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Moore sets the stage for student success

Rachel-Moore

ECC Academic Advisor Rachel Moore has given presentations in front of small and large groups. But acting on stage for the first time in her life? That's a different story.

“It was scary, but invigorating at the same time,” she said.

Acting was something Moore had always wanted to do, but was never bold enough to make the leap. After enrolling in an acting class at ECC, she was well on her way to participating in several ECC Theater productions-debuting  in “The Meltdown” in February 2015, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” in fall 2015, and “Emotional Creature” in 2015 and 2016.

Moore said stepping on stage was a matter of her desire to push her limits by doing things she's never done before. Although she's put acting aside for now, given her time constraints as an ECC academic advisor, she'll continue to push herself with other pursuits.

We caught up with Moore and asked her questions about herself and her work at ECC. Here are her answers.

In your words, what do you do at ECC?

As an academic advisor, my job is to help guide students through their program of study so they can graduate in a timely fashion and go on to accomplish their goals.

What is your greatest accomplishment since you've been here?

I was lucky enough to participate in two really important projects: The African-American New Student Welcome Reception and the 2015 Latino History Month Dreamers event.

The reception is held each semester to help welcome new African-American students to campus and connect them with returning peers, faculty, staff, and campus resources to make sure they feel supported. The Dreamers event was designed to bring awareness to issues that impact undocumented students at ECC, connect them with resources that will help them continue their education, and educate the campus community on how they can become allies.

What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?

I would create a monthly workshop/discussion series that would highlight different competencies and current issues in higher education that may not have been a part of everyone's formal education, but are necessary to support all students and reinforce an inclusive campus culture. This would be open to all campus employees as a part of their paid time, but would specifically be required for anyone who has direct contact with students or who makes decisions that impact students.

Topics would include best practices for supporting students of all identities and working effectively with colleagues across these same groups. I know ECC already has a lot of great optional programming on these topics, but I can be just as guilty as others of primarily attending trainings/events that reflect my interests and perspective.

I think people are often surrounded by others who share their same viewpoint and can become very polarized through that experience. The best way to serve our diverse student body is by getting diverse perspectives in the same room and having dialogue about the issues that impact us all.

What's on your “bucket list?”

Selling some of my writing. I write fiction as a hobby.

What's something about your job that others should know?

I encourage my students to check in every semester so we can review their plan and make sure their upcoming classes are a good fit before they register. Requirements can change over time depending on their plans (healthcare programs, transfer, etc.), so it's good to check in often.

What would be your “theme song?”

“Givin Em What They Love” by Janelle Monae featuring Prince.

What was your favorite class in school?

My favorite class was history. I love a good story, and reality is often stranger than fiction.

What was your first job out of school?

After finishing my master's from Loyola University in Chicago, I worked as an academic advisor at Concordia University in River Forest before coming to ECC in 2014. That time was a great foundation for the work I do here.

What quote best describes your philosophy?

This passage from The Velveteen Rabbit:

“You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time that you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”

Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because …"

I have a great group of colleagues. The people I share my office with are some of the most passionate and intelligent people I've had the pleasure to work with and I'm as grateful for them as I am for our amazing students.  

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