Recent SOIS Winners Include Angie Sandowsky, Toby Deutsch
Each year, the UWM Advisors and Counselors Network (ACN) recognizes outstanding commitment to student success with the Advisor of the Year Award. This year’s winner is SOIS Senior Advisor Brian Williams, who works with students in the undergraduate program. Brian joins previous SOIS Advisor of the Year awardees Angie Sandowsky (2016) and Toby Deutsch (2013) in upholding a standard of excellence in SOIS advising.
What makes a great advisor? “Someone who can step back and listen,” says Brian. “I always think about advising as a collaborative process,” he says. It’s also about providing information and clarity. “Almost like a human-Google in some ways,” an academic advisor should “provide the information and knowledge needed for a student to make the choices that are best for them,” he says.
Brian has worked in student service positions across campus since 2006, including financial aid, career advising, and academic advising. Before that, he was a UWM graduate student in community counselling and an undergraduate student in psychology. “I’m kind of a UWM lifer,” he says. Brian’s history with UWM is evident in his dedication to the entire campus community. “That’s my focus: giving back to students, giving back to UWM, giving back to SOIS, and making sure that we can continue to provide services that are useful to everybody,” he says.
What makes SOIS such a great place for advising? Brian says, “from the Dean all the way down, we have a great staff over here. There’s a lot of people who understand what academic advising is, the impact that it can have, and the reach that it can have for students, staff, faculty, and the university as a whole.” He also credits the community of advisors, both within SOIS and throughout campus. “We all work together really well. We encourage each other to ask questions, to be advocates for our students, to be advocates for the university, and to help all students.”
Brian says that he’s “grateful that folks see value in the quality of the work that I do. I see value in the quality of the work of lots of my co-workers.” “We’re all trying to provide the best service to students. We’re all trying to represent this campus in a way that is positive and productive.”