In all the years that Julie Longmire has been working in college advising, one thing has remained the same: she loves seeing the look a student gets when they are excited about their classes and imagining what their future will look like after graduating.
Four months into her position as assistant dean for undergraduate programs and advising for the College of Communication and Information, Longmire is excited to once again be interacting with undergraduate students and helping them plan the next steps of their educational journey.
“I really love working with the students and hearing their interest and what they would like to gain from their university experience and helping connect them with different opportunities throughout UT to make their goals happen. I also like that it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity to learn with each student,” she said.
As she came into this role while the University of Tennessee was still employing safety precautions for COVID-19, Longmire was put into the unique position of meeting with students remotely, and also planning for the return of students to campus in fall 2021. Along with the normal incoming freshmen and transfer students, there will be sophomores who may have never had a class on campus taking in-person classes this fall, and Longmire is preparing herself and the advisers she oversees to make it the best experience possible for them.
“We’re going to have a re-engagement series for them with workshops on everything from study skills to getting involved within our college and we may do some work with the different schools and let the school directors pop in and talk with the students about the major. An extended get-to-know-you and orient yourself to UT and what CCI has to offer you,” she said.
Since she arrived, Longmire got right down to business in acquainting herself with all four of the schools at CCI, learning about their various programs and how each could best accommodate undergraduate students. Included in this was learning all about the School of Information Sciences and about the field itself, especially as the undergraduate major at SIS was just established in fall 2019.
“I’m still learning about information sciences and Dr. Carolyn Hank has been such a wonderful resource in explaining what information sciences is as a field of study, but also all the different career fields you can go into with an information sciences degree. I feel that it gives students such a wide variety of options once they graduate which is unique from a lot of majors that are only geared towards one specific field,” she said.
Longmire wants to start coordinating with some of the two-year colleges in the region to better prepare students transferring in from those institutions to enter the information sciences program. It helps that she has been involved with academic advising at Tennessee Tech University and Roane State as well as coordinated student services at Lincoln Memorial University’s Knoxville campus. She’s looking forward to getting more students into the information sciences undergraduate program.
“With information sciences, you get the best of both worlds: they get to learn about a variety of subjects within their field but also outside their field, so they can really tailor it to what they want to do,” she said. “I think it’s a much-needed field of study that Knoxville has been missing out on so I’m excited to get the word out that we do have the bachelor’s program.”
Whether they are SIS students or attending any of the other three CCI schools, Longmire strongly encourages all CCI students to take advantage of the resources offered by their advisers, and to not be shy in reaching out for assistance. Sometimes students are unaware of programs, resources, and other opportunities that would be a good fit for them, and that’s where advisers fill the gap. The best thing a student can do is to come prepared to their advising meetings with ideas of what they would like to do upon graduation or are interested in pursuing in general, which helps the adviser to tailor their advice.
Overall, Longmire said she has been very impressed not only by the faculty and staff at CCI, but by the students themselves.
“Our students are awesome, they’re engaging, they’re wonderful to talk to. I’ve been really excited and energized by every single appointment I’ve had with the students. They’re really with it, really personable, and excited about what they’re learning,” she said.