MACADA honors Strait with award for advising

Jessica MacIntosh

One University faculty member has taken home the Outstanding Academic Advising Administrator Award.

“I felt very honored that the administration and faculty here at Missouri Southern nominated me for that position and for doing something that I enjoy doing,” said Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the school of technology.

Strait received the award Sept. 14 at the 14th annual Missouri Academic Advising Association conference in Tan-Tar-A at the Lake of the Ozarks. Strait was given $100, a plaque and a one-year membership to the MACADA.

“I had no idea that I was nominated,” she said.

Strait said she was in a meeting in the president’s office on a Friday afternoon when she received news of her award. She also said Dr. Richard McCallum, vice president for academic affairs, mentioned winning the award.

“I just sat there kind of dumbfounded,” she said, “because I did not know anything about it.”

She said she is excited to receive the award.

“I was just shocked,” Strait said.

Strait said they worked hard this summer to put the application in and she had no idea.

“They all worked behind the scenes, so this was a surprise,” she said.

University President Julio León said it is nice to have one of the Southern’s administrators recognized.

“One of the most important functions we perform is to advise the students and help them move toward their goals and be successful,” he said. “The extent of which she is recognized statewide, I think it is a good recognition for Missouri Southern as well.”

Strait thinks outstanding academic advising is a direct correlation between teaching and students achieving their academic goals.

“I think it’s about doing more than just enrolling students in classes,” she said. “You have to listen to the student, you mentor the student, you counsel the student and you give direction because higher education for a new student is really a maze. If they can build that relationship with that faculty member then they have that go-to person they feel comfortable with.”