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Advisor of the month: December 2021

Zackary Underwood

University Studies & Scholarship Support

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
I enjoy meeting with students and hearing their stories. Each student's story is unique and gives me a glimpse into being a Hokie. As a lifelong learner, I believe I can learn from each student and even though they are meeting with me for advice, they can also teach me something. I enjoy the variety of conversations in my role as an academic advisor, transitional advisor, and HUB Mentor ranging from coursework to getting involved to asking for help to learning about student's backgrounds or jobs. There are so many variables involved towards student success that even a tangent story from a student can help them understand they are being heard and feel a sense of belonging.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
I contributed to advising in my department through making all of our advising forms electronic based through Microsoft Power Automate, I reorganized the University Studies and Scholarship Support website to highlight our many services, and creating voiceover audio clips for the new Advisor Onboarding experience on the PageUp Learning Management System. From 2019-2021, I also led the Advising Subcommittee for University Curriculum Committee for General Education to discover trends in batch registration among colleges towards Pathways to General Education courses. I shared this information with all Transitional Advisors to better inform our advising specifically for future Pamplin College of Business students.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
Give students plenty of time to talk and listen to their answers. I always ask students if they have any questions at least twice before our appointment is over to provide a safe and open environment for inquiry.