“Relationship is at the core of everything I do,” says CGS academic advisor Shannon DeMateo. “Building trust and rapport leads to honest communication. I don’t have an agenda when I meet with a student—there’s no cookie cutter approach. It’s crucial to me to get to the heart of a person—to learn what their circumstances and challenges are. They need to be related to as individuals, many of whom are juggling jobs, lives, and families. Our students are all here to better themselves and their circumstances, but they each see their education in a different way. So we set goals together and then figure out how to meet them.”
Shannon joined the CGS advising team in 2018 after working for many years as an instructor in the Dietrich School’s Department of Mathematics. That desire to teach and support and encourage that was a big part of Shannon’s life in the classroom remains central to her job as an advisor.
Offers Shannon, “Some students have anxieties about stepping into the classroom for the first time. Am I going to be good enough? Am I going to be able to pass this class? But there’s so much compassion here and so much to be gained if students are willing to take a chance on themselves and with us. I tell students, it’s your path, your timing, and your journey—don’t be afraid to come in as you are.”
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