Georgia Southern professor named 2019 merit recipient of Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award

Sarah Smith

A Georgia Southern University College of Education professor received the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award by the National Academic Advising Association and will be considered for the award at the national level.

Steven Tolman, Ed. D., was honored to receive this award but believes it could be given to the educational leadership faculty as a whole as his colleagues also go above and beyond in the work they do with students as well.

“I strive to create a learning and advising environment for our online students that parallels the experience they would receive in a classroom. This award affirms that I am doing just that,” Tolman said in an email.

Nominations are recommended based on the person’s interpersonal skills, attitude towards the students, availability and amount of contact with students and monitoring student progress toward academic and career goals.

“A generous amount of my responsibility has been in cultivating and maintaining longstanding relationships to enhance opportunities for students,” Tolman said in an email. “As a faculty member within a higher education graduate program, I believe it is my privilege and responsibility to engage graduate students within my research to afford them professional development.”

Tolman primarily teaches online through Skype but is also available through phone and in-person. His scheduling is done through YouCanBookMe, which allows students to schedule appointments at their convenience with access to his calendar.

Tolman recognizes that many online students live in Atlanta and travels to the city once a semester and holds office hours to meet with them at a local coffee shop. Additionally, he holds similar office hours at all of the national conferences he attends.

Tolman strives to make sure that he is available to his students now and in the future.

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne Candidate,