B.A. in Sociology and Political Science – University of Northern Iowa (2011)
MSE in Higher Education Administration – University of Kansas
What do you do in your current position?
I work as an Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In this role I support the academic progress and personal growth of about 300 undergraduate students (mostly in communication studies and journalism). I also coordinate a month of service learning for about 2000 first-year students and teach a course for students recovering from academic probation. In my role no two days are totally alike, and I really enjoy helping students make the most of their time on campus. I’ve found a good balance between emotionally intensive 1:1 coaching with long-term strategic planning, and these always present fresh challenges.
How did your major help prepare you?
My training in sociology helped me understand systems, power and organizations in a way that informs my work and thinking constantly. It helps me coach individual students as they navigate their changing/emerging identities and the institution of higher education.
Most memorable part of your studies?
Two professors really shaped my time at UNI and how I saw myself/my goals: Dr. Stalp in sociology and Dr. Kogl in political science. Both of these professors challenged me in unexpected ways and pushed me to achieve all that I could academically. They also helped me grow personally and served as mentors. I wouldn’t be the person or professional I am today without their influence.
What advice would you give future panthers?
It’s okay to try something new. It’s okay to ask your professors about why they became experts in their fields. Don’t invest too much in what you’re “supposed” to do, study or become.
College can be a really tough time with a lot of conflicting pressures and expectations. Ask for help if you need it (or even if you don’t think you do).
Oh, and be brave enough to be kind.