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The 92 Report

Oct 30, 2023

Show Notes:

Amelia Noel-Elkins, a graduate of Harvard, shares her journey since graduating from the university. She began her career in intercollegiate athletics after graduating and worked as the manager of the men's swim team and an internship in the athletic department, and she was convinced this was the path she wanted to follow.  After moving back to Indiana, she was accepted into an internship, and she started a master's program at Indiana University, where she also worked in the academic advising office in the athletic department. She eventually became a full-time academic advisor and was promoted to the role of associate director. 

 After finishing her PhD at Indiana, and started the position as an Associate Director, one of her basketball players set her up with his professor. They met at a bar in Bloomington, Indiana, where her parents had met. They married and  moved to Illinois where Amelia took a position as Director of University College. She talks about what was involved with this role. 

 After 15 years, she was promoted to Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Success at Illinois State. Most recently, she started as the Associate Provost at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Amelia believes in fate and believes in  following signs and signals that guide you through life. She has two children, one starting college and another junior. Amelia talks about academic advising and how she was focused on athletic advising. She talks about the friendships formed and helping students with individual courses, tutoring, time management, mentoring and working with students over the course of several years.  

 Amelia discusses the challenges of managing the workload and balancing the demands of athletics and academics. She explains the demands of Division One athletics and offers examples of challenges faced. An example of a player student that Amelia worked with was a baseball player who faced constant travel and strict attendance requirements. Athletes especially find it difficult to manage traveling during the school year, and combining academic studies with athletic demands. She helped them plan their schedules, ensuring they could take courses at another institution or time and transfer them back to finish their degree. Amelia also discusses the importance of setting up students for success in the long term, especially during championship sports. Many of her soccer and basketball players went pro, and she helped them manage their identities as athletes while focusing on their career. She explains that a typical week for a division one athlete involves choosing classes carefully, with many morning classes and afternoon practices. However, smaller schools may have limited facilities and practice facilities, making it more challenging to manage time.

Amelia also discusses the differences between student athletes and general population students in terms of time management and self-management. She believes that students from the general population school experience includes extracurricular activities, such as student government, orientation, jobs, or research labs. 

Overall, the advising profession in higher education is a complex and multifaceted field that requires a deep understanding of the students and their needs.

Amelia has a passion for athletics management, having worked with the men's swim team and gaining an internship in the athletic department. She believes that if student athletes have people who are committed to helping them be students and athletes, there is the capacity for them to succeed. She sees this happening at Harvard, Indiana, and Illinois State, but not as much at School of the Art Institute where they don’t have a collegiate athletics program. 

Amelia also shares her favorite theory in student development, the challenge and support theory. This theory suggests that students need both challenge and support to overcome challenges and grow. Some students need more support at the beginning, while others need less. In conclusion, Amelia emphasizes the importance of providing students with the necessary support and challenge to succeed in their academic pursuits. By advising students on time management and promoting a love for their studies, they can achieve success in their future careers.

 An Academic Advisor’s Advice 

The challenge and support model is essential for students to perform optimally in their academic pursuits. It is crucial to provide both leeway and support, which can be beneficial for both students and adults. One tip for young people struggling with study tips is to go to office hours and consult professors for guidance. In the world of electronic gadgets and apps, Amelia stresses the importance of time management. It is important to remember the basics of plotting all tasks and print out a weekly schedule. This helps students plot their classes, jobs, and eating habits, etc. 

Amelia states that the political landscape has a significant impact on higher education, particularly in the field of College Student Personnel Administration. Many professionals in this field work with students on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. Recent Supreme Court decisions and subsequent issues are expected to have a significant impact on how college personnel operate. Amelia’s perspective on the coddling of the American mind is complicated, as it is more complex than often described. She believes significant mental health issues need to be addressed. In higher education, providing mental health support is not coddling them, but rather a medical issue. 

 Amelia's current role involves working behind the scenes on curricular issues that she didn't normally have the ability to work on in her previous job. At the School of the Art Institute, which has a high rate of students seeking a creative outlet for their creativity, it can be difficult to help identify which courses students’ actually need. She mentions a project she recently completed to help the programs work more effectively. The challenge and support model is crucial for students to perform optimally in their academic pursuits. By focusing on the basics and addressing the complex issues faced by students, institutions can better support and help students navigate the challenges they face.


Amelia talks about her experiences with professors and courses that have resonated with her personally and professionally. She mentions History Professor Mark Kishlansky, who was her shadow advisor for her thesis. Kishlansky was known for his expertise in Early Modern English history which Amelia loved. 

After graduation, she continued working part-time for the library while she was there, which was a fun post-college job. She enjoyed not only getting books but also having conversations with the people who were working there. In summary, Amelia's experiences with professors and professors during her college years have been invaluable in her personal and professional growth, and her experiences at Widener Library and her work at the library have left a lasting impact on her life and career.



01:30 Career path and life journey after graduating from Harvard

05:29 Academic advising in higher education

09:45 Balancing athletics and academics for college athletes

13:47 Managing time and balancing athletics and academics in college

19:34 Time management tips for college students

24:01 Mental health, and higher education challenges

28:54 College courses and professors' impact

33:16 Bear and bull baiting sporting laws





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