Jessica Daniels, who coordinates Terry College’s Online BBA Program, won an Outstanding New Advisor Award from NACADA, the global network for academic advising. Daniels was on hand in October to accept the honor at the association’s annual conference in St. Louis.
Now in its third year, the Online BBA is only the second fully online undergraduate degree-completion program housed at UGA, and it was the first at Terry. Because of that, everything Daniels does as the program’s coordinator has been innovative out of necessity, says Laura Clark, Terry’s director of undergraduate programs.
“Online BBA students are diverse in every way possible,” says Clark. “They all have different reasons for completing a degree online – family obligations, careers, medical challenges and so on. Jessie knows each of them, hears each of them and supports each of them, meeting them where they are and guiding them to their dream of graduating from the University of Georgia. It is a goal most of them thought would be impossible until they heard about this program and met Jessie.”
Notable among her many accolades, Daniels received 100 percent excellent scores in all areas of her advisor surveys throughout 2015 and 2016. And the workload doesn’t end with students who register for classes. In the program’s first two years, she provided admissions advice and transfer credit guidance to more than 1,500 potential students.
Daniels also volunteered to assist General Business BBA students on UGA’s Griffin campus when the program found itself without an advisor last year and set about streamlining advising practices to better serve those students.
“Since I advise via distance for both of my programs, I believe it’s my job to simplify processes and help students feel like they have someone here for them,” Daniels says. “Quite simply, I’m their person. They can count on me to provide information, give them a word of encouragement, or help them figure out problems.”
Prior to Daniels’ award recognition from NACADA, she was the recipient of UGA’s Outstanding New Staff Advisor Award in August and Terry College’s Academic Advisor of the Year this past April.