2019 Officer Election Nominees

The following are nominees for TEXAAN Executive Board positions.

Positions are elected in the following order:

  1. President-Elect
  2. Vice President of Programs
  3. Vice President of Technology
  4. Secretary

NOTE: Per the TEXAAN Constitution:
Article VIII, Section 1, B, 2: "No more than two members from the same institution may serve as officers at the same time."
Article VIII, Section 1, B, 3: "President-Elect may not be from the same institution as the President."

The winner will be the highest vote getter not resulting in more than two board members from the same institution.

Officer Nomination Guidelines

Officer Nomination Form

- For positions with more than one nomination, nominees are listed alphabetically.
- Nominee statements are posted as received.

Last updated: Monday, February 25, 2019


President-Elect - Nominees

Rachel Nemets

Academic Advisor II, Political Science/ College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I am interested in pursuing the position of the TEXAAN President-Elect because of how my positive experiences with the organization played a key role in inspiring me to pursue academic advising after completing a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. It is my hope and intention to foster an environment where others can feel the same way as I do for TEXAAN and the profession and for current advisors to know the value and impact they have on students and fellow advisors.

I am also interested in running for this position because I would like to enhance communication efforts between TEXAAN Regional Chairs by establishing scheduled meeting dates and times and preparing meeting agendas ahead of time in order to hold organized, timely, and successful meetings. By implementing better communication efforts, the TEXAAN Executive Board will be able to plan successful TEXAAN conferences in the future and develop exciting professional development opportunities for members.

What most influenced me to run for the position of the TEXAAN President-Elect is seeing the impact the organization has on advisors and the opportunities it provides to help advisors become the best advisors they can be. TEXAAN provides incredible awards and scholarships that recognizes advisors for their tremendous efforts in the profession and also supports those who have decided to further their higher education. I find immense value in providing these opportunities and would be honored to serve as part of the organization.

It is also of my interest to expand upon my own leadership experiences in order to grow both professionally and personally as well as to take the next step in my career. Last year, I served as co-chair for organizing and planning the annual Texas A&M University advising conference. This opportunity helped me gain hands-on leadership skills that are transferable toward future leadership opportunities such as the TEXAAN President-Elect.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

If elected TEXAAN President-Elect, I would bring a unique perspective to the Executive Board, as I am a new advisor to the profession. Bringing a fresh perspective would provide an array of insight to help the organization grow. Not only would a unique perspective bring new ideas to TEXAAN but it can also stimulate advisors to think differently, introduce new ways of working, and help the organization grow. It is my goal to shape a strong community for those who work in the profession so members can share best practices and discover and discuss new resources, ideas, technologies, or issues facing our students.

Last year, I served as co-chair to organize and develop a university-wide advising conference that brought in about 200 guests. I made executive decisions in order to determine what would be best for a successful conference. I also delegated responsibilities to each member of the planning committee and oversaw each subcommittee to ensure important deadlines were met. As co-chair, I learned first-hand that effective communication is key to being successful in a leadership position. This position allowed me to strengthen my leadership skills, such as time management, delegation, and being receptive to constructive feedback, that are necessary for the position of the TEXAAN President-Elect.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

Always Learning - I believe in the value of continuously asking questions and seeking guidance from others to become successful in the profession. Higher education is continuously changing, which requires advisors to adapt to the new changes occurring by seeking professional development opportunities and advice from others.

Developing Purpose - As an academic advisor, it is always my intention to provide guidance to help students navigate the process of finding their purpose in college and beyond. The profession is very rewarding as advisors watch students grow through their college experiences and venture out onto their own adventures upon graduation. It is my mission as an advisor to engage in opportunities that inspire fellow advisors to feel the same way as I do about the profession.

Embrace Diversity - Every single advisor has their own unique story to tell. We have all experienced situations that have shaped us to be who we are today. I believe there is much power in owning who you are and what has helped you get to where you are now. Our stories can inspire one another to help make us become better advisors to help students strive for success.

Laura Payne

Academic Adivsor II, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I have recently started an academic advising organization at UTD called UTD: Counseling and Advising Network (UTD: CAN). I have reached out several times to the North Texas Chair and looked to the TEXAAN website for information on trying to set up joint social and training events but have received little to no response. I am wanting to become a leader in TEXAAN to help make this organization more accessible and valuable to all members.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

I would bring passion and consistency. I believe both are essential in a position of leadership.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

My advising philosophy is the use of a strong case management system to employ a holisitc devepmental and goal focused advising model to align educational goals with career and employment.

Leticia Wilson

STEM Advisor - Biology, Department of Natural Sciences, Del Mar College

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I have an interest in becoming the President Elect, because I want to devote my time and energy in helping other people become more successful and giving each person the ability to add to our profession of advising.
My first priority would be to engage our region chairs to connect with their surrounding schools. Being a former South Region Chairperson 2016-2017, I understand the importance of connecting with your neighboring institutions, to build a network and synergy that would catapult TEXAAN as the “rising tide”.

In addition, I would foster the mission by working hand in hand with our President. Providing continuous opportunities for professional development, recognition and “real-time” relevant information.
Personally, I’ve been influenced to run because I see the potential in our organizations growth but more importantly I believe I can be apart of the IMPACT!

What would you bring to this leadership position?

Enthusiasm, Compassion, Organization, Authenticity and collaborative on-going communication skills.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb


Vice President of Programs - Nominees

Brandy Barksdale

Sr. Academic Program Advisor, Advising Administration (Resilience & Retention), University of Texas at San Antonio

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

It would be an honor to serve in TEXAAN as VP of Programs. Even before becoming an academic advisor in 2014, I’ve always been very passionate about the success of students, but I also understand the important role of advising professionals in making that happen. This understanding is what led me to serve on and later Chair the leadership team within the UTSA Academic Advising Council from 2014-2017 and becoming the Parliamentarian of the UTSA Staff Council in 2018. Upon learning of professional higher education organizations, such as TEXAAN, I’ve always wanted to be part of something that further encouraged collaboration amongst peers! Being affording the opportunity to network and join forces with individuals across the state to make our universities great is a strong passion of mine. As society says, “It takes a village”, and I would be privileged to be part of that village to show appreciation to my colleagues and peer institutions for the work they do and to give back to our higher education community. Becoming a TEXAAN board member would give me the stronger foundation to be the best leader I can be in and outside of my home institution. I believe this opportunity will give me the skills to continue bettering myself both personally and professionally. Having the opportunity to learn more about TEXAAN and participate in this organization would allow me to share knowledge with others, strengthening us as a community of professionals. The success and betterment of everyone is important to me and is key to a thriving profession

What would you bring to this leadership position?

I come to the TEXAAN with the knowledge that I am only a piece of the higher education puzzle. I have the ability to see other’s individual strengths and I am willing to do all it takes to build up and bring that puzzle together. My strength as an achiever and learner encouraged me to not just become a Chair for the statewide UTSA Academic Advising Conference in 2016 but also a chair for the campus Academic Advising Council in 2016-2017, and most recently a South Texas Region Chair for TEXAAN in 2018. These positions allowed me to lead by example and take advantage of opportunities that broadened my horizons. These same strengths in addition to being a maximizer also led me to encourage others to step out of their areas of comfort and enrich themselves. The benefit of being part several cross-campus and external committees has allowed me to strengthen my communication skills when overseeing projects and heighten my creativity when implementing initiatives. It also allowed me to network with staff, faculty, and executive administration, therefore connecting the macro and micro perspectives of student success and professional development practices. It is my strong value of teamwork and research that keeps me grounded and gives me the understanding that we are all part of a bigger picture. Therefore, I have a high commitment to be there for those I work with in the midst of balancing other projects and tasks. I am a dedicated problem solver who readily adapts to change and works well both collaboratively and independently.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

My advising practices stem from Riesser and Chickering’s Seven Vectors theory. Utilizing this theory and asking open-ended questions, allows my students to internally identify their interests and strengths. As an advisor this affords me the opportunity to be in a meaningful moment with my student and actively listen to their feedback. By encouraging this dialogue, I help my students to become the self-author of their academic pathway. Through my personal and professional experiences, I find myself applying a combination of Developmental, Proactive, and Appreciative advising as it relates to each student individually. This blended approach naturally occurs for me when working with my students who are at-risk or in an exploratory phase as demonstrated in the following publication: https://www.utsa.edu/today/2018/09/story/ProactiveAdvising.html.


Casey Ramos

Academic Advisor, Advising & Counseling, Tarrant County College - Southeast Campus

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I have been greatly impacted by TEXAAN from my very first conference. I jumped in quickly after membership and served as the VP of Programs from 2015-2017 as a means to give back to the organization that gives so much to me.

I enjoyed my time as an officer and met so many great people from various institutions and regions. I would like the opportunity to serve again and possibly contribute to TEXAAN's future.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

New methods or ideas in reference to programming
Innovative methods to scheduling and reviewing presentation proposals
Composing a fair and justified matrix for presentation proposal review and selection.
Team oriented attitude and eagerness for collaboration
Experience in this specific position

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

I believe in a a combination of intrusive and appreciative advising. I want to help my students discover themselves and take pride in their accomplishments (regardless of size) while also motivating them to utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills to develop solutions and towards their own academic success.

Kialyn Yendell

Director of Academic Advising, College of Science & Engineering, University of Houston- Clear Lake

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I’ve been in academic advising and student success for ten years, and (aside from interacting with my students) my favorite part of my work has always been driving things forward. I’m excited by the opportunity to serve TEXAAN as a board member who could play a role in bringing engaging and thought-provoking content to our conferences for our TEXAAN members across the state. Each time I attend a TEXAAN conference, I leave feeling motivated and equipped with new ideas and perspectives to bring back to my office and campus. Joining the TEXAAN board in continuing to inspire and galvanize the greater academic advising community (professional advisors, faculty advisors, advising administrators, and others in the field) is one way I could contribute to the field that I love.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

At this point of my career, I feel ready and motivated to work for the advising community that works so hard for all of our students. I enjoy serving in roles that allow me to have a positive impact within areas I care about, and I’m deeply dedicated to academic advising. My passion for advising drives me on a daily basis to do the hard work that results in making things better for my students and my university. I do my best to bring that work ethic to anything I do, and this position would be no different. My ten years as an academic advisor, advising administrator, and college-level director for student success at institutions of varying size and populations have also provided me with insight and experience that I can bring to the table to serve a leadership role in the organization.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

Academic advising supports and guides students through an enriching educational career that culminates in the achievement of a student’s academic goals. The role of an academic advisor can take so many forms on a daily basis: advocate for the student's voice, provider of information, bridge to additional resources, expert on policy and procedure, and sometimes just a safe space to vent or talk or cry. Sometimes an advisor takes on all of these roles in one given advising session.

Theoretically, I ascribe to a combination of developmental and proactive advising. I want to form a relationship with my students built on trust and respect that promotes their personal growth and accountability, but I also aim to help them avoid the pitfalls that I see on their path. I want to see them develop, but also be there to make their road as smooth as possible so they can focus on their education and growth. The connections and relationships with students are what keep me engaged and excited about our field, and I strive to ensure that every student who comes into my advising office leaves feeling heard, respected, and more secure and knowledgeable about their next steps to academic success.


Vice President of Technology - Nominees

Valerie Wilson

Academic Advisor, Communication, Texas A&M University

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I am interested in this position because of my belief that technology can connect people in great ways. My coworker influenced me to run for this leadership position but it is also one of my personal goals for this year to work to support TEXAAN as it has supported my growth.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

I have a bachelor's in Telecommunication Media Studies and I am working on my master's in Academic Advising so this position perfectly aligns with my interests. I have initiated many technology efforts into my advising center, incorporating desing into function.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

My personal philosophy of advising is that the advisor and student develop a relationship that spans the student’s academic career, with the advisor investing time and energy into the student and the student caring equally about their choice in how to implement the advice.

Secretary - Nominees

Charlotte Thompson

Academic Advisor III, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Tyler

Why are you interested in this leadership position? What influenced you to run for this leadership position?

I would like to be more involved with TEXAAN and see how the organization works from within.

What would you bring to this leadership position?

My top three strengths are first Learner second Responsibility and third Positivity so just based on my top 3 strengths I would be a team player.

What is your philosophy of academic advising?

I love being an advisor! I am not just an advisor informing my students academically but I help them to be good citizens, healthy, happy, and academically sound.