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ALUMNI ADVISING AWARD

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 26 - April 3, 1997

Leon Geyer

By Stewart MacInnis

Patience, listening, and sound advice are what students get when they talk to L. Leon Geyer, even if other students are queuing up in a line that stretches from his office into the hallway.

Those attributes are among the reasons cited for his selection for the 1997 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. Geyer, professor of environmental and agricultural law in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, will receive the award on Founders' Day.

Geyer "expends a tremendous amount of energy advising and working with students," said fellow professor David Kohl. "He builds good rapport with students, and...he routinely advises students on personal matters. Students feel comfortable with Dr. Geyer's pragmatic, timely, and professional advice, whether it involves careers, class advising, family, financial matters, legal questions, or other concerns."

Geyer directs the department's undergraduate advising efforts, and serves as the department's coordinating counselor within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He also serves on numerous college and university committees.

Michael Taylor, a former student, praised Geyer's advice for providing him with the grounding he needed to pursue a doctoral degree. As Geyer's graduate teaching assistant, he said, he saw Geyer becoming a mentor to many students.

"In every class, Leon makes a concerted effort to get acquainted with each of his students, even when the roster consists of 300 undergraduates," Taylor said. "Leon's greatest strength in advising comes from his genuine interest in the development of each of his students, as both critical thinkers and complete individuals."

Jesse J. Richardson, a lawyer in Winchester, was twice advised by Geyer, once as an undergraduate in the early '80s and again as a graduate student in the early '90s.

"Dr. Geyer is an ideal advisor," Richardson said. "He is always available to consult with you with on any problems or questions that you may have. He does not give you the answer, but helps you to reason through to come up with the answer yourself."