Deborah Kittrell-Mikell, Director of Academic Advisement at East Georgia State College’s Swainsboro campus, was recently informed that her presentation proposal was accepted as a Paper Session for the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) 2016 International Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hosted by Zayed University, the conference will be held February 22-25, 2016. The theme is “Aspire, Connect, and Empower,” and professionals across the globe will participate and attend sessions that will enable them to share ideas and present successful practices that influence the retention, progression and graduation efforts at their respective institutions.
Kittrell-Mikell’s presentation is titled “When Administrators Articulate and Departments Collaborate, Students Graduate!” In her presentation, she will encourage other institutions to model East Georgia State College’s institutional behavior. She will emphasize how the collaboration of the institutional departments at EGSC have contributed to the increase in graduation rates. She plans to inspire and motive representatives from other institutions around the world to look closely at their institutional behavior. The presentation’s theoretical construct is based on Vincent Tinto’s (2012) book, Completing College: Rethinking Institutional Action, where he stresses that the institution must begin to improve by focusing on its own behavior and establishing conditions within its walls that promote positive outcomes.
Prior to being named Director of Academic Advisement, Kittrell-Mikell held the position of Coordinator of Academic Advising in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia Southern University for 16 years. She has conducted various presentations at local, regional and national conferences with NACADA and will share this presentation with approximately 17 countries from around the world.
Kittrell-Mikell said of her opportunity to speak in Dubai, “East Georgia State College’s collaborative efforts from all of the departments are paying off. We are proactive and executing the 2016 NACADA International theme of ‘Aspire, Connect, and Empower.’ One important component is our College Readiness Bus Tour, because it address students who aspire to attend college. The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and Student Life connects them, while our faculty, advisement team and other staff empower them to graduate.”
She is the recipient for the 1997 NACADA Scholarship Award for graduate students and the 2014 NACADA Scholarship for the Administrator’s Institute, which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She currently resides in Statesboro.