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 2019 NIC Advisor Award of Distinction recipients!
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Donald Abels shows exceptional commitment to the interfraternal movement, the Louisiana State University community and all students. As assistant director overseeing the community, his strong work ethic and diplomacy has earned him trust and respect across the university. Though a part of the LSU community for just a short time before the hazing-related death of Max Gruver, Donald quickly became an ambassador who brings a collaborative, intentional and committed approach to difficult situations. Donald is not afraid to have tough conversations and advocate for due process for all students. He is committed to member education, creating new hazing and alcohol awareness programs on campus, and developing a culture of peer accountability that will benefit students now and in the future.
SIGMA NU, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
John Green is one of Sigma Nu’s most dedicated local volunteers. He regularly goes above and beyond in his role as house corporation president for one of the largest chapters and homes in the nation. A dynamic leader who fosters a sense of pride in the organization, he has created a strong support system for individual members, taking the time to get to know each of the chapter’s 275 undergraduates and serving as a mentor to many. Demonstrating a powerful commitment to academic and career development, he uses his personal and business relationships to ensure students get the graduate program or professional opportunity they want. He advocates for the chapter and the fraternity/sorority community as a whole with the university. He has earned one of Sigma Nu’s top volunteer honors and helped the Epsilon Xi Chapter on the path to national success.
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Kocher is a champion for student leadership, providing extraordinary support and guidance to the members of the Kansas State University fraternity/sorority community in her role as director. In a time of sweeping changes for the campus, Kocher remained optimistic and dedicated, committing to finding positive solutions for the community in partnership with the university. Undergraduate membership in a fraternity or sorority is at an all-time high, and she has strengthened the ties between the alumni volunteer leadership and the undergraduates. She is invested in the success of the community and the individual students, working tirelessly to inspire students to greatness.
SIGMA ALPHA MU, MIAMI UNIVERSITY
For almost 45 years, Jerry Miller dedicated his life to being an advisor, teacher, mentor, brother and, for many, a dear friend and extended family member at Miami University. His official roles with Sigma Alpha Mu included chapter advisor, housing corporation board member and national volunteer; unofficially, he was a respected father figure and patron to thousands of men. Jerry was absolutely committed to the fraternity/sorority community, known for attending every meeting and function. He served as an advisor to other chapters at Miami and provided guidance and friendship to other fraternal organizations. “His dedication to teaching and to helping young men mature into caring, responsible adults was his life’s mission,” one nominator said. “Jerry was more than a fraternity advisor to the Sigma Alpha Mu chapter, he was a mentor, a friend and a true pillar of the fraternity and sorority community at Miami.” Jerry Miller passed suddenly in early 2019 after a brief battle with cancer.
AMELIOUS WHYTE, PH.D.
PHI GAMMA DELTA, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Caring, dependable, ethical and consistent — Dr. Amelious Whyte is a shining example of how a faculty advisor and university representative should support a chapter. For more than 20 years, Amelious has served Phi Gamma Delta in a variety of advising and facilitating roles. Student nominators rave about his compassion and influence. He has been named the best academic advisor at the University of Minnesota multiple times and recently was awarded the most outstanding academic advisor for any Phi Gamma Delta chapter in the nation. “Dr. Amelious Whyte is a passionate and humble servant who tirelessly strives to help his brothers, his university and his community in any way possible,” one nominator said. Amelious has a long history of effective relationships with Interfraternity Council leaders and chapter presidents, including a stint supervising the Office for Fraternity & Sorority Life. He currently is director of public engagement for the College of Liberal Arts and academic advisor for the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter, helping the chapter earn the top academic honors in the fraternity last year.