A student advisor from Fulton-Montgomery Community College received the Chancellor’s award for excellence in professional service, the State University of New York announced Thursday.
Christie Davis has been working for the college since 2008, but more recently has focused on helping veteran, military and early admission students navigate the sometimes complicated world of credits and college classes.
“Christie is always quick on her feet, with sensible reactions in all circumstances,” said Mary-Jo Ferrauilo-Davis, director of advisement. “She always positions her decisions on what is best for our students.”
FMCC, like many community colleges, attracts students from all age groups and walks of life. On top of her job description of guiding students to sign up for classes and plan their education, Davis helps with several student clubs and worked to create a veteran’s lounge for the veterans and military students at FMCC.
“We worked with our administration to get a veteran study lounge, so they were able to have their own space where they can hold their club meetings, they can study, they have their own computers,” Davis said. “We did a lot of research that showed how these private spaces for veterans or students in the military help them create a bond with each other that would help them stay in school.”
An Amsterdam native, Davis currently lives in the town of Benson with her husband of three years. After earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations from SUNY Oswego, she worked for Fulton-Montgomery Workforce Solutions directing job seekers into employment and college.
Coming to FMCC, she said she found a tight-knit community of staff, advisors, and students.
“I have more friends at work than I have outside of work. We have good bonds. It’s a very good team.”
Staying at home has been difficult for the students she advises, and Davis has had to trade in-person advisement meetings for phone or video calls with students.
Some of the students she works with have had particular difficulty with that online transition, like one older student who withdrew this semester because she struggled with online learning.
“That’s what I think is the frustrating part about this — being in the middle of a semester, having a student doing very well, then there’s not much you can do about it,” Davis said.
Davis said she thinks her attitude is what helps her in her advisement work.
“I think I am a positive person,” Davis said. “I hope they get the feeling that I really am here to help them and they’re not ever going to bother me by asking more questions or coming by my office to say hello, or calling me if they think they have a dumb question.”