Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Four Mason Engineering advisors recognized for their efforts

April 8, 2020   /   by Ryley McGinnis

Four Mason Engineering advisors across different departments have been named among the top 10 Mason advisors of the year.

Lisa Nolder, Thomas Winston, Krystal Dains, and Claudia Borke were all nominated by students and recognized by Mason for their accomplishments.

In one student nomination, Lisa Nolder, associate director for undergraduate programs in the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering, was described as helpful and positive.

Nolder says of her role: “Being the sole academic advisor for the department provides me with the ability and autonomy to intervene, refer, and advocate for my students and take an active role in my students' academic lives, which is very fulfilling. I suggest that they set long-term goals and try to keep their eye on the big picture, especially when their classes get tough.”

Assistant Professor and Faculty Advisor for Cyber Security Thomas Winston was called charismatic, knowledgeable, and always willing to talk and listen to students.

“I am always happy to help students succeed before during and after their time at Mason,” Winston says. “I tell my students to follow their passion, work toward their dreams and goals, and that nothing is out of reach with hard work, persistence, and diligence. Whether it's inside the classroom, during an advising session, or five years after they graduate, my students know they can reach out to me any time.”   

Krystal Dains, the bachelor of applied science academic program coordinator for the Department of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), was described as dedicated to the students she advises. They said she advocates for them to have a well-rounded Mason experience.

Dains says her favorite part about her job is working one-on-one with IST majors.

“My students come from diverse backgrounds and different walks of life,” she says. “I have adult learners who have returned to college to finish their degree or embark on a new career path. I have traditional students just beginning their professional journey. I have students in my program from all over the world. I love learning from my students, and hearing about their journeys.”

Claudia Borke, the academic advisor for the Department of Bioengineering, was praised for her kindness and understanding. Even when students make mistakes, she works to ensure they get their degrees.

“Interacting with students is enriching. Advising confronts you with new and everchanging situations that often require creative thinking. Students keep you young at heart and the energy is simply uplifting,” says Borke. “It makes me very happy to hear their feedback and to know that advisors do matter and reflect positive outcomes for our students.”

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