Written by Lucero Benitez, COSS Communications Specialist

College of Social Sciences advisor Isamar Alvarado received the 2022 Outstanding Advisor Award for her devotion, and investment in creating an excellent experience for students.

Alvarado is from Fresno, CA and attended Fresno State right after graduating from Central High School. Her passion for education led her to a Liberal Studies major and she received her bachelor’s degree in 2015. 

“My original career goal was to pursue teaching as I always found an interest in the education field,” Alvarado said. “I decided to pursue my Master’s in Counseling with the option in Student Affairs and College Counseling right after receiving my bachelor’s degree.” 

She shared she was first drawn to counseling in high school after taking a peer connectors class, an elective course that focused on guidance skills, peer support, confidentiality, conflict resolution, and counselor crisis intervention.

As an undergrad at Fresno State, Alvarado worked as a student assistant under the Registrar’s Office where she learned that she could serve the higher education student population in a counseling and advising capacity. She then worked as a Peer Academic Counselor with the University Advising Center and learned that she loved working with older students and adults versus the K-12 setting.

In 2018 Alvarado earned her master’s degree from Fresno State and was then employed by the College of Social Sciences Advising Center.

She’s been working in the advising center long enough to see first year students complete their degrees and graduate. Her favorite memories at Fresno State are around graduation time and celebrating student success stories.

“The most rewarding part of being an advisor is getting to witness students’ resilience. College students go through a journey of developing their identity, independance, and finding their purpose in society while juggling all that life throws at them,” Alvarado said. “Every students’ journey is different, but seeing them overcome their individual obstacles and persist in their education goals is really inspiring. Knowing that I can serve a small part in supporting them is truly rewarding.”

Alvarado is grateful for the support she’s received from her coordinator, colleagues, faculty and staff because it has allowed her to serve students in a greater capacity. 

The award came as a surprise for Alvarado. For her, it’s an honor to know that students and staff felt compelled to share the impact she’s made and took the time to nominate her.

“I want people to know that our advising team is here to help students navigate through college, regardless of the challenges that arise, and to support them in exploring the solution that best fits their needs.”    

In May, Fresno State celebrated 39 Outstanding Advisor Award nominees and announced four recipients. This is the largest group of nominees in the 16 years of this award. They also had 350 unique submissions from students and staff, a testament of the importance and impact of advising.