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Advisor of the month: February 2023

Jessica Bedore

Animal and Poultry Sciences

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
One of the things I love the most is helping students transform from dependence to independence. Helping them learn skills of independence, such as navigating resources and trusting their own abilities to figure it out, whatever "it" is. Regardless of major, career ambition, or other life plans, the ability to figure it out transcends all. I think it's one of the most important skills we can model, coach, and instill in our students. I enjoy helping students wherever they are on their journey, some need more confidence boosting than others, so meeting students where they are is a very individual process. But I really enjoy getting to know each student and helping them find themselves as independent adults.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
I feel like I not only advise my cohort of students but also advise the advisors in my School. We have a distributed model of advising, with many faculty members having 10-15 advisees. since they spend less time advising they need more help with the nitty gritty details of advising and the university roadblocks. So I also develop resources to help teach the advisors. We recently put together a Canvas site for advisors, which collates information for them into concise chunks.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
The most important thing is to care. Care about your students as people with individual ambitions, struggles, and goals. These are young people struggling with a myriad of things in a world that is increasingly more challenging and demanding. Be kind. You don't have to fix their problems, but at least don't be an additional problem. Where you can, help them find resources, and if possible, reduce barriers to their success. But number one is to care and be kind.