by Leah Jackson
Dr. Rondo Keele, professor of philosophy in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, was named the 2022 recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Academic Advising Award. The award, presented by the university’s Academic Advising Services office, recognizes faculty for their mentorship and commitment to student success. Criteria include knowledge, helpfulness and accessibility and is based on student nominations.
“My philosophy on advising is one I took from a doctor I knew,” Keele said. “He told me that he takes as much time with each patient as needed, and that this differs considerably from one case to the other. It sounds simple but it stuck with me. Some students practically advise themselves, and I just make sure they are on track and let them go. Some need a lot more, and I try to give it. I also try to get to know a bit about their backgrounds, and always look for red flags: does this student work long hours, or have a fear of math? First generation? Clear career goals or quite uncertain? Anticipating possible roadblocks in advance lets me give better advice.”
One student who nominated Keele provided the following insight.
“My advisor has been incredibly helpful to me in that he tells it like it is. Not everyone benefits from people sugarcoating things. Not only does he tell it like it is, but he also offers concrete solutions to whatever situation you’re in, good or bad. In fact, I’d venture to say he was like a second parent to me.”
“In the spring of 2001, the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, along with the dean of the University College, established this recognition,” said Steve Hicks, director of NSU’s Academic Advising Services. “The intent was to recognize 9-month faculty advisors for outstanding service.”
Keele took a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Anthropology at the University of Utah, where he also completed a master’s degree in Philosophy. For his philosophy Ph.D. at Indiana University he studied medieval philosophy, logic and German Idealism, also completing a Ph.D. minor in Religious Studies and a certificate in Medieval Studies.
His research areas include William of Ockham (d. 1347) and his contemporaries, and late medieval scholasticism more generally. He lectures in the College’s great books sequence, and also teaches ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, logic, gnostic Christianity and classical Latin poetry. He has written books and articles on Franciscan theologian William of Ockham, and his contemporaries Walter Chatton and Peter Auriol.
In his spare time during the semester he enjoys racquetball and bird watching, but in the summer he disappears into the dusty warrens of Cairo, Egypt, and is seldom heard from.