Two Journalism Advisers Nominated for MU Excellence in Advising Award

Columbia, Mo. (April 23, 2010) — Jill McReynolds and Urska Lenart, two Missouri School of Journalism undergraduate advisers, recently were recognized for their excellence in advising at the annual awards reception sponsored by the University of Missouri vice chancellor for student affairs and the office of the Provost.

“Jill and Urska are both dedicated to helping students make the most of their educations. Both of them genuinely care about the students they advise,” said Brian Brooks, associate dean of undergraduate studies.

Urska Lenart and Jill McReynolds
Urska Lenart (left) and Jill McReynolds hold plaques recognizing their excellence in advising.

McReynolds serves as the senior academic adviser and supervises a staff of five advisers in the School’s Student Services Center. She currently advises journalism students with last names beginning Mc-O. McReynolds joined the School in 1988 and was the first pre-journalism student adviser. Two of her advisees have followed in her footsteps and now serve as academic advisers, one of them a colleague at MU.

Andrea Heiss, assistant professor, called McReynolds “remarkable” and a “gifted listener” in her nomination letter for the award. “She is unfailingly helpful, informative and good-humored about the most puzzling or intractable of problems,” Heiss said. In another letter of support, journalism student Grace Yim noted McReynolds’ generous and kind spirit: “Her priority to her students is overwhelming. She understands the frustration college life brings to a student and does as much as she can to relieve that.” Study abroad coordinator John Wilkerson said that McReynold’s academic and institutional knowledge are unparalleled. He continued, “Her work ethic is extraordinary; this is not unnoticed by colleagues, students or faculty.”

Lenart’s career at MU began in the admissions office in December 2002. The offer to move to the School and work as an academic adviser in November 2008 allowed her to fulfill a career goal that began as an undergraduate at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Lenart advises students with last names P-Sm.

Journalism senior Matthew Reinig called Lenart “the best academic adviser I have ever had” in his nomination letter. He said that when he contacted Lenart with questions, “she replied to me promptly, sufficiently, and with a kind of friendliness I have not experienced before in an academic advisor.” Fatonya Cowans, who helps support the work of the advisers, cited Lenart’s language skills as especially helpful for students. “Because of her ability to learn and understand many different languages, she has excellent communication skills and is able to interact with not only our American students but with our international students as well,” Cowans said.

McReynolds and Lenart each received a plaque in recognition of their nominations.

Updated: May 8, 2020

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