Three WSU advisors receive international awards

Brooke Whiting, left, Veronica Mendez-Liaina, Samantha Gizerian, Tina Krauss and Anna Chow. Whiting and Chow are WSU ACADA representatives.

By Beverly Makhani, Undergraduate Education

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Samantha Gizerian, Veronica Mendez-Liaina and Tina Krauss have won international honors for student advising from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.

Gizerian won outstanding advising in the category for faculty who also advise. Mendez-Liaina won in the primary advisor category. Krauss won an outstanding new advisor certificate of merit, also in primary advising.

Together, they advise more than 800 undergraduates. All three were nominated after receiving the top awards in their categories from WSU ACADA last fall. Gizerian and Krauss went on to receive top district awards for NACADA Region 8.

Since WSU ACADA began in 2007, 21 advisors have won awards at the national/international level, said Brooke Whiting, WSU ACADA awards committee co-chair. Learn more at

Gizerian in neuroscience

At WSU since 2011, Gizerian is a clinical assistant professor and associate director of undergraduate studies in integrative physiology and neuroscience, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

With a Ph.D. in neurobiology, she said she loved teaching but was not as enthusiastic about research, so the opportunity to advise and teach at WSU was a perfect fit.

“Working with students as their mentor-advisor gives me opportunities to help them learn not only how the brain works, but also how to use it to be successful in whatever path they choose,” she said.

Mendez-Liaina in sport management

Mendez-Liaina earned two degrees at WSU – a B.A. in communication and an higher education – and has been an employee since 2001. She is an academic advisor for sport management in educational leadership, sport studies and educational/counseling psychology in the College of Education.

“My goal is to build leaders who cannot only excel in the classroom, but in life,” she said. “When I meet with a new student for the first time, I ask them one simple question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ This lets the student know that I am asking these questions because I truly care about what they want to learn and achieve in life.”

Krauss in biological sciences

Krauss, an academic coordinator in the School of Biological Sciences, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, has advised students for two years. She is a WSU alumna with degrees in communication and American studies/digital diversity.

“Being an advisor at WSU is more than just helping students get the right classes or manage expectations,” she said. “Being an advisor means helping students plan for their life after high school, life after college and helping provide tools to make them successful in everything they do.”