Each year, the UM-Flint Staff Council's Staff Recognition Award is given to deserving candidates who have been nominated by supervisors or colleagues from around the university. The award criteria focus on leadership, teamwork, service, and dedication.
In 2016, nearly twenty deserving candidates were considered before two winners were selected. However, being nominated is an honor in and of itself. We would like to highlight those nominated and share their stories as submitted by their nominators.
Meet Jeff Dobbs
Jeff Dobbs has been with the University of Michigan-Flint since 2000. He serves as an academic advisor/counselor in the Student Success Center, helping students to make informed decisions while at the university and in planning for their lives after graduation.
Mr. Dobbs was nominated by his director, Aimi Moss, who noted that he "exemplifies the true spirit of what holistic academic advising is all about, one student at a time. Jeff is a true student advocate and is relentless in his approach to strong, meaningful, and impactful student advising."
Such praise is especially notable when considering the high number of students that he serves. Continued Moss, "during the 2012-2013 academic year Jeff Dobbs advised 3,500 students. That is a profound number and is the result of students coming back to see him, time and time again."
She also noted that students "flock to the Center specifically for Jeff and will often wait as long as it takes to get into him."
A Face of UM-Flint Student Success
The Student Success Center emails a survey to students after they visit, asking both for a satisfaction level from 1 to 5 and written feedback. Mr. Dobbs can boast an average satisfaction score of 4.75.
According to the written feedback, before seeing Mr. Dobbs students reported feeling nervous, bewildered, and uncertain. Their feelings after changed to "relieved and a bit ambitious" and "amazed." Students with non-traditional needs, such as veterans, commented on Mr. Dobbs' ability to attend to their unique concerns.
In an email to Ms. Moss, one student noted "I was struggling in my personal and academic life. I am a widow with two boys and I wanted to just give up… Mr. Dobbs could have approached my situation differently and I would have dropped out of school… He is irreplaceable and I am so thankful to have him as my advisor. Please, tell him that his hard work [and] gentle spirit will never be forgotten by my family and me."
Part of the UM-Flint Team
Being so exceptionally student-focused could mean an employee is less connected with other UM-Flint staff members, but not so in the case of Jeff Dobbs. Wrote Moss, "Jeff is a team player. There is no doubt about that. He is well regarded across campus as a staff member that can be relied upon and [called] upon. He doesn't turn anybody down: students, staff, and/or faculty. His approach with human beings is genuine. One cannot cut parts of such sincere care out of different aspects in our lives. He is as committed to the team as he is to students."
Moss also noted that Mr. Dobbs exemplifies everything she looks for in day-to-day student interactions, leadership, and professional success.
Congratulations, Jeff Dobbs, on your nomination!
For more information on UM-Flint's Staff Council and the ways in which it serves the staff of the university, visit umflint.edu/staffcouncil.