Case Manager – Student Care and Outreach
Empathy – Intellection – Learner – Adaptability – Input
Bobby was nominated for the Staff Spotlight by a colleague, who had the following to say:
Are you from Georgia? If not, where are you from? (i.e., where do you call “home”?)
I’m originally from the tiny “village” of Pope, MS, but haven’t lived there in many years. Athens is definitely home at this point. I’ve lived and worked in a few other college towns, and none compare to Athens. It has a charm all its own.
How long have you worked at UGA?
I’ve worked at UGA since May 2018, originally in Franklin College Advising for the biology major, and joined Student Affairs as a Student Care and Outreach case manager in August 2021.
What’s your favorite UGA tradition?
As an animal lover, I’m fond of the many Bulldog statues spread across Athens. I’m also very tickled by the Okefenokee Oar tradition. It’s fun, unique, and incorporates a bit of regional history.
What does a “day in the life” look like for you at work?
A “day in the life” is a hard thing to describe as an SCO case manager because each day and each student brings something new. It’s one of the things I like about the position: you never know what the next student will bring to the meeting. There’s no chance of boredom.
What are three things you love most about your job?
The thing I most like about my job is helping students and hearing their stories. UGA is a big place and that can feel isolating at time. Getting to be part of making such a big place feel smaller is really rewarding. Having great colleagues is also a major bonus of working at SCO.
Who do you look up to/ admire?
Who doesn’t admire Dolly Parton? Talent, empathy, a passion for literacy, and a razor-sharp wit, she’s got it all.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do for fun?
Reading has been my escape for almost as long as I can remember. I read across genres but have a penchant for fantasy and historical fiction. The pandemic led to quite a serious uptick in my indoor and outdoor gardening. I’m looking forward to my irises making their spring return.
What might be something that you would like other staff to know about your job?
Students may be going through a lot of high-stake emotions when they come to Student Care and Outreach seeking support and resources, but helping them navigate their circumstances and overcome barriers is truly rewarding.
What might be some ways that staff could collaborate or partner with you?
I’m always happy to work with partners across campus to support our students, connect them with resources, and provide care. If you have a concern about a student and want to help them connect, give us a call at 706-542-7774, submit a referral through the SCO website, or email us at email@example.com.
What advice would you have for new staff joining UGA Student Affairs?
Ask questions, seriously. Join things; meet people. UGA is a big place for staff just as much as it can be for students. As we tell students, get involved and find your folks.
What is your favorite spot on campus or in Athens?
I love the Founders Garden with its many hidden nooks and beautiful plants. It’s a great place to escape to alone or have a coffee with friends, especially this time of year when the weather is warming but we haven’t hit the oppressive heat yet.
What is one question you wished we asked and what is the answer?
What led you to your current position?
Before I joined SCO I was an academic advisor, and before that an English instructor, and before that a graduate student and graduate TA teaching composition and literature. Through all of those positions, the students were what I enjoyed most about my work, and I feel like I’ve brought skills and experience from each to the next role. I’m so very pleased to have worked in a variety of positions at higher ed institutions and seen the student experience from so many different angles. It helps me empathize and understand what’s going on and see how we can support them holistically.
What is the coolest thing you have ever done and why?
I love nature, being out in the woods in particular, and a couple of years ago (pre-pandemic), I got to tick off a bucket list item when I was in San Francisco and visited the redwoods in Muir Woods. To top it off, my best friend and I got to sleep under the redwoods in nearby Rio Nido and drove back to the city along California Highway 1. I’ll never forget the mixture of awe and fear of that drive.