Advisor of the month: September 2017
Abbey Rowe Erwin
College of Engineering
What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
As the Transitional Advisor for the College of Engineering, I have the opportunity to serve a few different groups of students, and they are all rewarding in different ways! I love sitting in my office and listening to students as they are exploring various majors and career paths- it is so exciting to watch a student find something they truly love! I also really enjoy working with transfer students as they are becoming Hokies- they bring so many unique experiences with them and it is an honor to partner with them as they begin their time at Virginia Tech.
In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
Over the past year and a half, I have been able to provide many more resources and centralized support for engineering transfer students, including a re-vamped engineering orientation model and online webinars to help transfer students transition to life at Virginia Tech. I'm also in the process of building an interactive module-based learning process to assist students who are on academic warning and probation learn from their experiences, connect with campus resources, and set goals to boost their future academic performance. I am hoping that both of these projects will not only increase our retention and graduation rates, but will more importantly help to improve students' academic experiences in the College of Engineering.
What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
Our role as advisors is incredibly valuable, don't forget that! Students come to us with a wide array of needs- and some of them solicit our advice when they are making some of the biggest decisions of their lives! One of the best things we can do is to stop talking. In all seriousness, listening to our students is the most important thing we can do to make a difference. Listen to their goals. Listen to their challenges. Listen to their questions and doubts and celebrations. Once we really start to listen to our students, then we are able to really partner with them through their exploration and development throughout their college experience.