Kara Woodlee promoted to senior academic advisor


IUPUI Honors College announced that Kara Woodlee has been promoted to the position of senior academic advisor. This position was awarded to her after review by the IUPUI Academic Advisor Development Program (AADP), a program devoted to maintaining and improving academic advising standards through education, training, and commitment to students. Woodlee is the first advisor in the Division of Undergraduate Education to receive a promotion through the AADP.

Woodlee thinks that advisors making a difference in the lives of their students is significant and worth exploration. She believes that students, with the support and guidance of their advisors, need to come to the place where they are self-motivated and self-knowing decision makers. Woodlee sees herself as a partner during the creation of a confident student and always expects to see her students grow into their best selves. Her advising philosophy involves forming close connections with her students and empowering them to make connections and decisions for themselves. She is always willing to provide support to her students however she can, with the goal of creating a beneficial experience for every individual student.

Her attentiveness to her students has not gone unnoticed; Rebekah Lawson, who was advised by Woodlee for three years, says that Woodlee has always taken an interest in Rebekah’s “personal and academic achievements from the beginning of our advisor-advisee relationship.” Another student of Woodlee's, Sunnih Flores, says that Woodlee’s support helped Flores navigate many personal and academic struggles. Flores says, “Kara is approachable, attentive, and thorough in her approach as an advisor.” Woodlee has been a source of professional guidance for many students. Jake Whiteside says that Woodlee helped him discover ways to get experience in the areas he was interested in.

Kara is not only a phenomenal supporter, she is a participant.

—Jake Whiteside

Woodlee’s participation in the lives of these students, and many others, has helped to set them up for a life of success. Not only is Woodlee excellent at providing resources for students, she is also a resource for the students she works with. Kristina Horn Sheeler, executive associate dean of the IUPUI Honors College, says, “It’s clear that Kara’s commitment to students and their success is first in her mind as she regularly takes advantage of opportunities to build her skill set related to supporting our students.” Woodlee is an active member of the advising organizations JACADA and NACADA, as well as the National Collegiate Honors Council, all of which afford her opportunities to model personal growth for her students.

Advising was important to Woodlee’s personal journey. As a first-generation student, Woodlee experienced the impact that mentors and professors can have on a student’s journey as she sought guidance in her campus experience that felt foreign to her. She says it was like being in another country where she did not speak the language. The connections that she made with professors during that time remain with her today, and she says that the intersection of her experiences as both a first-generation college student and an honors student made her intrinsically aware of and empathetic to the wide range of challenges her own students face.

Woodlee received a master's in higher education and student affairs at the University of South Carolina after completing her studies at the University of Indianapolis. Her connections with faculty and scholars across the country has given her a great perspective and framework for developing her advising philosophy. She hopes to instill in her students an understanding of the importance of building network connections and how valuable those connections can be, both now and later in life.

Colleagues in the Division of Undergraduate Education are congratulating Woodlee on her achievements and look forward to seeing her future successes.

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at duecomm@iupui.edu.