Profile: Whitney Riggs

photo by Anthony Arroyo

DMACC Advisor Whitney Riggs is someone you may have seen advising students, teaching an Honors or Student Development class, or even leading a committee. She is one of those staff members here at DMACC that can’t seem to sit still.

Riggs has held many positions here at DMACC, starting in 2014 as an adjunct instructor and a part-time advisor.

While she still wanted to continue advising and teaching, she also wanted to create a better way to get the SDV 108 class to culinary students. Riggs figured it would be better if an adviser taught this class. Riggs was advising multiple students in many different fields, teaching classes, and also trying to maintain sanity.

When asked if balancing all these things had an effect on her personal life, she replied, “It can be tough to have the balance you want, but when you’re involved in things you love you make it work.”

While Riggs has these many hats that she wears throughout the day, she says teaching has her heart; she loves making connections and getting to know students.

Riggs went to college for K-12 Physical Education.

However, after actually teaching these age groups she realized it wasn’t for her: “Trying to get 20 five year olds to play a game, and I wanted to pull my hair out, I just didn’t have enough patience for it,” Riggs said.

She then went back for her master’s, and that is when she fell for advising.

Riggs usually sees between six and ten students a day, but on Jan. 8 she helped 16. This was due to helping with schedules at the start of the semester, which is when she works about 50 hours a week.

Riggs said that she would love to simplify down; she said, “I would love to work with a smaller student population so I could do more proactive advising but it is fun to learn about many different programs.”

Riggs wants everyone to know that advising can be extremely helpful, but only to those who seek it out; advisors can’t do anything for you if they do not know you are struggling. They are there to help you, and most of them don’t bite.

Riggs said, “Common mistakes are not registering early enough or assuming advisors will pick classes for them. Our goal is to inform students about all their options but not make decisions for them. Advisors want to teach students how to find and understand their degree audits, know the best questions to ask transfer schools and how to choose the best courses for a smooth transfer process. Many students may not realize it’s best to schedule an appointment by calling 515-964-6200 to receive a 30 minute appointment with the expert advisor in their major.”

So if you take away one thing from this article, students, go see your advisor if you are confused, in need of personal help, or would like future planning, however don’t all go at once, or you might have to wait in line for a while!

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