awards | University News

Peirce Becomes Third Consecutive UCM Member to Earn Prestigious NACADA Academic Advising Award

By Jeff Murphy, October 25, 2018

Natalie Peirce's Award
Natalie Peirce, left, senior success advisor at the University of Central Missouri, receives the 2018 Outstanding Advising Award in the Academic Advising – Primary Role category from Amy Sannes, 2018 President of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. The award ceremony took place during NACADA’s 2018 fall conference in October in Phoenix, Ariz.


WARRENSBURG, MO – For the third consecutive year, one of the University of Central Missouri’s academic advisors has been selected to receive an outstanding international academic advising award. Earlier this month, Natalie Peirce was honored as recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Advising Award in the Academic Advising – Primary Role category from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.

The category in which Peirce was honored includes individuals whose primary role is the direct delivery of advising services to students. Presented during the NACADA Annual Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., this award is in recognition of her demonstrated abilities as an advisor in an international competition.

According to NACADA, in the judgment of the selection committee, Peirce has consistently demonstrated qualities associated with the outstanding advising of students, including having a sustained institutional impact on them. She is a leader on campus and has actively participated in development activities related to the growth of her skills to the highest level. While doing so, she has exhibited qualities that exemplify the NACADA Core Values of professional practice, including proactively creating advising interactions with students, utilizing campus networks and setting the highest standards for their advising practice.

Peirce is now a senior advisor at UCM’s new Success Advising Center on the lower level of the Elliott Student Union. She served as Academic Advisor for the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies since 2012.

Citing her personal philosophy with regard to advising, Peirce notes, “As an academic advisor, it is my goal to help students navigate the many hurdles and barriers that exist in higher education. I believe in a holistic approach that includes intrusive, prescriptive, and appreciative models.”

Among many qualities she said are important to someone in her profession, she points out the need to build strong relationships with students, to be accessible, knowledgeable, have academic integrity, the ability to build trust and resources, and to be innovative. She also noted reflection as a way to continuously access and improve her approach to serving students.

“As I am working with students, I am always asking myself, ‘could I do this step in a different way to better help my students?’ It is important to continuously improve as an advisor and advising as a whole at the university.”

Peirce’s students offered many positive comments about her that contributed to her selection. Among them was Madison Saunders, a speech-language pathology undergraduate. Her support letter demonstrates Peirce’s efforts to learn more about her students as individuals.

“One of my favorite things about Natalie is the time she takes to get to know her students.  After the first time I met Natalie, she knew my name, major, class status, and the sequence of classes I was taking. Besides the academic knowledge she knew about me, she also knew my parents, what I enjoyed doing, how I chose my major, along with various aspects of my life.”

Peirce came to UCM from Missouri State University in Springfield, where she served from March 2003 to March 2010 an academic advisor/retention specialist who was designated as a Master Advisor.

She has a Master of Business Administration degree from MSU, and Bachelor of Science degrees in marketing and management from the same institution.

Her recent NACADA recognition comes after being previously recognized with the NACADA Region 7 – Excellence in Advising-Primary Role, Certificate of Merit in 2018, and UCM Outstanding Academic Advisor, Professional Advisor Award in 2017.

Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. NACADA’s goal is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students.

NACADA’s membership has grown to more than 13,000 faculty, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs staff concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. The organization acts as the representative and advocate of academic advising, and those providing that service, to higher education.


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