Malerie Gamblin is Mason’s 2020 Academic Advisor of the Year

Malerie Gamblin is Mason's 2020 Academic Advisor of the Year. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

Malerie Gamblin in George Mason University’s School of Business has been named the V. Ann Lewis Academic Advisor of the Year, in recognition of outstanding care and commitment to supporting undergraduates’ academic development.

More than 100 advisors from across the university were nominated for the award by students, with 711 nominations in total.

“Winning Academic Advisor of the Year makes me feel like the time and attention I take with every student really makes a difference,” said Gamblin, who has worked at Mason since 2018. “Students often have come back to my office or emailed to let me know how much my advice helped them navigate through difficult times; that is what makes me get out of bed in the mornings.”

Gamblin, who began advising in Mason’s Early Identification Program, said her favorite part of the job is being able to help someone new every day, from providing academic advice to helping students set goals and priorities, manage relationships, and develop healthy self-care habits.

“[Gamblin] has always been there for me; even with difficult situations that have required multiple advising visits, she never gave up,” said junior marketing major Nicole Abys-Smith, who said she has received advising from Gamblin for a year and a half. “She is not only an advisor, but has always felt like a friend to me, and I think that is an important connection to have for your four years at Mason.” 

As a staff member, Gamblin said she has also formed meaningful connections.

“Earning this award is a reflection of the environment and other staff members in the Office of Student Success and Academic Services within the School of Business,” Gamblin said. “I know that the training, professional development opportunities, and consistent support from all the staff in our office contributed to my winning the award.” 

The top 10 Mason advisors who received the most student nominations were also recognized by the university:

-       Robert Yi (Art and Visual Technology)

-       Stormi Woltz (Kinesiology)

-       Kurt Lazaroff (Bachelor of Individualized Studies)

-       Claudia Borke (Bioengineering)

-       Lisa Nolder (Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering)

-       Michelle Seki (Sport, Recreation and Tourism Management)

-       Marty Abruzzo (Integrative Studies)

-       Thomas Winston (Cyber Security Engineering)

-       Krystal Dains (Information Sciences and Technology)

-       Patricia Granfield (Mathematics)

This year, Mason’s Academic Advisor of the Year Award was renamed after Ann Lewis, a longtime advocate for academic advising who worked at Mason for 23 years and retired in January.

“[Students] are highlighting an individual who has encouraged connection and prioritized their success, making their time at Mason more valuable,” said Erin McSherry, director of advising and retention in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “It is only fitting, then, that this award be renamed in honor of Ann Lewis.”

“Ann advocated for the student perspective and for advisors, and built relationships across campus to improve the experience for both,” McSherry said. “[The award] will continue to recognize our colleagues who have built environments in which students can thrive and advising is their key to success.”