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Advisor of the month: December 2023

Grace Burden

College of Science

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
I love making academic plans with students and helping students find minors to enhance their Biological Sciences learning experience. I love the pathways minors, and encourage my students early on to find one that fits their graduation timeline. It's a fun puzzle to piece together a well-rounded plan and help students realize that important learning experiences also happen outside the classroom. I also enjoy helping students find career paths that fit their interests and work closely with Career and Professional Development to teach BIOL 3814: Careers in Biological Sciences, a career skills building and exploration course.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
Within my department, I created a Canvas Hub for students to organize advising information like extracurricular activities and research/internship opportunities. I share the responsibilities of maintaining this site in my office. Within the College of Science, I created a Student Success Initiative to assess and revamp how our advisors work with students on academic probation. I lead a team of academic advisors to make college wide changes to our approach with this student population.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
My advice is to not go into a role hoping to make a difference in a student's life. Through honest and strong relationships, you will be making a difference in students' lives. Relationships are built through small moments like remembering a student's name or listening when they've had a bad day. You probably will not change a student's life in one meeting, but through a sustained relationship with your students, you will be changing their lives!