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New academic advisors join staff at Northern State University
ABERDEEN, S.D. – Four new academic advisors have joined the staff of Northern State University, a fifth will be on campus soon and a sixth will be hired in the coming weeks.
 
All are being hired with funds from a federal grant NSU has been awarded to overhaul its academic advising system.
 
The following people began working as academic advisors at NSU on Jan. 22:
 
Abby Exner will work with students in the School of Education and students in the College of Arts and Sciences with majors in the department of languages, literature and communication studies.
 
Exner is a native of Morris, Minn., who previously worked in the NSU registrar’s office. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she also worked as an academic advising intern.
 
Tracy Jurgens will work with students in the School of Fine Arts. Jurgens is an Aberdeen native who graduated from Huron High School and NSU. She brings a wealth of experience to the position from her almost 30 years working as senior secretary of the School of Fine Arts, where her duties included advising music students.
 
Travis Parisi will work with students with majors in the School of Education. Parisi is originally from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He moved to Aberdeen from Springfield, Mass., where he spent two years as a football graduate assistant while working on his master’s in education with a concentration in school counseling.
 
Krystle Perkins will work with students in the College of Arts and Sciences with majors in the department of history, sociology, political science and geography.
 
Perkins, a native of Coushatta, La., received her master’s degree from the University of Kansas and is currently working toward her doctorate in medieval history through that university. Perkins, who is also an adjunct professor at NSU, has taught history at the university level since 2003 at various places in the U.S. and abroad.
 
• On Feb. 18, Rebeccah Lutz will start at Northern, advising students in the College of Arts and Sciences with majors in the department of biology, chemistry and physics, and mathematics.
 
A native of Akaska, Lutz received her bachelor’s degree in business economics and consumer affairs from South Dakota State University. She has worked as an executive team leader in the human resources field and served as a resident assistant and orientation leader in college.
 
Northern’s new advisors were chosen from a pool of more than 50 applicants, said Steven Rasmussen, director of NSU University College, which coordinates the academic advising program.
 
Phone interviews are under way for an advisor for American Indian students. Interviews will be conducted in the next few weeks, Rasmussen said.
 
'A whole new program'
The overall goal of the grant – a five-year, $1,924,640 award from the U.S. Department of Education – is the creation of a more proactive, career-centered academic advising system. Hiring the new advisors is setting the stage for implementation of this new system, Rasmussen said.
 
“It’s a very exciting change,” Rasmussen said. “This is a whole new program.”
 
Faculty members still will act as mentors for their students, but the academic advisors will reach out to students rather than wait for them to stop in their offices.
 
The new advisors will be located within their specific departments, though the American Indian advisor will be located in University College. Freshmen who have declared majors now will be advised by the academic advisor in their chosen majors. Undeclared students stillwill  be advised by University College.
 
Learn more about academic advising at NSU HERE.