STACEY BRAUN The Go-To Advocate for Emporia State Students
When Stacey Braun approached Dr. Jim Williams, vice president for strategic partnerships, to receive an award in March, the audience in Emporia State’s Webb Hall might have been slightly confused about what she was being honored for.
As it turned out, the Student Advising Center’s assistant director was being honored as the 2011 Outstanding Unclassified Professional Employee of the Year.
Dr. Williams joked Braun could have won an award for the most business card changes of anyone on the Emporia State campus.
Braun began working in 1999 at Emporia State as the administrative assistant for the director of the Memorial Union. About a year later, she began working on a master’s program in counselor education that included an emphasis in college student personnel with the goal of becoming an academic advisor.
After graduating in December of 2003, Braun became coordinator of Judicial and Non-Traditional Programs in July 2004. Her next move was to become assistant director of Student Activities in the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) office where she oversaw conduct, non-traditional student programs, and co-chaired first-year orientation programs. In October 2010 Braun continued at CSI on a part-time basis and spent the remainder of her day as an academic advisor in the Student Advising Center.
By June 2011, Braun was lugging her collection of business cards to Plumb Hall as she was promoted to her current position as assistant director of Student Advising.
Once a student chooses Emporia State, Braun says the Student Advising Center’s motto is "advising is more than just enrollment” We are the “go-to” place for students.”
The Student Advising Center helps students transition from high school to college. Advisors help students discover who they are and what they want to become; explore options for majors and course selections, and help them find organizations and activities that will enhance their educational experiences.
Braun advises psychology, rehabilitation services, information resources, and pre-nursing majors in addition to working with students on academic probation. She has also taught first-year experience courses and academic success/skills courses. She is heavily involved in committees, workshop presentations at the state, regional and national levels; and is an active member of National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and National Student Personnel Association (NASPA).
The fact that Braun has many years of service and has held so many campus titles is not the point of her award. It is recognition of her commitment to the university and the vast experience she has in so many phases of student development that make her such a great go-to person on campus.
“To our students, Stacey is someone who will listen, someone they trust, and someone who truly cares about each student’s academic and personal success," said Williams during the award ceremony. "Stacey is an advocate for our students and they couldn’t have a better person in their court.”
Shelly Gehrke, director of Student Advising, praised Braun's ability to figure out the best way to communicate with each student and noted how she is constantly looking for ways to improve services to all students.
"Because Stacey’s advisees really appreciate her, her reputation has reached beyond just the majors in which she advises," added Gehrke. "There are students with other majors who specifically request to work with Stacey instead of their major-related advisor."
Braun's advice to students searching for a college to attend is to make at least two campus visits; talk with current students and faculty about what they like about the school, and find out what majors are offered so they can make an informed choice.
"Take your time and find the college or school that meets your needs and where you feel comfortable." she says.
Braun credits her undergraduate advisor at K-State, Miles McKee, for inspiring her to follow in his footsteps. “I thought, if I could help students the way Miles helped me, then I would have a successful career. I can truly say I am doing what I have always wanted to do and I love it!”
Braun was nominated for the 2011 Outstanding Unclassified Professional Employee of the Year award by co-workers and peers.