Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Member Spotlight: Garrett Loontjer

Hometown:  Boerne, TX
College(s) Attended:  UT, Texas State
Degree(s) earned:  B.A. English, M.Ed.
Title:  Associate Academic Advisor--School of Architecture
What are your hobbies?  I enjoy spending time with my eight month old son, Cash, and my wife, Emily; writing songs and performing as a musician; and reading books.
What was your favorite childhood toy?  I suppose this would not necessarily be considered a toy, but I loved to wear my grandfather’s marine officer uniform when I was in elementary school.  I particularly liked the neat hat.
What is your current position at UT? Briefly explain.  I have served as an Academic Advisor within the School of Architecture for the past four years.  I am responsible for understanding and interpreting policies and requirements for the School, and communicating these standards to students, parents, faculty, and administrators.  I also assist with event coordination and serve as an academic representative on the School’s faculty, curriculum, and scholarship committees.
Have you had any jobs prior to your current job at UT?  If so, what were they?  I worked for the College of Education as a degree evaluator and administrative assistant for over five years.
What is the most challenging aspect of your current job?  I would say delivering bad news.  I work very closely with prospective internal transfer applicants throughout the year.  While I love delivering good news (and really-- who doesn’t?), I absolutely dread informing those who have not been admitted into the School of Architecture—especially since many of them worked very hard and had a fantastic first year at the University.
Tell us about one of your success stories that happened in your currently position (regarding a student, a co-worker, a project, etc.).  While I do not have an amazingly unique story just yet, I am always extremely impressed by how well many of our students perform from the moment they begin work here at UT.  Adjusting from high school to university study is not typically easy for new students—I know it wasn’t for me—and it almost goes without saying that the students within the School of Architecture are pursuing one of the most academically rigorous programs on campus.  So with that in mind, it amazes me to see the creativity, intelligence, and pure talent displayed by our students from start to finish.  Their success engenders my own.

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