Sharing his knowledge, advice and humor with undergraduate students was synonymous with Nicholas G. Evans. His untimely death last month deprived West Virginia Universitys long-time adviser, administrator, teacher and student advocate from knowing who the recipients of the inaugural Nicholas Evans Advising Awardsannounced this weekwould be.

Nevertheless, he would have been proud, colleagues say, because the awards highlight outstanding academic advising and mentoring on the part of a graduate student adviser, a professional adviser and a faculty adviser.

This years recipients are:

  • Graduate assistant Eric A. Goedereis, a pre-major adviser for the Department of Psychology, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, who works with over 300 students (mostly sophomores) each year as they complete the necessary requirements to formally enter the major.

  • Jan Boyles, director of advising, Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, who oversees the schools advising center, which advises 300 direct admit freshmen and assists in advising 400 upperclassmen each year. The center also handles a number of drop-ins and student issues.

  • Larry Banta, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, who devotes a significant portion of his time to providing academic support and guidance to undergraduate students while also teaching and conducting research. He just finished his 23rd year of teaching at WVU . He has been an adviser since 2002 and typically advises about 80 students per semester.

Eric, Jan and Larry are advocates for students in so many ways,said Provost E. Jane Martin,from encouraging honors students to strive for excellence to helping students on probation get back on track. They are all dedicated, compassionate and committed individuals who care about students and want them to succeedqualities Dr. Evans held dear.

Evans retired from WVU in June 2007 after a long and distinguished 40-year career at the University. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he earned his masters and doctoral degrees from WVU .

He joined the English faculty in 1967 and also served as the departments undergraduate student adviser for many years. He was also director of the Universitys Undergraduate Academic Services Center and served as associate dean for undergraduate education in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

A lifelong learner, he was fluent in Greek and a student of the Latin, French, German and Spanish languages. He also taught British literature to scores of students over the years.

He is survived by his wife, JoAnn J. Evans, also retired from WVU , but a longtime administrative associate with the WVU Honors College. They both receivedMost Loyalhonors during Mountaineer Week in 2008Nick as Most Loyal Faculty Mountaineer; JoAnn as Most Loyal Staff Mountaineer.

Besides mastering institutional regulations, policies and procedures, Martin said candidates for the Evans awards must be caring, respectful, considerate and helpful to students; help them understand their academic responsibilities while empowering them to be self-sufficient; address studentsfuture plans and provide appropriate information and direction; monitor and aid student progress and guide students toward graduation and academic success; be available beyond the regular advising appointments; and encourage students to take advantage of opportunities such as student organizations, internships, research and study abroad.

Goedereis will receive a $1,000 award for travel and scholarship. Boyles and Banta will receive $2,500 in their departmental budgets for travel and scholarship.

They will also be recognized during WVU s Commencement Honors Convocation at 7 p.m. Friday, May 15, in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the WVU Creative Arts Center. The event will be webcast at .