Rashidah Andrews has the same goal for every advising session: make sure her students leave her office feeling less perplexed and more confident of the path they should take.
“Some students come in and they’re frustrated; they’re disheveled; they’re angry,” said Andrews, principal academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). “They might have been in a different office where they felt they got the runaround, and they’re still very confused about what to do.”
Andrews takes several steps to help. She proposes solutions to whatever problems the students are facing. She conducts a check-in as the session ends to make sure everything has been addressed. And she gives students her business card, letting them know she’s there whenever they need help next.
Andrews also refers students to whomever else they need to speak with. If a student is truly distraught, she walks them up a few floors above her office at 1810 Liacouras Walk to Tuttleman Counseling Services.
“I want to see students leave better than when they came in,” said Andrews, who has been in her role since 2011. “I may not have been able to solve all their problems, but I can give them direct referrals. If you name a department at Temple, I can name a person there who I can pick up the phone and call and say, ‘I’m sending a student over to you.’”
Andrews goes above and beyond for her students. When Fly in 4 was introduced at the beginning of this school year, she developed a new Blackboard course CLA students can use to learn about the program, keep track of their progress toward graduation and register for advising sessions.
By demonstrating a high level of commitment and responsiveness, Andrews demonstrates how Temple employees can use their people skills to practice excellent service.
“All of us at Temple are in the service of people,” Andrews said. “It’s who we are; it’s what we do. We’re here to support students and provide meaningful experiences for them.”