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Advisor of the month: January 2023

Kayla Goodwin

School of Communication

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
When I was a college student, I took advantage of the support from campus professionals that were devoted to my success and I'm still benefitting from the experiences and lessons they've taught me - I still remember their names, faces, and conversations that we had years later.

I love having the opportunity to make such an impact on my advisees and enjoy helping them navigate through this important time in their lives. I also really like that not every appointment is the same - sometimes we're working through their graduation plan and discussing their path towards graduation, sometimes we're talking about extracurricular involvement, sometimes we're talking about career and post-grad options, and sometimes we're just talking. I enjoy the fact that all these appointments are "work" for me, and that my role is to positively impact and support my students.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
Aside from serving my caseload of School of Communication students, I also teach two sections of a 1-credit advising course for transfer students and our change-of-major students. With a large number of students joining us each semester, we find it critical to provide these students with professional advising in their new degree while allowing them to build community and be exposed to opportunities within their new department right away.

This past spring, I was also able to participate in the planning of Comm Week, our weeklong professional development program for our majors - recording our highest attendance rate yet with 400+ participants this past spring. The experience complemented by Career Champions badge through the Career and Professional Development office!

I continually find myself gravitating towards other campus-wide advising opportunities, like the mentorship program last spring (hey Vivek, look at me now!), the Advising Academy, one of AAI's goal groups, and most importantly I presented at Advising Matters on my undergraduate and graduate research on college campus violence prevention efforts in partnership with Hokie Wellness, the Women's Center, and Fraternity & Sorority Life.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
My best advice for campus professionals wanting to make a difference in the lives of their students is to simplify your strategy: it's not always the life-changing revelation and ground-breaking moment that impacts a student - usually it's the welcoming environment of your office, the way you send an email, your intentionality in interactions, and meeting a student where they're at. These smaller moments are buildable and allow you to establish a relationship with your student, and ultimately make a difference in their life that they'll remember!