excellence Award, which recognizes faculty or staff members who contribute to the educational development of undergraduate students through effective academic advising and mentoring. The award, which includes a $1,000 prize, was given at the April 17 Faculty Excellence Awards.

Myers advises 130 students in both the environmental science and environment policy and analysis majors, housed in the School of Earth, Environment and Society. She has an added layer of complexity because the majors are interdisciplinary, which means students take senior-level courses in at least six other departments.

“The strength of Holly is not only in helping the students navigate this complex, challenging and rewarding major, but in having implemented many of the tools that students need to be successful to graduate on time and start a career as part of her introductory course for the major,” said Dr. Enrique Gomezdelcampo, environment and sustainability chair, who nominated Myers for the award.

In his nomination letter, Gomezdelcampo described the tools Myers uses to help her students make informed decisions about their major and career paths. Among them, she helped design and implement a new course, Environmental Perspectives 2020, which focuses on basic concepts in both majors, assists students in choosing a specialization, requires them to map out their graduation plan and provides opportunities to learn more about careers in their chosen major and specialization.

Each student in that class emerges with a graduation plan that becomes part of their advising file. As a result, the college adviser for environmental majors reported that almost all of the students in the class came better prepared for advising than the average student. In addition, most students have said that the graduation plan was beneficial and stress-reducing both for themselves and for their parents.

“I do not know of any other program on campus of this size – and some much larger – that has a hands-on program to help students’ success while here at BGSU and beyond,” Gomezdelcampo wrote. “Holly is approachable and resourceful. … The way she has implemented the graduation plan and the career plan really makes a difference for the students.”

Her students echo those sentiments.

“Dr. Holly Myers' advising is the reason that I'll be graduating in my goal of four years,” said student Seth Johnson. “Her technique is very useful and helped me set short-term and long-term goals.”

Johnson also said the projects he completed as part of his Environmental Perspectives class inspired him to change his specialization.

“I only realized this because of her and otherwise might still be in an area of specialization that doesn't align with my interests,” he said.

“Outside of the classroom, Dr. Myers goes above and beyond in her advising of students,” said environmental science major Hannah Branz. “I have approached her countless times with questions concerning course selection, interview etiquette, internship opportunities and everything in between. Dr. Myers never fails to assist me and other students with her honest career guidance and has been an irreplaceable resource.”

Myers is also a previous recipient of the Distinguished Instructor/Lecturer Award from the College of Arts and Sciences.