BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2011 – Jack Evans, advanced instructor and director of academic advising in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2011 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.
Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising is presented annually by the Office of the Provost to a Virginia Tech faculty member who has been particularly dedicated to and effective at advising undergraduate students. Recipients may be nominated by faculty members or students, are selected by a committee of former award winners, receive a $2,000 prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Academic Excellence.
The Department of Biological Sciences currently serves more than 1,700 undergraduate majors, more than any other department at Virginia Tech. Of that total, Evans serves as the primary academic advisor to more than 400 of those students, and provides both structured and informal training for approximately 35 biological science faculty and staff advisors.
“He is committed to helping each student succeed to the best of his or her ability and is always willing to put in the time to help students achieve success, whether that involves graduating on time, or gaining admission to a graduate or professional school, or entering the job market,” said Richard A. Walker, associate professor and associate department head for the Department of Biological Sciences. “He maintains an excellent balance between providing guidance and requiring students to invest in and take responsibility for their academic careers.”
Evans also organizes a group of freshmen faculty advisors who meet specifically with first-semester majors for the purpose of making the large department more approachable to students.
In addition, he is an active advisor for several clubs, including the nursing, optometry, and pharmacy clubs. He served on the university’s Pre-Med Committee, and as that office has evolved into Office of Health Professions this past year, he has taken on a major advisory role to assist the new director.
“Dr. Evans has made a huge impact on who I am in all aspects of my life,” wrote undergraduate student Kayla Otto in a letter of reference for this award. “Without him, I don’t know where I would be in my academic career.”
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2000, Evans received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada at Reno and a master's degree and Ed.D. from Virginia Tech.
The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college offers programs in cutting-edge areas including, among others, those in energy and the environment, developmental science across the lifespan, infectious diseases, computational science, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The College of Science is dedicated to fostering a research-intensive environment that promotes scientific inquiry and outreach.