Texas A&M Award Recognizes Environmental Programs Coordinator

Apr 30, 2015

Emily Dykes receives third award this year for advising.

Described by a student as “one of the greatest assets that our major has to offer,” Emily Dykes, program coordinator in Environmental Programs in the Geosciences, will receive the Ed Guthrie Advisor Award on May 7.

After graduating cum laude with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, Dykes was hired in 2008 to establish the academic advising office for a newly reorganized Environmental Programs and to build the advisor position from the ground up.

In exit surveys, students consistently score her performance between 4.8 and 5, the highest mark. “No one cared as much,” wrote one student. “A+.” Many students throughout the years simply state: “Emily is amazing.”  

Since its inception in 2002 enrollment in Environmental Programs in the Geosciences has had one of the largest percentage increases in the university especially after 2006, and Dr. Christian Brannstrom, director and professor of geography, credits Dykes for making the programs friendly and accessible while managing a large increase in enrollment.

“Emily has developed several valuable initiatives that indicate her concern for student welfare,” Brannstrom said, citing her leadership in not only recruiting and retaining students, but also creating socialization events and student networking opportunities, organizing an annual former student tailgate, developing a strong social media presence, advising the EPIC student organization, establishing pathways for transfer students and founding a yearly environmental careers panel.

“Emily’s career with us is exemplary of our best commitments to support our teaching mission because of the care and compassion with which she advises our current Environmental Geosciences and Environmental Studies students,” Brannstrom said.

During this academic year, Dykes has been named a Fish Camp Namesake, and she received the Texas A&M President’s Advising award and the College of Geosciences Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2011, she received the college’s annual Runnels Advising Award.

“We appreciate Emily’s many accomplishments at the college level, and it is gratifying to see university-wide recognition for her outstanding contributions to student success,” said Dr. Kate Miller, dean. 

Established in 1990, the Ed Guthrie Advising Award is given by the University Advisors and Counselors organization. The award recognizes the efforts of faculty and staff members who exemplify former advisor Dr. Ed Guthrie’s spirit and concern for students’ welfare combined with skillful and insightful advisement.

Dykes will be honored at a breakfast May 7. 

By Karen Riedel