Vol. 20, No. 3
Oct. 5, 2000
Carolyn Manning, nutrition and dietetics, was awarded the 2000 Mortar Board National Excellence in Advising Award at the national conference held this summer in Arizona.
The award recognized Manning's service, guidance and support to UD's Tassell chapter of Mortar Board, and she received an award certificate and plaque.
Manning served for six years as chapter adviser to the Tassell Chapter at the University of Delaware. Its members described her as an individual, who provided "wisdom and she brought experience to our discussions and plans to help us be successful in everything we did. She truly made it possible for Mortar Board to be student-run..." The students added that Manning was always available when the group needed advisement and supervision.
Manning joined UD in 1986, and her areas of research include productivity in food service operations for elderly nutrition programs; food safety (evaluation of training and knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of food service workers); nutrition education training (supermarket tour vs. traditional classroom setting); and continuing professional education of registered dietitians in Delaware.
"I like advising," Manning said, "because I get to interact with students outside the classroom and in a setting in which they are using and developing their leadership skills. I like playing this supportive role, which is really another dimension of the faculty adviser role. I believe that the college education experience for students should include experiences outside the traditional classroom."
Asked to provide an example of a satisfying advising experience, Manning referred to the annual selection process for the coming year's members.
"The adviser's role is critical in this process, which actually begins during the fall semester," she said. "The membership chair and I really get to know each other during this process. Under the guidance of the membership chair, the members approach this task seriously and with high standards. For example, each candidate is anonymously reviewed for membership. I always feel good about the new member selection process when it is completed."
Manning said she has high regard for the Mortar Board organization, which she described as unique among student organizations. It is a national honor society for seniors, so there is 100 percent turnover of the members each year. Therefore, she said, advisers are critical to the continuity of the organization. Also, the members are very diverse as they are selected from all the colleges and majors on campus, and the chapter is limited to a maximum of 40 members. UD's Tassell Chapter averages about 33 members each year.
"Mortar Board is a special organization to me," Manning said, "because I was a member during my senior year, actually, in the Tassell Chapter here at UD, as I am a UD alumna. When I was asked to become an adviser in 1994, I was thrilled with the opportunity to become involved again with Mortar Board."
Founded in 1918, Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. The organization has 206 chapters nationwide and more than 200,000 initiated members.