Published on 11/16/16

Jo Anne Norris named 2016 D.W. Brooks Outstanding Staff and Professional Adviser

By Emily Clance

Jo Anne Norris has been a beloved staff member in the Agricultural and Applied Economics department for nearly 30 years, starting as a senior secretary and working her way up to become the outstanding advisor she is today.

She began advising students in 2007, and quickly becoming known for her friendly and welcoming attitude.

Not only does Jo Anne help students navigate the expansive and occasionally frustrating world of class registration, but she also offers a listening ear, welcome advice and encouragement to any who enter her always-open office. Jo Anne knows that advising isn’t a “one size fits all” task, so she goes above and beyond in her work to ensure that each student has an ideal, manageable schedule that fits him or her personally.

Jo Anne also has numerous other jobs in the department, such as preparing minutes for faculty meetings, scheduling courses, maintaining files for undergraduate students, planning and executing the annual Conner Connects banquet and award nominations, and day-to-day departmental operations. She manages all of these duties and more on top of advising undergraduate students and participating in summer orientation sessions for incoming freshmen.

For all she does in the department, Jo Anne has received numerous awards. She is a nine-time winner of the Ag and Environmental Economics Club’s Outstanding Service Award, a four-time winner of the Graduate Student Association’s Outstanding Staff Award, an honorary member of the Agricultural Honor Society and the winner of the Ag and Environmental Economics Club’s 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jo Anne still finds time to be an active member of her church. Since 2002, Grace Baptist Church has been her church home, where she’s been part of the Ladies’ Ministry, a member and co-director of the choir, the chair of the Food and Fellowship Committee and a Sunday School teacher. Jo Anne is truly an incredible and integral part of the Agricultural and Applied Economics department. Students, faculty and staff agree it wouldn’t be the same place without her.