The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) North Central Region recognized Jennifer Mostek, director of Business Advising and Student Engagement (BASE), with the Excellence in Advising Administration Award. The first University of Nebraska–Lincoln employee to ever earn the honor, Mostek received the award on May 2 at the regional conference held in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The award honors individuals who serve as a director of an academic advising program for at least three years and demonstrate qualities and practices that make significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. Leading her team of undergraduate academic advisors since 2019, she works to enhance academic advising and create innovative and effective advising and engagement services and programs at the College of Business.
“Jen’s strategic planning, leadership, problem-solving and communication skills, and experience working with undergraduate students, faculty and staff both in the College of Business and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln make her a phenomenal leader in the field of academic advising. She has taken BASE to new heights while maintaining great relationships with students and colleagues across campus,” said Rachel Larson, assistant dean of academic and career development.
Mostek annually leads her team in a collective strategic planning and assessment process. They set goals and regularly assess the effectiveness of their services, and she champions best practices in academic advising.
“She proposed adding staff to BASE utilizing advising data and the student-to-advisor ratio information from units across campus. This additional advisor to their team helped decrease the time it takes for a student to see an advisor and reduced staff burnout. The result has been a stable team despite a time of high student-services turnover nationwide,” Larson said.
Known for advocating for students, she keeps students at the forefront of her mind when making decisions or talking with other decision-makers. Considering her staff's feedback, she used her creativity to better design the New Student Enrollment advising process for more than 900 new business students each summer. For example, she identified a unique plan for incoming out-of-state students to experience a more convenient course enrollment process while prioritizing time for the advisors to get to know each student. She also served on the implementation team that provided input and tested the university's new Student Success Hub before it launched campus-wide this spring.
“Jen considers how she can help administer a change to a broken process, test new technology or work with others to make sure an initiative happens successfully. She seeks and considers staff feedback on processes and works to improve them for the future,” said Megan Christensen, assistant director of Business Advising and Student Engagement. “She also encourages students and staff to make the most of their education and experience on campus by getting involved and pursuing engaging activities.”
Mostek's nominators noted her outstanding knowledge of the college and university, as well as being an innovative, adaptive and caring leader in one of the "most influential" student service units. They noted her ability to be an energizing spirit and a helpful hand and voice, even during difficult situations.
“Jen has phenomenal interpersonal and human relations skills. She understands the concerns of students, staff and faculty, and values their input. Her law school and student affairs background helps her to be both firm and approachable, regardless of her audience, but flexible depending on the situation,” said Larson.
A resource for faculty and staff alike, Mostek recently received the college's Distinguished Service Award. This award honors a staff member who consistently shows outstanding job performance, provides service or support above and beyond the call of duty, exemplifies or inspires a teamwork attitude and contributes to our community with a commitment to excellence.
“Advising is often work done behind the scenes, but many of us know and understand the vital role Jen and her team play in keeping things operating smoothly,” said Kasey Linde, director of teaching, learning and accreditation. “For me and many others, Jen is the glue that keeps things together. She is my go-to for all difficult questions. Her knowledge of the college and university is outstanding, and she always works to find solutions to complex issues.”
To learn more about Business Advising and Student Engagement, visit: https://business.unl.edu/base.
Published: May 11, 2023