Ms. Linda Randall: First Year Advocate Interview

Q: How long have you been GSW’s First Year Advocate?

A: Since August of 2010.

Q: What would you say would be the most important thing freshman going into their sophomore year should know?

A: How to take advantage of resources and work to becoming more independent. I want the freshman to find a balance between following guidance and doing things for themselves. My job is to ‘give wings, so the baby birds can fly’, this means that they can come back and ask for help, and that’s okay, but freshman need to start making decisions to create a good foundation for the future they envision.

Q: If students come to you what kind of help or services can they receive?

A: We offer connections to academic resources such as tutoring that student can receive in the ACE Building, as well as referrals to campus services. I have a ‘Comfort, Correction, or Direction Chair’ that students can visit in my office where I can offer pep talks or advisement if they should need it.

Q: What are your personal goals when it comes to advising freshman?

A: The first goal that I focus on most is to get them prepared to navigate our University System, such as signing up for the right classes, getting the classes they need, and guiding a path for them to graduate on time. The next goal, that is just as important, is helping my students find a place in the GSW campus community. Finding a place in campus life is important because the research shows that the more connected students are to the campus, the more likely they are to persist. There are so many different organizations and clubs that can meet all aspects that people want such as Greek Life or CAB or any other organization. If a student can’t find a club they enjoy, I say,  ‘If it doesn’t exist, you can make it happen with three or more people’.

Q: What other organizations or clubs are you a part of at GSW?

A: I am the advisor for the African Student Association, ASA, and Alpha Lambda Delta-which is the freshman honor society. This year we will have 22 new people joining the ALD Honor Society, which is exciting. I also teach the course, University 1001, which is set in place in the spring semester that lets freshman get back on track before their sophomore year. I teach them pathways to college success, how to be more independent, and offer opportunities to improve skills. My motto for everything I do can be summed up as, “The simple to the serious”.

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