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Undergraduate Studies Advisor Wins Vick Advising Award

From left: Dr. James Vick, Provost Greg Fenves, Ms. Chinnock, and Dean Brent Iverson at the presentation ceremony

Julia Chinnock, senior academic advisor at the Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling is one of five winners of the 2014 Texas Exes James W. Vick Award for Academic Advising. The award honors individuals whose outstanding advising improves students’ overall UT experience. Recipients are nominated and selected solely by students. Each winner was awarded $500 and recognized at an awards ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

“For Julia to be selected for the Vick Award is of no surprise to those of us who work with her on a daily basis,” said David Spight, assistant dean for advising in the School of Undergraduate Studies. “Her commitment to her students is unparalleled. We are truly a significantly better center because of Julia.”

Julia joined the Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling in January 2012. In addition to advising over 220 students enrolled in the School of Undergraduate Studies, she supervises three academic advisors, manages an internship credit program, and coordinates 360 Connections and First-year Interest Groups for UGS students.

Listening and Responding to Students’ Needs

Throughout all of Julia’s students’ nominations, there is a common theme: Julia really listens.

“In college, I studied theatre. It taught me important lessons that I use in my job and daily life: communication skills, the importance of teamwork, how to use a nail gun,” Julia said. “But more than that, I learned how to listen. To really listen to what students say, both the things they say aloud and the things they want to say but can’t or don’t. I learned how to respond to students where they are and in the manner that will work best for them.”

While connecting students with academic opportunities on campus and helping them select classes and majors, Julia builds relationships with students and gets to know them as individuals.

“Classes and grades and major are only part of the picture. I make it a point to learn about students’ lives outside of academics—what they’re involved in, what they love, what they’re worried about, who they want to be,” she said.

From Julia’s Students

“Julia went beyond her job duties to make sure that I had the resources I needed to be successful. She was willing to listen and understand exactly what I was telling her so she knew how to help and didn’t lead me on a dead-end path.” —Dionca Tyus

“Under the guidance and counseling of Ms. Chinnock, I have found myself in good standing with the university with my confidence returned.” —Chirag R. Patel

“I am so glad she is my advisor. I not only consider her my advisor, but also my friend. I can talk to her about anything and feel totally trusting and safe.” —Sara Northcutt

“She demonstrates total devotion to her job in helping people find their way. She doesn’t hide information from her students. Instead, she presents it in an unbiased way, leaving the decision in the student’s hands.” —Christopher Montalvo

About Julia

An active member of UT’s Academic Counselor’s Association, Julia has served on the executive board for two years, first as secretary and now as president-elect. Before joining the UT community, she worked as a career consultant in the career services office at the University of Texas at Arlington. Additionally, she served as a program coordinator and career services assistant at WyoTech’s career services office. Julia completed her master’s in theatre history and dramaturgy from Texas State University in May 2011, and has a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and Spanish from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Written by: 
Trent Lesikar