by Semy Rhee
Do you know who your Lead Advisor is? You might be thinking, What is a Lead Advisor? But do not worry! I will help you get to know your Lead Advisor, since most of us do not know who they are. Lead Advisors act as a liaison between students and academic departments and serve in significant areas behind the scenes to guide you through your educational journey. Their dedication and hard work enable us Academic Advisors to assist students in the most effective manner.
The first to be featured in the series is Anneke Darling, the Lead Advisor for the Department of Psychology. More than 11,000 students are in the psychology program, but since Anneke became a Lead Advisor just a few months ago in July 2012, I thought many students in the psychology program have not had a chance to get to know her.
Who is Anneke?
I am from the small but historic town of Perry, Michigan. My parents just celebrated their 32ndAnniversary, and the Darling clan also includes my older brother Donald and two younger sisters Jennie & Stephenee, whom I love dearly. In 2010, I completed two degrees: a BA in International Relations—Strategic Intelligence Studies and a BS in Government—Pre-Law through Liberty University. I am currently pursuing a MAML with the intention of transitioning into the MBA.
My goal is to holistically grow into an individual marked by grace, passion, faithfulness, intelligence, compassion, and joy and to invest in others to help them realize their goals and potential. I have chosen these goals, in part, because I believe that each area requires personal development, and because I believe that those characteristics are crucial in being excellent in any calling. I also want to travel around the world, spend a significant amount of time in India and/or Far East Asia, and obtain a motorcycle license.
What do you love about being a Lead Advisor?
I value the proactive elements of being a Lead Advisor. Being a Lead Advisor provides a platform that allows me to assist fellow Advisors and the student population so that they can succeed on various levels. It presents a unique opportunity to identify issues that may prove to be obstacles to the student population. It is important to tackle these issues preemptively so that the students will be best supported in pursuit of their goals. I also love investing in my peers and enjoy assisting new advisors learn new skills and information as well as adapt to the department.
What difference did Liberty University make in your life?
The Lord has used, and continues to use, Liberty University greatly in my life to draw me closer to Himself, strengthen my faith, and equip me for success in life beyond Liberty. I have learned more of His character and His heart, have seen His faithfulness in spite of my lack, and have also learned to think critically and to engage with the world. I am not the person I was when I walked onto Liberty’s campus as a bright-eyed but young-hearted freshman in 2006; I thank God and His use of Liberty for this transformation.
What are you working on currently for the Psychology program?
I am currently working on PSYC 499 registration with both Academic Advising and the Department of Psychology. I am also in the process of working with the department to update course guides and make sure that the prerequisites are consistent on ASIST and course guides according to department requirements.
What was/is your biggest struggle in being a student? How do you cope with it?
Honestly, one of the biggest challenges as a student is that of balancing my love for people and my desire for academic and professional success. It took me some time to find that balance between investing in relationships and delving into my academic pursuits. Many lessons must come through life experience and had I followed my initial inclinations, I might be still holed up in a coffee shop with my political theory texts.
A Word from Anneke:
Do not focus so much upon your goal (a diploma, a job, a career, a family, etc) that you lose sight of faithful daily living. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and it is often the small things that have significant eternal consequences. Life is not something that will come at some point after you have obtained some level of achievement; it is something that is happening now.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Anneke! She has such a heart of serving and humility, and I am sure she will continue to serve her students with excellence.