Speaking Success: Liz Harris


Liz Harris is an academic adviser originally from Spencer, Iowa.

Logan Metzger

Editor’s Note: This is part 15 in the Iowa State Daily’s “Speaking Success” series.

This week’s Academic Success Center tips

My name is Ada Hulseberg. I am a peer academic coach at the Academic Success Center and a senior at Iowa State working towards my bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

With the new school year beginning, it is super important to start thinking about goals and how to accomplish them. The big first step of setting goals, for me, is to write them down. Having goals down on paper makes them feel more concrete and helps me remember.

If it is a long-term goal, I recommend splitting it up into smaller goals that will build up to the end result. Doing this helps me feel like I am making progress in times when I feel overwhelmed or like the goal is currently unattainable. Goals are usually something that takes time and that you really have to work towards, so don’t feel discouraged!

To stay accountable, I find it best to tell other people. This can include friends, family, or even a peer academic coach – whoever you find yourself talking to regularly. Having someone to check in and remind you what your plan is can be very helpful.

Setting goals is a great habit to have in every aspect in life. They give you something to strive for and can be used to measure your progress. If you find yourself a little lost, you are more than welcome to schedule a meeting with an academic coach to go over goal setting. We would be happy to talk with you! Students can schedule using the NAVIGATE app and:

1) Selecting “Appointments” and then “Schedule an Appointment”

2) Select the “Academic Support” Care Unit 

3) Select “Academic Coaching” for the Service

4) Select “Academic Success Center” for the Location

The adviser

This week’s adviser is Liz Harris, she/her/hers, who is originally from Spencer, Iowa.

How would you introduce yourself?

I am the advising coordinator for the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) department. I work primarily advising students majoring in HDFS and work closely with other advisers in the department. I co-coordinate our first-year learning community, which I love and I help with some recruitment initiatives for future Cyclones to discover Iowa State and the HDFS major! I am a native to Iowa and received my bachelor’s degree from UNI and my master’s degree from ISU. I love Iowa State and love being a Cyclone. I still find the campus beautiful every time I walk across Central Campus!

How many years have you worked at Iowa State?

I am in my ninth year (it goes quickly!)

Why did you choose Iowa State?   

I completed my master’s degree at Iowa State and loved it! The campus is gorgeous and I love the people (faculty, staff and students!) At first, the university seems large, but it quickly feels small.

How would you explain your job to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

An academic adviser is a resource to help students achieve academic and personal success in college. Some think that academic advisers only assist with scheduling—but that is truthfully only a portion of the job. We help students explore their academic interests and identify resources that can help them in college and outside of college. 

What is something you never thought you would do in your job?

Become proficient at online advising! And also math! I joke that I can count by threes in my sleep (as most classes are three credits!)

What is something you want people to know about your job?

I have a great job—no two days are the same.

What is something you want your advisees to know about your job?

I truly love helping students, meeting them and getting to know them. Please meet your adviser and get to know them. Also, please never think that you are bothering me or annoying me by asking a question. I am happy to answer any questions or refer you to someone else if I don’t know the answer.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The students.

What advice do you have for students?

Enjoy your time in college. Be sure to get involved in something and get connected with others on campus. Try to meet someone in each class (you do not have to become best friends, but it is nice to have someone in each class to study with, get questions answered, etc.) Along the same lines, get to know your professors and advisers. Visit office hours and introduce yourself. Additionally, meet people in the field you wish to go into: observe, shadow, volunteer, interview, etc.

Be sure to listen to yourself and take time for yourself. Find what motivates you and what you are passionate about. Try your hardest, but also give yourself grace if things don’t go according to your plan. I promise there is always another way. I have a magnet in my office that says, “detours still get you there” and I think it’s such a true statement. You may have some bumps in the road, but you will get there. Use your resources and take time for you. You are worthy and enough. Take time to smile, laugh and breathe.

A favorite location on campus?

Lagomarcino Courtyard.

What hobbies do you have?

I enjoy reading, gardening, walking, baking and listening to music. I also love going on adventures with my family!

Favorite place to eat, hangout, or work beyond campus?

In Ames–to eat: Provisions.