Home Sweet Globe

Representing Mizzou at the 2019 NACADA Annual Conference: (back row, from left) Alex Anderson, College of Arts and Science; Nick Balser, College of Engineering; (middle row) Tina Balser, Student Success Initiatives; Samantha Thomas, Academic Exploration and Advising Services; Cecilia Olivares, Transfer Center; Alison Lee, Academic Exploration and Advising Services; Mackenzie Ewing, Academic Exploration and Advising Services; Jordan Parshall, College of Arts and Science; Sandra Brown, College of Engineering; Tami Beatty, College of Engineering; Jaime Mestres, College of Human Environmental Sciences; Jackie Schneller, College of Education; Brennan Strand, College of Education; (bottom row) Kelly Benson, College of Education; Rachael Orr, Undergraduate Studies; Jackie Carney, Academic Exploration and Advising Services; and Megan McCauley, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Cecilia Olivares feels right at home at the University of Missouri. As the director of the MU Transfer Center specializing in assisting transfer and first-generation students, she helps new Tigers settle in and calibrate their academic trajectory.

But throughout her professional career, Olivares has enjoyed a different home away from home in NACADA, an international association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty and administrators dedicated to student success. As the organization’s incoming board vice president, Olivares was one of 17 Mizzou representatives to attend the NACADA Annual Conference Oct. 20–23, 2019, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.

“I have been at three different institutions since becoming a NACADA member, so it has been my constant,” says Olivares, who has also served as a board member for NACADA. “My career has had starts and stops, but through NACADA I have stayed connected to colleagues.”

The three-day event featured award ceremonies, speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and inspiring presentations, including several (listed below) from UM System and Mizzou representatives.

  • Advising Power: Holistic Approach to Student Success, Academics, Life Factors, and Career Readiness (Tami Beatty, MU; Jaime Mestres, MU; Carla Jordan, UMSL)
  • Reaching Today’s Students with Strategic Communication (Tina Balser, Megan McCauley, Jordan Parshall)
  • Student Success and Career Exploration at Mizzou College of Engineering poster (Nick Balser)
  • Designing and Implementing an Advisor Development Program to Keep Your Advising Champions Engaged (Rachael Orr, MU; Elizabeth Eckelkamp, UMSL; Kim McNeley, UMKC)
  • Enriching Your Advising Journey: Finding Your Path in NACADA Leadership (Cecilia Olivares, MU; Brody Broshears, University of Southern Indiana; Rebecca Hapes, Texas A&M University; Zoranna Jones, Texas Christian University; Megumi Makino-Kanehiro, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Kyle Ross, Washington State University)

NACADA celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019. Next year’s conference is scheduled for San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Advisors go beyond helping students register for classes,” Olivares says. “We’re talking with students about life goals, who they are and how they engage with the resources our office provides.”