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Deborah L. Pollio receives 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising


Deborah L. Pollio Deborah L. Pollio

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2012 – Deborah L. Pollio, instructor and advisor in the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering, has received the 2012 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.

Pollio advises approximately 500 undergraduate students enrolled in the college at any given time. Engineering education is the academic “home” for all first-year engineering students. In addition, she advises all external and internal transfer students, and in the past, she has advised incoming freshmen who needed additional mathematical proficiency to meet the rigorous requirements for the engineering program. Pollio is also the contact person for many students outside the general engineering program as well as prospective students and their parents.

“Deborah consistently displays incredible compassion and kindness as she carefully works with students who are having academic problems while staying current in all university and college undergraduate policies," said Tom Walker, associate professor in engineering education. “She is so professional that advisors from other engineering departments often depend on her expertise.”

Pollio has sought out training in advising theory and skills and for many years, participated in monthly on-call training as well as campus climate meetings with the dean of students. She has been a member of a faculty study group focused on sophomore retention issues and served on the department’s quality enhancement plan committee. She is a course instructor and active participant in the university’s honor system.

In addition, Pollio maintained the department’s advising manuals and served as chair of the department’s advising committee, which helped to restructure the advising process within the department.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1997, Pollio earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree at Princeton University.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

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