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Statler College now utilizes fully centralized student advising center

Michelle Poland advising a student.

Michelle Poland advising a student.

With the transition to centralized student advising in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources complete, students are able to access primary-role academic advisors 12 months out of the year from the Statler College Advising Center so the College can continue to support student success.

Story by Tara Heffernan, Multi-Media Specialist
Photos by J. Paige Nesbit, Marketing Director


Many students have received advice from the Statler College Advising Center, which serves students by answering questions on scheduling, career planning, next steps, extracurriculars, changes to a major or periodic check-ins to make sure students are still on track to meet their academic goals.

Samuel Olsavsky, a junior dual major in aerospace and mechanical engineering, visits the Statler College Advising Center multiple times a semester.

“I believe the Advising Center has been a tremendous help throughout my college career so far,” says Olsavsky. “From starting out as a freshman up through now, I’ve always had questions relating to what classes I should be taking in a given semester, what to expect from those classes, as well as the difficulty of the classes. Having the knowledge of what to expect going into a class definitely helps prepare you for it, especially when you start getting into the more difficult classes.”

For senior mechanical engineering student Anthony Abrahamian, the Statler College Advising Center is an important resource to help stay on track toward graduation.

“They have helped me keep my schedule straight to make sure I graduate on time and point me in the right direction of who to talk to for all sorts of engineering opportunities on campus,” explained Abrahamian.

According to industrial engineering senior Robert Gianniny, having access to dedicated advisors has helped him plan out his future.

“The Statler College Advising Center has been great for anything from a quick sanity check to broad academic and career planning,” said Gianniny. “I’ve been able to strategize on schedules, extracurriculars, and how my plans for each semester translate to graduate school or full-time employment.”

Gianniny connects with the Advising Center once or twice a semester and recommends other students do the same.

“The reason is that the advisors focus on listening before advising. I find that all my advisors have taken the opportunity to learn about me and my goals, and tailor their advice based on that information,” said Gianniny “The center also provides a great opportunity and space to reflect on what you want to achieve while at WVU.”

The Statler College Advising Center began in the fall of 2018 with two advisors focused on the Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Each consecutive semester over the next two years, other departments transitioned into this advising model. The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was the final department to move to a centralized advising center in the fall of 2020.

“Academic advising, and all aspects related to it, has significantly changed over the last five years,” said Michelle Poland, director and academic advisor of the Statler College Advising Center. “Advisors are not only responsible for academic progression tracking but providing support for many other resources at the campus, assisting with financial aid concerns, monitoring timeline to graduation, and guiding students through the University and its policies.”

At the close of the summer 2022 semester, as part of the University’s ongoing academic transformation Glen H. Hiner Dean Pedro Mago made the decision to fully transition the Fundamentals of Engineering Program into this advising model, which means all undergraduate students in the College are now advised by a centralized office. This summer, four new advisors joined the Advising Center.

“The role of our advisors is more important than ever. They are an excellent resource for our students, and we are thankful for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering support for our students and the Statler College community,” said Dean Mago. “Their contribution is crucial for our students’ success as they navigate their program of study in the different departments and experiential learning activities in the College and WVU."

“Our advising team is passionate about our students' successes,” said Poland. “We have many students that are stellar students, but face challenges outside of the classroom. We also have students that struggle academically due to similar challenges outside of the classroom. Each advisor works one-on-one with each of their students to not only monitor progression to graduation, but also to navigate the University and its resources. Many on our team are Mental Health First Aid certified and actively participate in additional professional training for best practices.”

The Office of the Provost recently named Joy Carr as the first director of University Advising. This new position demonstrates the University’s commitment to student success outcomes and allows for consistent experiences across campus and majors, as well as a more robust and consistent training for primary-role advisors.

For more information, please visit Statler College Advising Center’s website.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135