State Grant Winners

State Grant Winners-Professional (Established 2015)


Year Name Institution
2016 Anna Mrdeza Oakland University
2016 Linda Smith Madonna University
2016 Leijhi Koval Grand Valley State University
2015 Rachel Hahn Davenport University
2015 Amy Kline Davenport University
2015 Adam McChesney Oakland University

State Grant Winners-Graduate Student (Established 2015)


Year Name Institution
2016 Olivia Khleif Madonna University
2016 Valerie Skubick Oakland University
2016 Ashleigh Turner University of Michigan
2015 Stefanie Janes
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2015 State Grant Winners-Graduate Student
Stefanie Janes


2015 MIACADA State Grant Recipient
Learning Outcomes
Stefanie Janes
Oakland University

The opportunity to attend the Michigan Academic Advising Association (MIACADA) State Conference was rewarding and enriching to my personal and professional goals. From the pre-conference, mentorship program and breakout sessions I was able to challenge my knowledge about higher education and advising as well as become familiar with new opportunities to get involved as a new professional.

During the pre-conference, I was surrounded by a wealth of knowledge from multiple institutions and professionals who displayed enthusiasm for academic advising. The desire to pass on historical, theoretical and experiential information was apparent in each presenter as they shared with a crowd of budding advisers. I was pleased to be able to meet my mentor, Shannon Burton, at the pre-conference making our interactions intentional and in-depth throughout the entire conference. Talking with Shannon allowed me to pinpoint some of my own interests in advising and provided a clear path on how to begin acting on them. For example, I learned about how to contribute the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) publications through writing for blogs, book reviews and even journals. Our conversations became goals and even dreams for how I can impact students and academic advising.

As the theme of the conference boasted the ten-year anniversary of MIACADA, it was apparent that a long line of professionals have paved a path to improve on academic advising practices and student advocacy. I was inspired to hear about the beginnings of MIACADA in former president Deb Dotterer’s keynote address. Knowing that there are so many seasoned academic advisers who have a passion for bettering services offered to our students through professional development encouraged me to continuously strive to provide the most accurate and comprehensive services to enhance each student’s success. The fervor for excellence continued throughout the day as I attended breakout sessions.

I was fortunate enough to be able to present at the MIACADA State Conference as a Graduate Assistant for Second Year Experience along with a colleague. This opportunity was encouraging through hearing positive feedback and audience members’ interest in learning more about the program. Presenting as a young professional energized me to continue moving forward in the goals I am already working toward while soaking up information from other expert professionals. The remaining breakout sessions both challenged my current knowledge through learning about narrative advising and spoke to some of the issues I am already aware of such as access to higher education in our society.

Overall, I left the conference feeling excited to continue and expand upon the work that has been done in academic advising to best help students succeed in a critical period in their life. Having been surrounded by familiar and new faces both seasoned and young professionals, it was an honor to be in the presence of a legacy of academic advisers and student affairs professionals. Thank you to the board for the valuable opportunity to attend the 2015 MIACADA State Conference!


Oakland University
2015 Lauren Creed
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2015 State Grant Winners-Graduate Student
Lauren Creed


2015 MIACADA Conference Learning Outcomes
Lauren Creed
Oakland University

As an aspiring academic adviser, the 2015 MIACADA State Conference allowed for the opportunity to network and learn more about the field of advising. Upon arriving to the conference the environment was positive and welcoming. The keynote speaker, Debra Dotterer, delivered an uplifting speech emphasizing the strength of a single thought for change. It was motivating learning about the many efforts put fourth by advising professionals over time to develop MIACADA into what it is today.

As a volunteer for the conference, I was assigned as a moderator for the first two concurrent sessions. As a moderator I was able to connect with advising professionals and assist them with their presentation needs. During concurrent session one I learned an abundance about the past MIACADA presidents. As the current president, Heidi Purdy, asked questions to the panel of past presidents I learned much more about them as individuals as well as advising professionals. It was inspirational learning about their passions and path to advising. The past presidents stressed the value of obtaining different advising roles and learning to speak the language of the discipline in order to better connect with students and faculty. It was very insightful learning about the past and goals for the future of MIACADA during the Celebration of 10 Wonderful Years of MIACADA session.

During lunch, I had the opportunity to participate in the mentoring connection. My mentor, Jennifer McCaul, not only had an expansive advising past but was also a past MIACADA president. We had the opportunity to connect with another aspiring adviser at the table. Jennifer was able to share her insight and information regarding job searching and the field of advising with us during lunch. This program proved to be beneficial as it allowed for a more personal and authentic connection between aspiring and seasoned advisers.

For concurrent session three I chose to attend a session on proactive advising presented by Rachel Pawlowski. It was explained that proactive advising is, in a sense, a theory of advising. I found the description provided by Rachel very informational and uplifting. Learning realistic advising strategies in order to better assist students allowed the audience, as well as myself, to leave the session feeling motivated to improve their advising skills. I hope to incorporate proactive advising into my future advising practice.

The 2015 MIACADA State Conference proved to be an extremely valuable experience. I learned a great deal about advising as well as made extremely beneficial connections. As an aspiring adviser it is a day I will never forget. All of the sessions I attended provided a platform for constructive professional discussion. During the sessions I appreciated the questions and insight shared by other advisers in the audience. The additional programs and opportunities I was involved in, such as the mentoring connection and volunteering, proved to be extremely informational. The conference planning committee did a great job facilitating connections between new and seasoned advisers. The closing ceremony was filled with laughter and newfound connections. I left the conference feeling connected and inspired. I am looking forward to attending another MIACADA or NACADA conference in the near future.

Oakland University
2015 Katie Simons Oakland University