Adviser of the year has personal connection to award

Working in the same department at the University of South Carolina for a quarter-century provides a unique insight into the inner workings of the machine. Just ask Becky Mayo. She has advised students in the College of Engineering and Computing since 1988, through three different computer systems and deans, and many new colleagues. Her wealth of knowledge in the area contributed to her being named the 2014 Ada B. Thomas Outstanding Staff Adviser award recipient.

"I was very pleased, but very surprised," Mayo says. "There are a lot of wonderful advisers at the university." Mayo also has a strong connection to award's namesake. Ada B. Thomas was a mentor of hers at the university.

"When we had a question, we would definitely call her," Mayo says. "She was all about the students and a very caring person and I'm honored to be presented with an award that originated with her."

From her memory for little details like the name of a student from 20 years ago to her willingness to change with the technological advances, Mayo is exactly the kind of person students need.

"I try to remember that people come to the board with lots of different life experiences and we have to consider those because there's a backstory to every admitted student," she says.

Mayo's philosophy for dealing with students is summed up by the mnemonic ICE: Informed. Compassionate. Engaged.

"I try to apply the golden rule and think about how I would want my children to be treated," she says.

As a recipient of the Ada B. Thomas Outstanding Staff Adviser, Mayo received a plaque, a $1,000 check, and recognition at the spring awards ceremony.

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