Friday, December 17, 2010

Member Spotlight: Ben Burnett

Hometown:  El Paso, TX

College(s) attended:  The University of Texas at Austin

Degree(s) earned:  B.A. with a major in History and M.Ed. 

Title:  Senior Academic Advisor--College of Liberal Arts

Hobbies:  Anything outside: riding my bike, playing sports, jumping rope, camping, hanging out in my hammock, reading.

Favorite childhood toy:  my BMX bike and any kind of ball: soccer ball, basketball, football – didn't play baseball. I was encouraged to be outside and run around as much as possible  

What is your current position at UT?  Briefly Explain:  I am a senior academic advisor in the Student Division for the College of Liberal Arts. We advise the undeclared students for the college and the International Relations and Global Studies majors. In addition, I am the coordinator for UTurn, a program for students on academic probation in the College.

Have you had any jobs prior to my current job at UT?  If so, what were they?   Numerous. From being a youth soccer ref,  a lifeguard, and waiting tables to cleaning exhaust hoods in restaurants and a couple other things in between. At UT alone, I have worked as an orientation advisor and a recreational supervisor as an undergraduate; a student development specialist and an administrative associate for the Distance Education Center, a student affairs assistant for the Office of the Dean of Students and as an advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP).

What is the most challenging aspect of your current position?   The most challenging aspect of my position is working with students who want to have two or three majors (but they're not sure which ones yet), the Business Foundations certificate program,participate in a BDP, study abroad and try to graduate in four years.

Tell us about one of your sucess stories that happened in your current position (regarding a student, a co-workerm a project, etc.):   In all honesty, just being able to work with students at the University is a success for me. I struggled a great deal as an undergraduate at this university and being able to help students achieve an academic dream is why I do what I do. Fortunately for me, I get to work with students in similar academic situations as mine, and providing them tools and resources to make well-educated choices for the remainder of their academic career is a success in my eyes.

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