Two academic advisors from Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus earned half of the awards at Ivy Tech’s Academic Advising Summit held Thursday, February 11 in Indianapolis. Of advisor nominations made in four categories statewide, Jessica Duncan earned the Veteran Advisor Award and Beth Pless earned the Friend of Advising Award.

“There are roughly 200 advisors in Ivy Tech’s statewide system,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “Yet, it is no surprise to anyone who works with Jessica and Beth that they received recognition for the support they provide to our students.”

Duncan was nominated for the Veteran Advisor Award because of her tireless commitment to students and her colleagues. Duncan has worked at Ivy Tech Bloomington for 13 years, and five as an academic advisor. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management. She strives to make a personal connection with students by sharing her own Ivy Tech educational journey. Duncan serves as mentor to new advisors and has worked hard to improve the training process.

“She is the cornerstone of Bloomington’s advising center and many look to her for guidance and support,” said Eliza Erxleben, director of academic advising in Bloomington. “During Jessica’s time at Ivy Tech, she hasn’t just grown, she has contributed to the growth of those around her.”

Pless was nominated for the Friend of Advising award because she has always been a student advocate. Pless has worked at Ivy Tech Bloomington for 20 years and has held many positions in Student Affairs, including Registrar. She holds a Master of Science in Career and Technical Education and currently serves as the program chair and instructor for Life Skills. Pless regularly invites advisors into her classes to tell students about the importance of advising.

“Beth is in constant communication with advisors regarding students who may be struggling, and encourages students to meet with their academic advisors, said Erxleben. “Faculty members look to Beth for her knowledge of academic advising and the Ivy Advising system.”

Erxleben says that many students who come to Ivy Tech are apprehensive about college. “We do everything we can to help them feel comfortable and supported,” she said. “All 12 of our advisors are passionate about helping students succeed.”

There’s still time to enroll in second-eight week classes that begin on Monday, March 7. Call (812) 330-6013 for an appointment or visit Ivy Tech at 200 Daniels Way, on the west side of Bloomington.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.