Spotlight on CASL Staff Member Gwen Darga

March 9, 2023

Enjoy the following Q&A with Gwen Darga, Academic Advisor, CASL Advising and Academic Success.

Name:  Gwen Darga
Position:  Academic Advisor
Years at UM-Dearborn: 5


What does a typical workday look like for you? 

Most of my workdays consist of back-to-back appointments with students-both virtual and in person, depending if I’m on campus or not. When I’m not meeting with students, I’m usually responding to student emails. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I love most about my job is the interaction I have with students. I love meeting with them, getting to know them, and being a part of witnessing their academic journey take shape. It’s really rewarding to help them navigate university policies and curriculum and help them feel a bit more supported and confident. Secondly, I love the people I work with!

What was your first job?

My first job was actually as a student worker in the financial aid office at Madonna University my freshman year. I’ve had the rare experience of working almost exclusively in higher education!

What do you do to relax?

My absolute favorite thing is to travel. Other than that, I enjoy running, exercising, reading, and cooking.

If you could have any one skill or talent that you don’t already have, what would it be?

I would love to be fluent in another language. Fun fact, I actually took a few French classes for fun at UM-Dearborn!

What’s the proudest moment of your life?

This is tough to answer…one experience I’m proud of is successfully directing new student orientation at my previous job, working at a small college in Indiana. This was my first full-time job and being in charge of all aspects of orientation was a huge project that felt out of my comfort zone in many ways. There were moments I dreaded it and it caused a lot of stress at the time, but ultimately seeing it come together as a success was one of the most rewarding moments of my career.

If we were to create a UM-Dearborn playlist, what song would you want to include?

Carry On by fun.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Hmm. A few years ago, I almost quit my job to move to Alaska and work on a train!

What’s one thing you wish you had known when you were a teenager?

To worry less and not stress out about the future so much…to know that life would come together as it should and to enjoy living in the moment.

CASL Administration

2002 - College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5490
Fax: 313-593-5552