Adviser finds her calling one student at a time

Written by | JAZMIN HERRERA |

At the intersection of applying to Amarillo College and getting registered into classes lies Advising Avenue. It’s a safe haven for students dealing with all that is college life, where they meet with their program adviser to discuss their academic plans. Ruth De Anda is an academic adviser for the School of Creative Arts, pre-nursing and social work.

De Anda visits with students, advising them on their degree plans and engaging with them on an introductory level. “Sometimes I am one of the first people students get to see,” she said. “The impression that I make is huge, because I want them to see that AC is awesome and that it’s the right place for them to be.” She said she always tries to determine what the students are passionate about so she can make sure they’re in the right field. Part of the process is analyzing the information she receives from students as well as communicating effectively to show what will best fit each individual.

As an adviser, De Anda also offers her support to students and helps encourage them when they face personal situations that could make an impact on their academics. “I think that’s another part that I love about it, because as hard as it is to go through the struggles of school, we’ve all done it,” De Anda said.

“We’ve all had those moments. What can we do together to make it work?” Dealing with such situations doesn’t create pressure but instead makes her glad she can be there for her students, De Anda said. When not advising, De Anda’s hobbies include spending time with her husband and her dogs. She and her husband enjoy being at home and watching movies, especially during awards season. She also enjoys reading for fun because it’s another form of escape or adventure. She loves all kinds of music, but she said Celine Dion is her go-to because of Dion’s passion and strength.

“Music makes me happy,” De Anda said. “It can take you a million places. It can be the heartache, it can be the memories, it can be the fun times. I love it.” Growing up, De Anda played the piano and flute and expanded into singing in her church choir and competing in pageants. She said her greatest joy comes from interacting with people. Her name stands for “compassion” and “best friend,” so it always has been in her nature to interact and talk to everyone.

“I’ve always loved being a people person and someone that can get to know somebody and ask questions and just be open,” she said. When reflecting upon her first year of employment at AC, De Anda said there is nowhere else she would rather be because she has found what she wants to do for the rest of her life.

“To me, Ruth is an amazing adviser,” said Semet Sabri, a social work major. “She’s very friendly and helpful. She’s always there when you need her.” Sabri said De Anda is supportive and motivates students to strive to achieve their goals and do what makes them happy.

“Ruth says she also loves seeing the change in students,” Sabri said. “Whenever she advises somebody and they do what they need to do regardless of the doubts and succeed at it, it’s the most amazing thing to her, and I think that’s pretty cool.” “I get to work with a lot of the advisers here, but Ruth in particular,” said Alex Mariscal, a biology major. “I see her as a very dedicated, caring woman who really loves her job, and she’s dedicated to these students.” Mariscal said every time he sees De Anda helping a student, she’s enthusiastic about it and always has a smile on her face. “She instantly makes me feel like I belong and treats me like family,” Mariscal said. “Whether it’s an academic or personal reason, she’s always there to help you.”

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