William & Mary

Advisor of the Year 2014

Student Quote:"I have entered advising appointments feeling stressed out about my grades and my current course load. Dr. Sher was able to calm me down while also being realistic about my situation. She provided me with many options and people/resources to turn to in order to help me bring up my grades. She also gave me helpful advice about the two majors I am considering. I left her office feeling reassured and inspired to keep working hard."

Dr. Bev SherThe 2014 Faculty Advisor of the Year is Dr. Bev Sher, a Visiting Professor of Biology and the College’s Chief Health Professions Advisor.  She was nominated for this award by her advisees. She was cited for her approachability and reassuring, individual approach to advising.

In the spring of 1979, Dr. Sher received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and Russian. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in the spring of 1985. After a postdoctoral position at the Stanford University School of Medicine, she followed her husband, a theoretical physicist, to Washington University in St. Louis, where her scientific career was relegated to the back burner by the needs of her first child.

Student Quote: "During my freshman year, I was a pre-med and intended history major. My pre-major advisor, a History professor, was unable to help me plan the science classes I needed to take during my first semester. However, she recommended speaking with Dr. Sher, the pre-med advisor, and I was able to meet with her a few weeks into the semester, she was able to answer all my questions."

After her husband took a tenure-track position in the Physics Department at the College and the family moved to Williamsburg in 1989, Dr. Sher began working as a science consultant for the College’s Center for Gifted Education. She started teaching Immunology as an adjunct faculty member in the Biology Department in the spring of 1992, and gradually took on more teaching and advising responsibilities as her children’s changing schedules permitted.

In the fall of 1996, she started teaching her freshman seminar on emerging infectious diseases, and she has taught two sections of that course nearly every semester since then. She became a part-time health professions advisor in the fall of 1999, and became the College’s Chief Health Professions Advisor in the fall of 2005; she currently advises all of the College’s pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary and pre-pharmacy students. In the spring of 2012, the Princeton Review named her one of its 300 Best Professors.