Nelson named Outstanding Academic Advisor

July 14, 2014
Dr. Travis Nelson

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Travis Nelson, associate professor of political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, has been named UW-Platteville’s Outstanding Academic Advisor for the 2013-14 academic year.

The purpose of the award is to recognize UW-Platteville faculty who are making critical contributions to the educational environment through advising. UW-Platteville students, faculty and colleagues may submit nominations for this award.

Each year, the university names an Outstanding Academic Advisor from each of its three colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Education; College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture; and College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. Members of UW-Platteville’s University Academic Advising Team then choose one of the recipients to receive the all-campus award.

“This award is important to me because I value and genuinely enjoy my advising work,” said Nelson. “It is an opportunity for me not only to help students who are struggling but also to encourage and support those of my advisees who are really flourishing at UW-Platteville. Successful students benefit from careful advising as much as less successful students.”

“For me, the main key to successful advising is effective communication. Students need to know that I am invested in their success and be comfortable asking me all sorts of questions – about their classes, their internships, their graduation, their careers and more. I may not know the answer, but I can help them figure out how to find it.”

Nelson, who received his Ph.D. from UW-Madison in 2006, has been a faculty member at UW-Platteville since 2010. He advises students as a part of the political science, international studies and social and environmental justice programs and also serves as an advisor for the Lacrosse Club, Advocates for Choice and the Global Exploration Living Learning Community.

“Travis is a valuable member of the department of social sciences,” said Dr. Rosalyn Broussard, professor of political science and director of the ethnic studies program at UW-Platteville. “As both his senior colleague and office neighbor, I have had numerous opportunities to observe his interaction with students. He is an excellent advisor. He is regularly available and clearly has great rapport with not only his advisees, but with all students.”

“I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of his advisees on several occasions and all sing his praise as an excellent advisor,” continued Broussard. “Students give him high marks on his ability to understand their needs. Most important, they see him as someone who genuinely cares about their well-being and future, both inside and outside the classroom.”

As a winner of the award, Nelson received a $500 honorarium and a recognition plaque. He will be honored during the university’s faculty and staff convocation on Aug. 28.

This past spring, Nelson was awarded the spring 2014 College of Liberal Arts and Education Outstanding Academic Advisor Award at the college’s recognition reception.

In addition, this past spring, the National Academic Advising Association awarded Nelson with the Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising. He will be honored at a special awards ceremony and reception at the annual NACADA Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. this fall as part of the 2014 Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising.

NACADA is an international, educational association of individuals engaged in academic advising and committed to enhancing the educational development of students. The NACADA Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising, established in 1983, recognizes and honors individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.

Members of UW-Platteville’s University Academic Advising Team selected one name to send on to the NACADA national competition, chosen from the recipients of the college advising awards.

Contact: Dr. Travis Nelson, Department of Social Sciences, (608) 34201809,

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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