During the celebration of the University of Montevallo’s 121st Founders’ Day on Oct. 12, UM honored deserving staff, faculty and alumni.
The University recognized Dr. Deborah Lowry, associate professor of sociology, with the 2017 Advising Award for her dedication to providing the guidance necessary for students to navigate their time at the University.
Lowry has been a member of UM’s Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences for five years and has been advising for four.
Because of the close proximity of their offices, nominator and colleague Dr. Ruth Truss, chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, said she has witnessed firsthand the relaxed and nurturing demeanor Lowry uses when advising.
“Students are never rushed out the door with broad, general advice to follow the check sheet,” Truss said. “Rather, she talks with advisees, asks about their progress during the semester and listens to their questions and concerns.”
Not only did Truss praise Lowry for the way she interacts with her advisees, but also for the vast expanse of knowledge pertaining to both the program and the University which Lowry utilizes in advising.
“Few students come to UM initially as declared sociology majors, yet she is a regular volunteer for the group summer registration sessions, during which she assists students and patiently answers questions dealing with any one of the seven programs in BSS,” Truss said.
Truss additionally noted the importance of that skillset when working with the varied factors to be considered when advising transfer students, which Lowry often does.
Lowry believes advising is more than just approving a student’s chosen courses for the next semester. Rather, she considers advising the time for a professor to aid in crafting a student’s academic career and developing the “soft skills” essential for success in life after college.