Four University of Central Florida staff and faculty members have been honored as some of the nation’s top academic advisers of the year.

Robin Kohn, coordinator of the Bachelor of Social Work program at UCF, has been selected as a 2011 Outstanding Advising Award winner in the Faculty Academic Advising category by the National Academic Advising Association.

Melissa Dagley, director of Academic Affairs and Advising in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, was recognized as one of the top advisers in the administrator category.

Abby Riggenbach, coordinator of Academic Advising Services in the Office of Pre-Professional Advising, was honored as an outstanding new adviser in the category for employees whose primary job is advising.

Marva Ellington, an adviser in Criminal Justice, won a certificate of merit in the category for employees whose primary job is advising.

Kohn is known for her tireless support of social work students. Her award recognizes outstanding academic advising by an individual whose primary responsibility is teaching and who also advises students.

“I see students both in the classroom and during advising sessions, where we develop an academic plan and discuss career goals,” Kohn said. “It’s so rewarding to watch students evolve, both professionally and personally. I’m deeply honored such value is placed on what I do.”

Kohn is a licensed clinical social worker who joined UCF’s School of Social Work as an instructor in 1996. Since 2001, she also has served as coordinator of the B.S.W. program, which enrolled 306 students last fall.

As program coordinator, Kohn helps develop the curriculum, implements policies and procedures, teaches clinical courses, and advises students.  Each spring, she leads several hundred UCF social work students to Advocacy Day in Tallahassee, where they advocate for the needs of diverse and highly vulnerable populations – and routinely win a statewide award for outstanding participation.

Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The UCF winners will be formally presented the award this October at NACADA’s Annual Conference in Denver.