Ramesh Balayar, assistant teaching professor in sociology and criminal justice, is the recipient of the 2023 Early Advisor Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. He is the academic advisor for the agricultural and rural policy studies major and has become an important pillar for the department’s mission in advising undergraduate students early in their professional career. He maintains excellent one-on-one relationships with his students and has gone above and beyond to serve them, supporting many of them struggling with personal situations. One of his advisees states, “Frankly, there are few, if any, advisors, faculty or staff that I’ve encountered at Iowa State that better embody and celebrate Iowa State’s principles of community. I mean that wholeheartedly. Respect, purpose, cooperation, richness of diversity, freedom from discrimination, and honest and respectful expression of ideas are all at the core of Ramesh’s approach to teaching, advising and life.”
Balayar is also actively engaged in recruiting new students, which includes attending orientations, meeting with students’ parents on Experience Iowa State days, and being available for drop-in visits from high school students and current students exploring new majors. In addition, Balayar serves as faculty coordinator for the Agricultural Community Encourages Success learning community.