Latin American and Latino Studies advisor spotlight: Ryan Gray
Ryan Gray is a true Redbird at heart. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a master’s degree in college student personnel, both from Illinois State University.
Gray began his academic advising career at the University of Illinois at Urbana in 2000, starting as an advisor working with undecided students before transitioning to the College of Business. Working at a large, research institution with over 40,000 students certainly had its challenges, and advising plays a very important role in making sure the students felt like more than just a number. This experience defined the type of advisor he is today – one who deeply cares for the well-being and success of his students.
In 2005, Gray became the coordinator for the Illinois Articulation Initiative, itransfer.org. This gave him valuable experience working with advisors, admissions representatives, and faculty from over 120 institutions throughout Illinois. It also allowed him to see how higher education in Illinois works, from a statewide policy prospective.
In 2007, Gray became the advisor for the Department of English at Illinois State, working in a diverse population of majors and minors. Currently, he works in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, where he is the undergraduate advisor, internship coordinator, and assistant to the department chair. Gray became the advisor for the Latin American and Latino Studies program in Fall 2018. He advises students on academic matters related to completing the minor, as well as internships and other opportunities to enhance their undergraduate experience. He manages enrollment in courses and tracks data for student recruitment into the minor. His experience and outreach to student enrollment has recently resulted into 280 percent increase in enrollment in the minor.
Gray has also served as a department and school representative on the Academic Advising Council, and the council’s Technology Committee since 2007, and the Assessment Committee since 2012. This past semester, he has worked with the LEAPForward project, providing input from an advising prospective for the new student information system. In addition to his role in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, he also serves as a subject matter expert in academic advising for the Campus Solutions student information system. He works with advisors across campus, the Registrar’s Office, Administrative Technologies, and other stakeholders and to ensure the student information system is meeting academic advising needs.
Students are able to schedule a one-on one appointment for advisement anytime through an online appointment system and his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.