Advising Council of U-M names inaugural awardees


The Advising Council of U-M is recognizing the efforts of outstanding staff and faculty advisers by awarding ACUM Advising Awards to Kristel Oelke in the Mechanical Engineering Academic Services Office and Bryan Abma in the Newnan Advising Center.

This is the first year the award is being offered, with 1,114 nominations for 529 individual staff and faculty advisers. Inspired by LSA’s Advising Awards, the ACUM Advising Awards publicly recognize the contributions advisers make to undergraduate, graduate and professional students in the Ann Arbor campus schools and colleges.

Oelke is the senior undergraduate academic adviser in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“In my time as a transfer student here at U-M, I have faced both academic and financial challenges. During this, Kristel has gone above and beyond guiding me through these difficult times with sage advice and a clear roadmap toward my goals,” wrote nominator Mike Davis, a senior in mechanical engineering.

“Even when I faced financial difficulties, which isn’t her department, she was still able to point me to the correct person to talk to and give support through the whole process. She was even kind enough to follow up with me and check my progress, even though she has many other students to take care of, so I very much appreciate Kristel and all she has done for me.”

Abma is an academic adviser in LSA’s Newnan Academic Advising Center.

“Bryan is always willing to help me and has never made me feel like I’m asking too many questions or that any of my questions are invalid,” wrote nominator Riley Kisser, a junior in LSA.

“He is so quick at responding, so kind, and always makes me feel so comfortable. After the first time I had him as an adviser over the summer, I knew that I wanted him to be my adviser throughout college because he truly seems to care about how I am doing.”

Valeria Bertacco, vice provost for engaged learning, offered her congratulations to the award winners and all the nominees.

“Your work matters. The testimony of students in hundreds of nominations for these awards speaks to the enormous impact that staff and faculty advisers have on the lives of our students, impacting not only their educational outcomes but their well-being and engagement,” she wrote.

The LSA Advising Award and ACUM Advising Award recipients will be recognized at this year’s 2022 ACUM Advising Symposium, which will take place virtually May 12-13.



  1. Jennifer Taylor
    on May 10, 2022 at 9:18 am

    Congratulations, Advising Award winners!! To my colleague Kristel – what an amazing accomplishment and it is such a privilege to work with you!

  2. Elizabeth Dodge
    on May 10, 2022 at 9:54 am

    Congratuations, Kristel! So well deserved!!

  3. Rachel Casanova
    on May 10, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Woohoo! Congrats to Kristel, nobody does it better! (Love his quote.)

  4. Sarah Kucemba
    on May 10, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Two of my favorite colleagues! Well deserved, Kristel and Bryan!!! You both do amazing work and students are so lucky to have support systems like you!

  5. Avant Mehta
    on May 13, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Yessss Kristel! She has always been a great support for us! Absolutely deserves this honor

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