Nancy Beyer Opler Award for Excellence in Advising

The Nancy Beyer Opler Award for Excellence in Advising honors the academic advisor who best demonstrates the ability to facilitate students’ adjustment to the academic community and support students in their academic and professional planning.

Amy Lyon ’85

Associate Professor, School of Business & Social Sciences

When Amy Lyon ’85 joined the faculty at Colby-Sawyer College in 2018, she landed her dream job by becoming a fulltime professor at her alma mater. Before returning to the college, Amy earned an M.A. from Dartmouth College and an Ed.D. from New England College and worked for 33 years in the public-school setting.

Throughout her career, Amy has always believed that character education is just as important as academics, and her philosophy is grounded in the concept of grit and the character traits that define it — optimistic thinking, self-control and perseverance. Amy says that teaching and advising are “all about relationships,” and that educators do their best work when they truly get to know their students. “If you really want to make a difference, it certainly helps to know students' backstories,” she says. “Where do they come from? What's their family like? What's important to them? What do they love to do? Where do they struggle? The more I know about a student, the greater chance I have to help guide them along their chosen paths.”

Amy’s students agree. One nominator wrote, “Amy consistently supports me through personal, educational and career-based facets (of my life). Besides being an amazing educator, Amy is a very compassionate person; she cares deeply about all of the students within her program and even those who are not her advisees. She will constantly check in to see how they are doing and goes above and beyond to make a meaningful connection.”

Outside of her professional work, Amy has served as a volunteer firefighter for the past 32 years. She lives in Wilmot with her husband, Jay, and their menagerie of animals.

As is tradition, as recipient of the Opler Award, Amy will deliver the Convocation address to entering students in the fall.