2016 TEXAAN Annual Conference

February 17-19, 2016



Schedule At A Glance*                                              Click here for presentation materials.


Wednesday, February 17

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Registration & Check-in

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Preconference Session

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Preconference Session

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

First-Time Attendee Session

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Opening Ceremony & Keynote



Thursday, February 18

7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Registration & Check-in

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch & TEXAAN Annual Business Meeting

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Advisor Recharge

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Region Meetings

5:30 p.m.

Dinner on your own



Friday, February 19

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Breakfast on your own

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Brunch & Presentation of Awards

*Click Here for a PDF of the  .



Preconference Sessions:                                                                                            (No additional fee to attend Pre-Conference Sessions.)

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Teaching the “Logic” of the Curriculum

Presenter: Andy Armstrong, Director of Advising Texas A&M University

Expanding on Marc Lowenstein’s learning-centered paradigm of academic advising (2000, 2005), advisors are tasked with knowing the curriculum in order to communicate the “logic” of their degree program to advisees. Based on the advising is teaching metaphor, understanding the culmination of the curriculum into the degree program enables advisors to teach during the advising process.

Institutions rely on academic advisors to recruit, retain, and graduate students in a timely manner. As a result, advisors must understand the curriculum expectations and learning outcomes in order to effectively communicate to advisees. Based on advising experiences in liberal arts, with transferability to other areas, we will discuss ways advisors can build their understanding of a curriculum in order to communicate the logic to advisees.


1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Annual Updates

Presenter: Terri Daniels, Assistant Director of College CompletionTexas Higher Education Coordinating Board



Dr. Gary Hartman to serve as this year’s keynote speaker at Opening Ceremonies.


Dr. Gary Hartman specializes in Immigration and Ethnic Community History, and he is also the Director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University. He has earned a Ph.D in History from the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent research includes a comprehensive history of Texas music examining how different ethnic groups throughout the Southwest have used music to articulate their culture and history. For more information about Dr. Hartman, click here.


Concurrent Sessions and Descriptions:           (*Days and Times of presentations will be located on Conference program)


#BlackStudentSuccessMatters: Addressing the negative effects of institutional racism in higher education on students of color

Presenter(s): Shunverie Barrientez, Academic Advisor II and Donna R. Ware, Academic Advisor III University of Texas at San Antonio

Institutional racism and social injustices have not only had a lasting negative impact on Blacks but on our society as a whole. These injustices have intentionally or unintentionally provided additional barriers to retention and graduation for Black student success, in particular Black males. Most Black students enter college at a disadvantage being first-generation, low-income and/or under-prepared for the rigors of college. Black student success has been historically marginalized and considered unachievable on many university campuses throughout the US and as academic advisors we are tasked with increasing retention and increasing graduation rates for “all students”. Research has consistently shown black student’s success has been harder to achieve than that of their peers; however, it is vital that we explore and identify strategies and techniques to prove “Black student success matters”.


Advancing Advising to Support Students (A2 + S2 = Success!)

Presenter(s): Amanda Golden, Senior Academic Advisor; Kristen Kessel, Senior Academic Advisor; Yma Revuelta, Academic Advising Coordinator; Cindy Zimmerman, Senior Academic Advisor; Laura Wick, Associate Academic Advisor; Justin Brady, Senior Academic Advisor and Pamela Dahl, Academic Advising Coordinator The University of Texas at Austin

Organizational culture is often overlooked when talking about best practices in advising, but any advisor can tell you that the workplace has a big impact on how students are served. High performing advising offices have shared values that contribute to advisor success, which directly translates to student success. These values, based in a student advocacy model, create a shared sense of purpose, a framework for managing conflict, and a mission that drives the advising office. This presentation is to provide one example of how a high performing office functions, including how it is grounded in organizational theory and how that yields student success in a STEM program at a large, 4-year university.


Advising International Students - Providing a Bridge of Communication

Presenter(s): Diana Shaw Howard, Assistant Director Honors College Advising University of Texas at San Antonio

Having been an Academic Advisor for more than eleven years, some of my fondest experiences come from working with international students. They enrich my life as they bring perspectives on learning, family and life from cultures I have only read about. International students must work exponentially harder to study at a university in America. They come often times unfamiliar with the culture, academic expectations not to mention familiarity of languages. They have tremendous obstacles to overcome. I enjoy helping them build bridges with other key people and peers during their tenure at UTSA. I have built lifelong relationships and learned a lot from my international students, as I hope they have from me. My presentation will be centered on sharing my advising strategy of working with international students.


Advising the Jedi Way: Using the Force of Advising Theory for Good

Presenter(s): Ryan Scheckel, Assistant Director Texas Tech University

It's an exciting time for academic advisors! It's also an exciting time for Star Wars fans! You probably never thought those worlds would ever collide, but in this super nerdy session they will! This session will draw from that Galaxy Far, Far Away to relate the teachings, tactics, and troubles of those mystical fighting wizards to the advising theories presented in Drake, Jordan, and Miller's 'Academic Advising Approaches'. If you are looking to make the jump to light speed in your advising practice, trust your feelings, and join the dork side! And if the Force is with you, you might just walk away with copy of the book!


Advising Students with Military Credit and Other Prior Learning

Presenter(s): Jenilee Williams, Director of Guidance and Counseling, Central Texas College and Isaiah Vance, Director of Academic Advising, Texas A&M University-Central Texas

The evaluation of military credit and other prior learning is becoming a critical issue in higher education, especially in Texas. As students compare institutions and degree plans options, many are expressing a desire to receive credit for knowledge and skills that have been acquired prior to attending college. During this session we will explore strategies of accurately and consistently evaluating and applying this type of credit. As part of this conversation the College Credit for Heroes and Central Texas College’s Fast Forward programs will be used as examples of how military articulation could be done, and the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) will both be highlighted as resources to assist in evaluating prior learning.


Authentic Advising: Using Leadership Theory to Guide Your Practice

Presenter(s): Ryan Scheckel, Assistant Director Texas Tech University

Whether you consider yourself a leader or not, you do have followers and they expect authenticity. This session will introduce you to the concepts of Authentic Leadership Theory and how it applies to academic advising. We will review the history of the field and the various types of theories on what it means to lead, then we will dive right into applying Authentic Leadership Theory to where you are in the field of academic advising. Regardless of your title or position, you can learn how academic advisors can become better advisors by being authentic leaders.


Between the Pages: Creating a Portfolio for the New Age

Presenter(s): Matthew Haynes, Senior Academic Advisor University of Texas

An Advisor's Portfolio is meant to be a tool that documents professional history, celebrates accomplishments, and identifies areas for professional growth. The portfolio will provide advisors with a means to keep a record of their accomplishments and to set goals for the future. The goals of the advising portfolio are: providing each advisor with the opportunity to document accomplishments and contributions to students, their department and College/University, and to the advising profession, to encourage professional reflection and goal-setting, to identify areas of needs in order to plan for future professional development opportunities. Attendees will be asked to bring their current portfolios (traditional or electronic) or examples of portfolio layouts they want to emulate. Through the use of informative slideshow presentation, open dialogue sessions, interactive discussions and videos, and useful handouts advisors will be prepared to create their own personal Advising Portfolios electronic and/or traditional.


Collective Viewpoints: Round Table Discussion on Campus Carry

Facilitator(s): Steven Goode, W. James Kronzer Chair in Trial and Appellate Advocacy; University Distinguished Teaching Professor University of Texas

Many of us have questions and/or concerns in reference to campus carry. This will be an open discussion to answer those questions and share our thoughts with each other on this topic.


Collective Viewpoints: Round Table Discussion on the Common Core & Transferability

Facilitator(s): Kelsey Davidson Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Many of us have questions and/or concerns in reference to the common core and the transfer from two-year institutions to four-year institutions. This will be an open discussion to help gather an understanding between the institutions and share our thoughts with each other on this topic.


Effective Approaches for the New Advising Administrator

Presenter(s): Rachael Taylor, Senior Academic Advisor and Angela Speaker, Senior Academic Advisor Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

This is the role you’ve always wanted, now what? No one promised administration would be easy; however, by establishing a strong foundation, challenges can be overcome and successes earned. Through research and the presenters’ experiences you will discover best practices and tips in areas such as establishing rapport, goal setting, and effective training.

This interactive session will utilize open discussion and engaging activities. Whether you are a new advising administrator or are contemplating advancement, this session will provide the tools needed for success in your new journey.


Establishing a Reasonable Expectation for Advisor Caseload

Presenter(s): Isaiah Vance, Director of Academic Advising Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Every advisor has been asked the question, “How many advisees do you have?” The question touches on the issue of caseload and comparisons are naturally made between the sheer numbers of students that various advisors may be responsible for. What is often overlooked in such discussions is the actual nature and responsibility of each advisor’s work. This session will identify a number of areas for which advisors are responsible, and then begin to work towards establishing a realistic and meaningful expectation of the number of students the advisor should assist. The goal of this session is to identify the responsibilities and priorities of each advisor, and to examine ways that processes and interactions can be improved in order to better serve each student.


From Combat to Classroom: Working with Student Veterans

Presenter(s): Lauren Sebel, Coordinator II, Student Accessibility Services Austin Community College

Student veterans are returning to higher education in record numbers. It is important for student service providers to understand the challenges these students bring to college campuses in order to best serve these students.


Get Turnt: The benefits of Advising Student Organizations

Presenter(s): Terrance McClain, Academic Advisor I and Lauren Fairley, Academic Advisor I Texas State University

Advising student organizations present numerous benefits to advisors as they seek to establish rapport with their students. Advising student organizations can allow the advisor to successfully create an advising relationship that reflects a humanizing, holistic, and proactive approach. As a student organization advisor, an advisor can gain transferable skills that can be used and implemented in an advising relationship with students.


If You Build It…They Will Come: How Advising is an Important Brick in Building a Successful ESOL Program

Presenter(s): Ann Nguyen, Academic Advisor Tarrant County College Southeast

ESOL is for students wishing to improve their academic English skills in order to build their confidence, develop a strong foundation in English and prepare for credit-bearing courses at Tarrant County College and beyond. ESOL programs provide a great academic foundation, but who get these students started? The Academic Advisor sometimes has to play the role of admissions officer, registrar, financial aid representative, in addition to advising. This presentation will explain how to effectively balance all these roles when working with this special population and remind us why it is all worth it.

It's More than Academics: Supporting Students' Mental and Emotional Wellbeing during Difficult Times

Presenter(s): Emily Kaufman Baumann, Academic Advisor I and Bat-Sheva Tabakman, Academic Advisor II Texas A&M University

As academic advisors, we assist students with a variety of issues, both academic and personal, minor and severe. As we do so, it is important to consider how such issues may affect students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. It is also important to recognize what issues we can address in the advising office, and when we should refer students to other resources. In this interactive, research-based presentation, participants will explore common issues that our students may face and how we, as academic advisors, can act to support our students during times of difficulty. Advisors from Texas A&M University will provide examples of resources that may be helpful for advisors at other institutions, and will conclude with an open discussion to allow for participants to share practices of their own.


Mission Impossible: Cross-Silo Collaboration for Student Success!

Presenter(s): Laci McDermett, Senior Academic Advisor Texas Tech University

Do you ever feel like students ask you questions to which you do not know the answer? Do you wish you could send students to just one person that you know in a department so that a student does not experience the "Tech Shuffle"? Directing students to appropriate resources and programs on the campus when necessary is an essential job function of most academic advisors, yet what is the best way to accomplish this task? Texas Tech University advising will tell you their experience about a unique way to break down silos, meet other colleagues on campus, and have fun doing it.


New Advisor Training Guide: Advanced Approaches to Building Advisor Knowledge

Presenter(s): Cynthia Holguin, Assistant Director and Patricia Caro, Director University of Texas at El Paso

As the field of Academic Advising becomes more and more challenging, the need for well-trained advisors has increased. A strong foundation of knowledge is necessary to insure high quality advising is provided. This session will provide tools for both advisors and training coordinators to either build or evaluate the content of their training programs. Well prepared advisors are key to a successful advising unit.


Opening the “GAIT” for Future Academic Advisors: Developing a Meaningful Graduate Assistant and Intern Experience

Presenter(s): Margaret Garry, Academic Advisor I and Chanell Goodright, Academic Advisor I Texas State University

An assistantship or internship experience that prepares students for the workplace should teach students more than administrative duties. The PACE Advising Center at Texas State University has created a streamlined process to provide professional opportunities to students through its Graduate Assistant and Intern Training (GAIT) program. This program was created to target individuals who specifically want to enter the field of Higher Education, and provide them with experiences to become more professionally marketable. This presentation will elaborate on the process of creating a training curriculum as well as the steps taken in the creation of the GAIT program. Come and learn how to provide opportunities for students at your institution and open the “GAIT” for future academic advising professionals.


Out With The Old & In With The New! Cultivating a New Advising Structure

Presenter(s): Jennifer Uranga, Academic Advisor and Susie Saucedo, Academic Advisor The University of Texas at San Antonio

Academic Advising is pivotal for student outreach, retention and can provide the connection students need for enrollment continuity and graduation. In a pursuit for Tier One status and in an effort to raise graduation rates, the University of Texas at San Antonio committed to the improvement of undergraduate advising services. Previously housed by college, the UTSA Academic Advising Centers restructured to be grouped into similar areas of student major interest and created a new environment on campus. In this presentation a team of UTSA academic advising professionals with over 15+ years of UTSA experience will discuss and provide insight on change in the work environment and building a strong advising model that works for both students and advising professionals.


Playing the Hand You've Been Dealt: Proactive Advising 101

Presenter(s): Shunverie Barrientez, Academic Advisor II and Yolanda Williams, Academic Advisor IV The University of Texas at San Antonio

In an era where institutions of higher education are tasked with increasing retention and increasing graduation rates, it is a daunting task to implement successful advising strategies to increase the probability of student success. (Cuseo) suggests that institutions must deliver academic support intrusively by initiating contact with students, and aggressively bring support services to them, rather than offering services passively. With proper implementation, intrusive advising strategies lead to greater retention and student success in college (Cuseo).

This presentation will unveil innovative advising strategies, which will showcase resources, and technology to implement intrusive advising. We will demonstrate how to incorporate these strategies into your current advising practice. This presentation is appropriate for advisors and administrators from both two- and four-year institutions.


Preparing Advising Resources for Transfer Students: Using Technology to Enable a Smooth Transition

Presenter(s): Lindsay Stewart, Academic Counselor and Isaiah Vance, Director of Academic Advising Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Most universities today are designed with the traditional student in mind, the student that arrives directly from high school. Although most national studies of transfer students find that over one-third of students transfer at some point, many universities have not focused on utilizing resources specific to this student population. Throughout the presentation we will demonstrate various technological resources that are available to better facilitate the transfer process. Because there is such a large population of active duty military and Veterans within our great state, we will also discuss how a military transfer student compares to a civilian student and the unique situations that these students bring (including a discussion of Joint Services Transcripts and Community College of the Air Force Transcripts). This presentation will address (1) the academic resources that are essential for transfer students, (2) best practices for aiding transfer students in their academic transition, and (3) guidelines for training advising staff on how to best assist transfer students.


Registration and the F word...FUN!

Presenter(s): Casey Ramos, Academic Advisor

Tarrant County College Southeast

Registration season can be a stressful time period for an office. Over time and without warning this stress builds up and commandeers the morale and atmosphere of the whole office. This presentation will share how the Southeast campus Advising & Counseling Center incorporated fun into their registration process and regular “day-to-day” that resulted in an attitude upgrade, a tight knit team, and boost in productivity.


Reimagine the Advising Manual: Introducing an Interactive Advisor Training Module

Presenter(s): Kathy James, Advising Supervisor-Highland Campus and David Zuñiga, Advising Supervisor-Eastview Campus Austin Community College

Considering the complexity of advising, the extensive knowledge base needed, and the continuous training necessary to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the advising profession might reconsider the standard advising training methods and manuals. This session will introduce an interactive training module that outlines the responsibilities of advisors, incorporates policies and procedures, and provides direct access to web-based resources that will prepare and protect advisors. Training modules should contain pertinent advising information to address facts and skills required. , This progressive instructional tool that encompasses the wide variety of information and skills required for the new and veteran advisor. This session will identify the components of advisor training, outline the roles and expectations of advisors and students, using a “living advising manual”.


Responsive Leadership: The Active & Conscious Leader

Presenter(s): Pamela Baker, Academic Advisor and Casey Ramos, Academic Advisor Tarrant County College Southeast

Responsive leadership is derived from the ideas and development of Dr. Jennifer Bloom’s Appreciative Advising. This presentation will draw from the six phases of Appreciative Advising and convert these phases to demonstrate how easily they can adapt to an organization and assist an individual in a leadership role. This presentation demonstrates to leaders how to respond to the needs of employees. However, the same ideals can be utilized by team leads, project leaders, and any person who works with others.


Social Media in Advising: OMG! Or Meh?

Presenter(s): Karl Meyer, Advising Specialist; Rafael Ochoa, Advising Specialist; and Barbara Chambers, Advising Specialist Austin Community College

In an extremely connected world, how can colleges use social media to increase student engagement? We examine the benefits and shortcomings of various social media platforms in an advising setting and answer the question “Can traditional one-on-one advising be replaced by electronic advising formats?”


Survey Says: How to Become a Better Advisor

Presenter(s): Vince Hernandez, Senior Academic Advisor, Texas A&M University; Barbara Smith, Executive Director of Advising, University of Texas at San Antonio; and Jeremy Thomas, Dean of Student Success, Blinn College

Have you ever wondered about your family of academic advising? Maybe you are a new advisor worried about how to handle tough situations or maybe you are not sure how to have that first advisor/parent session. Perhaps you are still learning about the many roles advisors play or even the profession as a whole. Believe it or not, you are not alone! Within this guided session, three veteran advisors will cover topics for new and seasoned advisors to help confirm that this profession is where you belong. Through interactive discussions, as well as a Family Feud-esque activity, this will be a high energy and participatory experience for all. Audience members are guaranteed to walk away with a better understanding of the profession as well as a list of professional contacts.


Texas: Challenges Undocumented Students Face in Higher Education

Presenter(s): Fernando Acevedo, Certified Advisor Northwest Vista College

In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature passed Texas House Bill 1403 (HB 1403). HB 1403 allows undocumented students who meet certain criteria to pay in-state tuition and apply for state based financial aid at any public post-secondary institution in Texas. In addition, in 2012 President Obama signed an executive order calling for Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows undocumented students who meet certain criteria the opportunity to work legally. Undocumented students in Texas potentially have the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, apply for state based financial aid, and work legally in the United States. Holistic advising suggests Advisors should be familiar with laws and policies that affect the student populations we work with, HB 1403 and DACA have the potential to change the lives of the undocumented students in Texas.


Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Implementation Process

Presenter(s): Alejandra Sifuentes, TSI Manager and Pat Caro, Director University of Texas - El Paso

Recent and continuing changes to the Texas Success Initiative has made it more challenging for academic advisors and students to understand placement and exemptions. This presentation will address professional development, advising processes, and new student orientation practices that are utilized to help students achieve college-readiness as well as help clarify TSI requirements to students and staff.


"That Wasn't in the Training Manual": A Collaborative Discussion for New Advisors

Presenter(s): Janelle Davis, Academic Advisor; Kim Taylor, Academic Advisor; Keith Brown, Academic Advisor; Brandie Golleher, Program Director; and David Infante, Academic Advisor Texas Woman’s University

This session will strive to answer many of the questions a new advisor might have as they begin their first steps in to the profession. The panel will include first time in college (FTIC) advisors, departmental advisors, advisors who work with adult and non-traditional students and those who advise primarily online. Topics covered will include defining the roles of an advisor and the qualities needed for the position. We will explore the tools needed to complete the job, policies and procedures to follow and necessary communication skills. We will also touch on how to make your office a sensitive zone, how to break bad news, and how to “own your mistakes” to grow in your position.



When Pressing Mute Says Volumes: An Advisors Guide to Nonverbal Communication

Presenter(s): Temple Carter, Senior Lecturer, Texas State University and Matthew Haynes, Senior Academic Advisor, University of Texas

Imagine if someone were to press “mute” on any conversation you were having, what would it appear you were saying? What if that button was pressed during one of your advising sessions? Is what we are saying through our words the same as what we are saying in our body language, in our eyes, in our gestures? Academic advisors use multiple forms of communication for interacting with students, co-workers, administration, parents, and more. The most common form that is often forgotten or overlooked is nonverbal communication. It is important for academic advisors to understand and be familiar with all the types of nonverbal communication to make sure they are prepared to observe the context behind their conversation. This interactive presentation will include open discussions, engaging activities, and informative videos to help academic advisors enhance their skills in nonverbal communication. By using their new awareness, we can hope academic advisors will be able to keep their verbal and nonverbal communications in sync and not be faced with have a midseason cancellation.