Meet Your Advisors!
Student success is at the heart of everything we do here at Global UCF and with that in mind, we have implemented many resources for students to access when they need help. In this post, we’ll focus on the central point of contact for students: the Student Services Advisors (SSA).
Students meet with their advisors frequently to help them with questions about things like academic plans, goals, personal issues, etc. Our Advisors are there for students to turn to whenever they need, and to help keep students on the path to success throughout their time at Global UCF. We recently focused on introducing our new Student Services Director, Darald, on one of our previous blogs, but we wanted to introduce you to the whole Student Services team here at Global UCF!
Benjamin “Ben” Kibler
Ben worked in China teaching English for a few years before moving back to the United States to work with student engagement at the university level. Ben has worked at Global UCF for over 2 years and here’s what he had to say about his favorite part on working with students:
“I like connecting with students and hearing about what they’re experiencing in their day-to-day life. It’s cool to help support students, and it brings me back to my experiences in Asia, both as a teacher and adapting to a new country. I definitely feel like it helps me connect with them. I’m constantly reminded of the things that I’ve been through, and living abroad is a very transformative experience on all aspects. Helping and listening to students keeps that sort of spirit alive within me. I feel like I’m helping them but they’re also helping me to be reflective of this cool thing that I went through.”
A fun fact that many students don’t know about Ben is that he got to hang out with Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
Ronald “RJ” Byrd-Cordova Jr.
RJ is an accomplished mental health therapist as well as an Alumni of the University of Central Florida. He has been working with Global UCF since he completed his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is constantly working to improve the lives of those he serves and is a constant advocate to empower individuals to be the best version of themselves possible. What drew RJ to Global UCF was how much he liked his previous experience counseling international students.
“The most rewarding thing about working at Global UCF is definitely accompanying students’ growth and development. We’ve seen so many cycles of students that have gone through the program. The best part is seeing them come back after they’ve progressed, maybe a few semesters or a year later, still recalling the experiences they had when they first arrive and how we impacted them.”
A few fun facts about RJ that some of his students may not know it that he was in the U.S. military for 4 years, and loves spending time with his son.
Erum is one of Global UCF’s newer SSA’s and has been working with students since mid-2017. As of Spring 2018 she has added teaching one of the College Strategies for Success (SLS) classes to her portfolio. Erum is an Orlando native and UCF alum, with experience in Mental Health counseling and Education, especially working with international students and students whose first language is not English. One of her favorite parts about working with international students is introducing them to Orlando, her hometown, through many of our events.
“I love working with students one-on-one and getting to see them grow though our bi-weekly meetings. From their initial anxiety at being in a new place, to the moment they begin feeling confident in all of their classes, it’s a rewarding journey. I also love the activities we get to do and to learn about students’ cultures and seeing how it plays an effect on their education. I can relate personally to a lot of their journey, as I grew up with international parents, I had to explain my dietary restrictions and culture constantly and had to balance all of that with school. I love being someone that supports students through their challenges, and having students know that I’m there for them in case they do need someone with whom they can talk.”
A fun fact about Erum is that she has a cat that can play fetch and turn light switches on and off. She is also the advisor for the Pakistani Student Association at UCF, chosen because of her commitment to helping international students.
Don’t forget! You can schedule an appointment with your advisor anytime by clicking here!