Thursday, June 22, 2017

ACA Election for 2017-2018 Executive Officers

Below are the pictures and speeches of the ACA members who are running for a 2017-2018 officer position. I've listed the pictures for everyone first. You can click on each candidate's name to jump to their speech or scroll down the page to read all of the excellent speeches presented during the June ACA Meeting. Candidates are listed by position and alphabetical order by last name.


Jay Guevara

Jillian Kozlowski


Cassie Burton

Sara Corson


Josh Barham

Jordyn Harrison

Erica Matos-Lindsey


Micah Jackman

Briana Weiland

Communications Coordinator

Brittney Cox

Chris Montes


Vice Presidents/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter

Mary De Sopo

Congratulations to Eric and Mary! 

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Voting ends July 3

Speeches for President-Elect

Candidate: Jay Guevara

Hello ACA,

My name is Jay Guevara and I am one of the advisors in the BBA program office for McCombs.  I have been on campus since 2005 as an undergrad and then as a professional since 2010.  I have worked in UGS, Longhorn/Discovery Scholars, and finally McCombs. I have also served as Staff Co-Chair for Hispanic Faculty and Staff association for the past year, and elect before that. I have learned so much during these past 6 years and I have learned even more through ACA.

Starting with day one as an advisor I was “voluntold” to sign up for the Holiday Party committee.   I had a great time and met some awesome people from across campus, and also met my future boss there as well.  This sparked an interest to stay involved with ACA, which lead to being a part of Advising Expo a few times, PDD, bag stuffer for Fundraising, partaker in Happy Hours, and of course more Holiday parties.  I was also fortunate enough to serve as Treasurer of ACA for 2 years.

ACA has been a big part of my professional career on campus, and I continue to see ACA grow and become an even more integral part of this campus. This organization brings important campus updates, networking opportunities, professional development, and most importantly breakfast to the Academic Advisors on campus.

As your nominee for President-Elect I would like to make sure ACA continues doing what it does best, bringing people together. The advising profession is growing quickly, it feels as if there is someone new every month, and we need to make sure that any new staff know that ACA is here for them and is a great support system. The idea of bringing people together ties in with my Strength Quest results of Connectedness and Includer.  I want to make sure ACA is an inviting environment and any staff, seasoned or new, are welcomed and feel that they have a home with us. I would like to try and keep our members active in our committees and events, and try to bring back members that might have missed a few meetings. ACA is an awesome organization and we do such great things, I want to make sure we are including and connecting those that we can best serve.

ACA has provided me with so much and having the opportunity to give back as President-Elect would be humbling.

Thank you for the time and consideration, and thank you to whoever nominated me!

Candidate: Jillian Kozlowski

Good morning ACA. I wanted to start out my speech with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

These words hold a lot of weight for me and steer me in my professional and personal life. I stand before you today to ask for your vote for President-Elect. I will strive to do everything I can, with what I have, where I am in this leadership role. I will work to learn from the current leadership over the next year and cultivate partnerships across campus, while continuing the mission of this phenomenal organization.

An organization is only as strong as the heart and passion of its members. And I know without a doubt that I could call upon each of you to collaborate to best serve our students. I have a passion for serving students and a passion for engaging with the amazing professionals in this room.

As the current co-vice president and program co-chair, it has been my pleasure to stand before you each month with my current co-chair, Daniel Zarazua. We stood here last year and vowed to bring together campus partners to engage and share with our members. We were able to bring in speakers to discuss important topics, including the legislative session update and diversity and inclusion from DDCE. It has been an honor to collaborate with offices and serve you in that role.

Having the privilege to serve on the Executive Board this past year, I have grown under the leadership of Kayla Ford and Ana Dison, the current President and President-Elect, as well as the other extremely dedicated Executive board members. The role of President-Elect and President requires an individual who has the empathy and understanding to know what our students need but also has the ability to collaborate and work together with our campus administrators and campus partners. As an advisor with the Student Success Initiatives Office, I engage on a daily basis with advisors and programs across all colleges and schools. Now is the optimal time for me to serve in a leadership capacity with ACA. I have a supportive work environment that will encourage and support me in my time as President-Elect and President, and I will continue the ongoing conversation that needs to take place between key partners and administrators across campus.

Before joining SSI, I previously spent 2 years as an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, both in the Dean’s Office and then in a departmental role. I have served on the Professional Development Day committee and the Holiday Party Committee within ACA. I currently serve as an active member of the Military Veteran Advisory Council as an advising liaison and engage with many administrators and key partners across campus. I very much enjoy meeting with stakeholders across campus and providing a voice from advisors. I believe advisors really understand what students need and have a unique perspective on student success and engagement.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I can promise you that I will go above and beyond to do what I can, that is to represent you all, support the profession of advising, and to engage with campus administrators, with what I have, the knowledge and leadership skills I possess, alongside the amazing knowledge base of the members of ACA, to do what I can, or should I say to do what “we” can, to build on the amazing work ACA has done, to be a voice for advisors on campus, and to continually find the best ways to support our students during their 4 years here on campus and beyond. Thank you!

Speeches for Treasurer-Elect

Candidate: Cassie Burton

Good Morning ACA,

My name is Cassie Burton, and I love doing martial arts, hanging out with dogs even though I do not have one, and singing along to musicals. Since it would be inappropriate for me to run for the position of Wicked Witch of the West after my favorite musical, I have turned my attention to my second-favorite musical and have decided to run for the position of Treasurer-Elect.

I have been an Academic Advisor with TIP Scholars in CNS for the past year, and am about to begin my second year. What some of you may not know about me, is that before I started advising with TIP, I was the TIP Administrative Associate for a year and a half. This is where I learned all of the ins and outs of navigating the “burnt orange tape” of this great institution, discovered a secret love of spreadsheets and budgets, and I believe that this is what will make me an excellent Treasurer for ACA.

One of the most important things for anyone managing budgets at UT is to stay on top of many, many deadlines and if your program has many, many accounts…to stay on top of those as well. With TIP Scholars, I had to stay one step ahead of the various program managers to ensure they stayed within budget for their events, and ensured that we were also spending the appropriate money out of the appropriate account. If there were multiple events going on at one time, which let’s face it, is the case with most of our programs and departments at UT, then I kept lists and files for each event to ensure that we were not mixing up the funds and piles of paperwork attached to each event.

My largest budget project to date was to go through our TIP records and create a financial report that included the fiscal years 2008 through the present. Based off this information, I was tasked with creating budget projections for the upcoming year. I also made reimbursements, paid ACA dues on behalf of our team members, as well as assisted with the travel arrangements and payments to out of town conferences like NACADA. All of these things will be extremely beneficial to the position of Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer.

Before I let you go, I would like you all to know that I am the type of person who keeps lists and spreadsheets to stay on task with rosters and accounts. I am the kind of person that works on a team by listening to each member and providing input when the need arises. I am the type of person who will always be a team player and pitch in the extra help when I see areas that need it. And I am also the kind of person who will use part of their two minutes in front of a crowd to open a speech with Hamilton references.

Thank you for your time and consideration for this awesome position.

Candidate: Sara Corson

Good morning, ACA. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Corson and I am a Senior Academic Advisor in the Vick Center. I was nominated for the position of Treasurer-Elect just a few days ago so my speech is very short. I currently serve ACA as the representative for the School of Undergraduate Studies on the ACA Advisory Council and I have enjoyed partnering with my ACA colleagues from across campus this year. As your nominee for Treasurer-Elect, I’d like to let you know that I have an excellent credit rating and pay all my bills on time! I’m good with numbers and spreadsheets and can work a calculator like a pro. I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving ACA in this position. Thanks for your vote!

Speeches for Historian

Candidate: Josh Barham

I believe that being Historian is about making connections- connections between the past and the present and connections between each other. These are the two areas I would focus on if elected. Kudos has been one of my favorite things that ACA has implemented this year, and kudos to Katie for such a wonderful idea. I would love to continue the tradition of recognizing and uplifting our coworkers and ACA members. The spotlights allow us to learn about our members from across campus in a fun and insightful way, and I would love to continue that tradition as well, with a focus on new members to connect them to this amazing community.

While Treasurer, I scanned in all of the ACA historical documents we have had since the founding of the organization, and I would cherish the opportunity to highlight some of these materials to show where we’ve been and connect them to where we are going. The by-laws mention that the Historian is also responsible for ACA’s inventory of materials and equipment. My goal for this area would be to create a visual inventory of all the items we have. This would make it easier for committees such as Advising Expo or PDD to see what we already have available for events and make requests to use them.

Finally, my recent travel has reawakened my love of writing and photography (I don’t have a portfolio, but you can hit me up on Instagram). Bringing your perspectives to blog posts would be an important goal, as would be providing relevant and interesting links to current news and studies that pertain to our work. Posting pictures to the blog throughout the year and/or creating a yearbook-style post at the end of the year would be a great way to showcase our fantastic advisors and events. I love taking fun and interesting shots of people and events and I’ve been practicing my hashtag game as well. For example, #BeautifulCrowd #SpeechesMakeMeNervous #ACAElections #Cheers

Thank you for your consideration.

Candidate: Jordyn Harrison

Hi! I’m Jordyn Harrison and I’ve been working at UT for 4 years. I’ve been an academic advisor in the Vick Center in the School of Undergraduate Studies for almost 2 years. I care about connecting colleagues and helping people stay updated on what’s happening at the University and in other departments. I have always enjoyed writing and think this position would be a great opportunity to practice writing and help ACA members stay connected through the blog. I also love encouraging people through Kudos and member spotlights, and want to keep those going as Historian. Most recently I’ve volunteered on the Professional Development Day committee and on the Advising Expo Committee. I’m thankful to be nominated for this position and would love to serve ACA as the Historian.

Candidate: Erica Matos-Lindsey

Good morning, ACA. My name is Erica Matos-Lindsey, and I advise undergraduate bilingual education students in the College of Education. Thank you to the executive board for letting me make my stump speech before I bolt off to second breakfast—I mean, my second morning meeting. I’d also like to thank whoever nominated me for this position because the role of historian aligns well with my passions: building community, narratives, and how the two work together.

See, I love stories. The story-telling process is recursive; stories have intrinsic value of their own but influence others’ narratives, and the very act of telling a story creates a larger picture of our community. The ability to define our personal narratives is a powerful force in shaping our realities

I would love the opportunity to contribute to that as ACA’s historian, documenting our individual stories to paint a broader picture of our organizational and advising culture. We’re already doing a fantastic job of fostering a culture of positivity with our monthly kudos, member spotlights, and the Argosy blog.

My vision for how we can use these tools to further develop our organizational narrative is twofold. First, I’d like to move toward using member spotlights primarily as a welcome for new members and/or those new to the Longhorn family—as a relatively new member, I remember feeling nervous about coming to a meeting because I wouldn’t know anyone; this would be a great way to break the ice for newcomers.

Second, I’d like to infuse our blog with our members’ voices through rotating guest submissions. All this would help round out the general documentation of defining moments in our organization and on campus—such as the Advising Expo and Professional Development Day, the departure of beloved colleagues, challenging campus events—through writing and photos; as a former journalist, I hope to lend a narrative bent to these blog particular blog posts.

While I certainly feel like I can bring a lot the position of historian, I have to admit that I’m also selfishly motivated in that I am eager to get to know you, my community, better. I hope I’ll have the privilege of hearing your stories, sharing mine with you, and creating new ones together for ACA.

Speeches for Secretary

Candidate: Micah Jackman

My name is Micah and I am an academic advisor in the Biology Department. I have been at UT now for a little over two years. This past year I was on the Awards and Recognition Committee. As far as the job duties go for this position I answer e-mails quick, take quality notes, and have only missed one or two ACA meetings during my time here at UT.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Candidate: Briana Weiland

Advising Community in December of 2015 after having advised for several years at the University of Southern California. While at the University of Southern California, I served on the Executive Committee of their Council of Academic Advisors for two years. The first of which I revamped their Leave of Absence process to an electronic process and the second year, I served as Chair of the Executive Committee which was similar to a combination of our President and Vice President role in ACA. I knew when I arrived at UT, that I wanted to become well-involved with ACA, so this year I chaired the ACA/APSA Holiday Party Planning Committee. I truly appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in different colleges and schools across campus and was further inspired to run for Secretary in the Executive Committee of ACA. As one of my tasks in the Secretary role, I can vow to provide clear, organized, and timely communication of ACA Meeting Minutes. Additionally, I would be responsible for next year’s election process which is a process that I ran at my previous institution and am confident in running with ACA. I look forward to offering my experience and enthusiasm to the role of Secretary in the 2017-2018 year. Thank you for the opportunity.

Speeches for Communications Coordinator

Candidate: Brittney Cox

I’m so excited to be nominated for the Communications Coordinator position with ACA! I’m an academic advisor from Engineering Student Services within the Cockrell School of Engineering. In addition to academic advising in ESS, I am in charge of managing communication, web updates, design and social media for our department. In the last year I had the opportunity to work with the Professional Development Day Committee in a communications role, where I did web updates, design work (the Unity logo that we used in the program, as well as the event program itself), photography, and other various tasks for the committee.

I’m looking forward to continue maintaining the ACA listserv, updating our website further to make it a comprehensive information hub for the future benchmarking needs of our members, and additionally working with the Historian to gather resources and narratives directly from ACA members themselves. My immediate goal is to integrate the Argosy blog within our existing website, and I believe my prior experiences working with WordPress (the program our website currently uses) will help me make this goal a reality. I’m tremendously excited for the opportunity to serve on the ACA Executive Committee and get to assist the success of our organization in the next year!

Candidate: Chris Montes

Hello, everyone! If you don’t already know me, my name is Chris Montes. I am currently an academic advisor for the College of Fine Arts, and I work specifically with the brand new Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies. Over the past two years working in Fine Arts, I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know some of you and the ACA organization as a whole. I am very excited for the possibility of having a place on ACA’s Executive Committee as the next Communications Coordinator.

ACA communication platforms are not just emails and list serves - even though it may seem like it - but its through things like websites, print publications, online file organization, and press relations. As Communications Coordinator, these things should not only be coordinated through me, but through all of us working together as a community. Basically, the more efficiently and comfortably we share our ideas, the stronger our organization can be now and in the future.

My goal as Communications Coordinator is not just maintaining our communication practices but developing them to match our changing university. This includes things like revamping what our list serve can be and how we choose to gather information and share it with others. Building direct methods of communication between ACA members and ACA leaders, so everyone can feel like they can easily share ideas or concerns with those who can implement change. Every single member of ACA should feel like they have a voice.

Other efforts include continual updates to the website with new features that could make staff resources easier to access. Coordination and distribution of ACA fundraisers - getting the most of our fundraising efforts in and even outside of campus. And, most importantly, developing a shared voice that we could use to not just help our students but ourselves, us advisors, as well. We 100% deserve it.

I’m looking forward to the future of ACA and the continual progress we’ll make as a cohesive team of coworkers. I know we’ll do what we can to help make this organization even better than it already is, and I think a step in the right direction is making sure our amazing ideas are shared with each other in an efficient and beneficial way. Thank you!

To vote for the contested positions, please follow this link: 

Reminder: Voting ends July 3

Uncontested: Vice President/Program Co-Chairs

Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo

Hello! We are Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo and we work as advisors for the McCombs BBA Program and Engineering Student Services, respectively. We are excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the ACA Co-Vice Presidents. The past couple of years we have been working together on the Professional Development Day committee as co-chairs and members to put on great conferences to serve this community. When we learned of being nominated for this position, we couldn’t help but get excited for the chance to build this community even more, both within our organization and with how our organization exists on campus.

Some internal areas we would like to focus on are networking, committees, and professional development. In terms of networking, we feel as though ACA is a people-focused organization, and hope all members feel comfortable reaching out and connecting with one another as resources when necessary. We would like to use our meetings as a time to nurture relationships with one another, while also continuously integrating new members into the organization, to foster that community.

Our feeling is that some of the greatest parts of this organization are the committees. These provide additional opportunities for building that network between advisors, and are especially accessible ways for new members to get involved. With that said, we feel that there are ways to better coordinate the efforts through efficient communication to make sure that every committee is on the same page.

With professional development, we’d like expand the platform for guest speakers to bring new and fresh content to meetings that directly relates to our roles. We really enjoyed the Legislative session a few months back and so our goal moving forward is to continue seeking out campus partners to come and support us in a variety of ways.

Lastly, we want to grow ACA’s reputation on campus and develop the network that we have with other organizations, centers, and programs on campus. We feel that we can maintain the current relationships ACA has while exploring new opportunities to bring fresh perspectives and information to the membership.

To sum up, we ‘re both really excited about the opportunity to work with you all and keep ACA moving forward as a strong, relevant, fun community to be part of. We’d love to talk more if anyone has questions or any ideas, so feel free to come chat! We really appreciate your support - thank you so much!