Heavener’s Lesley Harris named UF Advisor of the Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Lesley Harris, Assistant Director of Academic Advising & Career Coaching at the Heavener School of Business, was named the UF Professional Advisor of the Year.

She is the fifth Heavener advisor in 11 years to earn the honor.

“The University of Florida is brimming with outstanding professional academic advisors, and I am overwhelmed to be counted among them,” she said. “It is clear that I owe my successes to great teams of inspiring colleagues as well as motivated, receptive students.”

Lesley Harris is the fifth Heavener advisor to be named UF Advisor of the Year.

Lesley Harris is the fifth Heavener advisor to be named UF Advisor of the Year.

Harris advised 1,106 students in spring 2013 through walk-in appointments, which was nearly a quarter of all students visiting the Heavener advising office. She also launched the Warrington Diplomat Leadership Ventures program to help students develop leadership skills through adventures based on teamwork and communication.

Senior Nicole Van Velzor, who nominated Harris, said her interactions with Harris have been “overwhelmingly positive experiences.”

“Lesley has been an unfaltering mentor, advisor and friend from the early days of my college experience,” Van Velzor said. “She has always made it clear that she is a stakeholder in her students’ progress and achievements.”

Heavener Acting Director Horace Tucker said the College is fortunate to have Harris as a member of the Heavener team.

“Lesley is an outstanding advisor and career coach,” he said. “Lesley is dedicated to contributing to the professional development of our students, and she has positively impacted the undergraduate experiences for thousands of them.”

Previous award winners from Heavener include Director of Academic Advising & Career Coaching Erica Byrnes (2012), Assistant Director of Academic Advising and Career Coaching Derek Guffin (2011), Assistant Director for the Online Business Program Kari Ward (2008) and former advisor Megan Silbert (2003).

“These accolades affirm what we already know,” Tucker said. “Our advisors are world-class, and they are focused on providing an invaluable service to our outstanding students.”

Harris joined Heavener’s advising and career coaching staff in 2009 and was named the school’s Assistant Director of Academic Advising & Career Coaching in April 2013 because of her commitment to students and her excellence in programmatic management.

Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Education with a focus in College Student Personnel from Illinois State University.

Harris said the reward of working with such remarkable students motivates her daily.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my work with my impressive peers and pushing the Heavener students to reach their highest potential,” she said.