Lights on the Hill is a monthly photo feature highlighting College of Arts & Sciences people who are putting service at the forefront as they help to keep the University going during the COVID-19 pandemic … and beyond.
Stay tuned for future spotlights on the last Friday of every month.
Photos by Donn Young
Chloe Russell, Associate Dean, Academic Advising Program, Office of Undergraduate Education
What chief challenge or challenges have you had to overcome in doing your job in the middle of a pandemic?
Where do I begin?! There have been so many! To state the obvious, I accepted my current position during the pandemic so transitioning to a new role has been a huge challenge. One of my chief responsibilities is to develop a network of hubs designed to strengthen success for all students and foster equity in success across student populations. Therefore, identifying the steps as to how we’ll move forward while also maintaining the current advising services so that we can ensure students are supported holistically is a daunting, yet exciting task. I know the pandemic has been limiting, but within my department it has also created opportunities as we’ve been able to bring attention to many of our gaps — sharing and storing information, providing services through multiple modalities, streamlining our operations. I’m so thankful for our employees who’ve been rock stars as they’ve experienced constant changes and completely pivoted to a virtual environment.
Why are you passionate about what you do? What keeps you committed to doing your job in the College?
I’m motivated by our potential to create the environment in which all students thrive, attain a degree and become prepared for life after Carolina. I’ve always been excited by possibilities and problem-solving. I often don’t see barriers, but opportunities. I try to remember that problems are created; they just don’t appear without cause. This gives me the hope needed to move forward because we can design to achieve our vision. I’m also motivated by change. I thrive in ever-evolving environments with shifting elements and priorities. I’m not sure we ever know how strong, resilient and courageous we truly are until we’re forced to adapt.
And lastly, this is my school. I’m proud to be an alumna of UNC-Chapel Hill, and I have a personal responsibility to help make our campus the best that it can possibly be.