Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Lovelys Powell

From Advising Expo 1995
I know that Lovelys has inspired me in the past year that I've been an advisor and an ACA member not only as a friendly face but also as one of the organizers of the ACA Mentors program and a fellow committee member.  I really enjoyed is responses so I hope that all of you out in the membership do, too!  

El Paso, TX (but I was born in N├╝rnberg, Germany and have actually lived in Austin longer than I lived in El Paso). 

College(s) attended: 
The University of Texas at Austin (BA in Government & Sociology);  Texas State University (MA in Sociology)

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present:
  • Admissions Counselor I in the UT Office of Admissions
  • Student Development Specialist II in the UT Undergraduate Advising Center
  • Student Affairs Administrator (Gateway Program and ACE Program) in the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Academic Advisor II in the College of Education
  • Academic Advising Coordinator in the McCombs BBA Program Office  

How did you end up at UT in the first place?
I came to UT as a freshman (started in Engineering, but quickly switched to Liberal Arts at Summer Orientation). After my junior year I was hired as a Summer Orientation Advisor and that experience completely changed my life.  I got hired on at the Office of the Dean of Students to be a FIRST Base (Freshman Issues and Resource Service Team) student coordinator and being surrounded by all the staff in DOS made me sure I belonged in higher education.

What is your favorite part or being a part of ACA?
Being in an organization of professionals who share similar experiences and have a common motivation to elevate the knowledge and skills of its members is critical to improving the experience of students on our campus. Ultimately, everything we do has the potential of positively impacting our student body.  We provide support for each other in a way that the university as a whole cannot.  Plus, at any moment we have the opportunity to greet a new member into our professional, which feels a lot like when we advise students at summer orientation…everything is still possible.   That offers an amazing sense of optimism and motivation to continuously strive to do better.

Here's where we'd like an anecdote about a favorite ACA memory or a memory that includes another ACA member.
I have three favorite memories (and a picture of one of them is attached). 
The first is when I was co-program chair/vice president with Ann Gleason, Liz Hasting, Luci San Miguel Latimer, Susan Smith and Renee LoPilato back in 1994-1995.  It was my first time being an officer in a professional organization, and I was with the best time as a group of advisors to learn from.

The second ACA memory is all of our officer meetings in 2011-2012 when Theresa Thomas was President, along with Yesenia Sanchez, Kristin Tommey, Jennifer Jordan, Jay Guevara, Valeri Nichols-Keller, and Nathan Vickers.  We laughed so much that year and I feel like we worked hard too.

The third ACA memory that stands out was back in 2008 when Patty Micks, Yesenia Sanchez and I were in charge of the philanthropy project for the ACA FUNdraising Committee during the holidays.  The 3 of us got to deliver all the wonderful donations to the Austin Children’s Shelter and to Caritas and the whole time we were laughing (to the point of tears) and doing some good at the same time.

I guess the common theme is laughing your way through the good times and challenging times.   

What advice would you give to new advisors or new staff members at UT?
You should give back as much as you take.  It is easy to go through our careers without understanding the hard work of people who have created opportunities that we just take for granted. Learning our history and then figuring out how each of us can honor our history by giving back is one of the best ways to honor the past while moving forward towards a better future.
Additionally, we are in a profession where we will make mistakes.  Our ever changing systems are too complex to have a career where we haven’t made mistakes.  The true key for success is figuring out how we will react and take action once a mistake has been made.

What legacy would you like to leave behind at UT? 
That the people who invested time and energy to nurture me both as a student and a professional feel that they made a good investment.  And that random people in the world who I had the opportunity to work with as their advisor, peer, supervisor, student, or colleague know that during their time at UT someone cared about their experience. 

Anything else you want to tell us?  
I love movies (no horror or violence please; A Room With A View, Cinema Paradiso, The Color Purple, and Like Water For Chocolate are my favorites), Beyonce, TV (Scandal, Modern Family, The Good Wife, The Talk, & Fashion Police),  good food (as long as there are no traces that what I’m eating was ever an animal), and my co-workers (from all my jobs).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Cynthia Gladstone

Member Spotlight: Cynthia Gladstone

I know Cynthia because she was the ACA historian who handed over the blog and the files to me this year.  She has been a delight to work with and is part of the inspiration for the 30 for 30 project so it is only fitting that she is one of the first members featured.  Enjoy! 

Hometown: El Paso, Texas.
College(s) attended: I have three degrees from UT Austin (B.A. in Government and M.A. and Ph.D. In History), so I bleed orange, but I have also taken course work at UTEP in El Paso, and I did study abroad at the University of London, as it was called then.

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present:
I am a Senior Academic Advisor.  I currently advise for Latin American Studies, Jewish Studies, and Linguistics, and I have also advised in the past for European Studies and History.

How did you end up at UT in the first place? 
I came to college here and pretty much never left.  Well, I left for a while, but came back and THEN never left again.  

What is your favorite part of being a part of ACA?  I
t's a predictable answer, I'm sure, but it's wonderful getting to know advisors from other parts of campus.  It's easy to stay in my little major/college cocoon, and ACA gives me the opportunity to break out of that and form different kinds of connections.  I just finished a year as ACA Historian, and I'm currently on the Awards and Recognition Committee, and I just love the people I have gotten to know in both capacities.  

Here's where we'd like an anecdote about a favorite ACA memory or a memory that includes another ACA member.  Hanging with the awesome Exec Committee last year.  Super fun, smart, accomplished people!

What advice would you give to new advisors or new staff members at UT?  
Be patient with and kind to yourself.  There is a lot to know here, and no one can learn it all in a day.  It'll come, and it never stops coming.  I'm always learning something new.

What legacy would you like to leave behind at UT?  

Good question.  I guess I'd like to feel like I made a difference in my students' lives.  Sounds kind of grandiose, but isn't that what we strive for?

Anything else you want to tell us?  Sure.  Hook 'Em Horns!  (We just beat OU!)  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ACA October 2013 General Meeting

The October meeting took place on Wednesday, 10/16/2013 in the SAC Ballroom and was sponsored by McCombs School of Business.

To read the official minutes from this or other ACA meetings, please visit the ACA website: http://www.utexas.edu/staff/aca/minutes

Mary Lou Poloskey from the Business Foundations Program setting up before the meeting. 

ACA Officers preparing before the meeting.  Look, there's Rob! 

Meeting prep

ACA Members enjoying the delicious spread of breakfast goodies. 

Incoming ACA President Rob Poynor gave his welcome which was so moving that I forgot to take pictures of him speaking.  He looked fantastic though!

McCombs has a great new website to help direct students who are not business majors but are looking for opportunities to take business courses.  www.mccombs.utexas.edu/nonbusinessmajors

Next up was Katie Stephens who spoke to us about the Master of Science in Finance.  Students pursuing this degree are primarily non-business majors that are "pretty good at math."

Katie doesn't look like the wet weather is affecting her at all! 

Kari Ledezma spoke about the Masters in Professional Accounting (Not Public Accounting!) The MPA Degree does not require amy work experience and about half of their students have non-accounting undergraduate degrees.  Students who do not come from business backgrounds typically have to take some prerequisite coursework before beginning the program. 

Kari helping to dispel misconceptions about the MPA degree. 

Next up was Hillary Patterson providing information about the new MSIROM: Business Analytics program.  The program is STEM certified and is ideal for students with excellent quantitative skills. Information sessions are being held and custom information sessions are available.

Hillary Patterson
Scott Good spoke about the Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization.  His talk was also so captivating that I forgot to take a picture.  His student population is widely varied and the program is appealing to those students who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Next up were Dr. JJ Riekenberg and Mary Lou Poloskey who touched briefly on the Business Foundations Program.  New this year is a health focus to two of the four summer intensive workshop cohorts.

Rachel Allen spoke about the undergraduate Real Estate certificate program and reviewed the coursework including prerequisites and recommended prerequisites to apply to the program.
Rachel Allen speaking about the undergraduate Real Estate Certificate program.  

Last but not least, John Bulter from the undergraduate Energy Management Program gave an overview of the program including a bit of history.  
John Butler "2"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Committee Chair Spotlight: FUNdraising Co-Chairs Emily Schroeder and Gina Higby

Emily and Gina have definitely been working hard to put the fun into the FUNdraising Committee.

I asked them a few questions to help the membership get to know them a little bit better.

Emily Schroeder, Associate Academic Advisor
Discovery Scholars Program

Gina Higby, Academic Advisor
Department of Computer Science, College of Natural Sciences

What committee are you chairing? 
ACA FUNdraising

Why did you want to chair this particular committee?
As new advisors, we wanted an opportunity to become involved in ACA and build relationships with other advisors. Through this committee, we get to work with several great leaders in the organization as well as raise money for awards and scholarships. 

Why do you think this committee is important to ACA and/or the university?
It's important for advisors to be provided with time to get to know one another and share celebrations and difficulties we encounter in our jobs. Also, the money we raise for awards and scholarships enables our members to pursue opportunities they may not have otherwise. 

What is one thing that you would like the membership to do to support your mission this year? 
Participate in the various events we have throughout the year! We have a happy hour about once a month and even if you are only able to come for a short time, we would love to see you! Also, encourage a friend by sending them a Registration Survival Kit!

Is there anything else you want us to know? 
We are grateful to ACA for making me feel welcome and a part of the advising family at UT Austin.

Here is a list of events that the FUNdraising Committee has planned for the rest of the fall semester:

October 28th – 29th: FUNdraising Registration Survival Kits/Goody Bags Distribution
Support ACA scholarships and awards and save your colleagues' sanity during this crazy time of the year by donating to send them Registration Survival Kits or Goody Bags (for those colleagues lucky enough to avoid the registration chaos). Chocked full of the necessities to survive the 2 weeks of insanity! Get your orders in by the end of the day on the 27th!

November 19th: Annual ACA FUNdraising Pot Luck in GDC 2.104 from 11:30 – 1:30pm
Come celebrate the end of Registration and surviving the semester at our annual FUNdraising Pot Luck! Try out those Pinterest recipes on your colleagues before you attempt them for your family! Feel free to bring any items that need heating to GDC 2.104 in the morning (there's a loading zone in front of GDC as well) and we'll keep them for you until the Pot Luck starts at 11:30! (GDC 2.104 is the conference room next to the coffee shop on the ground floor.)

December 17th: FUNdraising Happy Hour at Trudy's from 5 -7pm
The students are gone and we can finally inhabit Trudy's again! Join us for some delicious Mex Marts and chips and queso to celebrate making it another semester!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Patty Micks

This is the 30th year of ACA and in honor of our big birthday I'm going to attempt (!) to post 30 spotlights focusing on members who have been around for a few years and can share some of their memories of this great organization.  I'm kicking off the series with a memorable lady: Patty Micks!

If you have a suggestion for someone that you would like to be in the spotlight, email me at sara.schulz@austin.utexas.edu.

South Plainfield, NJ

College(s) attended
Rutgers College, Rutgers University – NJ (BA in Art History)
University of Texas at Austin (M.Ed. in Higher Ed Administration)

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present
Academic Advisor—Dean's Office, COLA
Student Affairs Administrator—Dean's Office, COFA
Academic Advisor--Math, Physics, Astronomy Advising Center, CNS
Senior Academic Advisor—Connexus, Provost's Office
Academic Advising and Program Coordinator, BDPs, UGS
Senior Program Coordinator, First-Year Experience, UGS

How did you end up at UT in the first place?
I worked at Rutgers University when I lived in NJ and loved it---when we moved to Texas, UT is the first and only place I applied for jobs. My mother-in-law is originally from San Marcos and had relocated from NJ to TX a few years before we moved here in 1999.

What is your favorite part of being a part of ACA?  
The relationships you build over the years.  When I think about some of my closest friends and colleagues, I realize that we originally met through ACA/Academic Advising.

Here's where we'd like an anecdote about a favorite ACA memory or a memory that includes another ACA member.
There are so many ACA memories that come to mind it's hard to name just one.  Most of them include NACADA conferences and getting to connect with colleagues in a more social setting—getting to laugh with them over dinner or talk to them for a while on a flight.  Lovelys Powell, JP Regalado, Katrina Kosted, David Spight, Melva Harbin and Lisa Valdez are in most of my ACA memories!  

What advice would you give to new advisors or new staff members at UT?
Take charge.  We are constantly telling students to own their education and to make the most of it.  As student affairs professionals, we should be doing the same thing—getting involved, taking on a leadership role, challenging yourself, and creating new energies and programs where none exist.  

What legacy would you like to leave behind at UT? 
Wow.  That's a big question.  (And one of my favorite things to ask of fellow ACAer Lovelys Powell!) I'd like to be remembered as someone who used creativity to solve problems as well as someone who strived to bring disparate groups together for a common purpose.  I hope colleagues will remember me as a strong leader, as well as a good friend.  And, since I mentioned Lovelys earlier, I want my legacy to live on as the founder of the ACA FUNdraising Committee :)  

Anything else you want to tell us?  
Everyone from Jersey is not like Snooki, Tony Soprano, the Real Housewives, or the folks on Jerseylicious. We are way cooler (except for maybe Tony Soprano---he's pretty cool).