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Outstanding Academic Advisor - 2015

Joseph Wist

Joseph WistKnown for his passion in mentoring students, academic integrity, exceptional leadership, and extensive knowledge of policies and procedures, Joseph Wist, Associate Professor in the College of Engineering Technology, has been chosen as the 2015 recipient of the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.

Wist has been the primary advisor on the Grand Rapids Campus for the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program since 2000. He also teaches in the program. “[He is] friendly, outgoing, a hard worker and one who exemplifies the criteria listed for the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award,” says Debra Warwick. She continues, “Joe is positive in his interactions with staff and students. He always has a smile and can be counted on to meet with students when it is convenient for their schedule.”

Julie Rudolph says, “Joe is a mentor to his advisees from application/admissions through graduation. His colleagues comment on his willingness to bend over backwards to help students including coming in early or staying late to accommodate the varied schedules of students with diverse needs.” Amanda Mitchell notes, “Joe is always looking out for the best interest of the student and is flexible enough to accommodate and anticipate the needs of current and prospective students.”

“Advising is one of the favorite parts of my job,” says Wist. He explains that he gets “Great satisfaction seeing a student begin our program after following a customized transfer plan I have created for them.” Since his program has external transfers to the Grand Rapids campus, he creates a customized plan for each student taking into account transcripts from foreign colleges, military classes, CLEP exams, MACROA stamps, Consortium agreements, etc. He sees each transfer plan as a unique puzzle to solve and through his positive attitude in advising, takes students, as he says, “From the starting line (admittance) to the finish line (graduation).”

Wist and another faculty member created a ‘track’ and flow diagram for Manufacturing Engineering students to follow to ensure that they are not getting out of sequence with their requirements. This has lead to students taking ownership with their class selections and has improved student retention. Wist has also helped train numerous advisors and support staff for the Grand Rapids campus.