Texas Tech University

2019 - Award Winners

President's Excellence Award in Academic Advising

Haleigh Riza

Haleigh Riza receives award from Dr. Schovanec

Senior Academic Advisor
University Advising

Haleigh views academic advising through a developmental lens. She strives to maintain an empathetic and non-judgmental mindset to allow her advising to revolve around the needs of the student. She notes that success in advising, especially in Xplore Advising, is as variable as the students. Sometimes success is in broadening the horizons for a foreclosed student; other times, success is learning that a student has discovered a true fit major. Colleagues describe Haleigh as a true active ally for students. Haleigh's supervisor, Connie Watson, believes that Haleigh serves as an example for new staff with her curiosity for learning and her professional growth as an academic advisor.


  • Chris Kelley
  • Diana Sierra
  • Jennifer Principe
  • Jeremy Herrera
  • Serena Sosa
  • Abed Monawar

Stacy Elliott

Stacy receives her award from Dr. Schovanec.

Lead Academic Advisor
College of Media & Communication

Stacy's advising philosophy has always been student centered. She believes that every student has the right to discover his or her own path for success. She sees her job as supporting the growth and development of the student. Emails from parents attest to the impact of her individualized, personalized advising approach. Her supervisor in the College of Medial and Communications says of Stacy, "She truly goes over and beyond to help students learn life skills valuable well past graduation. It is an honor not only to nominate Stacy but to act as her supervisor and to watch in awe as she continues to impact the lives of our students on a daily basis."


  • Treasa Austin
  • Sara Dennis
  • Linda Rumbelow
  • Jennifer Maddox
  • David Luna
  • Carla Burris

Chance Brooks, Ph.D.

Dr. Brooks receives his award from Dr. Schovanec.

Department of Animal and Food Sciences
College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR)

Dr. Brooks is very dedicated to his role as an academic advisor, and works with both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. From judging undergraduate research competitions to mentoring undergraduate researchers to working with local high school students, Dr. Brooks advocates for students. He carries a far greater undergraduate advising population than most faculty in his department in addition to advising masters and PhD students. Dr. Brown, Dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources notes, “to be an effective mentor, you must have a servant attitude, and Change has just that.”


  • Peter Martens, Ph.D.

Sarah Schwintz

Sarah receives her award from Dr. Schovanec

Director of Student Services
University Programs

Sarah describes her director role in University Programs and Student Success as truly servant leadership, intentionally designed to enrich the lives of advisors, build a great institution, and create a more trusting and caring world for students to thrive and succeed. Sarah is active in campus and professional organizations designed to enhance professional development and promote student success. Dr. Marcus Tanner noted Sarah's tireless work to facilitate student success in University Studies through advising excellence, collaborative relationships, and faculty involvement. As Dr. Levario noted, "[Sarah] is the model many should emulate and someone Texas Tech University is fortunate to have as an administrator, colleague, and community member.


  • Kathy Nordstrom
  • Ashlee Brown

College of Visual & Performing Arts

The Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts receives its award from Drs. Schovanec and Stewart.

  • Kathy Nordstrom
  • Linda Rumbelow
  • Linda Gregston
  • Beth Scheckel

The J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts academic advising team consists of Kathy Nordstrom, Linda Rumbelow, Linda Gregston, and Beth Scheckel. This program has developed the team attitude within the college, with other departments within the university, and with other institutions in the larger community as well. According to Kathy Nordstrom, this advising program provides assistance and support for students from orientation to graduation, centered upon the goal of empowering students to focus on furthering and completing their education rather than handling more prosaic problems related to administration. Dean Zahler notes that "Consistent in expertise, empathy, and approach, the Talkington College's advising team is a superlative example of the power a dedicated team of professionals has to impact the life of our college and the university as a whole."


College of Education
  • Anna Hatton
  • Cheryl Shaffer
  • Chris Corona
  • Chris Covarrubio
  • Karen Noles
  • Lyndsey Crawford
College of Human Sciences
  • Ashlee W. Brown
  • Dolores Salas-Marmolejo
  • Donna Burt
  • Cindy Villegas
  • Kourtney Rodriguez
  • Tim Spees
  • Amber Loy
Academic Recovery Advising (University Advising)
  • Wayne Perrin
  • Adam Alaniz
  • Devin Fields