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Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 February 2011

Academic advisors conference

Advisors representing all AHE campuses convene in Dulany’s Banquet Room.

Janitze Huey, enrollment advisor at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

In snow-plagued late January, the Columbia College main campus hosted the annual academic advisors' conference in Dulany’s Banquet Room. About 45 advisors representing the Nationwide campuses from as far as Hawaii and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba joined Evening and Online Campus colleagues for skill-building seminars and breakout sessions on such topics as:

• "Advising Building Blocks", presented by Graham Greer, advisor for the Online Campus and MaryJane Worstell, academic advisor, coordinator and trainer (AACT), AHE
• "Knowing the World Around You," Dr. Bruce Jackson, director, Moberly campus
• "Death by Shredder" (about the college's document imaging project), Heidi Saylor, systems analyst, Data Services
• Web and phone advising tips, presented by a group of Online Campus advisors
• "Learning from Probation and Suspensions," René Massey, associate dean, AHE

Dr. Eric Cunningham, associate dean, AHE, who's been with the college for 14 years, welcomed the conference attendees. "My hope is that this conference is something you enjoy and benefit from," he said. "One of the themes of this conference is to get to know something about your advisor peers. I hope you develop good relationships over the years."

"You are a main resource we rely on," added Worstell. 'You're one of the foundations of the college."
Greer said being an advisor means being a student advocate and sometimes a life advisor. If, he said, a finance major says, "I hate math!", then maybe the advisor needs to help them re-evaluate their academic choices, he said.

Janitze Huey, enrollment advisor at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, wasn't fazed by the snow or the 18-hour flight from Honolulu. She grew up in Minnesota. She also has counseling experience. Her husband, an aviation electrician for the Navy, was transferred to Hawaii, not his first Permanent Change of Station (PCS). She said one of the reasons she took the job was because of Columbia College's many campuses on military bases —"which might be very good for us," she said, if the couple have to relocate again.

Of her job, Huey said, "I am learning a lot … I have never had a job where they sent me to another state to train!"

Faries McCree, enrollment advisor at Columbia College-Guantanamo Bay, didn't mind the snow either: she was born and raised in Boston. 'We used to go out and have snowball fights with Amherst College!" said the University of Massachusetts -Amherst graduate. McCree too was a counselor in high schools in Boston and in Washington, D.C. Her husband is a civilian employee with the FBI on assignment in Guantanamo, their second stint there.

"I really love Columbia College!' she said. "It's so personal, provides a great opportunity to develop relationships."

McCree was not as complimentary of the notorious Guantanamo free roaming iguanas, a protected species, and at night, the hutias, banana rats.