Speaking Success: Kelsie Poe


Kelsie Poe is an academic adviser originally from Sioux City, Iowa.

Logan Metzger

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

This week’s Academic Success Center tips

When thinking about exam prep, most people tend to think about the physical exam, but the logistics of the exam are just as important to know. It’s a great idea to write down the date and time of your exam in a planner or on a calendar that you look at frequently. It’s also good to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam. Will it be online or in person? Will it be multiple choice or short answer? These are all things to ask yourself leading up to the exam.

Something that can be really helpful before testing is assessing how familiar you are with the material that is going to be on the exam. Is there a chapter you understand the most? Are there any chapters that you don’t feel very confident with? Start becoming acclimated with the material in that specific class, your comfortability and how well you currently know the material.

After you have made yourself aware of the material and how comfortable you are with it, a good step to take is to make an action plan of the steps you need to take to be successful on your exam. Will you need to implement the five day study plan? Will you need try including the pomodoro technique? Making an action plan can really help keep you accountable for your studying.

The adviser

This week’s adviser is Kelsie Poe, she/her/hers, who is an academic adviser originally from Sioux City, Iowa.

How would you introduce yourself?

My career has been focused on education since undergrad. Starting in secondary education and moving onto college and universities, I am passionate about supporting all students as they achieve their goals, no matter what they may look like.  

How many years have you worked at Iowa State University?

4 years

Why did you choose Iowa State University?   

I completed my master’s in the Iowa State Higher Education Student Affairs program. I left after graduate school but missed the Ames community. When a position became available where I could work in advising at Iowa State, I had to apply.  

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

I tell people an academic adviser is kind of like a high school guidance counselor, but I don’t make decisions for students. I provide resources and advice to help students make their own decisions about their academic and co-curricular experiences in college.

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

As a former math major, writing was not my strongest skill in college. When I ended up running a grammar test, I was definitely nervous. I can say that my grammar skills have dramatically improved since taking this job!

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

Most people assume I’m here to tell them what classes to take next semester. While I definitely help with course scheduling, I am also capable of answering questions about a variety of university topics. If you don’t know where to start with your question, your academic adviser is a great place to start!

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

Most of the information I provide is readily available on the Iowa State website! Sometimes I feel like a human Google machine. It makes me so happy when I can tell a student has done some research before reaching out to me.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love the problem solving. Whether it’s helping a student find the perfect major or solving scheduling challenges, I feel accomplished when I can find the answer to make academic success possible. 

What advice do you have for students?

For all the opportunities you can take advantage of, make sure you take time to relax. Your mental health and well-being should take priority over everything else. Find a balance between academics, involvement and personal priorities. The faculty and staff are here to provide this support if you aren’t sure how to establish these boundaries. We’re here for you no matter what your goals!

Once you have found a good balance, college is your time to explore. You probably didn’t have classes in philosophy, fashion or data science in high school. Take advantage of the wide variety of topics and test out new areas of interest. Your general education requirements are there to help you unearth new passions and ideas. It could even lead to a minor or second major.

Along with taking opportunities in curriculum, take opportunities in clubs and organizations on campus. You’ll meet new people and develop new skills. You should also be using resources on campus to help you find your way, establish good behaviors, or create something new. There is no reason any Iowa State student should be bored!

A favorite story from working at Iowa State University?

I love how the winter weather can bring everyone together on campus. In 2015, we got about 11 inches of snow and had a half day of classes canceled. Everyone was crammed together on the bus getting home. There was a great sense of camaraderie and excitement for the snow, as well as such appreciation for our CyRide driver!

Favorite location to eat, hangout or work on campus?

I’ve been enjoying lunch at the Sparks Cafe in the Student Innovation Center. I love that it is run by students, some of whom I advise, so I’m able to support student learning while eating delicious food. I highly recommend their pesto pizza!

What hobbies do you have?

I’m an avid home cook. I love trying new recipes and making my own creations from ingredients left in the fridge. Currently, I am very into making all kinds of soups, from minestrone and chicken noodle to ramen and miso. I’m also constantly trying to figure out how I can eat more rice and cover everything in spicy chili crisp.

What is your zodiac sign and what do you think it says about you?

I’m a Capricorn. I once told my friends I didn’t believe that personalities were determined by birthdays. They then pulled up a description of each sign. The description of a Capricorn said, “Very likely to be skeptical of the zodiac.” There was much laughter.

Favorite place to eat, hangout or work beyond campus?

I enjoy taking hikes through McFarland Park. It’s far enough out of Ames that you feel separated from town, but not so far that you need to prepare in advance for the trip. It’s always less busy than Ada Hayden and has many trails to explore. I can’t wait for the beautiful weather to go back!