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Spotlight on Advisor Erica Gonzalez

Advisor Erica Gonzalez may be petite, but her personality is larger than life.  Although she is often mistaken for a student, Gonzalez' ability to relate to students from all walks of life -- coupled with her 25 years of experience in education -- makes her a skilled advisor and a great asset to the Oakton "family."  Gonzalez, who came on board in 2001, received her bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice (with a minor in Latin American studies) from Northeastern Illinois University, and her master of public administration degree from Governor's State University.  We sat down with her this month to find out more about her role at the College.

What's the most rewarding thing about your job?
Meeting and working with all types of people.  I'm able to assist current students with their educational goals, and I can help prospective students figure out how Oakton might fit into their future.  It's very satisfying to provide information and resources that help students succeed.  Advocating for students is also at the top of my list -- I think it's one of the most important things I do.

How can students get the most out of advisor appointments?
Arrive well prepared!  I suggest that students have questions ready and know what they'd like to get out of the appointment.  Students also need to understand that advisors can't make decisions for them.  Instead, our role is to support students through the decision-making process.

How can students make the most of their college experience?
College is a very special time.  There are so many opportunities and students should take advantage of all of them!  If they plan to continue their studies at a four-year college or university, I advise them to explore the diversity of course offerings in general education and challenge themselves to learn something completely new.

Who would you be or what would you do in your next life?
Even in my next life, my interests would remain education and the field of justice.  I'd like to be either a criminal profiler or a traveler.  I'm fascinated by what makes people tick -- and I'd love to have a job that involved a lot of travel, meeting people from all over the world and learning different things about every country.

What is the most interesting thing a student has said to you?
One student asked me if I was Hawaiian.  Another asked me if I had a twin.



March 25
Registration opens for summer 2013 sessions.

March 31
Oakton Foundation scholarship applications due.

April 8
Registration opens for fall 2013 semester.

April 26
Wentcher Scholarship application due.

May 1
Academic Merit Scholarship application due.

May 1
Priority financial aid application filing date for 2013-14.

May 9, 10
Evaluation Days.

May 10
Last day of student attendance.

May 13
Summer 2013 interim classes begin.

May 13
Grading Day
Faculty on campus and available to students at designated times.

Full Academic Calendar

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