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Adrienne Garcia (G'13)

Adrienne Garcia (G'13)

Financial Aid Counselor

Adrienne graduated from the ETS program in 2010 (with a second major in political science) and the English MA program in 2013. She is currently a Financial Aid Counselor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she will be treasurer for the Chicana/Latino Faculty Staff Association for the 2016-2017 academic year. She is a member of NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and WASFAA (Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators).

What were your first jobs after graduation?
My first job was as part-time faculty at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. I started working in the Writing Center with students in developmental English classes. My second semester there I worked in the Writing Center and taught sections of English 101. The following year, I worked at Allan Hancock College as a Writing Center Staff member and taught many sections of freshman composition courses at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Now I am a financial aid counselor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After working at the community colleges, it was a difficult choice to leave teaching, but I was anxious for a career that had many opportunities for advancement and some kind of stability. I’m glad I still see students on a daily basis and am still able to develop connections with them.

How has your experience as an MA student at Syracuse helped you succeed?
As an English graduate student, we spend our time reading and writing. And reading. And writing. And occasionally watching things. And writing. This turned out to be surprisingly relevant to my current career path working with federal and state financial aid, which require close reading and interpretation of sometimes byzantine regulations. The classes at Syracuse helped polish my skills in assessing texts and articulating responses. As an M.A. student, I also had to teach two classes a semester, and this teaching experience was invaluable at launching a career working with students. My time teaching at Syracuse really solidified my desire to work with students in higher ed. I loved teaching, and I am able to use this skill during financial aid workshops and other outreach events. Finally, one of my favorite parts of being at Syracuse were the professors, who were kind and generous with their encouragement and time. I think I’ve taken a class with most of the current Syracuse English faculty during my undergraduate or graduate career. From each of them, I learned how to be a better instructor, how to be more compassionate, how to think about the world in a critical way. And they taught me a sense of social justice. This informs my involvement with campus issues at Cal Poly. Still fighting the good fight as much as I can.

Adrienne enjoys attending local trivia nights, listening to Hamilton, cooking, and going to coffee shops because some grad school habits die hard.