The Advisor Award of Distinction, awarded for the first time in 2017, recognizes exceptional commitment to advising a fraternity chapter, Interfraternity Council or fraternity/sorority community. Each recipient demonstrates dedication to guiding and mentoring the fraternity members with whom they work, and exemplifies the highest standards of character, leadership and interfraternalism both personally and professionally.
Congratulations to the 2020 NIC Advisor Award of Distinction recipients!
ASSOCIATE DEAN OF STUDENTS
DIRECTOR OF FRATERNITY, SORORITY AND COOPERATIVE LIFE, PURDUE UNIVERSITY
This professional reaches to achieve every metric for success, and the strength of the fraternity and sorority community at Purdue can directly be attributed to his guidance. In seven years on campus, Brandon Cutler has prioritized data tracking and analysis, established a system of peer governance, ushered in industry-leading health and safety policies, improved financial operations and grown the overall size of the community. Equally powerfully, though, he has established a culture of active engagement by empowering students to make the decisions for the entire community. “He serves as an incredible advocate for the fraternity experience, while challenging others and empowering them to reach their full potential. He decisively believes in our students and is not afraid to push them to do what is right,” a nominator said.
ARTHUR DOCTOR, JR., PH.D.
DIRECTOR, FRATERNITY & SORORITY LIFE, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
In two years on campus, Dr. Arthur Doctor has radically transformed the fraternity community at Ole Miss through strategy and structure, adding new leadership education opportunities and creating avenues for student engagement that ultimately led to fraternity/sorority community growth. He is a student-facing director with a unique ability to connect with the student population, fraternity affiliated and not. He champions diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on campus and seeks to ensure all councils and students are represented equally. “He pours himself into mentoring the next generation of leaders. He works to build genuine connections with every member of the fraternity and sorority community,” his nominators said.
PHI GAMMA DELTA, PURDUE UNIVERSITY
As a 30-year chapter advisor and international volunteer, “Bill Miller exemplifies the mission and purpose of lifelong membership in fraternity,” his nominators said. He cares deeply about the individual brothers and overall well-being of the Lambda Iota Chapter and all of Phi Gamma Delta. From smaller acts like driving a brother to doctors’ appointments to larger commitments like buying the chapter a van, Bill is available 24/7 and cares deeply about the good of the fraternal experience. He’s “famous” within Phi Gamma Delta, too, helping found chapters around the country, attending the 20 consecutive national conventions and visiting more chapters than any other volunteer.
JENNIFER PIERCE THOMAS
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SORORITY AND FRATERNITY LIFE, THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE
Jennifer Pierce Thomas is a dedicated fraternity/sorority life professional who inspires those around her to rise to challenges through passionate leadership and hard work. As assistant director for the community, she created an OFSL prevention team that has had a direct impact in hazing prevention and risk reduction on the Knoxville campus. A skilled communicator, she makes it a priority to share the highs and lows of chapters with campus partners, advisors and inter/national organizations. Specifically, she coaches the campus’ Delta Tau Delta chapter, helping the student leaders navigate conduct issues in a framework for change, praising the chapter’s accomplishments and achievements and also challenging them to think how they can continue their growth and improvement. “Jennifer has created a space that values student input, thrives in collaboration, and focuses in health and safety, leadership training, and data-driven work,” her nominators said.
DAVID VON NIRSCHL
SIGMA NU, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Described by nominators as one of Sigma Nu’s most dedicated local volunteers, von Nirschl exemplifies leadership through the Gamma Mu Chapter. Despite being a resident of Washington, D.C., he advises his home chapter at the University of Illinois remotely but also makes extended stays near Champaign. In the 10 years he has served as Chapter Advisor, he has grown the local advisory board, played a key role in housing including leading a capital campaign to care for chapter’s 88-year-old historic mansion and established a scholarship for area high-schoolers in the Sigma Nu name. The chapter has grown from 15 to 100 members under his leadership. “He is one of the most dedicated and passionate volunteers that I have ever worked with. David truly embodies the Sigma Nu vision of Excelling with Honor,” one nominator said.