Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know Priyanka Aich, senior academic advisor at University College.

What are your responsibilities in this role?

I advise a caseload of approximately 300 students including first-year, continuing, and transfer students. Freshmen comprise the bulk of my caseload, and I advise them starting at ISU Preview (summer orientation) all the way through to the end of their first year at ISU at which point most of them transition to their major department for advising. I also serve as the University College liaison for the School of Communication and advise the interdisciplinary International Studies minor program on campus. Occasionally, I also teach some of the interdisciplinary classes taught through University College. 

How long have you been an employee at ISU?

I have served in University College as an academic advisor for over seven years now! Prior to that, I was also a graduate assistant for 2 years while I pursued my MBA at the College of Business.

What do you love most about working at ISU?

I love my job and working at ISU because of my students. It is incredibly fulfilling to work with students every day and provide them with academic guidance as they adjust to college, learn success strategies, and make connections on campus. I love being their “go-to” person when they have a question or concern and don’t know who to ask or how to resolve a situation. I am also fortunate to have some wonderful and kind coworkers and very supportive leadership in my unit.

What is one fact about yourself that might surprise people?

Almost every vacation I take is at a beach destination, and yet I don’t know how to swim! I have to make do with just looking at the ocean.

When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?

Chilling at home with my 15 lb. furbaby, Bruce. He is the light of my life and I look forward to hanging out with him on the couch each evening while I watch Netflix and he demands belly rubs and cuddles. 

What is your favorite spot on campus?

I’m obsessed with the Quad. I already have a million pictures of it on my phone, but I take a walk through the quad often to find a good photo angle, especially in the fall when it looks extra gorgeous.

What quote most inspires you? Why?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.

I am a firm believer in the power of kindness, and these words highlight how important it is for all of us to be kinder to each other and share the best of us with those around us.