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Robin Rossie receives second Adviser of the Year award



After giving advice and occasional pep talks to thousands of students during her 20 years in the UF College of Education’s Office of Student Services, Robin Rossie has learned that one good question deserves another.

Robin for web

UF President Kent Fuchs presents longtime COE staff member Robin Rossie with her second Adviser of the Year award.

“A student might come in and say, ‘I’ve got a quick question,’ but there’s rarely a quick answer,” said Rossie, the COE’s 2015 Adviser of the Year. “Being a good adviser is all about asking questions behind the questions.”

Being a great listener also has worked well for the woman who walked away from a factory job to take a clerk typist position with student services. Six months later, she found herself acting in an advisory capacity for undergraduate students, and she’s been doing it ever since.

“I’ve stayed here because I love what I do and I care about our students,” said Rossie, who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in linguistics at UF. “I help them plan and map out their goals. Who wouldn’t love a job like that?”

And who wouldn’t love her doing a job like that? Among the countless alumni who have appreciated her efforts over the years are former UF ProTeach students Alicia Gardiner and Carolyn Smith.

“When I first met Robin, she was very warm and welcoming and wanted to personally get to know her students,” Gardiner wrote in a letter of support for Rossie, who won the same award in 2009. “This proved to me that I wasn’t [just] a number, but I actually had value. She wanted me to not only excel in my courses, but to enjoy them as well.

“She would tell me exactly what I needed and how I could go about getting it done,” Gardiner continued. “There was never a time when I left her office confused because she would thoroughly explain everything and was always open and willing to answer any questions I had.”

Smith, who worked in a summer job with Rossie, said her former mentor is the “oil for the wheels” that make the Office of Student Services run smoothly.

“Though her title is academic advisor, her role and impact within the College of Education exceeds her job description,” Smith wrote in another letter of support. “She not only is an expert advisor in matters of coursework and certification, but she offers her time as a mentor and a listening ear for those who need to process, ask questions and explore all avenues in the field of education.

“You will be well informed and equipped when you leave her office to pursue your goals,” Smith added. “Robin gives every individual her full attention and offers careful guidance in making big decisions.”

To Rossie, it’s all in a day’s work.

“Even though we’ve got computer systems with dashboards that place today’s students in more of a self-service mode, I still have face time with a lot of them,” she said. “I try to offer them insights that they wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“They know I’m there for them, and they seem grateful – even relieved – to get some guidance and direction. But what they don’t always know is that I’ll also be here for them when they change their minds.”

Contacts
Liaison: Larry Lansford, director, College of Education Office of News and Communications; llansford@coe.ufl.edu; phone 352-273-4137.
Writer: Stephen Kindland, College of Education Office of News and Communications; skindland@coe.ufl.edu; phone 352-273-3449.