Thursday, February 10, 2011

Member Spotlight: Andrea Poag

2010-2011 ACA President
Hometown:  Lexington, North Carolina (Pork BBQ Capital of the World)
College(s) Attended:  Undergraduate- High Point University; Masters:-Texas State University-San Marcos
Degree(s) earned: Undergraduate-Sports Management;  Masters in Education, emphasis in Sports Management
Title: Academic Advising Coordinator- College of Communication
What are your hobbies?  Photography, Biking and fishing (not that I get to fish much but I love it)
What was your favorite childhood toy?  My four-wheeler – not really a toy but it was what I spent the most time playing on as a child who grew up in the country.
What is your current position at UT? Briefly explain:  Academic Advising Coordinator.  I work with Communication Studies students.  I serve as Orientation Coordinator for the College and work with student-athletes in the College of Communication.  Serve as the unofficial photographer and graphic designer for the Office of Student Affairs.
Have you had any jobs prior to your current job at UT?  If so, what were they?  University of North Carolina at Charlotte- NCAA Compliance and Women’s Sports Marketing; University of Maryland, College Park- Academic Advisor for Student Athletes; Texas State University-San Marcos: Assistant Athletic Director for Academics
What is the most challenging aspect of your current job?  Working with students that are not engaged in their education and that haven’t yet discovered how lucky they are to have this opportunity.
Tell us about one of your success stories that happened in your current position (regarding a student, a co-worker, a project, etc.).  I believe that one of my success stories in my current position is Orientation. Theresa Thomas and I have worked for the past three summers on our summer orientation program in the College, and with the help of unbelievable OAs, have created a program that keeps the students engaged and interested.  We use Twitter and email to reach out to newly admitted students.  Contacting them as soon as they are admitted and throughout the spring helps to get them excited and engaged in our college before orientation.  To create an upbeat atmosphere during the college meeting, we have our OAs perform skits and singing/dancing routines.  It keeps the students awake through a long presentation of not so fun information.
Why do you feel it is important to get involved in ACA or other professional organizations?  Since I became involved in ACA in 2006 and joined the Executive Committee in 2008, I have felt more connected to other advisors and staff on campus.  I feel that being a part of ACA gives everyone a chance to grow as a professional and creates a level of understanding across campus.  It allows for me to be able to help students better because now I have a contact in another department on campus that I can call for direct answers.  I believe that we are lucky to have such a wonderful and active group.   I believe ACA has shown the University administration that we are working toward the same goal that they are - to make this university the best in the country.  They continue to seek our opinions on topics relating to students and policies, and to me, that shows great respect for the jobs that we do each day. While serving as ACA President, I have enjoyed having the opportunity to be involved in various committees on campus and getting the chance to see how policies develop in a university of this size.

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