KPE’s Allison Scully awarded Northrop Frye Award

An image of KPE students (photo credit: Dewey Chang)
An image of KPE students (photo credit: Dewey Chang)

Allison Scully, manager of student experience and academic advising at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE), is part of a multi-divisional team recently awarded the Northrop Frye Award, part of the University of Toronto Awards of Excellence program. 

Scully was part of a 14-member team that worked on the Academic and Advising Training Program (AATP) nominated by Rhonda McEwen, president and vice-chancellor of Victoria University, for the award, which recognizes faculty and staff who have contributed to enhancing and re-imagining the undergraduate student learning experience. 

“It feels amazing to be recognized in this way,” says Scully. “I knew the work we were doing was important, but knowing that people put in an effort to nominate us and getting awarded for our work was the cherry on top.”

The AATP provides professionalized academic advising training for first-entry division staff at U of T who are looking to expand their advising knowledge and skill set. The goal is to grow the program and provide ongoing learning for advisors at all phases of their career. 

“There are many people advising across U of T, many with different approaches, education and professional backgrounds,” says Scully. “As such, students may get very different advising experiences. 

“At the same time, there are research studies, theories, best practices, core values and competencies all advisors should use to guide their advising practices. 

“The AATP provides U of T advisors an opportunity to professionally develop their advising approach and knowledge to ensure students receive high level advising, no matter who is advising them. 

“As an academic advisor who has worked at other post secondary schools – it’s a dream to have this consistent, theory-based training.”

This is Scully’s second career. She went from digital marketing to advising after a career counsellor and some self reflection made her realize a career of supporting post secondary students was where she needed to be. Scully graduated from the Masters of Academic Advising program at Kansas State University and calls it the best decision she ever made. 

“As an academic advisor, I love hearing student stories,” she says. “I can be having a bad day, and then a student sits in front of me and through my training and education we are able to connect in a way that the student feels comfortable sharing their story. 

“That’s when the magic happens and we’re able to work together to reach their personal, academic and career goals.”