By Haley Venglar ‘19
Andy Armstrong, the director of advising for the College of Liberal Arts, received the President’s Award for Academic Advising on May 2, 2017, at the Texas A&M University Advisors and Counselors annual awards breakfast.
This honor recognizes individuals for their strong interpersonal skills and their ability to build strong relationships with advisees while maintaining a positive, encouraging attitude.
“I was surprised to receive this award because there are a lot of amazing advisors in our college that are just as capable as I am, if not more,” said Armstrong. “It was a very humbling and exciting experience when I learned that I was receiving the award, but I just know that we have a lot of awesome people in our department.”
Before Armstrong’s days of advising young Aggies and working for the university as a staff member, he was a student himself at Texas A&M in the class of 2001. He credits a lot of his own success as a student to the relationships that he was able to build with his advisors.
“Having conversations with students is one of my favorite parts of my job,” said Armstrong. “I felt like that communication was missing from my own life until I met with an advisor as an undergraduate.”
Armstrong’s tasks as the director of advising include trying to come up with new ideas and solutions for increasing both retention and graduation rates for the departments in the Liberal Arts.
“I see my role as being the heavy lifter that moves obstacles out of the way for all of the advisors in order to help them be more successful at what they do,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong said he enjoys working with students, guiding them towards seeing the “bigger picture.”
“If you’re a student and you think that your goal is just to get a degree, then you’re missing the point,” said Armstrong. “I enjoy trying to help students see what we have to offer and helping them visualize what they can do with that information once they leave.”
As far as advice for current and potential students, Armstrong’s message is simple: “I always tell students to never bypass an opportunity,” he said. “College is the time to learn about yourself and what your strengths are and what you are able to do with the skill set that you have so that one day you can present yourself confidently.”