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Off the clock: Advising staff members share what they love to do when they’re not working with students

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Advisers across campus spend countless hours talking to students about their classwork, career goals and other topics related to student success. During those student-focused advising sessions, however, they don’t get to spend much time talking about themselves. To learn more about what drives them when they’re not at work, we asked eight advisers the same question: “What passions, interests or hobbies do you have that students and colleagues might not know about?”

Jason Gentry

Senior academic adviser in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts
I play music. I’m in a couple of bands, and we’ve been together for quite a while. We’ve had the same band — my main band —since ’03 or ’04, so these people are like family to me. 

Sofia Alarcon

Academic adviser for the School of Design and Creative Technologies in the College of Fine Arts
I, in my own time, really like playing (video) games, and I especially like playing independent games that are either
student-made or made by a really small team of people who have really unique ideas.

Avianne Ernest

Career coach and journalism specialist in the Moody College of Communication
I’m really into the arts —performance art and visual art. Making jewelry, painting, making wall art, decor stuff. And going to see improv shows and things. 

Phoebe Lickwar

Landscape architecture graduate adviser in the School of Architecture
I have a love of Italian motorcycles. I have a Ducati, and I love to ride it. I road-raced for a few years, club racing, when I was in my 20s. I’ve ridden motorcycles since then, with a brief hiatus when my children were small.

Chelsea Funk

Associate academic adviser in the Department of International Relations & Global Studies in COLA
I love to travel. That’s probably one of my biggest passions. I’ve been to something like 26 countries, and my goal is to visit every continent. 

Vanessa Garcia

Academic adviser in the Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling in the School of Undergraduate Studies
I would say (watching) live music. I really like to see people express themselves. I like alternative bands and country. 

Sawyer Tedder

Associate academic adviser in the College of Education
I go to yoga four to five times a week. 

Josh Barham

Senior academic adviser in the McCombs School of Business
There’s a lot of really cool places in Austin and around Texas within an hour drive that are gorgeous, really good hiking trails. I really enjoy hiking.