Benny Tillman

I am nominating:Benny Tillman
Years of Service at Cal Poly:3
Department:Student Support & Equity Programs
Position:Academic Advisor
Why are you nominating this person? Why do you think he/she deserves the award?
Benny has been one of the greatest advisors we have ever worked with. He shows his passion for his position every day through his interactions with his students. Benny has a very welcoming and magnetic personality. He works hard to make sure that his students get the best services and is never hesitant in helping anyone in our department. He has an open door policy which is apparent as he always has a line of student outside his door, waiting to meet with him. Benny shares his best practices with his colleagues and stays connect to various departments on campus to share when new procedures or events are happening on campus.

In what way(s) does this person enhance or contribute to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community?
Benny Tillman is a family man, and it shows in his interactions with his students. His caring, paternal and genuine personality invites students (and parents) to his office. He holds students accountable, but in a very respectful way. Benny is always coming up with colorful and descriptive stories as a way to share information, and to make his point. If his students likes sports, then he will share a sports analogy with that students. If his student likes music, then he will use music as a way to connect with his students. He has loyal students who commit to meeting with him regularly, and it is through his consistent support and encouragement that keeps them coming back.
During the time that Benny has worked at Cal Pomona, he has played a significant part of our SSEP Team. One of the ways that Benny contributes to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community is through the great service he gives students. Benny is approachable and his students easily relate to him. He constantly impresses us with the positive ways he approaches advising and the impact he has on students. Lastly, it has been a great pleasure working with Benny. He is one of those colleagues who is collaborative, supportive and very team-oriented – and when you hear him laugh from his office (which is often) it is one of those laughs that is contagious!

Please select 2 of the 6 Division of Student Affairs values for which your nominee best exemplifies:
☐ X Student Centered Philosopy
☐ Integrity
☐ Interconnectedness
☐ Environmental
☐ Passion
☐ X Quality
☐ Richness of Diversity
☐ Sustainablity

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #1:

Benny is Student Centered. As an advisor he constantly is creating an environment where students learn and develop to take ownership of their college career. Benny mentors many students and is dedicated to preparing all student for real life situations while promoting academic excellence. Our population consists of many students from single parent homes. Benny serves as a positive male role model for many of our students to help support and encourage them through their college career. He uses academic policies to guide student to achieve life long career goals and to make informed decisions regarding their educational pursuits all while approaching everything with his “keeping it real” personality.
Benny is approachable and students sense this. Often times, he will have 2-3 students in his office conversing about various topics. In addition, he holds many one-on-one meetings with students – some scheduled and others not scheduled. There are several students who check-in with Benny frequently, and consistently, throughout the year. Mr. Tillman has also motivated a group of students to join him during his lunch hour for “Benny’s Bootcamp” – a 30 minute cardio and circuit training experience.

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #2:
Benny exemplifies Quality. As an advisor he provides first rate service and exceeds expectations. Sometimes students are either not aware of services on campus or they are afraid to utilize them. Benny goes above and beyond to help the student know the services on campus, where there are located, what to expect and who to ask for when they arrive. Benny is even known to walking students over to the Student Health and Counseling Service department or EOP tutorial services. His academic advising appointments require student participation, reflection and accountability. His students know that they have to come prepared, and ready to be active participants in the advising process.