NSC Senior Adviser Receives Well-Deserved Promotion

Rebecca Morales - PicShe remembers it like it was yesterday. It was 2009, her first day at work, and she was six months pregnant. That day, Rebecca Morales was charged with the mammoth task of transforming an abandoned darkroom and photo lab into a student advising center.

“When I arrived, the ceiling and walls were black, the floor was gray concrete,” she recalls. “There were piles of old dorm furniture and broken cabinets strewn all over the room, and my office was a storage closet with an old oversized desk, a phone and an unplugged computer.”

But she was far from daunted. Armed with a single undergraduate catalog and the determination to succeed, Morales immediately got to work, creating the Nicholson Academic Student Services Center (NASSC), what is now a one-stop resource for undergraduate and graduate students.

Morales was recently promoted to Assistant Director –  Academic Advising Services, a testament of her hard work over the years to build the NASSC from bare bones to what it is today. Earlier this year, she received a national Outstanding Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for her work at NSC. But the journey to here was not without its challenges.

“On my very first day, I opened the doors and began advising,” she said.  “I knew that I was going out on maternity leave in three months, so I had to work hard to get the center up and running to a more professional standard. I worked tirelessly to create everything, from forms, processes, policies, training manuals and even overseeing contractors as they installed carpet, painted walls and pondered whether or not the old ventilation system and eye wash station that was used in the darkroom could be removed.”

The advising center has grown over the years to be an essential resource for undergraduate and graduate students. The space has been completely revamped, and now hosts a conference room, and work spaces for graduate students and teaching assistants. Morales now supervises trains, manages, mentors a growing team of NASSC employees, including two coordinators of academic advising services, an admission specialist, peer mentors and other assigned employees.

“I joke that in 2009, I gave birth to an advising center and a 6-pound baby boy,” says Morales who gave birth to her first son in July 2009. “And, it’s amazing to see how both my son, who is also now 6 years old, and the advising center have grown.”


Morales says she is honored to have received the promotion to assistant director, and looking forward to working toward her long and short-term goals that include increasing student enrollment, success and retention, increasing student participation in study abroad and undergraduate research and creating a student/alumni tracking system.

  1. What do you like the most about your job?

I like helping students realize and meet their academic and professional goals. I love that I get to work with students from their first year to their graduating semester.  I get to share in their failures and successes.  We have wonderfully, connected students in the Nicholson School, who love interacting with the advising staff each day.  Each day is different and I know that there is a solution to every problem.

  1. How do you plan to cope with the added responsibilities of the post?

I have a great advising team and we are all cross-trained to support one another in all aspects of our jobs.  I’ve got their backs and they have mine.  Any new initiatives that come our way are easily tackled, because we are a team.

  1. What motivates you?

I am motivated when others succeed.  Especially those who didn’t think they could.  When they succeed and report back that they did something that they didn’t think they could; that is the best reward.

  1. What is the best advice you have ever received?

Let your children (and students) lose sometimes.  They can’t always win. They can’t always be the best.  The most valuable lessons in life are learned when we stumble, get back up and learn from our mistakes.  Learning how to lose will teach you how to succeed.

  1. How do you unwind?

I love to spend time with my husband, children (Reignen, 6 and Kingston 3) and new puppy, Bella. We like to go to the beach and spend time outdoors. I am addicted to coffee and have a Keurig at home and in my office.  I drink coffee several times a day to ease stress.  At night, I enjoy homemade sangria while watching reality TV.  My favorite show is “The Amazing Race.”  Someday, I would love to run the race with my oldest son, Reignen. He has a great sense of direction (while I’m directionally challenged) and I think we would make a great team!

To read original story click here.

Comments are closed.