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Fall 2020 Advisor Recognition


Zuleika Carrasco-Martinez

December 2020  |  College of Liberal Arts

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
I like that advising gives me the opportunity to interact with students, and that I am able to work with them from the beginning of their college career to graduation. I like having that opportunity to see them grow.

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
I have been part of various diversity trainings, but I feel there is more to it than just training.  I have an open-door policy and students are aware that I am here to support them. I am also involved with campus organizations as an advisor, at the department and college level. This allows me the opportunity to promote and support Texas A&M’s mission. I am currently an advisor to four organizations (Filipino Student Association, Puerto Rican Student Association, Lambda Theta Alpha and Lambda Theta Phi, both Latino Greek organizations). I am also involved with the Department of Multicultural Services and their Courageous Conversations, which works with the Latina female population. 

What is one fun fact about you?
Those who have had the chance to get to know me or have heard of me know that I am a proud Puerto Rican.  What many do not know is that I was born in Germany. I am what you would call a military brat.

What advice did you have for our Aggies this fall semester?
We know that these are hard times and there have been many changes academically.  However, most importantly, we want you to know you are not alone.  Always remember that we are here for you.

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M? 
Listen to your students.  Many times, students are looking for someone to just listen to them.  You will be surprised what you will discover if you just listen to them. 


Melyssa-Anne K. Stricklin

November 2020  |  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
I find it most rewarding when students are wiling to confide in me. When they feel comfortable enough to be honest with me about their life. Of course, I also love when I get to see them as prospective students and watch them grow and learn and reach graduation. I am so proud of what they have accomplished and not just academically.

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
In addition to attending diversity trainings and reading books. I want to show students I support them. I make a point to create a safe space, brave space in my office. Of course, now-a-days it is a virtual office. I created a Zoom virtual background and a Google Slides virtual office with icons and hyperlinks to express what I support. These icons then link students to on campus resources such as the LGBTQ+ Pride Center, the Multicultural Services office, the Women’s Resources Center and more. Visit my virtual office!

What is one fun fact about you?
Though my headshot does not show it, I have had purple hair for over a year. #PurpleHairForLife

What advice do you have for our Aggies this fall semester?
I know that taking all online classes is very difficult because you have to find your own intrinsic motivation to do your academic work. To take control of your own education and make yourself do the work without the accountability of the classroom. To take initiative to sit yourself down and do the work, at times you may feel like you are teaching yourself. I know that this semester is extremely overwhelming because of COVID-19. I hear you. We hear you. It is an exceptional time to navigate your personal lives, your families, your school work, and your job. You are more resilient than you think. You can and will get through this. Please don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It is okay to ask for help, even if you don’t know what you are asking for specifically.

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M? 
Be ready for today’s student. You must be excited about learning and keeping up with how to use new and engaging technologies to interact with Gen Z students. You need to be passionate about the student experience. Each student and member of our campus has different lived experiences and you need to be ready to celebrate those. This is done by listening, meeting them where they are, and attending as many trainings as possible.

Another huge piece of advising is remembering work/life balance! It can be easy to get burnt out if you don’t know why you are in this field and if you don’t take “me time.”

Suzanne Rosser

October 2020  |  College of Geosciences

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
The time I spend with them in the classroom, advising office and out in the field on field trips watching them grow and learn.  It is most rewarding when I see them growing in to their potential and taking on new challenges.
 
How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
All of us come from different places so it is important to offer each other the same respect and support no matter who you are meeting.  A key principle I have always lived by and try to instill in my students in the class and advising is to treat each as you expect to be treated.  The possibilities for growth and learning are endless when we give grace to each other.
 
What is one fun fact about you?
Sewing is my happy place, so during this stay at home order/mask wearing mandate I have been using my love of sewing by making masks and giving them to anyone who has asked.  To date I have made and given away over 40 masks with many more made and waiting to be used.
 
What advice do you have for our Aggies this fall semester?
Communication is key as we go through this semester that looks like no other.  Your advisors and faculty are there for you.  Make sure you stay in touch and reach out to avoid isolation.  You’re an important part of the Aggie family, and we can make this the best semester possible by all working together.
 
What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M?
Make sure you are open and honest with your students and that they know you are there for them regardless of what is going on in their lives.  You will have so many opportunities and challenges come through your office but by listening to and supporting your students that is one of the keys to their success.


Rachel WalesRachel-Wales-2017-Copy.jpg

September 2020  |  Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

What do you enjoy most about working with students? 
My favorite part of my job is working directly with students. Advising gives me the opportunity to walk with students as they shape their future, both during their time at Texas A&M and for the rest of their lives.

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity, and inclusion? 
‚ÄčOur students’ lives do not begin the first day they step on campus. Each student brings a diverse collection of life experiences, along with the excitement, worries, and hard work they put in to get to college. As an advisor, I enjoy meeting each student where they are, and walking with them as they discover how their unique experiences and talents can positively impact their education, peer groups, and the world around them.
 

What is one fun fact about you?
During the stay-at-home order, I decided to attempt acrylic drip painting; emphasis on attempted. I also jumped on the bread-making bandwagon, and expanded to macarons and my Nana's kolache recipe.

What advice do you have for our Aggies this fall semester?
Remember: You matter. You are capable of accomplishing great things, even in adverse circumstances. This semester doesn’t look the same as usual, but we are still the same Aggie Family.
Your advisors are here for you, and we believe in you.
P.S. Please check your emails. ;)

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M?
Always remember the “Why” of what we do as advisors. Share in the joy with students as they pass “that” class, get an internship or a leadership role in their student organization, apply for graduation… In small and sometimes very big ways, we were able to help them along the way, and seeing a student reach their goals brings value to everything we do for our students, even that super last-minute force request.