Being a good student organization advisor is all about leading from the sidelines, according to accounting instructor Eddie Nabors.
"I'm a cheerleader as much as anything," he said. "In any student organization, long-term success and consistent success depends on a consistent faculty advisor."
Nabors's service to the UAB chapter of Beta Alpha Psi opens a new website — an honorary organization for accounting, finance and information system students — was recently awarded one of the organization's highest honors.
Nabors received Beta Alpha Psi's Outstanding Advisor Award for 2022, one of only four awarded. It's a prestigious honor, and advisors can only receive the award once every 10 years. To Nabors, it's equivalent to receiving a lifetime achievement award. This is his 11th year serving as an advisor of UAB's BAP chapter, and he is extremely passionate about the organization and his students.
"I love this organization and what it does for students," he said. "To be recognized as being one of its best advisors means a heck of a lot to me. This a great organization for students, and some of our students will tell you that Beta Alpha Psi was the best part of their student experience. To think that I'm having an impact and helping those students succeed, which is what this award is all about … if I'm outstanding at that, I feel really good about it."
As an advisor, Nabors serves as a springboard for student ideas and a listening ear when members need help with something. Members have a chance to hear professional speakers during weekly meetings. Students also learn soft skills needed in the workplace like dealing with conflict, time management and managing distractions. He also said students come up with new ideas to implement, which helps chapter officers grow their leadership skills.
"Essentially, this award is more for them than it is for me," he said. "We've had an outstanding group of student leaders during this period."
Former chapter members have gone on to become alumni representatives on Beta Alpha Psi's Board of Directors because they got so much out of their undergrad experience, Nabors said.
Nabors knows firsthand the opportunities available to Beta Alpha Psi members, having been a member of the University of Alabama's chapter as an undergrad in the 1970s. While there, he formed relationships that have lasted decades.
Nabors said that he wants to give current members the same mission-based experience he had.
"For that first year's winter initiation banquet, I brought in a speaker who was the vice-chair for Ernst & Young, one of the big four firms," he said. "He was a former roommate of mine and a past member. I've spent a lot of time developing networks that are beneficial to our students. We stick together."
That networking is something that Nabors wants the chapter to return to now that COVID restrictions have eased for in-person gatherings.
"Before COVID, if you walked through our Commons you'd see a group of Beta Alpha Psi students studying together. They become close friends and as a matter of fact, we've had a few marriages out of the group," he said.
The chapter revived its crawfish boil with 55 attendees this past semester. Next month, Nabors plans to take six members to the international organization's annual meeting in Orlando.
"They'll learn a whole lot," he said. "I think we'll all come back invigorated and motivated. We'll have a great year next year."