“We welcome students during freshmen orientation and give them hugs at graduation,” Basehart says.
When Marg Basehart meets a new student, she begins a four-year journey. As an academic advisor in the Haslam College of Business Undergraduate Programs, Basehart works with students throughout their collegiate career.
“We welcome students during freshmen orientation and give them hugs at graduation,” Basehart says. “It is awesome to watch a student grow and progress. There are few places in higher education where you get to work with students consistently for four years. That is what I find most rewarding.”
Basehart was recently recognized with the Lighting the Way Award by TennACADA, the primary group of professional and faculty advisors and student-support personnel at the University of Tennessee. The award is presented annually to an individual who has played a vital role in leading the way for others in the advising and student success community at UT, shows laudable commitment to the profession of advising and is a light to those around them.
Basehart has been lighting the way for Haslam undergraduate students for six years. As a master advisor, she counsels the Haslam Venture Living Learning Community and Haslam Peer Mentors in addition to Haslam undergraduates. For many students, Basehart’s approach to advising provided a spot of brightness during the past year.
“I try to make it fun for students,” she says. “We have many, many serious conversations, and, when you can, it’s nice to have a lighthearted moment with your students.”
She feels that this approach was especially important this past academic year.
“Life can be really hard, and COVID has been tough for many of our students,” says Basehart. “I try to keep things as laid-back and approachable as possible so students feel comfortable.”
To help them negotiate tough situations, she makes a point of getting to know each of her students. She often can be seen around campus cheerily greeting them in the hallways of the Haslam Business Building, checking on them between advising appointments.
“I try to get to know each student, so they are comfortable bringing questions to me,” Basehart says. “I remember their hobbies and challenges and get to have follow-up conversations about how they are and what is next after university.”
She remembers many of her former students fondly, keeping track of their accomplishments post-graduation.
“I get to work with great students in Haslam,” says Basehart. “Hearing about their successes is always happy news.”
As she prepares for the coming academic year, Basehart says she looks forward to more normalcy as everyone returns to campus. She is ready to start the year fresh, providing her positive view to her students.
“I want to encourage my students to keep going through all the challenges they will experience day to day on a college campus,” says Basehart. “We are here for you.”
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Carruthers recently was named the inaugural William F. Fox Distinguished Professor of Labor Economics.