Campus News

Campus Closeup: Kathy Wilson

A UGA employee for 14 years

Academic Adviser
Insurance, Legal Studies and Real Estate
Terry College of Business

JOB DESCRIPTION: “I advise real estate and insurance and risk management majors, but it’s not just your typical academic advising. It’s talking about the big picture. I try to spend as much time as I can with my students, and I feel like they know they can just stop by any time. I have an open-door policy, so I spend a lot of time just talking with them-getting to know the students is an important part of being an adviser. I have more than 350 students, so it’s not an easy task, but I encourage them to come by so that I can get to know something about them personally, as well as academically. We can celebrate the victories together and I can also be a shoulder to cry on when times aren’t so good.”


A TYPICAL DAY: “I don’t know that you could use the word typical because it changes every day. During the ­advising period, I have about 10 appointments a day with my students. We work on their schedules, talk about internships, jobs, interviews and anything else they want to discuss. Other times, it is whatever comes up that needs to be done.”

MOST REWARDING PART OF MY JOB: “By far, my students. They’re amazing, every one of them. It’s very exciting to be a part of their college careers. Also, I am part of a tremendous college and department. Dr. Rob Hoyt, the department head, is an amazing person to work for and with, as well as the faculty in this department. The Terry College of Business is a wonderful environment and one I am very happy to be a part of.

“I was recently honored by receiving the campus-wide 2003-04 Outstanding Academic Adviser/Mentor Award.

“My students, who wrote the most remarkable nomination letters, bowled me over. It meant the world to me that they would take the time and effort to do that.

“I found out about the award a couple of weeks ago, and that I also will be nominated for a national award through the National Academic Advising Association.”

PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCES: “I have been with UGA for almost 14 years. I started out with undergraduate ­admissions, and then was an adviser in the College of Education and University Studies.

“Prior to working for UGA, I lived in Washington, D.C., and worked as the human resources director for the lobbying office of a major insurance company.”

IF I WASN’T DOING THIS JOB, I WOULD MOST LIKE TO: “Be a professional golfer. It’s not that I’m that good of a golfer, but my father encouraged me to learn to play golf when I was a teenager, at a time when there were not a lot of sports opportunities for girls, and I have always loved it. I think it would be so much fun to travel and play golf at the same time.”

OFF-THE-JOB INTERESTS: “I love to read, play golf, work in the yard and be outside. I like to watch sports: tennis, golf, college football, baseball and, of course, any UGA sports.

“I’m also a crossword puzzle ­fanatic. I got hooked on them when I lived in Washington. I would wake up by doing the crossword puzzle in the Washington Post every morning.”

A BOOK I WOULD RECOMMEND TO OTHERS: Death of a President by ­William Manchester, which is about the assassination of President Kennedy. It was fascinating to read about the details and the events ­leading up to it and immediately ­afterwards.”

THE PERSON I MOST ADMIRE: “My mother, Freda Townsend, because she’s an amazing person. Just to give you an example, in the span of about 15 months she lost her husband, her mother and her pet-and she successfully battled breast cancer. She had the most amazing attitude, courage and strength, and to this day, I am in awe that she got through it all the way she did with such dignity and grace. She’s always had an optimistic outlook on everything, and strength of character that’s unbelievable. She’s never been a judgmental mother; she’s just always been supportive, no matter what, and she’s my best friend. That’s been the greatest source of strength in my life.”

THE ISSUE THAT CONCERNS ME MOST ABOUT TODAY’S WORLD: “Violence and crime-especially against children.

“I was lucky to grow up in a time when you didn’t have to lock your house or your car, and all the neighborhood kids would spill out into the street and play together.

“My parents didn’t have to worry about the fact that we were outside by ourselves. I think it’s tragic now that we don’t have those kinds of freedoms.”