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Assistant Dean Andrea McGee wins top U of T award

Submitted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Andrea McGee, the Faculty of Information’s Assistant Dean of Registrarial and Student Services, has won the Northrop Frye Award for her outstanding contributions to advancing academic advising across the university. McGee was part of a team that has worked together for several years to share best practices in student advising and to ensure that students are getting the support they need. She shares the award with team members from several other faculties and divisions. 

Together, McGee and more than a dozen colleagues created and launched the Academic and Advising Training Program (AATP), which provides curriculum to improve academic advising through online workshops. Being here and supporting all of our students holistically is one of the most important things that we do at the University,” says McGee, who has worked at U of T for almost three decades. “Providing a safe place to listen, support and advise our students is necessary to encourage the individual students’ successes, whatever success means to them. 

In her role at the Faculty of Information and while working with U of T colleagues on AATP, McGee strives to ensure that advising practices and policies are equitable and to consider students’ diverse backgrounds and ambitions. She described advising as “the cornerstone” on which you build. 

“Providing the best possible support in advising is one of the ways we can meaningfully contribute to our students having a positive, enjoyable and successful university experience,” McGee said. 

The Northrop Frye Award is one of U of T’s Awards of Excellence, which celebrate members of the community who have dedicated themselves to others and to collective success. It recognizes those who have undertaken a teaching and learning project with a significant impact on the undergraduate student experience. In selecting McGee and her colleagues, the judging panel considered that in the “increasingly complex postsecondary environment, academic advisors are essential to a healthy and positive learning experience [and that the AATP] significantly enhances the lives of undergraduate students.” 

McGee, who came to the Faculty of Information from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in late 2022, stressed that the AATP has been designed for flexibility and ongoing updating. “We want to provide the best that we can for our students now and in the future.” 

“This year’s award recipients join the ranks of our past honourees, building on a great tradition of extraordinary dedication to the university and to society as a whole,” President Meric Gertler said in his address to the winners. “They represent the incredible breadth and depth of excellence found across the university and they are an inspiration to us all. To everyone being officially recognized today, you’ve earned the admiration and gratitude of the entire university and you’ve set a tremendous example.”

Read the full U of T Celebrates article