Virginia Tech® home

Advisor of the month: June 2023

Amy Kokkinakos


What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
I really enjoy watching my students growth as they go through their time here at Virginia Tech and earn their chemistry degrees. I love being able to meet with my student's and getting to know them and learn about who they are and where they come from, not just in terms of academics, but as individuals. I think this helps them feel like they are more than just a number, and that there is someone who is truly interested in them as individuals and is invested in them and their education.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
I believe that my biggest contribution to our department is being able to listen to our students and learn what their goal is and trying to help them accomplishment that goal. I typically meet with my student's one on one and believe that the individual attention that I give them helps to cultivate the relationships that I have with them. My advisees get to know who I am, and in return I learn more about them.

In addition to my advising, I also sit on many different committees within the College of Science, which I think helps me to learn more about what is going on within advising within the College of Science and elsewhere in the university. I feel that this has helped me in many ways with my own students.

I also serve my department by being our timetable scheduler, collecting data for enrollment and other information. Helping with our Bridge Experience as the former advisor for that, and handling our departments force adds. I also do orientation with our Undergraduate Program Director among other responsibilities.

I have implemented or departments force add form when I first started in chemistry, along with spreadsheets that help us track information that we need for not on departmental reports, but for our American Chemical Society annual reports and five-year accreditation report.

I have also completed many professional development trainings, including Mental Health First Aid, Safe Zone trainings, Advising Academy, and I am in the process of doing the Career Champions program to help better advise my students.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
Get to know who your student's are, and know that being a successful advisor requires continual personal and professional growth. Try to attend as much professional development as you can to stay abreast of changes in procedures, best practices, networking, and knowledge sharing. We can all learn from one another to help best serve our students here at VT.