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Founding director of advising excited to make change

Dr.+Missy+Hernandez%2C+Loyola%27s+founding+director+of+academic+advising%2C+sits+in+her+new+office+in+the+Pan-American+Student+Success+Center%2C+currently+under+renovation%2C+on+Jan.+24%2C+2018.+Hernandez+and+her+team+plan+to+implement+an+advising+center+that+focuses+on+first-year+students+and+undeclared+sophomores.+ERIN+SNODGRASS%2FThe+Maroon.+Photo+credit%3A+Erin+Snodgrass
Dr. Missy Hernandez, Loyola's founding director of academic advising, sits in her new office in the Pan-American Student Success Center, currently under renovation, on Jan. 24, 2018. Hernandez and her team plan to implement an advising center that focuses on first-year students and undeclared sophomores. ERIN SNODGRASS/The Maroon. Photo credit: Erin Snodgrass

Dr. Missy Hernandez, Loyola's founding director of academic advising, sits in her new office in the Pan-American Student Success Center, currently under renovation, on Jan. 24, 2018. Hernandez and her team plan to implement an advising center that focuses on first-year students and undeclared sophomores. ERIN SNODGRASS/The Maroon. Photo credit: Erin Snodgrass

Dr. Missy Hernandez, Loyola's founding director of academic advising, sits in her new office in the Pan-American Student Success Center, currently under renovation, on Jan. 24, 2018. Hernandez and her team plan to implement an advising center that focuses on first-year students and undeclared sophomores. ERIN SNODGRASS/The Maroon. Photo credit: Erin Snodgrass

Erin Snodgrass

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Missy Hernandez, Loyola’s founding director of academic advising, is no stranger to building new academic advising programs.

She spent four years working at a government institution in Abu Dhabi as a full-time faculty academic advisor doing introductory and career exploration courses. Following that, she spent two and a half years as the founding director of academic advising at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

“I have experience. I’ve done this before. I understand the challenges and nuances of a new position,” Hernandez said.

Brad Petitfils, director of the student success center, said Hernandez has a proven track record with remodeling academic advising centers and said he believes Hernandez will make an immediate and positive impact.

“This new model for advising is part of the exciting work that is currently happening in Project Magis. We have set high goals for our retention rate in the next few years, and we know that Dr. Hernandez’s work will help us to reach those goals,” Petitfils said.

After seven years abroad, Hernandez and her family felt that it was time to come home. Upon her return, she said she was looking for a school where she could have an impact and make change.

“It’s gonna be a challenge as the university is going through a lot of transitions, and this is just one of those, but I think it’s an exciting time. I think people are looking forward to change,” Hernandez said.

The Student Success Center is currently under a full-scale remodel on the second floor of Monroe Library thanks to a generous donation by Pan-American Life and an anonymous donor.

According to Petitfills, the new center will centralize key academic support services, including the office for accessible education, the office for student success and the office for writing and learning services, which includes the writing across the curriculum lab.

“We are especially excited that the new center will have a soundproof testing center for students who are served by the office for accessible education, and the new tutoring space will be the envy of campus,” Petitfills said.

As part of her new position, Hernandez and the office of academic advising, will be making some changes. She plans to open an academic advising center for first-year students, undeclared sophomores and at-risk students, providing intensive advising services, starting in the fall of 2018.

“Students will be advised in the center during their first year and transition into their college and their faculty advisor once they choose their major,” Hernandez said.

Petitfils said this new model will help ensure students that they are in the right major early in their academic career.

Hernandez said she is still waiting to hear about staffing numbers, but hopes to have two or three advisors joining her in the center.

Hernandez said she knows that advising has been a concern for some students on Loyola’s campus, but this doesn’t make her nervous. She said she is open to student concerns and suggestions.

“My dissertation was on retention. I’ve been in it as an academic advisor. I’ve been a faculty advisor. I have the experience. I have a passion for it. I’ve got a wonderful team,” Hernandez said.

 

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About the Writer
Erin Snodgrass, Managing Editor for Electronic Proporties
Erin Snodgrass is a Mass Communication sophomore. She is incredibly excited to be the Managing Editor for Electronic Properties this semester. She has also worked as the News Editor, Assistant Religion Editor and a Contributing Writer for The Maroon. In her spare time she enjoys binge watching Netflix and listening to classic rock. Contact: [email protected]
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