Jessica Watts, a Coordinator for Leadership in University Housing & Dining, was selected as the winner for the Mabel Strong Outstanding Advisor of the Year by the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (MACURH). She was presented with the award earlier this month at the MACURH Regional Business Conference in February 2019.
Nominated for her commitment to students’ success at the University of Iowa, Watts is no stranger to helping others succeed. She began her advising journey with University Housing & Dining as a Residence Education Coordinator, where she advised students in Associated Residence Halls (ARH) and in planning of the 2017 MACURH Regional Leadership Conference hosted here at the University.
These experiences had a profound impact on her, and thus her job responsibilities shifted to a primary focus on expanding leadership opportunities within Residence Education. She is tasked with advising and mentoring students, training the hall association advisors, monitoring budgets, and advising the execution of the Residence Hall Leadership Retreat, amongst many other responsibilities.
Watts was nominated by the executive boards of ARH and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). “One of Jessica’s greatest qualities as an advisor is her ability to balance empowering students to succeed on their own, while being able to support students when necessary,” said nominator, Jordan Hansen. “It’s her genuine care for every student she interacts with that allows her to be an outstanding advisor.”
The Mabel Strong Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award is designed to recognize outstanding advisors who have shown an excellent level of service and dedication to their campus and the MACURH Region. Only housing or student affairs professionals who serve in an advising capacity for a student leadership group with a primary focus in the residence hall experience are eligible for this award.
Her nomination will be sent to the national level for consideration for National Advisor of the Year, which will be presented at the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Annual Conference at Louisiana State University in late May.