Here at Ursinus, the First-Year Advising Award is presented to advisors who have been exceptional helping freshmen transition into college life. This year’s recipient is Ryan Walvoord, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry.
Walvoord joined the faculty at Ursinus back in Fall 2016. Prior to joining Ursinus, he received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology. Attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and then conducted postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley.
According to the Ursinus College website, the award is based on “nominations from students and the winner is selected by a committee of past recipients.”
The award was presented to Walvoord at the Ursinus Day Academic Convocation (UDAC) by Interim Dean of Students and Co-Director of the Institute of Success, Missy Bryant.
From the website, during the award ceremony, Dean Bryant shared some words from a written student nomination
A student wrote, “Dr. Walvoord is very deserving of this award. He is extremely enthusiastic and is always willing to help his advisees if we have any questions. He encouraged me to take classes that I wanted to take and helped me change classes last minute at the beginning of the semester.”
Walvoord said it was a great surprise to receive the award, especially considering that he has only been working at Ursinus for a couple of years. He wanted to credit Professor Mark Ellison for mentoring him in serving as a first-year advisor. In terms of guiding his advisees, he said he likes to make sure they know that they have support systems in place for them that will enable them to make it through their first semesters.
He also tries to stress things such as self-care, and tries to ensure that first-year students are aware of all of the educational opportunities available to them. In terms of the resources he provides to his advisees, he goes over skills such as time efficiency and time management, and also takes them on a walking tour of campus when they first arrive here.
Dr. Walvoord enjoys advising and working through the unusual turns it can take, such as students wanting to change their major and deciding they want to study abroad. He believes that the relationship between an advisor and advisees should be different from the relationship between a professor and students because advisors are guiding students at Ursinus rather than evaluating and assessing them.