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Advisor of the month: May 2022

Sarah Sierra

Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
There are many aspects of advising that I have enjoyed over the years, particularly in helping to clarify what often can appear confusing or overwhelming for students. But, perhaps what I find most enjoyable is helping students consider the larger picture of what their years at the University means to them. This usually occurs by taking the time to discuss not only their academic plans, but also their extracurricular activities, study abroad, work, volunteer opportunities, and life challenges.  Watching students learn how it is all interconnected and beneficial, including the good and the bad, has been incredibly rewarding. Particularly as I see how that continues to influence them in their life after Virginia Tech

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
I am the primary academic advisor to approximately sixty students. I also do all of the MCLL summer orientation advising. I direct the Oviedo, Spain Immersion program and do all of the advising for students who participate in that program. I am currently the Faculty Fellow for the Spanish House in Mozaiko and advise the leadership board. I serve on several MA advisor committees and I was also the Academic Advisor for the Spanish National Honor Society until this past spring.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
Find out what our students are passionate about and why they chose their major. This is always a great starting point for a discussion and offers excellent opportunities to introduce some new possible experiences or academic paths.