GSE graduate receives national advising awards

AvilaOsvaldo F. Avila, BS ’07, MS ’14, a graduate of the Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s program, has received a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Advising for 2013, as well as a Wesley R. Habely NACADA Summer Institute Scholarship, both from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Mr. Avila will be honored at a special awards ceremony and reception at the annual NACADA conference in Salt Lake City this fall. As a Summer Institute Scholarship winner, he will also be honored with a complimentary registration to the 2014 NACADA Summer Institute in Portland, OR.

Mr. Avila was nominated for the award by his director at Western Oregon University, Karen Sullivan-Vance. He serves as a role model for his students, showing success at the university level. “As a first-generation Mexican-American, bicultural, bilingual, first-generation college graduate, and now an academic advisor, I am inspired to develop effective and culturally appropriate advising strategies for Latino/a, minority, and underrepresented students,” he says. “I am continuing to gather knowledge, best practices and strategies in higher education that work for Latino/as.”

Osvaldo is the current Bilingual Academic Advisor in the Academic Advising and Learning Center for Western Oregon University. He has a strong relationship with PSU: he earned a BS in liberal studies, a certificate in Chicano/Latino studies, a Teaching Adult Learners Graduate Certificate, and a PACE master’s degree. He is the first in his family to receive a graduate degree.


NACADA promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students. NACADA provides a forum for discussion, debate, and the exchange of ideas pertaining to academic advising through numerous activities and publications. NACADA also serves as an advocate for effective academic advising by providing a consulting and speaker service and funding for research related to academic advising.

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