Religion Professor Named Faculty Advisor of the Year
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Rita Lester: Faculty Advisor of the Year

Rita Lester, professor of religion, was recognized as the 2019-2020 Faculty Advisor of the Year for her efforts in connecting with her students beyond the classroom.

Checking in with students is at the top of Rita Lester’s daily to-do list.

“Teaching is the side job,” said Lester, Professor of Religion. “The advising is what I love.”

Lester has been named Faculty Advisor of the Year for the 2019-2020 academic year. Student nominators said they see Lester often and when they don’t, they can always expect a message from her in their email inboxes.

“The thought of an advisor who you see once a semester for 20 minutes is foreign to me,” said one student nominator. “If I didn’t see Dr. Lester for a few days, I would get a ‘just checking to see if you are good’ email from her.”

Those check-ins proved to be critical last spring when NWU switched to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lester called each of her advisees during their time away to make certain they were doing ok.

“Quite honestly, I don’t know where I would be without Dr. Rita Lester as my academic advisor,” said another student nominator.