The Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences has named Libby Tilghman as 2023 College Advisor of the Year.
Tilghman is an academic advisor for undergraduate students in Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology, and Molecular Life Sciences. She has served as an advisor with the Department of Biology at IU Bloomington since 2013.
Academic advisors assist students in exploring their interests, choosing a major, creating a plan to achieve their academic and personal goals, and preparing them for a successful future.
“Libby Tilghman has touched so many lives in her years of advising, and she has been the go-to person in the department for all things related to the curriculum for a very long time,” said Susan Hengeveld, the director of undergraduate studies in the College's Department of Biology.
Students are grateful to Tilghman for her knowledgeable and dedicated assistance and understanding.
“She [Tilghman] has been my advisor for the past 3.5 years and has helped me shape a successful and efficient time here. She's always given me spot-on advice and encouragement when needed, showing me she's been truly invested in my career here,” said one student.
Another student noted, “Libby is an amazing advisor who has encouraged me to reach for goals that I previously thought I could never achieve. She provided me assurance of my skills when I had little confidence and courage in myself.”
“I first met Libby as an incoming freshman the week before school started,” recalls another student. “I was in near tears and extremely panicked about my class schedule. I walked up to a group of bio advisors for help as I could not find any open office hours online. Libby consoled me and said her door would be open the next day if I wanted to come in. She made time for me during the busy week to come and see her. Ever since then, I have seen her every semester.”
Another student shared her appreciation: “I have met with Libby multiple times on Zoom for scheduling help and she has been wonderful. She writes down and color codes everything in a shared document that we talk about, that way I have it all for reference when planning my semesters. She researches several class options that would best fit my schedule that I would not have known had I not reached out to her. She's an amazing advisor and truly wants the best for students.”
Tilghman's willingness to help and her wealth of knowledge make her a mentor to her colleagues. Her guidance creates an amazing rapport among the advisors—allowing ideas and advise to be shared while keeping them focused on their responsibilities.
“Libby is a terrific colleague and advisor mentor,” said a co-advisor. She is always quick to answer a question or help brainstorm, and she brings light, humor, and warmth into every conversation. I appreciate her thoughtful questions and attention to details that could have potential impact for students. Her proactive approach to bringing up questions early helps everything flow smoothly and iron out the wrinkles well before it ever gets to students. She is supportive and always willing to help out a fellow advisor.”
Another colleague said, “I quickly discovered that I could go to Libby with any questions and, if she didn’t have an answer, she would be more than happy to help me investigate the issue. And she always does so with enthusiasm! I admire how dedicated she is to the position and how she always seems to find something encouraging to say, even when things get frustrating. Libby is also incredibly humble and, despite having a frankly impressive knowledge base of the job, she jumps at the opportunity to learn more.”
Academic advisors work together with faculty members in serving the students. The department's faculty members speak highly of Tilghman—noting that she is knowledgeable, practical, responsive, and friendly and describing her as a colleague and a consummate professional.
“It’s no exaggeration that Libby serves as the go-to person for issues relating to biology curricula, advising, and overall mentoring to the nearly 1,200 students in our department . . . ,” said one professor. “She goes above-and-beyond her role as an academic advisor, and she is deeply respectful of students, faculty, and her colleagues. Simply put, Libby has the unique ability to find the good in every situation and the good in every person.”
Hengeveld added, “Libby’s knowledge of the curriculum and her understanding of the courses and how they can fit into a students’ schedule, as well as how changes to the curriculum will impact the students’ ability to graduate in 4-years, is truly outstanding.”
“In short, we are incredibly lucky to have Libby as the backbone of our advising staff in the Department of Biology,” continued Hengeveld. “Libby’s compassion and understanding of an individual’s needs—whether faculty member, administrator, or student—as well as her ability to clearly articulate answers and make suggestions on next steps is unparalleled. We wholeheartedly support her as the College Advisor of the Year!”