Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Director of advising resigns

Director of Advising Ned Laff has resigned after just over a trimester at Augustana due to familial reasons, according to Provost Pareena Lawrence.
Laff, who worked in the CORE Office, oversaw faculty advisers at the college, making sure they were on track in advising their students, and was an adviser for some transfer students. Laff also advised students in helping find internships, job shadowing opportunities, and graduate schools, among other career development advice.
Senior Ashley Wolfe, who plans to pursue a Master’s degree in college student personnel at a graduate school, said Laff offered an unparalleled technique in advising students.
After attending a presentation Laff gave to community advisors last summer, Wolfe said she left with a lasting impression of Laff.
“Just within a 30-minute presentation that he gave, I was really just inspired by his methodology and how he challenged students to really connect their experiences that they’re having outside the classroom and their passions with what they want to study and what they want to do,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe then met with Laff a few times during the fall trimester, looking for advice in applying to graduate school. Laff helped Wolfe discover the University of South Carolina, which she plans to apply to, plus providing help with how to address emails to graduate program directors and offering her connections with certain schools.
“I really liked his straightforward approach as to how he did things, and really challenged you to think and confront a lot of things that you might not want to,” said Wolfe.
Lawrence said Laff left a positive impact on campus in helping students find internships and job shadowing opportunities, and the administration will now look to hire someone for a similar role as CORE maintains its central purpose.
Lawrence said administration will begin looking for someone to fill Laff’s position soon, although whoever they hire may have a slightly different role in CORE depending on his or her qualifications.
“When we hired Dr. Edmondson (Associate Vice President for Career Development) and when we hired Dr. Laff, CORE wasn’t in existence; we were still putting pieces together,” said Lawrence. “Now, we have CORE in existence, all the pieces together. So now as we reevaluate, it might be a slightly different need that we see.”
Pareena said the transfer students Laff advised will receive a new adviser, but that the mission of CORE and the college’s focus in advising will not change with his absence.
Wolfe said CORE has helped her realize she could go farther in creating new experiences and challenging herself.
“I definitely know that Ned is an individual who really believed in trying to connect those experiences from inside and outside the classroom and I don’t think the CEC (Community Engagement Center) necessarily had that mindset previously,” said Wolfe.
After the fall trimester, more than 1,000 students have visited CORE and 53 percent of students who visited the office were non-business related majors.
Lawrence said because of these numbers, she is excited in how much CORE has accomplished from when the office was created at the beginning of this year.
Michael Edmondson said in an email that students requiring advising in regards to changing a major should contact Kristin Douglas in Academic Affairs. Students interested in graduate school programs, internships and job shadowing opportunities should contact Edmondson.
Laff was unable to be contacted for this story.

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Director of advising resigns