McDavid garners academic advising recognition

Frances McDavid

A 28-year communication department faculty member at Mississippi State is being recognized with a regional student advising award.

University instructor Frances O. McDavid’s selection by the National Academic Advising Association was based on “significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.”

She accepted the award at the association’s recent Southeast Region 4 conference in Orlando, Florida, that drew members from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.

In 2015, McDavid was recognized with MSU’s Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Faculty Award, the campus-wide honor that led to nomination for the regional competition.

Founded in 1979, the Kansas State University-based organization works to promote the quality of academic guidance provided to students in higher education. It also serves as a forum for continually examining the evolving role of advising at member institutions. For more, see

A Starkville native, McDavid is a Mississippi State communication/journalism graduate who also holds a master’s degree in public policy and administration from the university. Before coming to work at her alma mater, she held editorial and journalism positions at area newspapers.

In addition to having taught courses in introductory and advanced newswriting, feature writing, news editing and journalism ethics, she coordinates the communication department’s journalism concentration.

Additionally, McDavid is completing her 18th year as adviser to The Reflector student newspaper. She is a member of the Mississippi Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Southeast Journalism Conference.

The role of academic adviser is enjoyable because it affords continuing opportunities to establish relationships beyond the classroom with students as they prepare for careers in journalism and related fields, she said.

Being recognized by both MSU and the advising organization for helping students navigate choices affecting their academic and professional goals is both rewarding and much appreciated, she added.

“To have been selected for this award by NACADA from among many great advisers in four states is a special honor for me,” McDavid said. “Many former students I have worked with provided written support for my nomination, and it was wonderful to hear how my advice helped them succeed in classes, at The Reflector and ultimately in their careers.”

Among the largest academic units on campus, MSU’s communication department enrolls more than 600 majors and has nearly 30 full-time faculty members. It offers a bachelor of arts, with concentrations in broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, public relations and theatre. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs

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