The ultimate support system

University of Missouri recognizes academic advisors who go above and beyond to help Mizzou students succeed.

May 1, 2024
Contact: Brian Consiglio, 573-882-9144,

Academic advisors at the University of Missouri take pride in meeting one-on-one with students to ensure they're supported on their paths to success.

The University of Missouri recently recognized three of those advisors for their dedicated commitment to student success at Mizzou. Their efforts have played a part in Mizzou’s recent all-time record graduation and retention rates as well as a recent career outcomes survey showing that more than 95% of recent Mizzou graduates found employment, continued their education, joined the military or started volunteer service within six months of spring graduation.  

The recipients are:

  • Faculty Advisor Award — Nora Hager, College of Education and Human Development
  • New Advisor Award — Taylor Morrow, Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
  • Primary Advisor Award — Kibby Smith, College of Arts and Science

Read on to learn how each advisor has impacted students on campus and beyond:

Nora Hager.
Nora Hager

Hager has worked in Mizzou’s Department of Human Development and Family Science for nearly 20 years as both a teacher and advisor. She advises students who are pursing careers as child life specialists.

“It is so gratifying to see my students grow during their four years at Mizzou,” Hager said. “I enjoy building rapport with them and seeing them shift from student to professional. Our department is all about human development, and seeing them gain confidence as well as the skills and knowledge to support children and families in pediatric health care settings is satisfying.”

Hager said seeing the students she advised from freshman year to senior year walk across the stage at graduation is one of the highlights of her job as an advisor.

"The people who meet their goals and succeed in what they want to do, very rarely do they ever get there completely by themselves,” Hager said. “I love being able to be a part of helping them out along the way and supporting them in their success. I want my students to know it is okay to ask for help.”

Hager encourages Mizzou students reach out to advisors on campus with questions they may have.

“Advisors are the hidden lifeblood of the university,” Hager said. “We love helping students get through college in the most efficient way possible and helping them build self-confidence so they can be successful after graduation and represent Mizzou well.”

Taylor Morrow.
Taylor Morrow

Morrow served as an academic advisor in the Trulaske College of Business for two years before being promoted to his current position as a senior advisor.

One of the highlights of his job is working with the Heartland Scholars Academy, providing first-generation college students from rural areas with professional development opportunities and taking them on corporate trips to explore potential career paths and meet with business leaders.

“Building relationships with students, hearing about their goals and interests and trying to find ways to support them are all things that I find very enjoyable — and I don’t take them lightly,” Morrow said. “I want students to know they can be successful and impact the world regardless of their background.”

Morrow credits the Office of the Provost for the support Mizzou has given its advisors.

“Mizzou has an advisors forum where we can encourage and learn from other advisors across campus,” Morrow said. “I have been to conferences and talked to other advisors across the country. After hearing their stories, I realized how unique and supportive our environment is here at Mizzou.”

When Morrow was an undergraduate student at Mizzou, he remembers the support he received from his advisor, Kibby Smith.

“The help and support I received from her inspired me to want to give that same guidance to other students,” Morrow said.

Kibby Smith.
Kibby Smith

Since 2011, Kibby Smith has advised undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Science, and she said she can’t imagine doing anything else with her life.

“When students check in with me regularly, whether it is to share their successes or things they are struggling with, it’s very rewarding to be a resource that can help them out,” Smith said. “When I see them walk across the stage at graduation, I imagine all the great things they are going to do in their lives. It is nice to know I might have played a very small part in that.”

While many think of academic advisors for their role helping students enroll in classes, Smith knows advisors do so much more.

“We help students plan for what majors, minors or certificates they may want to pursue, we connect students with tutoring resources, and we help raise awareness about applying for scholarships or study abroad programs,” Smith said. “We are also here to celebrate their accomplishments, whether it be a club or student organization they are involved in, and we help them access resources on campus like the Writing Center or Learning Center.”

Smith said that prospective students considering coming to Mizzou would find a supportive and welcoming environment on campus.

“Mizzou is a place where anyone can find their community because there are so many ways to get involved,” Smith said.

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