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Three UCR Academic Advising Presentations Sponsored by NACADA Commissions


By Loree Iverson, Student Intern Writer CHASS College Computing
October 6, 2010

The proposals of three UCR academic advisors have received commission-sponsored status for the 2010 Annual National Academic Advisors Association Conference.

Out of over four-hundred proposals at the NACADA conference, each NACADA commission selects those proposals which will carry commission-sponsored status. This status is awarded to sessions that reflect information particularly representative of each commission’s interests.

The following UCR academic advisors have received this honorable status for the 2010 NACADA:

Mike Atienza, academic advisor for the departments of Media and Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, will present“Troubling” the Fast Pass: Towards a Collaborative Approach in Advising Queer Students of Color. In his presentation, Atienza will draw upon the theories of Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education and professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and will apply feminist and post-structuralist approaches toward best practices for academic advisors. His presentation is sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered & Allies Concerns commission.

The word “trouble” is a call to consider the multiple means through which academic advisors can select when helping students through their academic issues. The presentation will look specifically at queer students of color owing to the fact that most research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, and transgender students do not account for the cultural obstacles that are related to race and/or ethnicity.

This year will be Atienza’s second NACADA national conference presentation. His first presentation was also a commission-sponsored proposal at the 2009 San Antonio conference where he and his advising colleagues from philosophy, Gerardo Sanchez and Kathy Saylor, composed a presentation on helpful tips for students transitioning from undergraduate to graduate programs.

Atienza completed his master’s degree at UCR in Southeast Asian Studies during the winter 2010 term as part of the first cohort to graduate from the program. He was the recipient of the 2003-2004 Charles Weis Service Award and the 2008-2009 Graduate Student Service Award from the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of LGBTs at UCR. He also received one of the 2007-2008 Outstanding Staff Awards from the Staff Assembly. He looks forward to co-chairing the upcoming Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of LGBTS with LaToya Thibodeaux, program coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center.

Barbara Wotherspoon, Undeclared Program Manager/Academic Advisor, and Dorine Cabrera-Ramos, Pre-Business Program Manager/Academic Advisor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Student Academic Affairs Office and Ann J. Coppernoll, Director Undergraduate Programs, College of Business, Iowa State University will co-present So You Want to Be a Business Major?  Effective Approaches in Working with Students Who May Not be on the Path to Success in Obtaining a Business Degree, which has been sponsored by the Advising Business Majors Commission. For over five years, Barbara and Dorine have collaborated each fall quarter to present a workshop entitled “Alternative Paths to a Career in Business.”

Barbara Wotherspoon has a B.A. degree from Azusa Pacific University in Sociology and Biblical Studies. During her sixteen years at UCR, she has served as an academic advisor in the History of Art Department and the Entomology Department working with both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Barbara was instrumental in the development of the UCR UC Washington Academic Internship Program and served as staff coordinator for the CHASS F1rst Programs during its inception. She is currently the Undeclared Program Manager/Academic Advisor in the CHASS Student Academic Affairs Office.

Dorine Cabrera Ramos has a B.A. degree in Sociology and some graduate course work and currently holds the position of Pre-Business Program Manager/ Academic Advisor in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Student Academic Affairs Office and. She has been advising students for thirty years and has been advising Pre-Business for twenty-four years since the Pre-Business Program began in the 1980's. Ramos began her UCR career in the Chicano Studies Department. After it was disestablished, she advised for the Ethnic Studies Dept. until she finally joined the Student Academic Affairs Office. She has been instrumental in the development of the Pre-Business Theme Hall and establishing the CHASS Peer Advisors.

Barbra Wallace, Director of the CNAS Undergraduate Academic Advising Center, will present UC Riverside's Academic Advisor Training Program: "E" Ticket Quality at an "A" Ticket Price, a reference to the low cost, high quality training program. Wallace's proposal is sponsored by the Advisor Training and Development Commission. In 2004 Barbra created the UCR Professional Academic Advisor Certification Course which to date has trained 98% of the academic advisors on the UCR campus.

Barbra Wallace is a UCR alumni with both a B.S. and an M.A. in Biology. Barbra has worked as a professional staff member at UCR since 1989. Over the past twenty years she has worked as an Assistant Director and Coordinator of the Tutorial Assistance Program and Placement Testing Programs at the UCR Learning Center. Since 2003 Barbra has worked in advising administration for the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, and currently holds the position as the Director of the CNAS Undergraduate Academic Advising Center.


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