For the ninth year, the University of Memphis presented Distinguished Advising Awards
during its annual Faculty Convocation. This year’s recipients were Anna Bess Sorin,
an instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and Marion Chiles Powless,
academic advising coordinator for the Department of Psychology. Each received a $2,000
award during Convocation April 8 in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. The awards are sponsored
by the U of M Alumni Association.
Marion Chiles Powless (at left), academic advising coordinator in the Department of
Psychology, and Anna Bess Sorin, an instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences,
received Distinguished Advising Awards at Convocation.
Sorin joined the University in 2003. She is coordinator of the Biology Advising and
Resource Center, established in 2008 to manage the large and diverse population of
students interested the biological sciences major.
Since creation of the center, and under the direction of Sorin, the department has
seen an increase in students completing their bachelor of science degree. Her philosophy
of advising encompasses “two main components: providing guidance with specific degree
requirements, and assisting student with understanding and realizing their individual
strengths and career goals.”
One of her students commented, “She is very straight forward and puts the student
on the path to success.”
Last year, Sorin was a recipient of the Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching
Powless joined the Department of Psychology in 2002 as director of the Academic Advising
and Resource Center. In addition to supervising the peer advisers and attendance at
campus recruitment events, she oversees the Center’s academic advising and referral
functions, and provides opportunities to enhance student engagement for more than
900 undergraduate psychology majors.
One of her graduates said, “Marion is a life changer. She listened and provided me
with information. I left the office energized about my future. She helped me to discover
what I have always wanted to do with my life.”