Academic Advising Award-Celebration of Education - Carnegie Mellon University

The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Advising and Mentoring

2015 Academic Advising Award Recipient

Marion OliverBonnie Olson

Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Department of Mechanical Engineering

As an academic advisor for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bonnie Olson assists undergraduate students in successfully completing the rigorous engineering curriculum. She also helps students find ways to enrich their collegiate experiences through study abroad opportunities, minors or double majors, and campus involvement. Additionally, Olson serves as the undergraduate coordinator for the department, managing a variety of tasks to enhance the department's academic programs.

Olson joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in May 2003 as the undergraduate program coordinator. In early 2005, the department shifted its academic advising model from faculty to a full-time staff position. Olson eagerly embraced the opportunity to work directly with students and has been advising mechanical engineering majors ever since. Study abroad advising, including leadership in the Spring Break 2013 short-term department trip to the Beijing University of Technology, continues as a specific interest, with the department maintaining the No. 1 position in CIT for study abroad participation for the past six years.

After obtaining her graduate degree from the University of Wyoming, Olson worked for a firm in Laramie, Wyoming, handling the university's travel needs, a natural fit with her strong interest in travel. Upon moving to Pittsburgh, she joined a local travel company and connected frequently with the Carnegie Mellon community, providing travel services at the university level for Carnegie Mellon clients. When her firm closed in 2003, Olson wanted a career change and looked to Carnegie Mellon, having already become acquainted with the university and many faculty and staff.

Originally from northwestern Pennsylvania, Olson holds a B.A. degree in geography from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. degree from the University of Wyoming.

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