College of Liberal Arts & Sciences / Natural Science & Math

WOU recognized for outstanding academic advising for fifth consecutive year

Steve Taylor

Dr. Steve Taylor, professor of geology

Dr. Steve Taylor, chair of Western Oregon University’s (WOU) Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a professor of geology, has been selected as an Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit recipient in the Faculty Academic Advising category from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Taylor will be honored and presented with this award in Nashville, Tenn. during the NACADA annual conference this fall.

Taylor joined WOU after earning his doctorate in geology from West Virginia University, with expertise in geomorphology, environmental geology, and geographic information systems (GIS). Taylor’s present research initiatives span a diverse array of topics including watershed analysis, cinder cone volcanism at Newberry Volcano, rapid bio-assessment of salmonid in Coast Range watersheds, and fingerprint pattern characterization. In addition to his applied technical background, Taylor is a highly experienced educator with many years of experience in the college classroom.

“As an educator, I strive to create a comfortable, community-based environment for the students with an emphasis on team building, professionalism, peer mentoring, and student-centered instruction,” said Taylor. “My integrated approach to teaching and advising is founded on the premise of student-centered education. Over the course of working in higher education for the better part of the past 20 years, I have developed empirically tested strategies that facilitate student achievement.” His methods include an open-door policy with first priority for students, a team approach to teaching and advising, faculty scholarship and service as a pathway for student connections, as well as listening, personalized attention and life coaching.

This award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration. The Faculty Academic Advising category includes those individuals whose primary responsibility is teaching and who spend a portion of their time providing academic advising services to students.

NACADA has recognized WOU’s strong tradition in academic advising for several consecutive years. In 2011, Associate Provost David McDonald was named the Pacesetter Award Recipient and biology professor Dr. Bryan Dutton received a Certificate of Merit for the faculty academic advising category. In 2010, Dr. Marita Cardinal, a professor of health and physical education as well as dance, was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the faculty academic advising category. Karen Sullivan-Vance, director of the Academic Advising and Learning Center, was selected as an Outstanding Advising Award Winner in the advising administrator category and was chosen among that group to receive the Gail Rola Memorial Award. In 2009, music professor Dr. Kevin Walczyk received the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Faculty Advisor. In 2008, NACADA honored Dr. Michael LeMaster, an assistant professor of biology, as an Outstanding Faculty Advisor, and both Tamie Saffell (assistant director of AALC) and Bobbi Weber (an adviser in AALC) received recognition as Outstanding Academic Advisors.

NACADA was created in 1979 to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students and is the leader within the global education community for the theory, delivery, application and advancement of academic advising to enhance student learning and development. The organization has grown to over 11,000 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Established in 1982, the National Awards Program for Academic Advising honors individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.

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Dr. Steve Taylor
Professor of geology, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
503-838-8398 or

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