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Aptly Awarded Advisor
Tracey Bolen, director of LSBE Advising and Academic Services, honored with U of M Tate Award for Excellence.
Twenty-six. That’s the number of years that LSBE students have benefited from academic advice provided by Tracey Bolen, director of LSBE Advising and Academic Services.
Bolen joined LSBE in 1991 as an academic advisor, advanced to other positions in the department over time, and became director in 2007.
While his longevity in the role of student advisor is amazing, it’s Bolen’s passion for the job that earned him the 2018 University of Minnesota John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.
The Tate Award, named in honor of John Tate, Professor of Physics and first Dean of University College on the Twin Cities Campus from 1930 to 1941, recognizes high-quality undergraduate advising and calls attention to the important contributions academic advising and career services make in helping students formulate and achieve intellectual, career, and personal goals.
“I enjoy working with college students,” said Bolen. “Every student is unique. No appointment is ever the same; no day is ever the same. Each student, appointment, and day presents its own issues and problems. I find that very refreshing.
“To me, it’s not work. I get so wrapped up in projects and advising LSBE students that I just lose track of time. I enjoy my job so much that the day flies by.”
“Tracey is incredibly deserving of this award,” said Amy B. Hietapelto, LSBE Dean. “He truly embodies the values and behaviors that this award recognizes. We in LSBE are fortunate to have Tracey advising and mentoring our students, and playing a pivotal role in designing and implementing experiential learning experiences that allow our students to grow both personally and academically. His expertise and commitment to student success is one of the many reasons that our alumni excel in the business world.”
Receiving an award for something he enjoys so much came as a shock. “I was wondering if the email [announcing the award] came to me in error,” Bolen said half-jokingly. “It’s a prestigious award, and to be part of the group of people who have won this award is a very humbling experience.”
With 26 years as an advisor, Bolen’s expertise has impacted thousands of LSBE students. His son Cory, a UMD grad, posted news of his dad’s award on LinkedIn. In response, many LSBE alumni reached out to Tracey, congratulating and thanking him for his service. One such student, Callan Young, Senior Manager of Anaplan’s Marketing Programs & Demand Generation Team, wrote, “Your spirit, positive impact, and guidance is irreplaceable to LSBE students.”
Bolen finds hearing from past students an amazing benefit of the job. “I’m thrilled to have been able to work in LSBE this entire time. Throughout the years, I’ve run into former students, and it’s wonderful to hear about what they are doing now. To think back to their time at LSBE and realize how far they have come is a great experience.”
LSBE Associate Dean, Praveen Aggarwal, who prepared Bolen’s nomination dossier, noted, “Tracey’s impact on students’ success goes significantly beyond what he does in one-on-one advising. He also has a huge impact on the quality of advising in LSBE as he trains our faculty on advising. He oversees initiatives designed to intervene to help at-risk students. He has also put in place procedures and processes that make advising more streamlined and efficient. Tracey has truly made a difference in our students’ lives.”