NACADA Web Event

Redefining the Mid-Level: How Can We Retain Academic Advisors? (DW99)

Online Webinar Presentation
Thursday, November 5, 2020
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time

NACADA members register by Monday, October 5, 2020 to receive Early Bird Discount
Registration Deadline: midnight Central Time on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Webinar Overview

In higher education, mid-level practitioners face challenges that affect them both personally and professionally.  Some academic advisors seek advancement to the top, while others are happy in their roles as “helping professionals.” In 2016, a study by Marshall, Gardner, Hughes, & Lowery found the industry lost 41.7% of student affairs practitioners with between one to five years and 21.7% left after eight to ten years. When promotions are unavailable to this group, it can be difficult to find appreciation in their jobs. It’s the discovery of alternative pathways that might best afford mid-level academic advisors the best opportunities to aid in their professional development.  Join us for this webinar, sponsored by NACADA’s Advisor Training and Development Community, that will (1) review research relevant to the topic, (2) discuss career pathways within the niche of academic advising, (3) explore new ways to explore and enrich your own #HorizontalBranding, and (4) begin planning your revised career pathway.

Academic Advising Core Competencies that will be addressed in this presentation include:

Conceptual 1: The history and role of academic advising in higher education
Conceptual 4: Academic advising approaches and strategies
Relational 6: Facilitate problem solving, decision-making, meaning-making, planning, and goal-setting


Gavin Farber, Academic Advisor II, Temple University

Gavin Farber is an Academic Advisor II at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management. He has been in this role for nine years. He served the Temple advising community as Co-Chair of the Academic Advisor Group (AAG) from 2013-2016. His interest in the mid-level practitioner began organically as he became one and experienced the highs and lows of being in the middle.  Through his own #HorizontalBranding, reconfiguring his professional development through collaborations with colleagues to research and discuss this topic has offered a greater appreciation for this field. 

Gavin earned his Master of Arts in Higher Education from Rowan University in 2010 and Master of Science in Human Resource Management in 2016 from Temple University. He joined NACADA in 2012. His engaged in the association began in the Region 2 Mentoring Program in 2013 as a mentee and later served a mentor in 2015 and 2016. He has presented at NACADA state drive-ins, regional conferences, annual conference, and international conference the areas of mid-level advisors, advisor mentoring, and advisor training and development. Gavin was elected the Advisor Training and Development Advising Community Chair in 2018 and will serve as chair through October 2021. His association roles also include serving as the NACADA Region 2 Mentoring and Membership Coordinator and member of the NACADA Professional Development Committee and NACADA Webinar Advisory Board.

Carrie Egnosak, Academic Advisor, Penn State Behrend

Carrie Egnosak has served as an Academic Adviser in the Penn State system for over 14 years, at two Commonwealth Campuses. Currently, she serves on the NACADA Region 2 Steering Committee as the Western Pennsylvania Liaison, is an active member of the new NACADA Advisor Well-Being & Retention Community, and co-leads her campus Adviser Professional Development Series. Carrie also recently received the Excellence in Advising – Advisor Primary Role Certificate of Merit from Region 2. She is passionate about connecting, developing, and supporting advisers, having previously presented an on-line talk as well as at the local and regional levels on the development of adviser training programs, the importance of adviser well-being, and creating growth opportunities as a mid-level advising professional.

Locksley Knibbs, Lead Academic Advisor: Team Natural Science, College of Arts & Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University

Locksley Knibbs has served as the Lead Academic Advisor for Team Natural Sciences within the College of Arts & Sciences since the summer of 2016. Since then, he has been leading a team of Academic Advisors from the middle, delegating workload and various assignments as well as training and development. His position comes with detailed job descriptions and reporting lines but he finds that the role of Lead Academic Advisor is often ill-defined, and he struggles to lead from the middle, navigating the various pathways and career trajectory leading to Associate Director of Advising, Director of Advising, or the career trajectory leading to Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Advising or the Dean of Advising. He feels that this presentation offers him a real opportunity to share some of the good, bad, and the ugly of taking on the challenges of leading from the middle.

Shannan Schobinger, Assistant Director, Biology Academic Success Center, University of California Davis

Shannan has supported students in a variety of advising roles from coast to coast for the past nine years. She has served as a departmental advisor with a large advising caseload and has held mid-level advising roles that have included a blend of student advising, project management, leading student and professional staff, and managing up. With little room for professional advancement at multiple institutions, Shannan has sought out engagement opportunities on campus and with NACADA to contribute to the advising community, better meet the needs of undergraduate students, and work on her horizontal branding. She co-coordinated NACADA’s Region 5 mentoring program for two years, co-presented “Creating Your Career in Academic Advising” at a NACADA regional and annual conference, taught a course on professional preparation to junior and senior students preparing to complete an internship, and has served on campus advising professional development committees working toward creating professional growth opportunities for advisors. 

Lisa Yamin, Director of Undergraduate Programs, School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University

Lisa Yamin began her career as an Academic Advisor at Virginia Commonwealth in 2011.  Since that time, she has navigated several mid-level positions, and currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the School of Education. She served as the institution’s inaugural University Academic Advising Chair from 2014-2017 and the Professional Development Committee Chair from 2017-2019.

Lisa joined NACADA in 2012. Since joining, she participated in the Region 2 Mentoring Program in 2013 as a mentee and later served as a mentor in 2015 and 2016. She has presented on numerous topics at NACADA state drive-ins, regional conferences, and annual conference. Lisa served on the Peer Advising and Mentoring Community steering committee from 2014-2016 and the committee chair from 2016-2018. Lisa is also very active in Region 2, having served on many drive-in and region conference committees. She served as the 2020 Region 2 Conference Chair and will serve in that role again in 2022. Lisa also serves Region 2 as the Virginia Liaison to NACADA.

Lisa is currently working on her EdD in Higher Education Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2021.