|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 Nürnberg, Germany and have actually lived in Austin longer than I lived in El Paso).
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).