Scroll back to the top

Summer 2021 Advisor Recognition

Lisa Villa

August 2021   |   Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
I enjoy interacting with students in person and getting to know them. I like watching them grow academically and helping them along the way when they need assistance or advice. It’s nice to work with them from the beginning until they graduate and to see how much they grow and progress.

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
I let my students know that I always have an open door for them to see me and that if they need anything, I will be there to help or get them to the appropriate resources. I also hope that the students feel that my office is a safe place for them and that they can confide in me and be treated with respect. Everyone comes from a different background and has different beliefs and circumstances; people should always be heard and be given the time that they need.

What is one fun fact about you?
I am an “extreme couponer” and love to teach others to coupon; it’s a hobby that I enjoy a lot. I also have two fur babies, a Great Dane named Dollie and a Holland lop named Lucci, that are like my children. I also love everything tie-dyed in clothing; I think it is so pretty.

What advice do you have for our Aggies this semester?
1) Make sure that that you stay on top of your courses
2) Should you need help, please reach out to the professors.
3) Please check your email, as the academic advising office sends out information that you need to know.

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M?
Please reach out to other advisors on campus if you need any help, as we are all in this together. Making connections with other advisors can make your job a lot easier. The key to being successful in advising is taking the time to listen to your students; sometimes it is hard for them to express their concerns.


Vanessa Breslin

July 2021   |   College of Nursing

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
The most fulfilling part of my job is connecting with students. I love providing support and encouragement to students and prospective students, even in just small ways.  I truly enjoy helping students throughout their entire college experience including the bumps they may encounter along the way. We all learn by the mistakes we make and our ability to overcome hardships. I hope all our students know that we are here to help them and I hope that they never hesitate to reach out to their advisor. 

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
Advisors serve as the first point of contact for many students and prospective students. It is our responsibility to recognize how intimidating it can be to visit a college campus, send that first email or make that first phone call. We have the privilege of making sure that everyone feels and included from the very beginning. We also have the ability to get them connected to all the great resources available at A&M once they become students including the LGBTQ+ Pride Center, Women’s Resource Center, and more.

What is one fun fact about you?
I’m a proud mom of two girls who are 12 and 24 – many of my students do not know that I have a daughter who is older than them! My youngest is very involved in ice hockey so I spend a lot of time at the ice rink. I am also an avid runner and have a goal of running my first marathon this year.

What advice do you have for our Aggies this semester?
Get involved and get connected! It’s important now more than ever. Find a student organization that supports your passions and join one now.

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M?
Link up with an experienced advisor that can mentor you and join advising groups like the UAC. Building an advising community and having someone to contact with questions is invaluable.


Catherine Young

June 2021   |   Mays Business School

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
It is very rewarding when students leave my office or Zoom room and tell me that they’re much less stressed than when they arrived. It’s great being able to be a source of knowledge but also compassion for students trying to navigate a stressful situation.

How are you supporting and advancing Texas A&M University’s mission on diversity, equity and inclusion?
Academic advisors are among the first representatives of the university that new students meet, and it's critical that we are welcoming to all students in the midst of the very overwhelming and often confusing environment of college. I tell all of my students, “If you’re ever unsure who to contact about ANYTHING, ask me. I might not know the answer, but I can most likely find you someone who will.” I like to make sure my students know they’re not alone in navigating the institutional intricacies of higher education, and that I’m in their corner. 

What is one fun fact about you?
I’m an avid embroiderer, and it’s rare to catch me without a needle and thread.

What advice do you have for our Aggies this semester?
Bookmark Texas A&M University's academic calendar on your favorite browser and check it often. The first and last days of classes, Q-drop and withdrawal deadlines, key registration dates, the schedule for finals, and more are all listed there FAR in advance, and being well-informed on all of those things will save you a lot of stress (and will save your advisor a lot of panicked emails).

What advice do you have for new academic advisors at Texas A&M?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We tell that to our students all the time, and as advisors, we must normalize double-checking without shame when we’re unsure of something, so that we can both give our students the best advice and grow as advisors. I'm grateful for my amazing advising team at Mays Business School that really emphasized this to me.