Hamilton’s inaugural ALEX (Advise, Learn, EXperience) advisors are preparing to launch the new program that links advising, academic support, and experiential learning. The advisors are Dean of Engaged Education Kathy Wolfe, Kevin Alexander ’13, Janine Oliver, and Hannah Stubley ’12.

“Hamilton is distinctive in having gone ‘all in’ on this initiative to integrate advising, academic support, and experiential learning resources,” Wolfe said. “I'm excited to see the program come fully into view, and I feel fortunate to be part of a collaborative team that is committed to ensuring that students have equitable access to these opportunities.”

Advisors are spending this semester exploring data, building an advising curriculum and mapping it to student learning outcomes, creating an assessment plan, helping to configure and test student support software, and speaking with people across campus with whom they’ll be collaborating in their work with students. By the summer, they’ll be ready to communicate with incoming students, and the program will launch with the Class of 2025.

Wolfe joined Hamilton in July after serving most recently as dean of undergraduate programs and professor of English at her alma mater, Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. She holds a doctorate in English from Texas Christian University. Her teaching interests include writing, rhetoric, linguistics, history of English, environmental literature, and seminars for first-year and transfer students. She has taught for 27 years and has spent nine years in administrative roles.

Kevin Alexander ’13 returns to Hamilton via Utica College, where he served as a counselor and tutoring services coordinator in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). He said he took advantage of experiential learning opportunities at Hamilton by working as one of the inaugural COOP Community Service Interns. He also received several Levitt Center internships and participated in the Levitt Leadership Institute. These opportunities, he said, “allowed me to connect my on- and off-campus experiences in personal, professional, and academic ways.” 

Oliver moved into the ALEX advisor role after eight-and-a-half years at Hamilton’s Career Center. While there, she developed and managed the Joan Hinde Stewart Career Development Program, the Discovery Team peer advisors, and the career development curriculum. She was actively involved in the development of the ALEX program as a member of the steering committee and looks forward to bringing the program to fruition.

Stubley holds a master’s degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from SUNY Albany. She most recently served as an academic support center specialist, adjunct instructor, and developmental writing mentor at Herkimer County Community College (HCCC).

According to Wolfe, the advisors will be generalists, able to work with any student. Once the program is fully under way, most of their time will be spent meeting with their advisees, individually and in groups and workshops, as well as tracking student referrals. They’ll also meet regularly with one another and the broader ALEX team, participating in professional development activities and completing program and student learning assessments.

Before the advisors assumed their new roles, the ALEX team worked together in the fall to craft a statement of mission, vision, values, and outcomes for the program; learn about one another's areas of expertise; study data; configure software; and hire the advisors.

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