Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ACA General Meeting July 2017

No photo of the spread...
instead enjoy this, 2005 champs!
A special thank you to Athletics Student Services for hosting the July ACA meeting in the beautiful Belmont space. We enjoyed a breakfast fit for champions and learning more about the work Athletics Students Services does for UT Austin student-athletes.

Athletic Student Services
Kat Hastings, Associate Athletics Director for Student Services

Kat Hastings announced that in June Dr. LaToya Smith was named the new Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services. She will assume oversight and management of student services for the 20 sports programs this fall.

Kat also announced that "academic counselors” will transition to a new title of “academic coordinators.” The change is meant to signal to student-athletes that their job is to coordinate academic advice. The message from academic coordinators will be that college/department academic advisors and program coordinators are the best source of information regarding the specific academic requirements of their degree plan.

Kat took the opportunity to dispel some myths about the 500 student-athletes in 20 NCAA championship eligible sports at at UT Austin.
  • Myth #1: All student-athletes are the same.
False: It is a 50/50 men to women split and nearly 10% of UT student-athletes are international students. Also, each sport has its own ebb & flow making prescriptive advising very difficult.
  • Myth #2: All student-athletes attend UT Austin on a full scholarship.
False: Approximately 20% of UT Austin student-athletes do not receive any form of scholarship and most are on partial scholarships. Only 5 sports can give full scholarships: Men’s/Women’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis, Volleyball, and Football
  • Myth #3: Student-athletes are content in a bubble.
False: Athletics welcomes a partnership with ACA and other campus partners.
  • Myth #4: Student-athletes never go to Orientation.
False: Student-athletes are encouraged to attend Orientation if it fits into their academic and athletic schedule. There are 130-140 incoming student-athletes this fall and 1/3 of those students are already taking summer classes. Athletics Student Services is working with NSS to help many of those incoming student-athletes attend the August 24 Orientation.

Other things you should know about UT Austin student-athletes:
  • Many student-athletes attend UT Austin year-round to allow for the necessary training time and to keep on track academically. A lot of students also travel during the summer to compete (specifically in the individual sports).
  • They are VERY busy. Every day is consumed by some combination of classes, study hall, office hours, sport practice, strength and conditioning, meals, etc. Some are on the go until 10 pm only to wake up very early for practice the next day.
Athletics Student Services needs your help with advising students within a timeline that is a little earlier than that of your average student:
  • September & January – Student-athletes should check-in with academic advisors.
  • October & March – Student-athletes are directed to meet with their academic advisor to create a registration plan well before course schedule is even out.
  • November & April – Priority access opens; Athletics Student Services will register students with proof of a meeting with their academic advisor such as toolkit note and a completed registration advising form. Athletics Student Services only lifts advising bars if student-athletes have met with advisors first.
Athletics Student Services hopes to increase its partnership with academic advisors in a few ways over the next academic year:
  1. Academic coordinators plan to make toolkit notes with student-athletes' practice schedules, major interests, and other relevant notes to help Academic Advisors during their registration planning meetings in October and March
  2. Academic coordinators will partner with departments across campus to better educate student-athletes on the various internal transfer processes.
  3. Place more accountability on student-athletes.
Academic advisors can help in this partnership by understanding the tight schedules of student-athletes and the unique advising timeline when student-athletes run into issues scheduling appointments.

The ACA Membership asked Kat Hastings some excellent advising questions related to our student-athletes:

Q: How are you ensuring student-athletes have access to study abroad, internships, and other co-curricular experiences?
A: If study abroad experiences/internships fit into their athletic plan and allow student to still compete at the level needed, then students are encouraged to participate in one of those experiences.
  • How Athletics helps students to study abroad: Every four years teams travel internationally. COLA created a 1-hour class to prepare students for the experience abroad. It has helped students to better understand the culture when in country and reflect on their experiences abroad. Key limitation to other opportunities: Difficult to help students to finance study abroad experiences and fit into tight schedule.
  • How Athletics helps students complete internships: Web-based classes are sometimes a way to help students to complete an internship because it builds time into schedules where students can be away from campus. Key limitation to other opportunities: Per NCAA rules students are required to have a day off which makes squeezing in everything tough already. An internship can be an extra layer.
Q: It seems that student-athletes still only have access to certain majors. How is Athletics Student Services helping student-athletes navigate major selection?
A: The Internal Transfer process is difficult to navigate and that is why we have a difficult time fitting students into all of the majors on campus. We often run into scheduling issues for example if entry-level courses required for internal transfer are only offered in the afternoon during practice times that student cannot pursue that major. There needs to be more conversations at the provost/deans level to better address this concern.

Q: How do you document students taking courses as electives?
A: As long as the elective course counts toward a degree requirement such as the 120-hour rule or the upper-division credit hours requirement, the student will still satisfy NCAA eligibility requirements. Students need to be strategic and elective varies by degree plan.

Q: How do minors and certificates work with NCAA Certification?
A: If the students have applied to the minor/certificate program, have followed the procedure to declare the minor/certificate, and the minor shows on their record before the first class day, then it is appropriate and meets NCAA standards.

University Leadership Network (ULN)
Kyle Clark, Experiential Learning Program Manager, and Cierra Campbell, Year III Program Coordinator

Kyle Clark and Cierra Campbell joined ACA to update the membership on the University Leadership Network program and a leadership opportunity for ACA members this fall.

What is ULN? ULN is a performance-based 4-year scholarship program for students demonstrating financial need and who may be unprepared for the rigors of university life at UT Austin when they step onto the 40 acres as freshman. Every year ULN admits 500 students into the program with the college-to-career goal of graduation in 4 years. Students earn a $20,000 scholarship over their 4 years in the program by meeting monthly benchmarks.

ULN also needs your help on Monday, August 28 from 2-4pm at the 2017 ULN Leadership Summit Networking Session. The Leadership Summit is a one-day professional conference for students designed to provide UT Austin juniors with additional networking and leadership skills as they prepare for their careers and graduate or professional schools after graduation.

By volunteering as an expert professional at the Networking Session you will help to make networking less intimidating for ULN juniors and help students define the value of networks across identities, interests, and ideologies. All you need to bring is your awesome personality (and some business cards)! Interested? Learn more here and RSVP for the Leadership Summit here.

ACA Updates
Kayla Ford, ACA President 2016-2017, Ana Dison, ACA President 2017-2018, and Tepera Holman, 2016-2017 Awards and Recognition Committee Chair

Kayla provided an update on the committee work she contributed to on behalf of the ACA Membership during the 2016-2017 academic year. Kayla served on the Educational Policy Committee as a Consultant Without a Vote where the committee discussed transfer courses, Cockrell School of Engineering study abroad programs, catalog language related to minors and certificates and other changes still in the works. As ACA President, she also attended the Academic and Student Affairs Committee for campus-wide updates that she brought back to the membership and the Provost's Council of Student Advocates (PCSA).

Kayla then recognized the accomplishments of the 2016-2017 ACA Executive Board and thanked the board members for their contributions to the organization.
Thank you, Ana!
2016-17 President-Elect

Thank you, Daniel & Jillian!
2016-17 Vice Presidents and Program Co-Chairs

Thank you, Blake & Sara!
2016-17 Communications Coordinator & Treasurer

Thank you, Alexis & Katie!
2016-17 Treasurer-Elect & Historian
Thank you, Kayla!!
2016-17 President
(she got a standing ovation for her work)

New Officer Oath
Kayla Ford swore in Ana Dison as the 2017-2018 ACA President and Ana swore in the following elected board member for the 2017-2018 academic year:

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Executive Board:
o President-Elect: Jay Guevara
o Vice President/Program Co-Chairs: Mary De Sopo and Eric Carter
o Treasurer: Alexis George
o Treasurer-Elect: Cassie Burton
o Historian: Joshua Barham
o Communications Coordinator: Brittney Cox
o Secretary: Briana Weiland (not able to attend July ACA meeting)

ACA Staff Awards
Tepera Holman, Awards and Recognition Committee chair

Tepera awarded the 2016-2017 ACA Staff Awards to the following deserving ACA members for their service to the advising community.

Creating Positive Change and Innovation Award: Sara Sanchez

Sara's Nominator described how Sara changed advising practices this year: This system is a reworking of an old system that was no longer used, but required working with our IT/Computer Services to modify it. This new system allows us to easily track students who have not completed the indicator courses they need to declare their major. Not only that, but the system is also a tracking system where we have the students input during what semester and where they will take the course. This requires them to constantly think about this every semester it is not complete and if they are taking it at another institution, it also requires that they use the ATE to look up the course that transfer correctly. This has caused our students to plan for their Eco & Calc courses, and it allows us to see their plan and follow up easily.

Dedication to Students Award: Jinane Sounny-Slitine

Jinane's Nominator described Jinane's commitment to her students as follows: Jinane has an open door policy. On a daily basis she has students stop by her office just to update her on their lives. She readily has candy available for them! She advises students on their academic progress and opportunities but many students seek her advice about personal matters and her input about their decisions concerning their future plans. Because of her strong bonds with students, they look to her for advice and often continue to seek her advice even after they graduate. Jinane has shared that she holds mini reunions for alumni in various cities. She holds regular gatherings in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. She remains close to her students even after they graduate which comes in handy because she can refer her current students to alumni when they have questions about careers and internship opportunities.

Beyond her regular advising duties, Jinane created and facilitates the Econ Peer Mentor Program. This program helps students develop skills to master their academics but also their leadership skills. Mentees learn about time management, resources on campus, study skills, career opportunities, and more. Mentors learn how to expand their leadership skills and receive continuous supervision and extensive training.

Service to Advising Profession Award: Kayla Ford

Kayla's Nominator described Kayla's commitment to advisors as follows: Kayla Ford demonstrates passion for the advising profession by repeatedly volunteering to take on additional roles and responsibilities such as ACA President, POD program facilitator, Working Moms group organizer, and various team-building/professional development roles. She is always working to improve the advising experience for advisors so that they, in turn, can improve advising services for students. By facilitating various team-building activities, Kayla helps advisors build their network across campus so every advisor knows who to call when they encounter student questions that go beyond their own knowledge or competencies. Beyond the networking opportunities, she realizes the value of the Academic Counselors Association in developing each advisor’s knowledge and skills, which is why she ran for ACA President Elect even while on maternity leave. (The fact that she was even thinking about ACA, advising, and her fellow advisors while on leave to care for her newborn, is just another indication of her passion for the work she does and her colleagues.) Her willingness to volunteer for extra work and tasks which others might pass up or overlook, demonstrates her commitment to the advising profession.

Congratulations to all!!

ACA Committee Recruitment
Thinking about ways to get more involved in ACA during the 2017-2018 academic year? Consider contributing your time to an ACA committee. 2016-2017 Committee chairs and members shared their experiences from the past year at the end of the July ACA meeting and provided the ACA membership a chance to sign-up for more information.

Didn't get a chance to sign-up? Don't worry! You can add your name to this Google Doc to indicate your interest as a committee member or committee chair.

Click here for ACA Committee Descriptions

ACA KUDOS and Member Spotlights - check them out!! Thanks again to Erica Matos-Lindsey and Chris Montes for being good sports :)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ACA General Meeting June 2017

A special thank you to Student Veterans Services for their sponsorship of the June 2017 ACA meeting and for providing helpful updates regarding  UT veterans and dependents of veterans.

Student Veteran Services
Jeremiah Gunderson, Director of Student Veteran Services; and Jeff Moe, VA Outreach Coordinator, Mental Health Clinician with Student Veteran Services

Jeremiah and Jeff, both veterans, provided updates regarding the support they offer veterans and the dependents of veterans (approximately a 3:1 ratio of dependents of veterans to veterans at UT Austin).  Approximately 80% of veterans nationwide are first generation college students so Student Veteran Services works to support students with each step of the academic process in mind. Student Veteran Services provides assistance regarding:

  • Benefits
    • The intake processing and regular certification of both federal and state education benefits can be tricky for students using veteran education benefits. Jeremiah reminded ACA to ask all students if they receive veterans benefits as that can significantly impact academic decisions such as dropping a class.
  • Academic Support
    • Student Veterans Services offers veterans free tutoring, academic counseling, peer coaching and mentoring both in their office and through campus partners such as the Sanger Learning Center and the Undergraduate Writing Center.
  • Career Support
    • Since the majority of veterans are admitted to UT Austin as transfer students, Student Veteran Services works with incoming students to set professional goals and build strategies to reach each professional goal while at UT and following graduation. Student Veteran Services connects students to networking, internship, and research opportunities on campus and within the VA.
  • Health Care and Counseling
    • Jeff Moe is Student Veteran Services' in-house VA Counselor. He is able to counsel students through issues such as PTSD, academic accommodations related to health issues, and VA health care enrollment. He also connects students through the VITAL initiative to services available to veteran students. Student Veteran Services promotes seeking help and hopes to connect students to services earlier rather than later.
    • VITAL (Veterans Integrated to Academic Leadership) is a collaboration between UT Austin, the Central Texas Veteran Health Care System, and other Central Texas Higher Education institutions designed to increase access to health care, mental health, and clinical services such as individual and group counseling regardless of discharge status. 
  • Community Outreach
    • Student Veteran Services leads a Veteran Advisory Council comprising of campus partners and veteran students to help write policy, educate campus partners on the unique skills set and concerns of the campus veteran population, and provide leadership opportunities for veteran students.
    • Student Veteran Services also hosts its own Orientation Program, Student Veteran Association, Women Veterans Group, and Mentor Programs designed to connect veteran students with each other and to important campus resources.
Jeremiah and Jeff had time to answer questions from the ACA membership:

Q: How many students are veterans on campus?
A: There are 500 total veteran students on campus with just under 300 undergraduates. A large concentration of veterans are in McCombs graduate programs.

Q: Is there any way to flag students in Advisor's Toolkit, for example? 
A: Not really at this time, but Student Veterans Services is trying to create a database for all veterans whether they use benefits or not.

Q: Clarification: If a dependent of a veteran is already taking a full course load of 12 credit hours that count toward specific degree requirements, can additional coursework above 12 credit hours be anything that student chooses to take?
A: Yes, anything past 12 credit hrs is fine; they just won’t get book money for it.

Texas Recruitment & Interview Services (TRIS)
Susanna Hill, Director

Susanna addressed the ACA membership to explain how TRIS services can help students connect to employers and career resources across campus. Visit http://recruit.utexas.edu and instruct students to follow the link "I am a job or internship seeker."
This website provides easy access to:
  • HireUTexas
  • Hire-A-Longhorn
  • Career Resources from across campus for all students to access regardless of major
  • a Career Fair and Events Calendar
Thank you for the reminder about this helpful and comprehensive resource, Susanna!

ACA Updates

The June meeting provided a lot of time for ACA love with ACA Executive Committee nomination speeches and ACA Committee Recognition.

ACA Executive Committee Nominations and Speeches

President-Elect Candidates (L-R): Jillian Kozlowski and Jay Guevara

Treasurer Candidates (L-R): Cassie Burton and Sara Corson

Historian Candidates (L, Top R, Bottom R): Josh Barham, Jordyn Harrison, Erica Matos-Lindsey

Secretary Candidates (L-R): Micah Jackman and Brianna Weiland

Communications Coordinator Candidates (L-R): Brittney Cox and Chris Montes
For a complete recap of the nomination speeches, please visit this page on The Argosy.

Congratulations to Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo, 2017-2018 ACA Vice-President and Program Co-Chairs already voted in as the pair ran uncontested!

Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo - Your 2017-2018 VPs

ACA Committee Recognition

The following individuals were recognized for their service to an ACA committee during the 2016-2017 academic year. There were too many active members to take photos of each committee member as they accepted their certificate of appreciation. Thank you all for your service to ACA!!

If your name was left off of one of the committee lists by mistake, please let me know and I will happily add you. Names are listed in random order by committee.

ACA Advisory Council
Chair: Ana Dison
  • Lovelys Powell
  • Jeff Hallock
  • Jazminne Bailey
  • Sarah Shields
  • Chris Montes
  • Courtney Sy
  • Megan Rovang
  • Patty Prado
  • Sara Corson
  • Sarah Talley
  • Sarah McKay
  • Melissa Taylor
  • Brad Humphries
  • Janice Williams
  • Tomi Yamamoto

ACA Holiday Party Committee
Chair: Briana Weiland
  • Alexis George
  • Jay Guevara
  • Lily DoƱes
  • Mei Lai
  • Daniel Zarazua
  • Allison Cawvey
  • Patty Prado
  • Jillian Kozlowski

ACA Pods | Co-Chairs and Pod Leaders
Co-Chairs: Amanda Golden & Rebecca Silverblatt
  • Ana Dison
  • Craig Gilden
  • Kristen Kessel
  • Jack Duffie
  • Yesenia Sanchez
  • Esmer Bedia
  • Kayla Ford
  • Jasmine Rose Schmitt
  • Eric Carter
  • Sarah McKay
  • Jinane Sounney-Slitine

Annual Advising Event Committee (Advising Expo)
Co-Chairs: Susan Somers & Rose Mastrangelo
  • Beth Labate
  • Jeff Mayo
  • Anne Pugh
  • Jordyn Harrison
  • Diane Larson
  • Bri Liu
  • Olga Koutseridi

Awards and Recognition Committee
Chair: Tepera Holman
  • Sarah McKay
  • Cindy Gladstone
  • Megan Conner
  • Lauren Marriott
  • Cassie Burton
  • Micah Jackman
  • Tomi Yamamoto
  • Josh Barham
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Brittany Rumble 
  • Jeff Handy
  • Kayla Ford

FUNdraising Committee
Chair: Megan McKay
  • Christina Tobar
  • Alexis George
  • Tisha Monsey
  • Lovelys Powell
  • Rose Mastrangelo
  • Carter Burks
  • Shannon Rose
  • Katie O'Donnell

Nominations and Elections Committee
Chair: Anne Pugh
  • Daniel Zarazua
  • Carter Burks
  • Jackson Miller
  • Cassie Burton

Professional Development Day (PDD) Committee
Co-Chairs: Michelle Hiatt & Alyson Bodner
  • Kelly Frazer
  • Jordyn Harrison
  • Brittany Rumble
  • Lauren Marriott
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Sarah Talley
  • Jeff Mayo
  • Tim Myers
  • Mary De Sopo
  • Sara Sanchez
  • Alexis George
  • Eric Carter
  • Kaytlen Powers
  • Patty Prado
  • Brittney Cox
  • Laura Jones
  • Saralyn MicKinnon-Crowley

R.O.A.D Committee
Chair: Josh Barham
  • Kristina Graves
  • Sara Sanchez
  • Megan Rovang
  • Daniel Zarazua 
  • Joana Tryon

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 19th from 8:30am-10am in the Centennial Suite on the 9th floor of Belmont 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ACA Election for 2017-2018 Executive Officers

Below are the pictures and speeches of the ACA members who are running for a 2017-2018 officer position. I've listed the pictures for everyone first. You can click on each candidate's name to jump to their speech or scroll down the page to read all of the excellent speeches presented during the June ACA Meeting. Candidates are listed by position and alphabetical order by last name.


Jay Guevara

Jillian Kozlowski


Cassie Burton

Sara Corson


Josh Barham

Jordyn Harrison

Erica Matos-Lindsey


Micah Jackman

Briana Weiland

Communications Coordinator

Brittney Cox

Chris Montes


Vice Presidents/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter

Mary De Sopo

Congratulations to Eric and Mary! 

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Voting ends July 3

Speeches for President-Elect

Candidate: Jay Guevara

Hello ACA,

My name is Jay Guevara and I am one of the advisors in the BBA program office for McCombs.  I have been on campus since 2005 as an undergrad and then as a professional since 2010.  I have worked in UGS, Longhorn/Discovery Scholars, and finally McCombs. I have also served as Staff Co-Chair for Hispanic Faculty and Staff association for the past year, and elect before that. I have learned so much during these past 6 years and I have learned even more through ACA.

Starting with day one as an advisor I was “voluntold” to sign up for the Holiday Party committee.   I had a great time and met some awesome people from across campus, and also met my future boss there as well.  This sparked an interest to stay involved with ACA, which lead to being a part of Advising Expo a few times, PDD, bag stuffer for Fundraising, partaker in Happy Hours, and of course more Holiday parties.  I was also fortunate enough to serve as Treasurer of ACA for 2 years.

ACA has been a big part of my professional career on campus, and I continue to see ACA grow and become an even more integral part of this campus. This organization brings important campus updates, networking opportunities, professional development, and most importantly breakfast to the Academic Advisors on campus.

As your nominee for President-Elect I would like to make sure ACA continues doing what it does best, bringing people together. The advising profession is growing quickly, it feels as if there is someone new every month, and we need to make sure that any new staff know that ACA is here for them and is a great support system. The idea of bringing people together ties in with my Strength Quest results of Connectedness and Includer.  I want to make sure ACA is an inviting environment and any staff, seasoned or new, are welcomed and feel that they have a home with us. I would like to try and keep our members active in our committees and events, and try to bring back members that might have missed a few meetings. ACA is an awesome organization and we do such great things, I want to make sure we are including and connecting those that we can best serve.

ACA has provided me with so much and having the opportunity to give back as President-Elect would be humbling.

Thank you for the time and consideration, and thank you to whoever nominated me!

Candidate: Jillian Kozlowski

Good morning ACA. I wanted to start out my speech with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

These words hold a lot of weight for me and steer me in my professional and personal life. I stand before you today to ask for your vote for President-Elect. I will strive to do everything I can, with what I have, where I am in this leadership role. I will work to learn from the current leadership over the next year and cultivate partnerships across campus, while continuing the mission of this phenomenal organization.

An organization is only as strong as the heart and passion of its members. And I know without a doubt that I could call upon each of you to collaborate to best serve our students. I have a passion for serving students and a passion for engaging with the amazing professionals in this room.

As the current co-vice president and program co-chair, it has been my pleasure to stand before you each month with my current co-chair, Daniel Zarazua. We stood here last year and vowed to bring together campus partners to engage and share with our members. We were able to bring in speakers to discuss important topics, including the legislative session update and diversity and inclusion from DDCE. It has been an honor to collaborate with offices and serve you in that role.

Having the privilege to serve on the Executive Board this past year, I have grown under the leadership of Kayla Ford and Ana Dison, the current President and President-Elect, as well as the other extremely dedicated Executive board members. The role of President-Elect and President requires an individual who has the empathy and understanding to know what our students need but also has the ability to collaborate and work together with our campus administrators and campus partners. As an advisor with the Student Success Initiatives Office, I engage on a daily basis with advisors and programs across all colleges and schools. Now is the optimal time for me to serve in a leadership capacity with ACA. I have a supportive work environment that will encourage and support me in my time as President-Elect and President, and I will continue the ongoing conversation that needs to take place between key partners and administrators across campus.

Before joining SSI, I previously spent 2 years as an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, both in the Dean’s Office and then in a departmental role. I have served on the Professional Development Day committee and the Holiday Party Committee within ACA. I currently serve as an active member of the Military Veteran Advisory Council as an advising liaison and engage with many administrators and key partners across campus. I very much enjoy meeting with stakeholders across campus and providing a voice from advisors. I believe advisors really understand what students need and have a unique perspective on student success and engagement.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I can promise you that I will go above and beyond to do what I can, that is to represent you all, support the profession of advising, and to engage with campus administrators, with what I have, the knowledge and leadership skills I possess, alongside the amazing knowledge base of the members of ACA, to do what I can, or should I say to do what “we” can, to build on the amazing work ACA has done, to be a voice for advisors on campus, and to continually find the best ways to support our students during their 4 years here on campus and beyond. Thank you!

Speeches for Treasurer-Elect

Candidate: Cassie Burton

Good Morning ACA,

My name is Cassie Burton, and I love doing martial arts, hanging out with dogs even though I do not have one, and singing along to musicals. Since it would be inappropriate for me to run for the position of Wicked Witch of the West after my favorite musical, I have turned my attention to my second-favorite musical and have decided to run for the position of Treasurer-Elect.

I have been an Academic Advisor with TIP Scholars in CNS for the past year, and am about to begin my second year. What some of you may not know about me, is that before I started advising with TIP, I was the TIP Administrative Associate for a year and a half. This is where I learned all of the ins and outs of navigating the “burnt orange tape” of this great institution, discovered a secret love of spreadsheets and budgets, and I believe that this is what will make me an excellent Treasurer for ACA.

One of the most important things for anyone managing budgets at UT is to stay on top of many, many deadlines and if your program has many, many accounts…to stay on top of those as well. With TIP Scholars, I had to stay one step ahead of the various program managers to ensure they stayed within budget for their events, and ensured that we were also spending the appropriate money out of the appropriate account. If there were multiple events going on at one time, which let’s face it, is the case with most of our programs and departments at UT, then I kept lists and files for each event to ensure that we were not mixing up the funds and piles of paperwork attached to each event.

My largest budget project to date was to go through our TIP records and create a financial report that included the fiscal years 2008 through the present. Based off this information, I was tasked with creating budget projections for the upcoming year. I also made reimbursements, paid ACA dues on behalf of our team members, as well as assisted with the travel arrangements and payments to out of town conferences like NACADA. All of these things will be extremely beneficial to the position of Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer.

Before I let you go, I would like you all to know that I am the type of person who keeps lists and spreadsheets to stay on task with rosters and accounts. I am the kind of person that works on a team by listening to each member and providing input when the need arises. I am the type of person who will always be a team player and pitch in the extra help when I see areas that need it. And I am also the kind of person who will use part of their two minutes in front of a crowd to open a speech with Hamilton references.

Thank you for your time and consideration for this awesome position.

Candidate: Sara Corson

Good morning, ACA. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Corson and I am a Senior Academic Advisor in the Vick Center. I was nominated for the position of Treasurer-Elect just a few days ago so my speech is very short. I currently serve ACA as the representative for the School of Undergraduate Studies on the ACA Advisory Council and I have enjoyed partnering with my ACA colleagues from across campus this year. As your nominee for Treasurer-Elect, I’d like to let you know that I have an excellent credit rating and pay all my bills on time! I’m good with numbers and spreadsheets and can work a calculator like a pro. I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving ACA in this position. Thanks for your vote!

Speeches for Historian

Candidate: Josh Barham

I believe that being Historian is about making connections- connections between the past and the present and connections between each other. These are the two areas I would focus on if elected. Kudos has been one of my favorite things that ACA has implemented this year, and kudos to Katie for such a wonderful idea. I would love to continue the tradition of recognizing and uplifting our coworkers and ACA members. The spotlights allow us to learn about our members from across campus in a fun and insightful way, and I would love to continue that tradition as well, with a focus on new members to connect them to this amazing community.

While Treasurer, I scanned in all of the ACA historical documents we have had since the founding of the organization, and I would cherish the opportunity to highlight some of these materials to show where we’ve been and connect them to where we are going. The by-laws mention that the Historian is also responsible for ACA’s inventory of materials and equipment. My goal for this area would be to create a visual inventory of all the items we have. This would make it easier for committees such as Advising Expo or PDD to see what we already have available for events and make requests to use them.

Finally, my recent travel has reawakened my love of writing and photography (I don’t have a portfolio, but you can hit me up on Instagram). Bringing your perspectives to blog posts would be an important goal, as would be providing relevant and interesting links to current news and studies that pertain to our work. Posting pictures to the blog throughout the year and/or creating a yearbook-style post at the end of the year would be a great way to showcase our fantastic advisors and events. I love taking fun and interesting shots of people and events and I’ve been practicing my hashtag game as well. For example, #BeautifulCrowd #SpeechesMakeMeNervous #ACAElections #Cheers

Thank you for your consideration.

Candidate: Jordyn Harrison

Hi! I’m Jordyn Harrison and I’ve been working at UT for 4 years. I’ve been an academic advisor in the Vick Center in the School of Undergraduate Studies for almost 2 years. I care about connecting colleagues and helping people stay updated on what’s happening at the University and in other departments. I have always enjoyed writing and think this position would be a great opportunity to practice writing and help ACA members stay connected through the blog. I also love encouraging people through Kudos and member spotlights, and want to keep those going as Historian. Most recently I’ve volunteered on the Professional Development Day committee and on the Advising Expo Committee. I’m thankful to be nominated for this position and would love to serve ACA as the Historian.

Candidate: Erica Matos-Lindsey

Good morning, ACA. My name is Erica Matos-Lindsey, and I advise undergraduate bilingual education students in the College of Education. Thank you to the executive board for letting me make my stump speech before I bolt off to second breakfast—I mean, my second morning meeting. I’d also like to thank whoever nominated me for this position because the role of historian aligns well with my passions: building community, narratives, and how the two work together.

See, I love stories. The story-telling process is recursive; stories have intrinsic value of their own but influence others’ narratives, and the very act of telling a story creates a larger picture of our community. The ability to define our personal narratives is a powerful force in shaping our realities

I would love the opportunity to contribute to that as ACA’s historian, documenting our individual stories to paint a broader picture of our organizational and advising culture. We’re already doing a fantastic job of fostering a culture of positivity with our monthly kudos, member spotlights, and the Argosy blog.

My vision for how we can use these tools to further develop our organizational narrative is twofold. First, I’d like to move toward using member spotlights primarily as a welcome for new members and/or those new to the Longhorn family—as a relatively new member, I remember feeling nervous about coming to a meeting because I wouldn’t know anyone; this would be a great way to break the ice for newcomers.

Second, I’d like to infuse our blog with our members’ voices through rotating guest submissions. All this would help round out the general documentation of defining moments in our organization and on campus—such as the Advising Expo and Professional Development Day, the departure of beloved colleagues, challenging campus events—through writing and photos; as a former journalist, I hope to lend a narrative bent to these blog particular blog posts.

While I certainly feel like I can bring a lot the position of historian, I have to admit that I’m also selfishly motivated in that I am eager to get to know you, my community, better. I hope I’ll have the privilege of hearing your stories, sharing mine with you, and creating new ones together for ACA.

Speeches for Secretary

Candidate: Micah Jackman

My name is Micah and I am an academic advisor in the Biology Department. I have been at UT now for a little over two years. This past year I was on the Awards and Recognition Committee. As far as the job duties go for this position I answer e-mails quick, take quality notes, and have only missed one or two ACA meetings during my time here at UT.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Candidate: Briana Weiland

Advising Community in December of 2015 after having advised for several years at the University of Southern California. While at the University of Southern California, I served on the Executive Committee of their Council of Academic Advisors for two years. The first of which I revamped their Leave of Absence process to an electronic process and the second year, I served as Chair of the Executive Committee which was similar to a combination of our President and Vice President role in ACA. I knew when I arrived at UT, that I wanted to become well-involved with ACA, so this year I chaired the ACA/APSA Holiday Party Planning Committee. I truly appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in different colleges and schools across campus and was further inspired to run for Secretary in the Executive Committee of ACA. As one of my tasks in the Secretary role, I can vow to provide clear, organized, and timely communication of ACA Meeting Minutes. Additionally, I would be responsible for next year’s election process which is a process that I ran at my previous institution and am confident in running with ACA. I look forward to offering my experience and enthusiasm to the role of Secretary in the 2017-2018 year. Thank you for the opportunity.

Speeches for Communications Coordinator

Candidate: Brittney Cox

I’m so excited to be nominated for the Communications Coordinator position with ACA! I’m an academic advisor from Engineering Student Services within the Cockrell School of Engineering. In addition to academic advising in ESS, I am in charge of managing communication, web updates, design and social media for our department. In the last year I had the opportunity to work with the Professional Development Day Committee in a communications role, where I did web updates, design work (the Unity logo that we used in the program, as well as the event program itself), photography, and other various tasks for the committee.

I’m looking forward to continue maintaining the ACA listserv, updating our website further to make it a comprehensive information hub for the future benchmarking needs of our members, and additionally working with the Historian to gather resources and narratives directly from ACA members themselves. My immediate goal is to integrate the Argosy blog within our existing website, and I believe my prior experiences working with WordPress (the program our website currently uses) will help me make this goal a reality. I’m tremendously excited for the opportunity to serve on the ACA Executive Committee and get to assist the success of our organization in the next year!

Candidate: Chris Montes

Hello, everyone! If you don’t already know me, my name is Chris Montes. I am currently an academic advisor for the College of Fine Arts, and I work specifically with the brand new Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies. Over the past two years working in Fine Arts, I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know some of you and the ACA organization as a whole. I am very excited for the possibility of having a place on ACA’s Executive Committee as the next Communications Coordinator.

ACA communication platforms are not just emails and list serves - even though it may seem like it - but its through things like websites, print publications, online file organization, and press relations. As Communications Coordinator, these things should not only be coordinated through me, but through all of us working together as a community. Basically, the more efficiently and comfortably we share our ideas, the stronger our organization can be now and in the future.

My goal as Communications Coordinator is not just maintaining our communication practices but developing them to match our changing university. This includes things like revamping what our list serve can be and how we choose to gather information and share it with others. Building direct methods of communication between ACA members and ACA leaders, so everyone can feel like they can easily share ideas or concerns with those who can implement change. Every single member of ACA should feel like they have a voice.

Other efforts include continual updates to the website with new features that could make staff resources easier to access. Coordination and distribution of ACA fundraisers - getting the most of our fundraising efforts in and even outside of campus. And, most importantly, developing a shared voice that we could use to not just help our students but ourselves, us advisors, as well. We 100% deserve it.

I’m looking forward to the future of ACA and the continual progress we’ll make as a cohesive team of coworkers. I know we’ll do what we can to help make this organization even better than it already is, and I think a step in the right direction is making sure our amazing ideas are shared with each other in an efficient and beneficial way. Thank you!

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Reminder: Voting ends July 3

Uncontested: Vice President/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo

Hello! We are Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo and we work as advisors for the McCombs BBA Program and Engineering Student Services, respectively. We are excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the ACA Co-Vice Presidents. The past couple of years we have been working together on the Professional Development Day committee as co-chairs and members to put on great conferences to serve this community. When we learned of being nominated for this position, we couldn’t help but get excited for the chance to build this community even more, both within our organization and with how our organization exists on campus.

Some internal areas we would like to focus on are networking, committees, and professional development. In terms of networking, we feel as though ACA is a people-focused organization, and hope all members feel comfortable reaching out and connecting with one another as resources when necessary. We would like to use our meetings as a time to nurture relationships with one another, while also continuously integrating new members into the organization, to foster that community.

Our feeling is that some of the greatest parts of this organization are the committees. These provide additional opportunities for building that network between advisors, and are especially accessible ways for new members to get involved. With that said, we feel that there are ways to better coordinate the efforts through efficient communication to make sure that every committee is on the same page.

With professional development, we’d like expand the platform for guest speakers to bring new and fresh content to meetings that directly relates to our roles. We really enjoyed the Legislative session a few months back and so our goal moving forward is to continue seeking out campus partners to come and support us in a variety of ways.

Lastly, we want to grow ACA’s reputation on campus and develop the network that we have with other organizations, centers, and programs on campus. We feel that we can maintain the current relationships ACA has while exploring new opportunities to bring fresh perspectives and information to the membership.

To sum up, we ‘re both really excited about the opportunity to work with you all and keep ACA moving forward as a strong, relevant, fun community to be part of. We’d love to talk more if anyone has questions or any ideas, so feel free to come chat! We really appreciate your support - thank you so much!