Two advisors honored with statewide awards

Lerner and Drees
Pictured left to right are Dr. Anne-Marie Lerner and Karen Brenner Drees.

Dr. Anne-Marie Lerner, assistant department chair and associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Karen Brenner Drees, academic advisor and coach, are both being recognized by the Wisconsin Academic Advising Association for excellence in advising.

The Wisconsin Academic Advising Awards recognize individuals – from any higher education institution in Wisconsin – who work with students in an academic advising capacity and demonstrate outstanding dedication to the profession of academic advising.

Lerner is receiving the 2020 WACADA Faculty Advisor Excellence Award.

“I’m so fortunate to work in such a supportive environment for faculty advising,” said Lerner. “My colleagues are great role models and wonderful resources that I can always go to for advice. I think this award just really affirms our values of accessibility and student-focused learning at UW-Platteville and confirms what a great place it is to be.”

Lerner advises about 60 mechanical engineering students a year.

“My favorite part of advising is developing those one-on-one relationships with students and being a small part of their lives as they grow and develop into productive members of their respective communities,” said Lerner. “Graduation is especially poignant – it’s so gratifying to see them make it through and start the next phase of their life. And of course, I love catching up with my alumni.”

Lerner earned her Ph.D. and Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Drees is receiving the 2020 WACADA Advising Excellence Award. As an academic advisor and coach with UW-Platteville’s Academic Support Programs, Drees manages a caseload of 150 students, helping them to succeed and graduate, as well as helps transition transfer students to campus and participates in New Student Registration. She also teaches sections of the Intro to College Life course.

“I am very excited and surprised to hear I received this award at the state level. I enjoy working with students and helping them find ways to succeed,” she said.  “It’s nice to know that my work is being noticed, and it’s an honor to be recognized for this work by my colleagues.”

Drees earned her bachelor’s degree in social science from California State University, Chico, and her master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from Indiana State University. She joined UW-Platteville’s Academic Support Programs’ team three years ago.

Lerner and Drees will be recognized at the 2020 WACADA conference, hosted virtually by the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Sept. 24.