By Hannah Falcon ‘21
Two College of Liberal Arts academic advisors, Rachel Nemets of the Department of Political Science and Valerie Wilson of the Department of Communication, have been elected into executive positions for the Texas Academic Advising Network (TEXAAN). After their annual conference in March, Nemets began serving in her new position as president elect, and Wilson began her two-year term as vice president of technology.
TEXAAN offers academic advisors from 151 different universities a chance to gather and learn from each other through webinars and an annual conference. Nemets and Wilson have both presented research at the conference in past years.
“It’s a professional organization for all academic advisors,” Wilson said. “A lot of advisors here at Texas A&M are part of this organization. It’s a chance for people across Texas to come together and talk about advising techniques, new information in the discipline, and be able to network with each other.”
Nemets joined TEXAAN two years ago while she was in graduate school. She said TEXAAN is what inspired her to become an academic advisor.
“During my last year of grad school, I had to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated,” Nemets said. “When I presented at TEXAAN and saw what the organization does and what other advisers do, it motivated me to become an advisor.”
At the annual conference, members of TEXAAN vote on open executive board positions. They choose a new president-elect every year to serve in a three-year term. The first year is spent as president-elect, then as the active president, and finally as past president for a year. In her new position, Nemets said she wants to implement a mentoring program that matches new advisors with experienced advisors.
“The executive board are the ones who plan out the conferences each year,” Nemets said. “This position as president-elect, then president, and then past president will give me leadership skills to develop what I may want to do later on in my career.”
Wilson chose to run for vice president of technology because she wanted to help TEXAAN improve and grow as an organization.
“I really wanted to be more involved,” Wilson said. “TEXAAN is an excellent organization for academic advisors. It helps us develop professionally and get to know other advisors in our state.”
Wilson’s role entails managing and improving the TEXAAN website and other digital member services. She chose to run for this role because she loves to help people and is tech savvy.
“It’s getting to be a pretty big organization, so that means that we have to manage all our members and manage our website in a pretty professional way,” Wilson said. “What I do as vice president of technology is manage access to our online items for our executive board.”
Nemets said she is nervous about the new challenge of serving as an executive board member for TEXAAN, but mostly excited for the new opportunities.
“I try to do what I tell my students: get outside of your comfort zone and do new things, because you never know what’s out there until you try,” Nemets said. “If I don’t try new things, I never know what opportunities will come my way.”
On Sept. 1, 2022, the Department of Political Science became part of the Bush School of Government & Public Service.