James W. Vick Texas Excellence Award for Academic Advising Recipient
Hometown: Houston, though Austin since 1973
College(s) Attended: Brown U./ UT Austin
Degree(s) earned: BA, MA, PhD American Studies, UT Austin
Title: Senior Academic Advisor -- College of Liberal Arts
What are your hobbies? Live music, fishing, dog, playing cards
What was your favorite childhood toy? Baseball gloveWhat is your current position at UT? Briefly explain: Senior Academic Advisor, Student Division Liberal Arts ("Dean's Office"); in addition to customary Dean's Office role of advising undeclared students and students in need, I also serve as lead advisor for International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) majors, of which we have c. 500 already, and work closely with the Director on developing course lists and other matters; coordinate SummerStart, a program for new students to start school in the summer instead of fall.
Have you had any jobs prior to your current job at UT? If so, what were they? Came from serving as lecturer in Department of Spanish and Portuguese; worked at Distance Education Center (now UEX online); also taught A&M and ACC-History; 5 years as scuba instructor on Mexico's Caribbean Coast.
What is the most challenging aspect of your current job? Maintaining optimism in the current climate of corporatization.
Tell us about one of your success stories that happened in your current position (regarding a student, a co-worker, a project, etc.).: A student who left a couple of years ago, in seeking information about returning, contacted me and shared that he had married but is driven to complete his degree because of inspiration he received from me, he says.
What is your advising philosophy? I believe that effective advising helps students succeed at the university and in the world beyond by helping them develop skills in communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. In this way, students can be lifelong learners with an ability to be contributing citizens to the twenty-first century.