Colleen Stano: Make a Difference Award Recipient

Pictured is Colleen Stano outside in courtyardDr. Colleen Stano

From providing phenomenal customer service, to teaching in engaging and supportive ways, to improving academic advising office processes, to working collaboratively across the University, Dr. Colleen Stano is a standout when it comes to her roles as senior academic advisor and coordinator of the first-year experience course for the Haworth College of Business. 

Always advocating for what is in the best interest of students, Colleen greets each Business Bronco with a positive attitude and the critical information they need to make informed choices about their academic journey. She is consistently identified by students as an advisor who truly does make a difference in their WMU experience.

Innovation is one of Colleen’s talents—where others see uncertainty, she sees opportunity. She was instrumental in changing how the Haworth College of Business structures orientation. The changes she initiated ensured all incoming business students had credits accounted for and an accurate graduation plan in Degree Works. She also guided the college’s Office of Academic Advising to a completely paperless environment. “Colleen is always finding ways to make things run smoothly, eliminate waste, and save time and resources,” says Betsy Drummer, director of academic advising. “If I had to describe Colleen in three words, they would be efficient, professional and dedicated!” 

And dedicated she is. Often working through her lunch hour and after 5 p.m. to accommodate students, Colleen defines what it means to be student centered. For that reason—and because of her ability to continuously improve processes—she plays a critical role in many University initiatives. She is an advisory member of the WMU Essential Studies Course Review and Approval Committee and serves as chair; she also chaired the Western Essential Studies Committee for the Haworth College of Business. Colleen served on the committee to create training materials for the Academic Advisor Level 1 certification for new advisors, and has provided trainings for Banner and Degree Works for all advising offices. She is a member of the student services sub-committee working to help shape the new OneWMU University College, and on the Excellence in Academic Advising committee. Colleen is also a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach, providing individual and group coaching sessions to students. Yet, with all that on her plate, she still found time to pursue her Ph.D. in educational leadership, further expanding her skill set and capacity as an educational leader.

“It is such a privilege to work with students at every stage of their academic journey,” she says. “I know the impact a good advisor can have, and I believe all students deserve the best advising experience possible. I feel especially lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow advisors, faculty and staff across the University to advocate for students and help them reach their goals. Together, we are making a bigger difference than any one of us can on our own, helping students chart their course and follow it to graduation and beyond.”