Academic Advisers Offer Personal Attention to Students

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 6, 2010

By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10

Arcadia’s Academic Support Services ensure all students find the answers they need when it comes to navigating their time at Arcadia. There to help them is a team of Academic Advisers offering friendly, one-on-one guidance to students.

The team includes Bruce Keller, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Linda Pizzi ’05M, Director of Academic Development; Kay Kalenga ’98, Academic Adviser; Jaime Miller ’99, Academic Adviser and Coordinator of the Gateway Program; and Claire Quigley ’06, Academic Adviser. They all enjoy working at Arcadia and four of them were once students themselves.

Keller has been dedicated to Arcadia students for nearly 20 years. As the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, he believes that providing personal attention is the keystone of academic success.

“I enjoy helping students realize their potential and accomplish their goals. I am old school—I like to meet with students with them one-on-one instead of emailing or phone calls so I can figure out their situation and give them options to move forward and graduate,” he says.

Arcadia University offers a wide range of academic support services, including subject tutoring and study skills appropriate for students’ learning styles and within the learning context. The Learning Resource Network (LRN) offers undergraduates the convenience of one-to-one peer tutoring and drop-in tutoring.

Director of Academic Development, Pizzi, has 16 years of experience in academic support, ten of which were spent at Arcadia. Earning two masters degrees from Arcadia, the faculty’s passion for teaching rubbed off.  Pizzi teaches composition courses and a first-year seminar, The World of King Arthur, from Malory to Monty Python.

“I love the students here. Each year I form close relationships with many of the LRN tutors, who are so versatile, responsible, talented and intelligent. Without them the LRN wouldn’t exist,” Pizzi says. “Each of them is an excellent role model for students who struggle with the often challenging requirements of classes here.”

Arcadia’s Gateway to Success program prepares new students for the transition to college through the aid of peer mentors and other support resources. This environment encourages students to build upon their academic skills and engage in collegiate-level intellectual inquiry. As an alum and Coordinator of the Gateway Program, Miller understands the indecision and confusion that many first-year students experience. She is committed to helping them set academic, personal, and professional goals.

“The transition from high school to college can be very stressful. I am willing to do whatever is necessary to help ease students’ transition from high school to college, and help them become acquainted with the Arcadia community, to experience that same sense of comfort that I had while I was here,” says Miller. “I love what I do at Arcadia and am happy to come to work everyday.”

Fellow alum and Academic Adviser Quigley also reflects on her own experiences as an Arcadia student. She allows them to inspire and inform the ways she connects with current students.

“It is wonderful to work for Arcadia because I can relate to the students with whom I’m working. I understand what it is like to be a student at this University,” says Quigley. “After the wonderful experience I had attending Arcadia, I was driven to want to work here and to help other students achieve their academic and personal goals.”

Kalenga had so many pleasant experiences and memories at Arcadia that returning “just felt right.” One of her fondest memories as an undergraduate was studying abroad in Italy which is why she always encourages students to participate in Preview or a semester abroad.

“I love getting to know students, beginning at Orientation and then seeing them walk at graduation,” Kalenga says. “I hope that I can influence them to be a positive, global citizen no matter where in the world they end up.”