~ By Taylor Blaire Mosher, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

Need help navigating your way toward your degree? The Advising and Support Center for the College of Arts and Humanities has three academic counselors who can help you every step of the way.

These counselors advise students on anything related to their academic experience including classes, major, minor, progress, lack of progress, graduation plans, etc. Some common questions students ask include:

  • Am I on track to graduate?
  • What classes should I take?
  • How can I change my major?
  • How can I add a minor?
  • What do I do if I’m not passing my classes?

Whatever your question is, the Advising and Support Center will work to give you the best answer, or refer you to someone who can help you further. The counselors are there to guide you from Dog Days all the way through graduation.

We caught up with each of the Advising and Support Center counselors for a quick Q&A about what inspired them to become counselors and what advice they have for students seeking help.

Nadia Margison (pictured above, left)

The newest member of the Advising and Support Center, Nadia Margison joined Fresno State in October of this year. She earned her B.A. in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and her M.A. in higher education from the University of Redlands.

Question: Why did you decide to become an academic counselor?

Answer: I am the firstborn child of two immigrant parents. When I started college, my parents had expectations for me to become a doctor. I was struggling in mostly all of my STEM-related courses and it wasn’t until I met with my academic counselor that I finally changed into a major I had interest in (sociology) and started getting straight A’s. If it wasn’t for my academic counselor, I would have been so lost in not knowing what my options were and what resources were out there for me (and for me to relay back to my parents). From then on, I knew I couldn’t possibly be the only student ever in that position, so I started my journey toward becoming an academic counselor to be that resource for students.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an academic counselor?

A: Helping students see their options (whether for their major or possibly their career field) and connecting with them on a personal level. I always try to find something non-academic to talk about so I can spark a conversation and let students know that I’m a person, no different than they are and have been in their shoes as a student once myself.

Q: What would you say to a student that is considering visiting the Advising and Support Center for academic help?

A: That we are happy to help guide you through your college journey! We love having conversations about your academics, but we also want to know you as a person — what interests you have, passions, what you do outside of school. We care about you as a whole and want to make sure we are doing our best to help you reach your end goal, whatever it is.

Felicia Salcido (pictured above, right)

A Fresno State alumna, Felicia Salcido joined the Advising and Support Center in September of 2015. She earned a B.A. in English, a B.A. in anthropology and an M.S. in counseling, student affairs and college counseling, all from Fresno State.

Question: Why did you decide to become an academic counselor?

Answer: I knew I always wanted to work in the college level. I’ve always been good at scheduling and listening to others so academic counselor seemed to fit me perfectly.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an academic counselor?

A: The students. My days are never boring because I see different students every day. When students come see me, we laugh, sometimes we cry and sometimes we figure out life together. My position is more than just advising students; it’s having a conversation with students and understanding who they are and knowing what goals they have for themselves.

Q: Anything else you would like to share with students?

A: We are here to support you! I find students often feel a little bit of anxiety coming in to see us because they don’t know what to expect. Students who leave our office after an advising session often feel relieved or have a better understanding of what options they have related to their college career. We are looking out for the best interest of our students.

Krista Hall (pictured above, center)

A Fresno State alumna, Krista Hall has been with the Advising and Support Center for just over two years. She earned her B.A. from Anderson University in Indiana and her M.A. from Fresno State, both in psychology.

Question: Why did you decide to become an academic counselor?

Answer: I refer to my path as the scenic route, as I have been in education since 1999. At my previous school, I taught psychology and other lower-division GE courses for almost 10 years before moving into administration. Over the next seven years, I held a variety of roles that involved all types of academic advising and made me realize this is what I truly enjoy doing. I got the chance to be a faculty adviser at my previous school and really enjoyed it. When the opportunity came to move into academic advising full-time, I jumped.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an academic counselor?

A: It sounds trite, but I really enjoy helping students work toward achieving their academic, personal and professional goals. I love when they realize graduation is a reality — that they have accomplished something real and meaningful with all their hard work and sacrifice.

Q: Why do you feel it is important to seek help from an academic counselor?

A: I made a lot of mistakes when I was in college that I might not have made if I had gone to see an academic counselor. For example, I changed my major four or five times (and took several unnecessary classes) trying to find a good fit rather than talking to a professional who could have shown me what major would best develop my strengths and skills.

The Advising and Support Center for the College of Arts and Humanities is located in the Speech Arts building, Room 156. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, call 559.278.4597 or visit the GradesFirst-Academic link in your My Fresno State portal. The counselors are also available for walk-ins from 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-4 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information, visit the Advising and Support Center webpage.