Adviser of the Year

2021 - Brenda Boetel

Brenda Boetel, professor of agricultural economics, has been named Adviser of the Year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Boetel is the fourth faculty member from the Agricultural Economics Department to receive the award since its inception in 2000.

Current students and alumni submit nominations for the award each spring and the Faculty Senate Advising Committee reviews the nominations and makes the final selection.

“After I was re-admitted to UW-River Falls, Dr. Boetel served as my academic adviser,” said one nominator. “She was integral in helping me choose a course load that did not hinder my education or progress toward graduation. She was always available to have a conversation and help me figure things out. If it wasn’t for Dr. Boetel, I wouldn’t have graduated, plain and simple. Because of her passion, care and advice, I returned to college and notched six consecutive semesters with a GPA greater than 3.0 as someone who was previously suspended.”

“I have always been motivated by individuals that are passionate about what they do. I have never been that invested in my academics but meeting Dr. Boetel inspired me to take ownership in my education and find the value in it,” wrote an alumnus. “Opening my eyes to the opportunities in front of me and again inspiring me from her passion in what she does. I felt she believed she was successful when I was, it was never just another day or another meeting with a student when I walked into her office. I knew that she was going to do everything she could to help me be successful.”

Another nominator said, “Her insight and advice was second to none. When I was in my last semester of college, we had numerous conversations about the future and what it held. I may not have chosen to pursue a career in my degree field immediately upon graduating, however, almost three years later, I find myself still recalling her advice and wisdom. It is this that has led me back into the agricultural field where I have actively been pursuing a career. All in all, I believe that Dr. Brenda Boetel is more than deserving of this award, not just because of my story or situation, but because there are many more like mine.”

Boetel, of River Falls, was formally presented with the award by UWRF Provost David Travis on the Opening Day of the fall semester.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Having students take their time to nominate me for this award is incredibly meaningful,” said Boetel. “I truly enjoy working with the students and probably get as much from our interactions as they do.”

Boetel joined the faculty at UW-River Falls in 2002 accepting a joint teaching and Extension appointment. In this position she also serves as the state-wide agricultural marketing specialist focusing on the areas of livestock marketing and price analysis for UW-Madison Division of Extension. Since 2016, Boetel has served as chair of the Agricultural Economics Department. She is originally from Huron, S.D., and earned her BA degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, her MS from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.