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University College adviser selected for award in excellence

Whether students, faculty or staff, those tied to The University of Toledo know just how important the role of an adviser is.

Melissa Gleckler, senior specialist for prior learning and credit assessment, was recognized for her achievements in advising by the Ohio Academic Advising Association June 16 at its annual conference held at Cleveland State University. Gleckler was presented with the Advising Excellence Award, which she was nominated for by Deb Sobczak, director of student services for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and DeMya Wimberly, success coach and pre-major adviser for exploratory studies.

Melissa Gleckler posed for a photo with the Advising Excellence Award she received at the Ohio Academic Advising Association’s annual conference last month in Cleveland.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers as an exemplary adviser for the state of Ohio,” Gleckler said. “It is important that we not only support our students, but also support each other. Receiving the state advising award is a wonderful way to celebrate my 10th year in higher education here at UT.”

Gleckler, who completed both bachelor’s and a master’s degrees at UT, said she hadn’t planned on working in higher education.

“Higher education is actually my second career, and an accidental one, at that. My bachelor’s degree is in broadcast communication, and I worked in TV production for many years. I often found myself in teaching and training situations, which is what led me to pursue a master’s degree and commute my career to higher education.

“I’m currently pursuing a PhD in educational technology, which I find to be a marriage between my two careers, both of which I have enjoyed immensely,” she said.

Wiona Porath, who at the time was president of the Ohio Academic Advising Association, sent Gleckler the notification of her award. She transitioned to past-president at the conference.

“I have known [Gleckler] since 2007, when I worked at UT. I was so pleased that the awards committee selected her to receive the Excellence in Advising Award for the Ohio Academic Advising Association,” Porath said. “It was such a joy for me to let Mel know she would be the recipient of the 2017 award. It was even more exciting to be able to present the award to her at our annual conference.”

“Universities can be large and hard to navigate. Higher education is so different from high school. Advisers are a lifeline for students. While academic success is our main goal, I, like so many of my colleagues, believe in holistic advising to promote student success in all facets of life, well beyond the books,” Gleckler explained, when asked about the importance of good advising.

“I’ve actually had students ask me about my career path and how to become an adviser — which is a great compliment in itself. The desire to pay it forward reminds me of the impact we have on students. The best advice I have for them is to always remember their own student journey — what helped them, what they needed to know, what they know now that they wish they had known then. Sometimes a student might not know the right questions to ask, but we still have to be able to give them the answers they need. By staying in touch with the student experience, I know I can better understand and serve my students’ needs.”

UT honored for its support of Navy Reserve

The University of Toledo was one of 37 employers from across the nation honored by the chief of Navy Reserve for exceptional support of America’s Navy Reserve sailors.

During the Chief of Navy Reserve Navy Employer Recognition Event this summer in Norfolk, Va., Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, dean of University College, accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the University for UT’s dedication and support of employees who serve in the Navy Reserve.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, center, and Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, on behalf of The University of Toledo, received a Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation from Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun during a ceremony this summer in Norfolk, Va.

Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, center, and Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, on behalf of The University of Toledo, received a Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation from Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun during a ceremony this summer in Norfolk, Va.

“Employer support is absolutely critical to the Navy Reserve’s mission,” said Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun. “We currently have 2,100 reserve sailors deployed around the world. Making sure those reserve sailors have a job when they come back from that yearlong mobilization is critical, and that’s why this event is wonderful. We’re recognizing employers who have given outstanding support to their Navy Reserve sailor. In fact, many of the employers here have sailors who are deployed right now overseas. So this is a great opportunity for us to recognize them for the outstanding support they give.”

“The University of Toledo is committed to making sure all men and women who serve our great nation have everything they need to succeed, and that includes flexibility,” Kopp Miller said.

The June 24 event also was a Navy familiarization day and provided employers an opportunity to see firsthand what reserve sailors do every day. Selected employers are chosen from nominations submitted by their reserve sailor employees.

Throughout the one-day recognition event, Kopp Miller and the other employers had the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, tour the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan at Naval Station Norfolk, view a static display of aircraft from Naval Air Force Reserve, and witness a demonstration by Reserve SEAL Team 18.

“It was an honor to have this behind-the-scenes look at the Navy,” Kopp Miller said.

“Our hope is that the employers gain a better understanding of what their Navy Reserve sailors are doing when they leave to support Navy missions around the world,” Braun said. “In many cases, their sailors are deploying and leaving their company for a year at a time to mobilize, so today gives them a better picture of the capabilities the Navy brings to our nation, and also the type of support our reserve sailors provide to the Navy.”

Employers invited to this year’s event were nominated by their employees who are also Navy Reserve sailors. Guests included CEOs, company owners and senior executives from small, medium and large companies.

Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, director of military and veteran affairs, nominated the University for the honor.

“Here at UT, service members and veterans are employed in a variety of
positions across our campuses,” Ghanbari said. “Collectively, these
employees bring with them a wealth of knowledge gathered through years of military service, and I am honored to work alongside them.”