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Advisor of the Year 2010

  • Professor John Charles
    Professor John Charles  "I am constantly surprised and informed by the diversity of pathways that students take through the curriculum and the array of opportunities open to them beyond the classroom. I welcome the opportunity to spend time with students at every juncture of their college careers and beyond – my door is always open.”  
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 John Charles completed his undergraduate studies at Westminster College, Oxford, in 1969 and taught for four years at a comprehensive school in Oxfordshire. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Oregon and taught for three years at Wellesley College, then joined the W&M faculty in 1979. He has served as chair of the Kinesiology and Health Sciences Department and as Director of Academic Advising; has taught in the Honors, American Studies, and Environmental Science and Policy programs; and has written numerous articles and three books. 

The 2010 Advisor of the Year is Professor John Charles, who holds an appointment in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. The award is presented annually by the Parents Association at a ceremony during Family Weekend. 

Charles has advised students individually for 30 years and previously served as director of the Academic Advising program. Among the innovations he introduced as director is the annual majors fair, where students can learn about all the various majors in one setting. Charles also set up the Academic Advising Advisory Board, a group of about 20 campus professionals who meet each semester to fine-tune and improve  the advising system.

"In my experience, our faculty-based advising program is unique: in six years of representing Academic Advising in diverse settings, I never found another university where faculty advising was as valued, particularly by such high-powered researchers who were also excellent teachers. This commitment cuts through disciplinary boundaries: every school and department has helped play a role in freshman advising, as well as helping their majors," Charles noted.

“I have always looked forward to meeting with students and helping them to follow their dreams and develop new passions. Being an advisor has been at least as invigorating for me as for the freshmen, transfers, exchange students, and majors I have helped. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping to promote the scholarly enterprise through academic advising in such a rich, interesting, and diverse learning community.”