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The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Advising and Mentoring

2014 Academic Advising Award Recipient

Marion OliverMarion L. Oliver

Teaching Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences

In August of 2004, Professor Oliver joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Mathematical Sciences to teach at the branch campus in Doha, Qatar, where degree programs are offered in biology, business administration, computer science and information systems. Just prior to joining the CMU faculty, he taught four years in the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. Both faculty positions came after spending 10 years at Mobil Oil Corporation where he held two key positions. The first was manager of recruitment & development for the Marketing & Refining Division, and director of the corporation's International Associates Program, which was designed to identify talented MBA graduates and provide them with early international experience. After spending two years in this position, he was appointed manager of training for the Middle East and was responsible for coordinating the delivery of Mobil's training and management/organizational development programs and services to Mobil's Joint Venture and other clients in the Middle East. Just prior to leaving Mobil, Marion spent six months managing corporate-wide college recruiting for engineers, MBAs and experienced and executive hires. He also spent 10 weeks in Qatar developing a comprehensive training and development strategy for the Middle East region.

Before going into the corporate world, Professor Oliver held a variety of middle and senior management positions in higher education. From 1969 to 1979, he was employed at CMU where he spent considerable time and energy helping to develop the university's very successful minority education effort called the Carnegie Mellon Action Project, commonly referred to as CMAP. He was CMAP's director from 1974 to 1979. In addition to holding faculty appointments in the Department of Mathematics and the School of Urban & Public Affairs, commonly referred to as SUPA (now the Heinz College), Professor Oliver was one of two associates deans in SUPA, holding this position concurrently with the CMAP position until he left in 1979 to become provost & vice president for Academic Affairs at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania. In May of 1982, he joined the administration at the University of Pennsylvania as associate provost and held that position until being appointed a vice dean of the Wharton School and director of the school's undergraduate program. During his eight year tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Oliver held a faculty position in the Wharton School's Department of Statistics.

Professor Oliver is a 1965 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he majored in mathematics and physics. He spent the 1965-66 academic year at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio studying mathematics and economics on a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. After leaving Oberlin, he worked 15 months for the Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory as a scientific programmer. He left Bettis in 1967 to study for graduate degrees in mathematics at CMU. In 1969 he received his M.S. degree in mathematics from Carnegie Institute of Technology and in 1972 he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Mellon Institute of Science. To further round himself out, in 1975 he successfully completed the university's School of Business (now the Tepper School) Nine Week Executive Education Program.

The Academic Advising Award recognizes a member of the university community who has achieved excellence in providing undergraduate and graduate academic advising and mentoring.

The award is intended to recognize a commitment to helping students in the following ways:
  • selecting courses, focusing and managing research and choosing a major/minor
  • determining long-term career and personal development goals
  • defining and achieving academic goals