Thank you student advocates

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The Office of First-Year Experience and Student Retention is working to create a culture where every UVU employee recognizes that he/she has an important role in retaining students and helping them to succeed. Our goal is to increase awareness of and commitment to this role. In support of this goal, the Student Advocate Award is given annually to one faculty member and one staff member who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to student success.


Outstanding Faculty Advocate:
Laurie Harrop-Purser

Outstanding Faculty Advocate Laurie Harrop-Purser

More than a professor, Laurie is a mentor and a role model—everything a faculty member should be. As an acting coach and director, Laurie provides students with an engaging level of challenge and direction, warmly seasoned with support and respect. It is readily apparent that her students are delighted to work with her. In addition to her teaching and directing roles, Laurie regularly takes on “extra” projects, often while juggling a busy production schedule. Laurie never complains about being too busy, she simply jumps in and gets to work. Often referred to as “the heart of the theater department,” Laurie is a tireless champion of UVU students!

Outstanding Staff Advocate:
Junko Watabe

Outstanding Staff Advocate Junko Watabe

Junko is a recognized expert in international student advising in Utah. Her extensive knowledge of immigration regulations, combined with her knowledge of UVU’s academic programs and student life functions, has helped to guide countless international students to a successful UVU experience. In addition, Junko is committed to collaborating with other departments and organizations across campus to improve the student experience. As the advisor for the UVU Japan Club, Junko helped the club raise over $100,000 for a former international student battling leukemia. At all times, Junko is friendly, upbeat, detail-oriented and passionate about her work.

Congratulations to Laurie and Junko. Thank you for your continuing commitment to student success!

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I Choose to Retain: Retention is everyone's job.