Monday, December 1, 2014

New ACA Member Spotlight: Isabel Anheier

Hometown: Olathe, KS

College(s) attended: University of Kansas and Portland State University

Degree(s) earned: BS in Environmental Science and M.Ed. and Curriculum & Instruction, science education

Current job title and department at UT, date started: Assistant Academic Advisor, Center for First Year Advising, College of Natural Sciences, June 2014

Past job titles/companies:
-Academic Advisor in IRG at UT
-Program Coordinator at UC Denver School of Medicine
-Administrative Assistant at Portland State University, Biology Department
-Program Coordinator at the University of Kansas, Graduate Writing Program
-Administrative Assistant at the University of Kansas, Environmental Studies Department

How did you wind up working for UT? Moved to Austin after graduate school and wanted to continue working in higher ed.

How did you find out about ACA and what made you want to join? From my supervisor when I first joined UT.  It sounded like a great community to be a part of, especially as someone new to UT.  I have enjoyed attending ACA meetings ever since!

UT is a pretty unique place, especially when you first start working here. What’s the strangest thing you’ve discovered about UT so far?  That courses don’t always go in numerical order in terms of course progression.  It drives me nuts!!!

When you’re not rocking out as an advising professional, what do you like to do for fun?  Anything active and outdoors- hiking, biking, climbing, camping, swimming, etc.  

What’s your favorite Austin-centric thing to do?  I could answer this in so many ways, but I’m going to have to go with eating breakfast tacos.  I had never even heard of them before moving here (I’d only had breakfast burritos).  Viva la breakfast taco!

Monday, November 17, 2014

ACA October 2014 General Meeting

Hosted by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (I know, fancy!), the 2014 October General Meeting was held on October 15th in the ENTIRE SAC Ballroom. Temporary walls were removed to make space for all of our wonderful members. It was serious business.

It was a jam-packed meeting, so you'll definitely want to head over to the ACA website to see full meeting minutes courtesy of ACA Secretary, Lovelys Powell:

First, a warm welcome from President Julia Chinnock:

See, it even says it on the PowerPoint, so you know it actually happened!

Next up, Carolyn Connerat from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (very fancy!) introduced a number of new campus initiatives: 

A very blurry agenda, thanks to your Historian. You didn't actually want to read it, did you?

We heard from a number of representatives from said initiatives, including Dr. Leonard Moore and Caroline Enriquez discussing Texas Advance:

A bold stance from a bold, enigmatic man!

Then Laura Dannenmaier, discussing the CARE program developments:

And Emily Johnson, with updates on this year's CNS Major Switch initiative:
Hey, I must have gotten up to get more coffee at this point. Hurray for different camera angles!

The UGS representatives conferring very seriously. "Good question, PowerPoint slide: What IS Major Switch?"

Followed by an exciting sneak peek at the soon-to-come brand new UT homepage design. VERY FANCY. 

Cue collective "oohs and ahhs."

And finally, Rose Potter with UTeach Liberal Arts - ESL wrapped things up like a pro (condensing her 45 minute talk into 5 minutes. Impressive!). She was so animated, I'll post a series of her action shots just for fun. I call this "Super Teacher Mode."

Ta da!!

We ended with some announcements on PDD and new ACA member additions, and left with our brains completely full.

On behalf of the ACA Executive Committee, I want to wish you all a safe and deliriously happy Thanksgiving holiday, and remind you to bust out your best pair of Thanksgiving pants on the big day:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New ACA Member Spotlight: Kelsey Thompson

Hometown: Humble, Texas

College(s) attended: UT Austin

Degree(s) earned: BA in Plan II Honors and Women’s and Gender Studies

Current job title and department at UT, date started: Assistant Academic Advisor, Texas Success Initiative, June 9th 2014

Past job titles/companies: College Completion Coach at College Forward

How did you wind up working for UT? I was an Orientation Advisor for 2 years and discovered how much I love advising and working with students. I applied for my job at UT so I could be on campus again and continue that work.

How did you find out about ACA and what made you want to join? My supervisor told me about ACA and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get connected to the advising network on campus, expand my knowledge and skills, and meet more folks working at UT.

UT is a pretty unique place, especially when you first start working here. What’s the strangest thing you’ve discovered about UT so far? I’ve always thought it was interesting that our mascot used to be a dog named Pig.

When you’re not rocking out as an advising professional, what do you like to do for fun? Cycle, read, play board games, trivia, kayak, concerts!  

What’s your favorite Austin-centric thing to do? Kayak on Lady Bird Lake

If you were a superhero, who would be your nemesis? The Daleks

Do you have any special talents for us to exploit I MEAN that we should know about? Just for fun, no ulterior motives here I PROMISE. I can make a really good gluten free chocolate cake! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

ACA September 2014 General Meeting

The 2014 September General Meeting, aka "Oh My Goodness OH MY GOODNESS We Survived the First 12 Class Days Meeting," was held on Thursday, September 18th in the SAC Ballroom. Turns out, life DID continue after the 12th class day. Huh. Funny.

Our meeting was graciously hosted by the UTEACH Urban Teachers Program. Full (and I mean FULL, people; your Secretary Lovelys crushed it at note taking this month) meeting minutes can be found on the ACA website:

First up: 2014-2015 officer introductions and official welcome from Madam President Julia Chinnock.

Gina Higby looks like she's saying something very mischievous.

President Chinnock in the background, anchored by a foreground of Lauren Contreras' face. This is just what happens when you sit at the Historian's table. 

After feeding us tacos and coffee (the FASTEST way to our hearts), the UTEACH Urban Teachers Program offered a very informative presentation on their undergraduate and graduate programs, including current program participants' experiences.

They gave us fancy folders! Anyone else as excited about that as I am?

The audience was enthralled! (no really, these are the most exciting "people in a meeting" photos I've taken yet!):

Rob Poyner looks like he's watching a magician in the middle of a magic trick. "Wowwwwww!!!!!!"

Anneke Chy then updated on the new Pre-Health Professions certificate requirements and application:

I think the look on Anneke's face here perfectly encapsulates those classic moments of ACA Meeting Tension. "Woah everyone, I'm just the messenger, PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!" We love you, Anneke, and we'll grow to love the Pre-Health Professions Certificate, too. Change is hard. In the meantime, the website you made is totally legit and will help us make the transition:

And finally, we heard from Ana Dison and Phaedra Abbott on behalf of the Provost's Council on Student Advocacy :

I'll end this post with a panorama of our wonderful advising community:

And an adorable example of friendship in our wonderful advising community:

Letitia Monsey and Malik Crowder: Friendship is Magic!

Have a happy and productive 2014-2015 Academic Year, everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

ACA July 2014 General Meeting

Welcome back for another thrilling recap of our ACA General Meeting! The July 2014 General Meeting, otherwise known as the End-of-Year Athletics and Awards Extravaganza was held Wednesday, July 16th in the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium T-Lounge. 

Extra special thanks to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for hosting the meeting, which included delish breakfast tacos (because TEXAS) and all the Athletics swag we could possibly dream of. 

Full meeting minutes will be made available on the ACA website. 

ACA members braved the unseasonable downpour for the start of the meeting. We'll do just about anything for free breakfast, amirite?
Pre-meeting, good social and brekkie time was had by all:

Then we kicked things off with a good old fashioned awards ceremony, recognizing the 2014 ACA Advising Award winners:

Jess, our new fearless chairwoman of the Awards and Recognition Committee, totally rocks the ceremony!

Congratulations to Sarah Arnold, Associate Academic Advisor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for winning the Dedication to Students Award! 

Congratulations to Phaedra White Abbott, Senior Program Coordinator for the Discovery Scholars Program, for winning the Taking Initiative to Create Positive Change Award!
The committee and some of Phaedra's nominators, initially accepting her award  on her behalf. 
Congratulations to Matthew Haynes, Senior Academic Advisor in the Department of Government, for winning the Dedication to Advising Profession Award!

Multitasking Awards and Recognition Committee and Historian duties means taking selfies during the awards ceremony. No big deal.

We then had our changing of the guard, from old (read: "experienced") ACA Executive Board members:

To swearing in the new ACA Executive Board members!

Dream Team.

Our new Madame President is VERY SERIOUS. 

I then stopped taking selfies and focused on taking awkward photos of our new ACA members/announcements:

And then we heard from the Athletics Student Services team:

Words of experience directly from a student athlete!

 And finally, we queued up for a tour of the Athletics Student Services facilities:

I know, I've really captured the hustle and bustle of a building tour. 

Thanks to all for another fabulous academic year! We'll start all over again in September. Until then, enjoy this penguin (and the rest of the summer):