Kennesaw State educator honored for efforts on behalf of first-year students

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Keisha L. Hoerrner praised for her uncompromising dedication to students

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Jan. 15, 2013) — A Kennesaw State University educator has been named one of the country’s top advocates on behalf of first-year students.

Keisha L. Hoerrner, an associate dean of University College, was named a 2013 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage Learning.

She was among 10 people recognized. The award, now in its 24th year, honors college faculty, administrators, staff and students for outstanding work on behalf of first-year students and for the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions. The recipients were chosen from among 128 nominees.

Hoerrner and the other award winners will be recognized during the center’s annual conference in February in Orlando. The scholarly conference brings together faculty and professional staff members to disseminate their research and exchange best practices. The conference promotes dialogue on the challenges facing educators, as well as their accomplishments.

In his nominating letter, Ralph Rascati, dean of University College, praised Hoerrner’s dedication.

“She will vigorously and uncompromisingly support any measure that fosters student success. She will just as vigorously and uncompromisingly work to remove any barriers to that success,” said Rascati, who was named an outstanding advocate in 2009.

Hoerrner is a former director of learning communities at Kennesaw State and was the first chair of the Department of First-Year Programs. She graduated from what was then Kennesaw State College with a Bachelor of Science in Communication in 1989. Hoerrner earned her Master of Science in journalism in 1995 and her Ph.D. in mass communication in 1998, both from the University of Georgia.

The National Resource Center is housed at the University of South Carolina. Cengage Learning provides innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The 2013 conference is co-hosted by Rollins College, the University of Central Florida and Valencia College.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.