What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?
Engaged, curious, bold
Describe your job.
I do two kinds of advising at L&C. As a college advisor, I most often help students choose their classes or a major, but I also help them reflect on their strengths and challenges, adjust their study habits, or respond to a difficult academic situation. As a fellowships advisor, I help students discern their long-term goals as they learn about and apply for national grants and awards. These fellowships offer outstanding students opportunities to develop themselves as leaders, researchers, and professionals. I taught Exploration and Discovery for many years, and now advising offers me a way to help our students as they consider the purpose and direction of their liberal arts education.
What do you like best about your job?
I like meeting students when they are new to Lewis & Clark and seeing them grow during their time here. Sometimes this growth happens in ways I might have expected, but I love being surprised. Watching students find and become confident about their paths, whether through their classes, an activity, or an overseas program, makes me excited about my job. I also love hearing from students after they graduate…so I know how their journeys continue beyond L&C!
What makes Lewis & Clark special?
Our students’ curiosity and willingness to grow makes Lewis & Clark a distinct place. Again and again, I find myself intrigued and encouraged by L&C students’ commitment to learning and reflection.
Why do you choose to work at a liberal arts college? What do you think the benefits are of a liberal arts degree?
People with liberal arts degrees have engaged in deep conversations with traditions of knowledge, and their education has prepared them to keep taking part in these conversations long after graduation. Students at and graduates from L&C make these conversations vibrant by asking good questions about why we study what we do and how what we learn here can make the world a better place. These good questions inspire me to keep engaging in the conversations that drove my own pursuit of an education.
What are the biggest challenges faced by most first-year students?
Time (since first-year students have to learn new ways of managing it) and motivation (since they have attained the goal—college—that they have been pursuing for so long, and need to set new goals). New Lewis & Clark students have to ask themselves a question that treats college realistically and idealistically at the same time: how am I going to make the most of my time here?
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Find your own voice and listen to it—but make room for listening to the advice of others as well. Strong students have the capacity to be independent while also seeking the support of others. Many resources on campus offer ways to help you on your journey. Take advantage of them as you figure out who you are and what you will accomplish while you are here!