COSAM’s Meredith Powell and ‘Advising 2 Bits’ team receive NACADA’s Region 4 Excellence in Advising Award
Meredith Powell, an academic advisor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM), is part of a team that has been awarded NACADA’s Region 4 Excellence in Advising – Advising Program Certificate of Merit for their ‘Advising 2 Bits’ podcast at Auburn University. NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising, will formally present the award to the podcast team at the Southeast Region 4 Conference on April 10-12, 2022, in Atlanta, GA.
Powell is a co-host of the ‘Advising 2 Bits’ podcast, alongside co-host Jonathan Hallford, an academic advisor in Liberal Arts, and producer Branden Farmer, an academic advisor in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
“Our team was really excited to receive this news,” said Powell. “The reason we created the podcast was not to replace academic advising, but to enhance the advising experience for students at Auburn. We have been working on the podcast for a little over a year at this point, and we’ve also been able to present about the podcast at a global virtual conference and at NACADA’s annual conference last fall. The news about the award is just very cool to hear, and it’s exciting to be recognized.”
The ‘Advising 2 Bits’ podcast offers transparent conversations with leaders from departments across campus and is representative of all colleges and disciplines at Auburn University. By inviting campus leaders to discuss specific topics more in-depth, it allows students to make connections by giving a name to each office.
A common theme that Powell said they noticed when starting the podcast last January was that students may not have been aware of all that Auburn has to offer or all the available information from various departments. “With a podcast platform, we wanted a unique way to meet students where they were already listening. We wanted to present university-wide information that would be applicable to all students, in hopes that they could take the information back to their advising sessions for a better overall advising experience,” said Powell.
The team can track podcast statistics which are helpful for understanding their audience and for planning future episode topics. “We can see through our hosting platform where people are listening from, and while we do have many listeners from Auburn, we also have listeners from across the US and even from other countries,” said Powell. “With this data, we can assume that some of our listeners are likely parents. While our primary target audience is students, we’re glad we can also provide parents with helpful information.”
Powell said the team can also see what specific platforms people are using to access the podcast, and they can see which episodes have been the most popular. The most popular episode thus far has been ‘Advising at Auburn’ which featured Ruthie Spiers, director of Academic Advising at Auburn University. Other popular episodes have included ‘Maximizing Your Academic Advising’, a two-part series on ‘Competitive Majors’, ‘Camp War Eagle 2021: Auburn’s Freshman Orientation’, and ‘ALEKS Math Placement CWE 2021’.
Powell said they have teamed up with groups on campus like Camp War Eagle to get the word out about the podcast. “With this next incoming Camp War Eagle group, we will be sending out a flyer in their mailer packet that will go to all students who’ve registered for Camp War Eagle,” said Powell. “We also have a social media page, and Jonathan is connected to many parent alumni social media pages where he can get the word out that way. Torey Palmer, programs administrator in Parent and Family Programs, also includes our information in their parent newsletters when we have new episodes.”
Powell said the team is gearing up for a full array of topics to be featured on the podcast’s second season this year. “We’ve recorded the episodes for spring semester 2022 which are currently being edited. Topics will include an update on financial aid, scholarships, graduate school planning, the Baby Steps organization, tips and tricks from peer advisors, the student transient process, and a two-part series on academic appeals. We also plan to do a mini series with Camp War Eagle,” said Powell.
To listen to the award-winning ‘Advising 2 Bits’ podcast and access previous podcast episodes, visit: https://advising2bits.buzzsprout.com/.
Listeners can also access the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Amazon Podcasts.
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