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“ Molly’s dedication to her students is outstanding. They benefit from her knowledge of academic resources, her trustworthiness, and her willingness to go the extra mile for them. As a graduation advisor, Molly works very closely with her students’ academic department (accounting), and collaborates with its faculty and staff on a regular basis. Those collaborative efforts contribute to the holistic advising approach Molly has developed for her students. ”
-- Beth Ann Mabrey, Director of Advising, Harbert College of Business
The Harbert College of Business is dedicated to attracting, developing, supporting, and retaining exceptional faculty and staff. As an award-winning advisor, Molly Hulsey is a key player in developing our students into sought-after graduates.
‘I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work. Hard work.’
The first line of the Auburn Creed resonates strongly with Molly Hulsey. Why? “I emphasize this part to my students because I know that the higher education journey is no easy task,” she said. “Students must put an enormous amount of effort that requires more time and energy have ever put forth in order to obtain a degree. It is my privilege to help them achieve that goal and I take my job very seriously.”
Hulsey, a Birmingham, Alabama, native who has worked as a Student Advisor at the Harbert College of Business since 2011, ensures that when students walk into her first-floor office in Lowder Hall, they are walking into an environment that is welcoming, encouraging, fun, supportive, and safe.
For her dedication to student success, Hulsey earned the National Association for Academic Advisors (NACADA) Outstanding Advisor Award-Primary Role in the organization’s Global Awards Program – it’s highest level. She has been invited to receive the award at the annual NACADA conference in October in Puerto Rico. NACADA, a global community for advising that provides professional development, networking, and leadership opportunities, has more than 12,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
“It’s nice to be recognized for your hard work,” Hulsey said. “I love my job here at the Harbert College of Business and I think that makes a big difference. Our college is great about prioritizing student success and the advising office is vital to those efforts.”
The national award comes on the heels of Hulsey earning the Auburn University Outstanding Advisor Award in March. Hulsey earned an undergraduate in Psychology from Auburn University in 2010 and completed a Masters in Administration of Higher Education from Auburn in 2016. She’s not finished. Hulsey is currently working toward a PhD in Adult Education, also from Auburn.
“This whole (NACADA) nomination process started when I was on maternity leave,” said Hulsey, now the proud mother of a 9-month-old boy. “When I saw the entire nomination packet, I boohooed like a baby, and I don’t think it was because of postpartum hormones. The letters my colleagues and students wrote were so incredibly touching. To know that I have made a positive impact on so many students makes my heart swell with joy. I didn’t expect to be recognized at the national level by NACADA, but I am ecstatic about it.”
“Molly’s dedication to her students is outstanding,” said Beth Ann Mabrey, who directs Harbert College’s Office of Student Advising. “They benefit from her knowledge of academic resources, her trustworthiness, and her willingness to go the extra mile for them. As a graduation advisor, Molly works very closely with her students’ academic department (accounting), and collaborates with its faculty and staff on a regular basis. Those collaborative efforts contribute to the holistic advising approach Molly has developed for her students.”
Some of those student comments Mabrey mentioned are below:
Any student lucky enough to have Mrs. Hulsey as their advisor can tell you that she truly cares about them and their academic success and personal well-being.
It's extremely apparent that she’s passionate about each individual student. She's very informed and makes it known that we have options.
Mrs. Hulsey makes you feel like she's known you since you were born and always has your best interest in mind.
Mabrey added that Hulsey also serves as the college’s Advise Assist software specialist and is a BUSI 1010 (professional development) instructor.
“She’s an invaluable member of our advising team, and I’m incredibly thankful for what she brings to the table,” Mabrey said. “I’m very excited to celebrate this huge professional accomplishment with her!”
“I love that every student is unique and every meeting is different. Without a doubt, the favorite part of my job is the face-to-face interactions. I get the pleasure of watching them grow and transform. It is an incredibly satisfying thing to witness and to actually be a part of it is an honor.”
-- Molly Hulsey
Initial thoughts of one day becoming a student advisor appeared when Hulsey was working in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology lab as an undergraduate student assistant. “One of the studies I helped dealt with the mentor/mentee relationship, where I got to coach other students,” she recalled. “I always knew that I enjoyed helping people, but encouraging those students made me realize that I had a passion for higher education, too. Advising seemed like the perfect job for me.”
Though she advises dozens of students each semester, each are far more than just a number on a student ID.
“Every member of our advising office works extremely hard, so I could have never accomplished my professional goals without their help,” she said. “Plus, I’m a little spoiled when it comes to my cohort – my accounting students and colleagues in the School of Accountancy are amazing to work with
“I love that every student is unique and every meeting is different. Without a doubt, the favorite part of my job is the face-to-face interactions. I get the pleasure of watching them grow and transform. It is an incredibly satisfying thing to witness and to actually be a part of it is an honor.
When COVID-19 turned hands-on learning and advising to remote learning and advising, Hulsey and the team in Harbert College’s Office of Advising simply adapted.
“The uncertainty of everything really had an impact on our students,” she said. “Trying to keep all of the new university policies straight while attempting to help panicking students was certainly overwhelming at first. My inbox would have made anyone want to cry. Nevertheless, I knew they needed to connect and to know their worries were valid. There have been so many Zoom meetings, phone calls, and late-night emails. It’s a little more manageable now, but I still miss my students.”