Guiding Success: Outstanding Advisor Courtney Phillips

(Pictured above: Dean Brown presents Courtney’s Outstanding Staff Award.)

Graduate advisor Courtney Phillips was honored with the PCE Outstanding Staff Award at the college-wide Fall Faculty and Staff Meeting just before the start of classes.

As the Graduate Academic Advisor for all Civil, Environmental, and Nuclear Engineering students at the University, she plays the pivotal role of managing ~130 students while maintaining a deeply personalized approach to each advisee.

Courtney is the go-to source for faculty and students seeking accurate guidance, all the while prioritizing the well-being of those who depend on her.

Her dedication to her graduate students extends beyond academics, encompassing their overall growth and development. Whether advising on course selections, navigating department policies, or offering a compassionate ear during challenging moments, Courtney consistently goes above and beyond to ensure the success of her students. Her impact is unmistakable, as her advisees attest:


“Her personalized advising has significantly shaped my growth as a researcher and scholar.”

“Beyond her official responsibilities, Courtney has consistently supported me, offering guidance on financial matters, personal crises, and personal development.”

“Her guidance not only influences my academic pursuits but also shapes my approach to challenges and professionalism.”

Courtney’s contributions aren’t limited to student support; she played a crucial role in tailoring the new graduate admission system, Slate, to our department’s unique needs. She conducted numerous training sessions for the Graduate Admission Committee and faculty, ensuring a seamless implementation. Her collaboration with the Office of Admissions to pilot Slate has led to improved standardization in the admissions process, fostering positive partnerships between PCE and the Office of Admissions.

Furthermore, Courtney’s impact extends to promoting unity and cooperation among office staff, contributing significantly to the department’s overall success. Though she has many positive characteristics that make her great to work with, perhaps the most apparent would be “selfless.” Courtney’s unwavering commitment to student success, advocacy, and her collaborative spirit make her an invaluable asset to the department.