UAPB Student Success Coach Presentation Wins Best in State Award

“May I Take Your Order Please: An Institution’s Menu for Student Success,” co-presented by Mrs. Michelle Grice ‘ 91, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB) Student Success Coach for Senior Students has been named “Best in State” at the Arkansas Academic Advising Network (ArkAAN) Spring 2023 Drive-In conference held on April 28, 2023, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The interactive presentation challenged the audience to consider the similarities between fast-food drive-in menus and academic advising menus. Grice, along with co-presenter Adriian Gardner from the University of Central Arkansas, discussed the importance of providing quality advising services to students and promoting their success by offering personalized and equitable support. The presenters also compared the fast-food industry’s menu planning, staffing, and training practices to the education industry.

“We must ‘Think outside the bun’ (Taco Bell®) and adopt the concept of ‘Quality is our recipe’ (Wendy’s®) to increase the graduation rate,” said Gardner and Grice during their presentation. “We want our students to drive-thru to graduation instead of driving by to another institution.”

The presentation highlighted the importance of considering the needs of all students, including those with dietary restrictions, disabilities and those who are working, first-generation, commuter, non-traditional, and international students.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from ArkAAN,” said Gardner and Grice. “We hope our presentation will inspire academic advisors to continue thinking creatively and innovatively about how to serve their students best.”

Adriian Gardner is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication and an Education Counselor in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas. Michelle Grice is a Student Success Coach for Senior Students in the Student Success Center–Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. As part of the Office of Enrollment Management, Student Success Coaches provide resources to assist students in achieving a successful college experience. Click the link to learn more about the UAPB Student Success Center and the resources and support they offer to UAPB students.

As winners of the “Best in State” award, the organization will cover Gardner and Grice’s attendance at the NACADA Region 7 Conference in 2024.

ArkAAN is a professional organization for academic advisors and administrators in Arkansas. The organization is committed to promoting excellence in academic advising and supporting the professional development of its members.

For more information about ArkAAN and its upcoming events, visit their website at

Adapted from UAPB News. Original article found here.