Award Description

The Dan Fortmiller Award for Excellence in Advising is given annually to a professional advisor who demonstrates qualities that distinguish them as making outstanding contributions to advising at Portland State University. The recipient will receive an award plaque.

Daniel Carl Fortmiller retired from Portland State University in 2016 after 30 years of service. He started at PSU in 1985 as coordinator of Campus-Wide Special Services, creating what has since become the Learning Center in Millar Library. For much of his career, he was director of the Information and Academic Support Center, and then served in multiple interim roles, including  interim commencement coordinator, interim dean of students, interim vice provost for Student Affairs, and interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. His final years at PSU were as associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and associate vice provost of Advising & Career Services. He helped to establish the Mary H. Cumpston Award for service to students which he himself was awarded in 2011.

During his tenure, he played a significant role in leading several campus-wide advising initiatives as chair of the Academic Advising Council, including mandatory orientation for new students and mandatory first-year advising for all students.  In addition, under his leadership, PSU increased the capacity of academic advisers in 2010, such that each school and college was able to establish its own professional advising center. He also designed what has become known as the “Advising Triangle,” depicting PSU’s 3 main components of a baccalaureate degree. Dan was seen as a mentor by many and his leadership has shaped the work of the advising community today.


The award recipient is chosen each year by a selection committee. This award honors an advisor whose accomplishments reflect exceptional service:

  • to students through academic and/or career advising;
  • to the PSU advising community through leadership, advocacy, and/or service.

The recipient will not be eligible for the award for three years after receipt, and will be invited to the selection committee for the following year’s award.

Previous Recipients

  • 2017-18: Leena Shrestha, Academic and Career Advisor, Advising & Career Services
  • 2016-17: Rosalyn Taylor, Coordinator of Instruction, Diversity & Multicultural Student Services, TRIO
  • 2015-16: Laura Marsh, Academic Adviser, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 


Information regarding nominations and submissions for the 2018-19 Dan Fortmiller Award for Excellence in Advising will be available in Spring 2019.