Kinesiology professor Sarah Ouimette receives excellence in advising award

Advisor Award 2017-18OUTSTANDING ADVISOR Lake Superior State University School of Kinesiology professor Sarah Ouimette, right, accepts LSSU’s Excellence in Advising Award from LSSU Provost Lynn Gillette. (LSSU/John Shibley)

Just before many of them left campus the past spring, students at Lake Superior State University chose School of Kinesiology Assistant Professor Sarah Ouimette as the ninth recipient of the university’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

“At LSSU we are committed to challenging and supporting our students to equip them for success – both at Lake State and after they graduate,” said LSSU Provost Lynn Gillette. “Academic advising is an important component of our educational environment. We have so many extraordinary faculty who mentor and support students. Sarah Ouimette is an excellent advisor who goes above and beyond to mentor our students.”

The award was established in 2010 by LSSU’s Retention Committee to encourage and reward excellence in academic advising, as it is a very important activity that can make an impact on student success and persistence. Current students and alumni may submit nominations annually at the beginning of the spring semester.

“We are all very proud of Professor Ouimette,” said LSSU President Rodney Hanley, “Her commitment to students and their success is part of what makes Lake Superior State University such a special place.”

Ouimette, who has taught and been a mentor for students at LSSU for almost a decade, received the award during a faculty convocation on Aug. 23.

Ouimette started at LSSU as an athletic training instructor in 2009, coming from Superior Physical Therapy in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where she worked as a certified athletic trainer. Her student athletic-training experiences supported gymnastics, wrestling, track and field, swimming, cross country, football, softball, hockey, and Special Olympics bowling, basketball and track.

She holds a master of education in professional development and a bachelor of science in athletic training from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. She also holds a physical therapy assistant degree from New Mexico’s San Juan College. Ouimette is a certified First Responder.

Over her LSSU career, she has advised roughly 80-100 students. Many have started careers as clinical, collegiate, or high school athletic trainers. A number have gone on to professional school for physical therapy or other graduate coursework. A recent graduate is attending medical school at Michigan State, while another 2018 grad will be going to Chiropractic school in Iowa this fall.

Ouimettealso oversees student internships across Michigan, into metro Toronto, and sometimes around the world. A recent internship in Scotland included working with the National Rugby Team.

“It’s hard to shout out just a few students, as I’ve had the privilege of advising and mentoring so many wonderful athletic training students during my time here at LSSU,” said Ouimette. “I watch them excel in their professional endeavors and look forward to continuing to advise others through the process and into successful careers.”

She was co-advisor of the Student Athletic Trainers’ Association when it was awarded the Student Organization of the Year award by LSSU Student Government this past spring.

Ouimette stays busy outside of teaching and advising.

For the past five summers she has demonstrated what careers in athletic training and kinesiology would look like for summer campers, during LSSU’s Health Explorations Camp.

In April she represented LSSU in accepting an award from Special Olympics Michigan that recognized 30 years of partnering on aquatic championship events. She also accepted the organization’s Outstanding Education Award for ongoing volunteer activities. Ouimette made presentations at the Primary Care Sports Medicine Special Olympics Winter Conference in 2016.

She has assisted the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School with training teachers about brain concussion – how to monitor for them in the classroom, conduct sideline assessments and emergency care, and perform return-to-play assessments during sporting events.

In considering the recipient for the Excellence in Advising Award, the LSSU Retention Committee evaluated nominations on the evidence of qualities and practices that distinguish the nominee as an outstanding academic advisor, including interpersonal skills; a caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty and staff; availability; frequency of contact with advisees; ability to build strong relationships with advisees; monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals; and availability for reference/recommendation letters for students.

Any faculty member serving as an academic advisor is eligible for nomination. Those who nominate a faculty member are asked to provide a brief statement that explains why the advisor should receive the award. Nominations should be directed, starting next semester, to the LSSU the provost’s office.