A beloved faculty member and academic advisor helps students define their path to graduation.
Good advising really comes down to good listening, says Tim Mahoney, instructor in economics. He is one of the most sought-after academic advisors on campus.
"I'm advising," he said, "but what I'm really doing is listening to students about what's going on in their lives."
Some students may have home or financial issues that affect their college experience. Others may be uncertain about the kind of career they want. Mahoney helps students set up a "Plan to Graduation." He designed a form which presents an individualized plan showing students what courses they should take, when to take them, and the projected date of graduation if they follow this path.
"A lot of students I see are between majors or thinking about changing," he said. "They want to know about the requirements for the majors and how long it will take them to graduate. When the plan is on paper, they can see their goal realized. It makes sense to them. Knowing this is a path specifically laid out for them—not a generic path—is encouraging and reinforcing.
Also a popular teacher, Mahoney instructs a course in the fundamentals of economics that serves students in many majors, including health services, social work, and engineering. In addition, he developed and coordinates a one-hour course on money skills. Offered online, it helps students improve their basic financial literacy.
Not only does Mahoney have an ear for helping students navigate the path to graduation, he also has a hand in helping them directly and personally. He has established a scholarship endowment in the USI Foundation. The Tim Mahoney Business Scholarship goes to business majors demonstrating University and community service. The current recipient is Brett Bueltel, a senior accounting major. Bueltel is attorney general for the Student Government Association, vice president of the Pre-Law Club, and a member of a student team that competed in 2011 as a "final four" team in the national IMA Student Case Competition.
"It's important for young people to be involved," Mahoney said. "I encourage them to get internships, network, and participate in activities that connect them to the real world."
(Taken from the Reflections Spring 2012 brochure).