Speaking Success: Amanda Chung


Amanda Chung is an academic adviser from Kansas City, Missouri.

Logan Metzger

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

This week’s Academic Success Center tips

Even if you have very developed academic skills, you might find that a specific course is very challenging. If that is you, tutoring is a great option. Tutoring can be requested for any undergraduate course. It takes place in small groups of two to five students, which also gives you a chance to collaborate with your peers. Tutoring is also a great option for employment. If you took a course and received a B or higher, you are eligible to tutor in that course!

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is completely free and voluntary. Sessions are held three times a week by an amazing SI instructor. These instructors actually sit in the class and are hearing the same material as all the students. They have also received a B+ or higher in the class a previous semester. For more information about SI, you can visit dso.sws.iastate.edu/si.

Do you feel like you know what you should work on but not enough time to finish it? Do you go to class and take notes but they don’t feel effective? If you answered yes to either of those questions, an academic coach would be a great resource for you. Academic coaches are here to help with any academic concerns you bring to them, and many students see increased academic success after meeting with them.

The adviser

This week’s adviser is Amanda Chung, she/her/hers, who is an academic adviser from Kansas City, Missouri.

How would you introduce yourself?

I love food and travel. My day is made if I can enjoy both! I’ve visited 15 other countries and 3 other continents. My goal is to eventually reach all 7 continents and countless more countries.

How many years have you worked at Iowa State University?

I was a student at ISU and worked on campus during that time. As a full-time staff member, I have just completed my sixth year here.

Why did you choose Iowa State University?   

After I graduated with my animal ecology degree, I honestly didn’t make the best use out of it. Applying for my current position allowed me to not only make better use of it but to help others succeed where I felt I had not.

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

I’m a jack of all trades. I do anything related to student success, but that can range by quite a bit. I’m an academic adviser, a club adviser, a teacher, a recruiter, a committee member and more. Some days I even paint walls!

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

I never thought that I’d have so many conversations about anime — yes, I indeed enjoy watching anime, so if you don’t know how to approach me but enjoy anime yourself, there’s the perfect conversation starter for you!

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

I mentioned already that I have many different responsibilities as a student services specialist, but something to know is that, for me, students always come first. You, your well-being and your success is the most important aspect of my job.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I never thought I would enjoy advising as much as I do. I’m an introvert, and I won’t lie, some days can be rough for a variety of reasons. But overall, I really enjoy the human interactions, the opportunity to guide and mentor others and, of course, the fun, casual conversations I get to have.

What advice do you have for students?

Please, please, please do not hesitate to ask for help when you are struggling. This is the biggest piece of advice I can give you and applies to both academic and personal struggles. If you don’t already have a professor or mentor that you’re comfortable with and trust in, then your adviser is a great option to approach. As an adviser, I may not have all the answers, and not every solution I suggest will work, but I can help you find the resources you need and, at the very least, I can walk by your side as you work through your challenges.

Do you have any pets or a favorite animal?

With two dogs and two cats I have too many pets! I have been known to bring one or both of my dogs to events such as through Ledges State Park with the learning community and the department welcome picnic.

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

I mentioned I love food, in particular I love Asian food. That’s what I grew up on and what I prefer, so I frequent several restaurants in the Ames/Des Moines area. For Indian, I go to India Palace in Campustown. For Chinese, I go to Szechuan House in west Ames. I get my Japanese cravings from Fuji Steakhouse on South Duff. For Vietnamese, I have to go south to Pho 85 in Ankeny or Pho 515 in Des Moines. And for Thai food, I’ll go to Thai Flavors in Des Moines. Not Asian food, but if you’re looking for a good cupcake, you definitely have to check out Molly’s Cupcakes, also in Des Moines.