CASL welcomes two new academic advisors

January 29, 2019

Recently, the college welcomed two new advisors, Rachel Ripley and Kyle Sutherland.

Academic advisors in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters are committed to the definition of the word “Advise.” These professionals consistently recommend, inform, and offer suggestions to ensure good outcomes for CASL students, guiding them through the maze of college courses.

Recently, the college welcomed two new advisors, Rachel Ripley and Kyle Sutherland. Below are their responses prepared specifically for this spotlight in CASL Connect.

CASL Connect: What do you enjoy most about advising and how to did you come into this position? (ie background, were you an advisor at a different university/college?) 

RACHEL RIPLEY: What I enjoy most about academic advising is helping students navigate their degree and college in general. There are so many moving parts and opportunities that it can be overwhelming for students. Being a resource to help them navigate their curriculum, to answer the questions they did not know they had, to help them find the balance between going to class, working and extracurricular activities is something I enjoy. I also enjoy the puzzle of degree mapping and helping students reach their graduation goals.

After undergrad at Otterban University in Ohio, I received my Master’s in Higher Education/Student Personnel at The University of Mississippi. As a Graduate Assistant, I worked in the First-Year Advising Office and taught first-year experience and study skills courses for probation students. After graduating in 2015, I advised at The Ohio State University at Newark advising students in STEM, natural sciences and health related majors. I also served as the course coordinator for the first-year experience course. I moved to Michigan in the summer of 2017 after I got engaged. I advised in the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University before coming to the University of Michigan-Dearborn. 

KYLE SUTHERLAND: Before coming to UM-Dearborn, I worked professionally at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, and Eastern Michigan University, both in housing. While at EMU, I transitioned in my career and took a job doing academic advising at the College of Business. I didn't really know how much I would enjoy advising when I started, but I quickly fell in love with it. I enjoy working closely with students to help them accomplish their goals. My undergraduate degree is in Mathematics for Secondary Education, so I enjoy both the problem solving (math) aspect of advising, as well as helping students understand curriculum requirements (teaching).


CC: In what ways is advising CASL students unique?

RR: Advising in CASL is unique because we are advising students with vastly different career goals from a wide variety of disciplines. As an advisor, we are switching gears from one appointment to the next because each student’s situation is truly unique. 

KS: I've only been here a short time, but CASL students seem goal oriented, and are very driven. Most students I meet with know where they are headed next, and what steps they need to take to get them there.


CC: What goal(s) do you plan to incorporate into your work this semester?

RR: As a newer advisor to CASL, my goal for this semester is to continue to build relationships with students and start to build more rapport with CASL faculty members.  

KS: This semester I am really working on learning as much as I can. I am learning who people are, where things are located, policies that affect students. 


-- Leah Johnson Olajide

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