Our members are our greatest asset at ATP and we love to highlighting the work that they do and the resources they are proud of on a weekly basis. On ATP Thursdays, we put the spotlight on a member of the week, a resource of the week, or a best practice of the week. We’re a community of learning. We work best when we share our passions and practices.
Today, we bring you the work of ATP Board Member, Phyllis Wade who is our new Certification Chair! Phyllis is also the Coordinator of the Academic Coaching Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Here’s Phyllis!
Phyllis: A very round about way. I never even set out to be in higher education. My bachelor’s is in music. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished college, so I got a job at a bank. I ended up working at that bank for more than a dozen years. I kept getting promoted and had a great time. One of the positions I was promoted to was in student loans. One of my friends told me that one of our local universities was hiring for a financial aid position. I applied and low and behold, I got the job at the University of Rochester! At the time, I had not done graduate work. While I was on the campus, I knew that that was where I belonged – I belonged in higher education. I began working on my graduate degree in Student Affairs. After awhile, I was asked to be the Assistant Director of the Opportunity Program at the university. Then, I became the director. And then I was asked to apply to be the Dean of Students at the Eastman School of Music. Long story short, I got the position and I held that job for 12 years. Then there was a major re-organization and I ended up at Rochester Institute of Technology in their Opportunity Program. The position was admin-focused, but I wanted to work to students and now I’m working in academic support!
ATP: What do you love the most about your job?
Phyllis: Working with students. I love working with individual students and watching them grow — watching the light bulb come on. Even the tough ones, seeing this about face where they say “Ohhh, I get it now — I tried doing what you recommended and it worked!” That’s one of the things I love the most. Seeing students who I worked with come back after they graduated and telling me that they remembered something particular that I said — and that they still remember years later.
ATP: What’s a big challenge that you are facing at your center?
Phyllis: I would say limited resources: space and personnel.
ATP: What’s one piece of advice you would give to your colleagues?
Phyllis: Have a sense of humor! It helps you get through the stressful times.
ATP: What’s a fun fact (not related to tutoring) that we should know about you?
Phyllis: In one of my previous lives, I sang for the President of the United States! [Ask her which one!]
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