2023 Advisor Awardees

2023 Post-Baccalaureate Program Advisor of the Year – Dolores Shupp Byrne, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Shupp Byrne serves as the Program Director for the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Professional Program at Thomas Jefferson University and as an Assistant Professor of Urology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. She received her BS in Biology from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. She earned her doctorate in Gross Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

In her nomination essay, Dr. Byrne’s advisee said, “As I myself move into positions of leadership as an incoming medical student, my one goal now is to be the type of mentor that Dr. Byrne has been for us throughout my time at TJU.”

2023 Undergraduate Advisor of the Year – Carol Robinson

Carol Robinson serves as the Director of Health Professions Advising at Virginia Tech. She attended Sweet Briar College as an undergraduate, focusing on Mathematics, Psychology, and Teaching. She completed her M.A.Ed. in Counseling at Wake Forest University and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has enjoyed serving other people in various capacities, including as an IT manager, family therapist in a psychiatric hospital, career coach, and, most recently, with health professions advising.

In nominating Ms. Robinson, her advisee said, “Her kindness, generosity, and years of experience as a pre-med advisor have remained unparalleled amongst others, and I truly cannot recommend her enough for this award.”

2002 Advisor Awardees

2022 Public University Advisor of the Year – Toni Trumbo-Bell, Ph.D.

Dr. Trumbo-Bell serves as the Professor of Biochemistry and Pre-Medical Sciences Studies Certificate Program Coordinator at Bloomsburg University. She started college in 1993 at the University of Louisville-Kentucky as a non-traditional student and single mom with a preschooler at home. In 1996, she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. While working as a training coordinator for a large retail corporation as she was searching for a chemist job, she realized that she loved helping other adults succeed through teaching. In 1997, she returned to the University of Louisville and completed a doctorate in chemistry in 2002. After defending her dissertation, she started her “dream job” at Bloomsburg University, and in 2004, she was appointed to the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee.  She has been advising pre-medical science students ever since, sharing in their successes or finding alternative paths in case of a setback.

In nominating Dr. Trumbo-Bell, her advisees said, “She made sure I was on track, and she never let me lose confidence in myself. When the time came for me to apply to medical school, she was certain I was going to get in, even when I sometimes felt doubtful…I feel extremely fortunate to have her in my corner because I know I can always count on her.”

2022 Private University Advisor of the Year – Jelena Marić-Antonijević, MS

Ms. Marić-Antonijević is the Director of Health Professions at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a Master of Science in Biology from Roosevelt in 2017 for research on colon and pancreatic cancer. After graduation, she stayed at Roosevelt. in the Department of Biological, Physical and Health Sciences as the Director of Health Professions. Her main role is to advise pre-health students and teaches science classes throughout the year, including cancer biology.

Drawing from her own experiences as a first-generation/immigrant pre-health undergraduate student, Ms. Marić-Antonijević is passionate about advising students that come from all walks of life because she understands the struggles that they might be going through in order to reach their professional goals. She strives every day not only to be their academic advisor but also (and more importantly) their mentor. She has instilled confidence within her bright students and developed a passion for healthcare, social justice, and equity within them with an expectation they will make a world of difference in their communities.

In her nomination essay, her advisees said of Ms. Marić-Antonijević, “she has been one of the most supportive advisors I’ve ever had.  … Without her help, I would not be able to say that I had gotten accepted to multiple schools with scholarships, including my top choice.”

Media Coverage

About the Advisor of the Year Award Program

In early 2022, the Student Advisory Council developed the idea of allowing students to recognize outstanding advisors. “As pre-health and health professional students, we’ve relied on the support of advisors to give us information and advice on the admissions process,” said Anand Shah, a current dental student and member of the Student Advisory Council. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to tell the world about their advisors who have gone above and beyond to help them, and other students, with their journey to become health care professionals.”

In February 2022, the Student Advisory Council invited students to nominate advisors who had helped them during their pre-health and health professional journey. From the nominations received, the Council selected two advisors, one each from a public and private university, as the inaugural award recipients.