Texas Exes Honor Outstanding UT Academic Advisors

Teaching awards often recognize professors for their contributions to the UT community and the success of their students. But more often than not, one key player in the academic progress of Longhorns is left unthanked: the academic advisor.

The Texas Exes James W. Vick Awards for Academic Advising aim to change that.  For 20 years, the Vick Awards have recognized the advisors who truly enhance a student’s experience on the Forty Acres.

“This award is really special because there’s nothing else like it,” says Katie Lauck, campus relations coordinator for the Texas Exes. “It’s unique because the recipients are all student-nominated and student-selected.”

This year’s Vick Awards honored five outstanding advisors:

  • Jay A. Brown, College of Liberal Arts – Department of Psychology
  • Megan Conner, College of Liberal Arts
  • Thomas H. Griffith, College of Liberal Arts – Department of History
  • Kristen Kessel, School of Social Work
  • Sarah Kitten, Cockrell School of Engineering

Each recipient received $500, as well as recognition of their daily hard work. As any UT alum or student would know, the registration and degree planning processes are no piece of cake.

“They are all very touched,” Lauck says. “One recipient even emailed me to get a copy of what students had said about him during the nomination process. He said their words would help get through the hard days.”

The special ceremony included speeches from Texas Exes CEO Leslie Cedar, Executive Vice President and Provost Stephen Leslie, and Professor James Vick—the awards’ namesake—himself.

From left: Kristen Kessel, Jay Brown, Thomas Griffith, James Vick, Sarah Kitten, Megan Conner. Photo by Shauna Mora Photography.


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