Elli Ambros named Mason’s 2023 Undergraduate Academic Advisor of the Year


Elli Ambros from the George Mason University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences was recently named the V. Ann Lewis Academic Advisor of the Year in recognition of her outstanding care and commitment to supporting undergraduates’ academic achievement.

elli ambros with her award
Elli Ambros is Academic Advisor of the Year. Photo provided

Nearly 500 students nominated more than 100 academic advisors from across the university for the award.

“I am truly honored, grateful, and humbled to receive this award and recognition. Academic advising and working with students in a higher education setting has always been a passion of mine,” Ambros said. “Receiving numerous quality nominations is affirmation my contributions and efforts have made a positive impact.”

Ambros finds that building meaningful relationships with students and helping them achieve their academic goals is the most rewarding part of her advising role.

“I feel I have strong connections and rapport with most students by creating and providing a nonjudgmental, unbiased, and welcoming environment. After establishing a symbiotic and inclusive partnership, I actively listen to the student’s ideas, goals and concerns, and advise them accordingly,” she said. “Through collaborative efforts, we interpret and navigate Mason’s systems, curriculums, and resources. Assisting students to recognize their own strengths, potential, and resilience is the ultimate satisfaction.”

The students who work with Ambros value the connection and see her as an integral part of their academic success.

“Elli’s guidance and support have been invaluable to me throughout my academic journey,” said criminology, law and society major Max Vaughn, one of the students who nominated Ambros. “She has a fantastic ability to listen and understand each student’s unique situation and she always goes beyond to provide personalized advice and encouragement. She is an excellent academic advisor, mentor, and friend who genuinely cares about her students’ success.” 

The top 10 Mason undergraduate academic advisors are also recognized from the same pool of student nominations for Academic Advisor of the Year:

  • Martin Abruzzo, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Jada Crocker, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Julio Diaz, College of Public Health
  • Mary Getsey Bernier, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Ibrahim Kargbo, College of Public Health
  • Kurt Lazaroff, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Deborah Polayes, College of Science
  • Carson Tatton, School of Business
  • Kristin Tyburczy, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Vernell Wilks, College of Engineering and Computing

In addition, Shabnam Rezai of the School of Business received the Patriot Inspiration Award. This award recognizes a member of the Mason academic advising community who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to, understanding of, and application of effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in their academic advising of students. ​

Claudia Borke of the College of Computing and Engineering received the Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes a member of the Mason academic advising community who demonstrates strong advocacy for students within an academic unit or the university. This advisor is committed to a “student-first” perspective in academic advising practice by going above and beyond to advocate for students, or students in a particular population. ​