On May 27, the U’s Academic Advising Community (UAAC) declared Jen Wozab to be the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Experienced Advisor Award. The conferral of this award confirms what so many of our Transform students already know: Jen is an amazing and indispensable advisor!
Jen joined Transform as our Student Support Coordinator in July of 2017 and from the beginning immersed herself in the development of our brand-new School. From curriculum and infrastructure, to creating opportunities for community-building, Jen is integral to ensuring student-perspective is central to our growth as a school.
On an individual level, Jen is astute in building class schedules that fit logistically, but also feel exciting to the students. She connects students to campus resources such as scholarships and financial aid, mental-wellness support, and opportunities to build skills. She is efficient, but also takes the time to get to know students and their individual goals and needs.
One of the student nominators for the award said: “Jen has worked tirelessly to help us build a community in Transform. This effort is bringing students and faculty together outside a classroom context which helps students develop relationships with the faculty and staff, which also helps us feel more confident talking to our professors when we have issues in class.” For students who often find themselves marginalized by institutions, this sense of empowerment is invaluable.
Jen’s work also has wide-reaching effects. Recently, her work with the U’s Graduation Office on behalf of Transform helped to create a process for all university graduating students to have their preferred names printed on their diplomas and on all convocation materials. Furthermore, Jen’s keen attention to student needs – and particularly the needs of underserved and non-traditional students – has been crucial for Transform and campus leadership as we navigate campus closure during the pandemic. Words of praise fall short in capturing the range and depth of Jen’s passion for her work in supporting our students. As the winner of the 2013 UAAC New Academic Advisor Award and as the current Outstanding Experienced Advisor awardee, Jen becomes the University of Utah’s nominee for the 2021 NACADA National Outstanding Advising Award. We can’t wait to find out if the nation is ready to also recognize Jen’s awesomeness!