Vanessa Garcia, an academic advising coordinator in the Vick Center for Strategic Advising, has received recognition as the 2021 Student Success Champion. Vanessa works with undeclared students in the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) and declared students in other schools and colleges at the university who are looking to explore all of their academic options. Student Success Initiatives created the competitive award to honor a faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond every day on behalf of students.
“Within UGS, Vanessa Garcia is already well-known as an advising superhero,” said Dean Brent Iverson. “I am personally excited that now the rest of campus has recognized Vanessa for her extraordinary dedication, hard work, and impact on students as they navigate the journey from undeclared to a great major that is perfect for them.”
In addition to her main advising duties, Vanessa is the Texas Success Initiative advisor for all of campus, setting students up with appropriate developmental courses to help them succeed in their reading, writing, and math courses. Vanessa led the creation of the Mentorship for Student Success program, in which a UGS student on scholastic probation is paired with a peer mentor who was once on scholastic probation and got back into good academic standing. She is also the supervisor to the four other academic advisors in the Vick Center, where she develops and facilitates some of the most comprehensive and effective advising training at UT.
One of her nominators wrote: “Vanessa has a deep and relentless commitment to helping students explore and become who they want to be, and she gives her time generously to her fellow advisors who are striving to do the same. She has done all of this work quietly, humbly, and for its own sake. While she does not seek attention, she certainly deserves recognition.”