Student Spotlights

Craig M. McGillCraig M. McGill

Doctoral student in Adult Education and Human Resource Development Program

Graduate certificate in Women's Studies

Academic advisor for the Department of English



After earning his first Master's degree in Music Theory, Craig decided that teaching was not how he wanted to spend the rest of his professional life. Instead, Craig chose to pursue a second Master's degree in Academic Advising, a move that culminated in a chance encounter with FIU's academic advising initiatives. The visit inspired him to make the move from Nebraska to FIU, first as an academic advisor in 2012, and later as a doctoral student in 2013. Today, Craig's personal, academic, and professional lives have converged with one purpose – to redefine the role of academic advisors. Learn about Craig's journey in the video below:

"I wanted to investigate academic advising, and what hasn't been looked at are the academic advisors themselves, how they learn, and their professional identity."

Craig's holistic view of academic advising extends beyond navigating the degree audit and encourages the advisors to have a deeper involvement in student success. As a practitioner he also incorporates diverse research on transfer student experience and retention, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender identity construction and maintenance, ally development and advocacy and the Broadway musical, and other topics.

"It's not always your professors who are the ones teaching you; It's your peers."

Never shying away from opportunities, Craig managed to further his multidisciplinary learning experience in 2013 after joining the nationally recognized Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE). AGILE was created to enhance the graduate learning experience through interpersonal, intrapersonal, and cognitive activities. Since joining AGILE's first cohort of doctoral students, Craig has networked with a diverse group of doctoral students, and engaged in a variety of leadership and service activities outside of his field. As a former collegiate debater he's also learned that there is always room for improvement even as an experienced communicator. Watch how AGILE has contributed to Craig's professional growth and development below:

"From kindergarten until now, one semester is probably all I've taken off. I love learning. Even when I graduate I'll still think of ways to keep learning…and it always comes back to writing and publishing."

Craig remains an active leader in the fields of adult education and academic advising, earning the distinction of being one of ten in the US to be inducted into the National Academic Advising Association's (NACADA) 2013 Emerging Leader's Program. As Craig continues to explore relevant topics such as appreciative and faculty advising in his research, a quote hanging from his office wall serves as a constant reminder of the changing role advisors play in the lives of students: "My job is not to help you figure out what classes to take. My job is to figure out how you want to live your life."

For more information on AGILE click here.


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