Advising Philosophy

Transformation, R-MC and the Liberal Arts

I believe that the purpose of education is to change us. The ways education changes us depend on what we put into our own education.  I mean this not only in the sense of “work hard,” but also that your interest and engagement will determine how your education will change you.  Being curious, and following your interests is one way to get the most out of education.

I believe in the value that we provide at a small school such as R-MC.   Part of this value is an advisor who wants to get to know you and is interested in helping you realize your dreams.  This sounds cheesy, but since education is a long-term investment, whose benefits are often vague and hard to directly measure, I find these reminders useful.  Because “helping you realize your dreams” is part of how I view my job (one of my favorite parts) the more of your dreams and interests that you share with me, the harder I will work for you.  For example, I follow over 50 blogs daily and subscribe to 6 magazines (half are psychology or science related, but others include news, politics, photography, humor, and technology).  If I know you are interested in something, I will likely send you something I think you will find interesting.  Your name will also come to mind when certain opportunities cross my path.   In the past week, I have sent soccer highlight videos to students, articles on psychopaths to another, or conference opportunites to others.   In the past, a student told me of their interest in studying in the UK, and I sent several opportunities her way.   In fact, this is a good general rule of life.  The more interested you seem, the more interesting you seem to others, and the harder they will work for you.

I believe in the value of a liberal arts education.  I do not see my role as indoctrinating or forcing a particular version of the liberal arts on you, but I will be persistent in pushing you to educate yourself both broadly and deeply, to try things you don’t think you will like or you don’t think you can do.

Failure and Credibility

I am here to help you navigate the rules of college.  Some rules are bendable and some are not.   The only way you will find out which ones are which, is to establish and maintain your dedication and your credibility.  Failure does not harm your dedication and credibility.  Bamboozling, excuse-making and lying do.  One benefit of a place like R-MC is that you leave not only with a GPA and a degree, but with a set of recommendations and relationships.  This doubles the benefit of hard work (even when it doesn’t pay off the way you want it to), but can also double the harm to your credibility if you lie or disrespect people.  This is also a good general rule for life.  If you establish your credibility (and your respect for the rules) you will often be surprised at how flexible those rules turn out to be