Julie Taylor, associate professor of communication and media, is the Outstanding Faculty Advisor for 2023-24. She received the honor for her dedication to CSUSB students and effective advising qualities and practices.

Taylor was lecturing her class on organizational communication on the morning of May 1 when university President Tomás D. Morales, accompanied by a group of colleagues, fellow faculty members, staff and administrators, surprised Taylor in her class on the second floor in University Hall to make the announcement.

Taylor became overcome with emotion by the surprise and recognition.

“Advising makes me teary because it’s so important. I always tell students my advisors changed my life,” said Taylor. “My master’s advisor believed in me, and my Ph.D. advisor was actually the officiant at our wedding.”

She added, “This means so much because it captures what makes this job great, which is our students. This is very meaningful.”

Taylor was teaching her organizational communication class when she received the surprise announcement.
Taylor was teaching her organizational communication class when she received the surprise announcement.

Morales’ surprise announcement is a time-honored tradition at CSUSB, where Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award recipients receive the news when the president and CSUSB entourage barge in unannounced into the honoree’s class, lab or lecture hall to make the proclamation in front of the faculty member’s students so the students can see their professor being honored.

This award includes a one year’s membership in the National Academic Advisors Association, covered by the office of Academic Success and Undergraduate Advising; being CSUSB’s nominee for national recognition by NACADA; $500 in travel funds; a one-year designated parking spot; and the addition of the awardee’s name to the CSUSB Outstanding Faculty Advisor Honor Plaque in University Hall, room 397.

“This is a special occasion as we are here to present Julie Taylor with the 2023-24 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award,” said Morales. He went on to share her accomplishments and the praise of the committee, students and nominators.

Morales also encouraged Taylor’s students to take advantage of the advisors at CSUSB. He shared that he has maintained a relationship with his faculty advisor decades after he graduated college.

“Academic advising is the cornerstone of any student success initiative,” said Morales. “Those of you who have not developed a relationship with your academic advisor, whether its Julie Taylor or another advisor, you should.”

Morales congratulates Taylor for winning the 2023-24 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.
Morales congratulates Taylor for winning the 2023-24 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.

Rafik Mohamed, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, echoed the president’s sentiments about the important role advisors play in students’ lives.

“To the president’s point, I don’t think there is anything more significant that a faculty member could do than take the time to work with students outside of the classroom space, mentor them and advise them,” said Mohamed.

He went on to share how instrumental his advisor was in his life, reflecting on the countless hours that were spent to mentor him.

“My faculty advisor as an undergraduate changed the course of my life,” said Mohamed.

Rueyling Chuang, dean for the College of Arts and Letters, discussed the contributions Taylor has made to the communication studies department and CSUSB students.

“Dr. Taylor has been a super advisor for our Comm Studies for years and years, almost a decade,” said Chuang. “Many years of very dedicated service transforming our students’ lives.

“I am very impressed with her work, and not only is she an advisor extraordinaire, she is also doing a lot of her research. … She is a fantastic scholar as well, and she is also doing a lot of interdisciplinary collaboration. For example, her work in the speaking center in JHBC (Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration).”

Matthew Poole, communication studies department chair, had nothing but praise to share about Taylor’s work ethic.

“Julie is an outstanding colleague,” said Poole. “Julie is the kind of colleague who comes with solutions to problems and is always thinking about how to solve a problem, and what problems might exist. She really does this from the perspective, always, of thinking about what is going to benefit students.”

Taylor has a B.A. in speech communication and teacher licensure from Colorado State University; an M.A. in communication studies with a certificate in women's studies, also from Colorado State; and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah. She has taught at CSUSB for seven years.

Taylor was surrounded by CSUSB colleagues, fellow faculty members, staff, administrators and students when she was recognized for her advising and service at CSUSB.
Taylor was surrounded by CSUSB colleagues, fellow faculty members, staff, administrators and students when she was recognized for her advising and service at CSUSB.

A nominator wrote, “In her role as departmental advising coordinator, she has demonstrated extraordinary service far beyond what anyone would expect of a faculty advisor.”

The nominator further said, “Dr. Taylor has single-handedly transformed student advising in our department. She provides advising tutorials for all of our full-time faculty and is always available to help with advising questions we may have. She even generated a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and provided our colleagues with all advising information in one location.”

Taylor is a member of the steering committee for the National Academic Advising Association and Excellence in Academic Advising. She is also co-chair of the Technology-Enabled Advising Conditions Committee, one of three faculty members pre-elected. This is a two-phase research project that first examines institutional data and student/faculty experiences to evaluate current key performance indicators. The goal of this project is to leverage academic advising as integral to one’s teaching and learning mission and support equitable student learning success.

The members of the 2023-24 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award (OFAA) selection committee include co-chair Eduardo Mendoza (academic advising), co-chair Sara DeMoss (peer advising), Ellie Gault (academic advising), Jessica Davis (academic advising), Carol Hood (physics and astronomy, 2021 OFAA winner), Jeremy Murray (history, 2022 OFAA winner), Sharon Pierce (public administration, 2023 OFAA winner) and Alicia Juarez (peer advising student).

The selection committee said, “Demonstration of compassion, authentic care, and dedication are common themes that emerge from student comments and letters of recommendation. The student remarks highlight the compassion, grace, and support Dr. Taylor consistently provides.”

Students praised Taylor in quotes provided by the selection committee. One student said, “Dr. Taylor embodies the epitome of an excellent advisor through her effective interpersonal skills, regular and meaningful interactions with advisees, and her comprehensive understanding of institutional policies and procedures.”

Another wrote, “From her check-ins of guidance on both courses and career or life goals, I have consistently felt supported and confident in my capabilities to make decisions that get me where I want to go.”

And a third said, “She has helped me build confidence in myself. I cannot underscore how valuable and life­changing her knowledge, advice, and encouragement have been for me.”

Morales shared the committee’s declaration that Taylor “demonstrates expertise in advising, authentic care for student success, and heartfelt passion for her profession. Further, her enduring commitment to teaching and mentorship of CSUSB students evidences her commitment to the CSUSB mission ofcultivating the professional, ethical, and intellectual development of our students.’” He concluded the surprise with a statement on behalf of himself and Provost Rafik Mohamed supporting Taylor’s award.