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Washington State University
College of Education

Sport Management advisor wins national award

Sport Management advisor wins national award

June 13, 2016

Perhaps it’s rugby. Perhaps that’s what makes Veronica Mendez-Liaina such a great academic advisor.

Mendez-Liaina was a rugby player herself back in the day, and leaning on that experience has put her in a position to best advise students in the College of Education’s Sport Management program.

“I wrote all my undergraduate papers on sports topics, so Sport Management was perfect,” she said.

She’s been advising in the program for three years and has the awards to prove it.

Now, she has another. The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has given her its Outstanding Advising Award in the Primary Advising category.

Mendez-Liaina, who originally graduated from WSU with a focus on public relations before returning to get her Master’s in higher education, said she brings her background in communication with her into the advising role.

“I’m all about the dream,” she said. “I ask my students, ‘What do you want to do?’ And then figure out how to help them achieve it.”

The nomination process is long and involves many people vouching for the nominee. After being nominated by a student, Mendez-Liaina was required to write an essay for the NACADA on her advising style and philosophy.

“I treat my students like family. I want them to walk into my office and feel at home. I try to create a trusting environment,” she said.

A number of advisors from around the community also wrote letters to the NACADA in support of her winning the award.

“I was happy to win this,” Mendez-Liaina said. “It feels good to be recognized for what you’re doing.”

Among her other recognitions include the Outstanding Advising Award from the NACADA’s WSU branch in 2015.

As a winner of this new award, Mendez-Liaina will be honored at the annual NACADA Conference held in Atlanta during October.

Read WSU News release