Nadia Bush Wins National Alumni Advising Award
If there is one thing Ms. Nadia Bush brings with her to advising, it’s compassion. Since joining South Alabama in 2006 as an instructor in the department of communication, her number one priority has focused on the student and their needs.
“Every student who walks through the door, whether it is my classroom or office, is diverse,” she said. “We all have different experiences, and these shape who we are and who we will become. I take this into consideration and try to provide students an array of viewpoints to make their own educated decision for their future.” She attributes this understanding to her military brat upbringing. Her father was in the U.S. Air Force, and she grew up in Japan until she was a teenager. Her friends were, and still are, from all around the world and accepting of everyone they met. It was a point her parents stressed when she began teaching full time. “I remember my parents telling me to always listen to students, accept them for who they are and never tell them what to do. Now when I meet with a student or student group, I listen to what they are saying, or not saying,” Bush said. “Most of the time, once students begin verbalizing their thoughts, they begin to feel better and a path with different options emerges.”
Bush’s commitment to advising hasn’t gone unnoticed. Indeed, she received the University’s 2013 Beth and Don Davis Excellence in Advising Award in August and was also recognized at the Annual Employee Recognition Luncheon. Sponsored by the USA National Alumni Association, the award recognizes a faculty or staff member for her or his outstanding advising contributions. Candidates are recommended for the honor by student organizations or a full-time faculty member.
An adviser to the Public Relations Student Society of America South Alabama Chapter (PRSSA-SA), and co-adviser for the American Advertising Federation student chapter, Bush advises these student groups along with another 25 or more students a semester between the main campus and the USA Baldwin County Campus. Known for her enthusiasm, warmth and commitment to her advisees,
Bush displays genuine concern for the well-being of students, according to Jake Turberville, an alumnus who has been mentored by her. “It would be no exaggeration to say [Bush] has been the single largest influence on all my academic activities,” Turberville said. “She has a way of making students feel they are the most important even though there may be 30 other students to advise. I can guarantee all of the students feel relieved and comfortable they can make it to graduation.” Senior Public Relations major and current president of the PRSSA-SA Chapter, Daniel Moran, explained how Bush’s approach to advising has helped members of the student group focus on becoming professionals: “Throughout the last year, [Bush] has helped our group dissolve fears and clear-up our questions and concerns entering the public relations industry,” Moran said. “She has a way of knowing where a student’s potential lies and has pushed each of us to achieve our potential individually and as a group.”
Bush graduated from USA, earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations and master’s degree in public and corporate communication. She currently is a doctoral candidate at The University of Southern Mississippi. At USA, she has taught basic communication, advertising, public relations and visual communication courses, and serves as the liaison for the communication curriculum at the USA Baldwin County Campus. The highlight of her teaching career has been in the last nine months. Bush was also honored as one of 50 Outstanding Faculty Members at the USA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi 2013 Educator of the Year Award. Additionally, she received the Southern Public Relations Federation 2013 Educator of the Year Award. This award recognizes an educator who has taught public relations or a closely-related discipline and who has demonstrated a commitment to advance the profession of public relations.
Receiving these awards energizes her to continue on the path of being an excellent educator and advisor. In a letter of recommendation from a student for an award, the student commented, “Miss Bush is a prime example of a teacher that touches your heart, a teacher that is impossible to forget, and a teacher that you feel you will forever be grateful for.”