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Poland receives Excellence in Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association

Michele Poland sitting at her desk with a student in the advising center.

Michelle Poland earned a Region 3 Advising Administrator Certificate of Merit from the National Academic Advising Association. 

Navigating through higher education for any student can be challenging and overwhelming. An adviser in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University has been nationally recognized for her role in guiding students on the path to academic success.

Story by Brittany Furbee, Communications Specialist
Photos by Paige Nesbit, Director of Marketing


As Director and Academic Adviser for the Statler College Advising Center, Michelle Poland has demonstrated passion and dedication to helping students throughout their academic journeys. Her commitment as an adviser recently earned Poland a Region 3 Advising Administrator Certificate of Merit from the National Academic Advising Association.  

This award from NACADA recognizes individuals who provide direct academic advising services to students and have served as administrators or directors of an academic advising program for three years or more in that role.  

“Michelle earned this award in a field of strong competitors from five states – Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia,” said Joy Carr, director of university advising at WVU. “In order to win, an administrator must demonstrate exceptional professionalization practices in addition to high-quality interpersonal and relationship-building skills. Michelle is well-known at WVU for her generosity in sharing her experience, procedures and insights with new advisers and administrators.” 

“I am honored and humbled to have been nominated and then selected for this award,” Poland said. “I am grateful for my team of advisers and all that they do to support our Statler students. It is a testament to the full team that I was selected for this award within the Statler College Advising Center's first five years.” 

Poland is a two-time graduate of the Statler College with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering in 2006 and 2008, respectively. She joined the Statler College as an academic success program coordinator in 2013 and was named director of the Statler College Advising Center in 2018. Poland was instrumental in helping the College transition into a centralized student advising model that rolled out earlier this year, allowing students to have access to primary-role academic advisers 12 months out of the year.  

“During my first years as an academic adviser within the college, I advocated for a centralized experience for our students,” said Poland. “It has been exciting to steer the college to the frontlines of academic transformation and build the advising center into a reality for our students.” 

“Michelle has led the transition of the Statler College to a centralized model where professional advisers guide students through the complexities of plans of study, financial aid and opportunities available through the College and University,” said Robin Hissam, associate dean of academics and student performance. “Her and her team have made a positive impact in each student’s experience.” 

Throughout her tenure at West Virginia University, Poland has received many accolades and awards including the National Academic Advising Association’s Outstanding New Adviser Award for the state of West Virginia in 2014, Outstanding Adviser for the Statler College in 2015 and Statler College Outstanding Adviser of the Year in 2017. 

“Since the inception of the advising awards in 2005, only five WVU advisers have won, including Michelle’s previous win as Excellence in Advising: New Adviser in 2014,” said Carr. “This is the first advising administrator award for WVU, and I cannot think of anyone more fitting for such an honor.” 

Polland will be recognized during the 2023 NACADA Region 3 Conference in Wilmington, North Carolina on March 23-25.  



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