Campus News

Degrees of success: Academic advisor stays involved, starts scholarship

Katherine Adams-10-12-2009
Katherine Adams says supportive family and friends are key to her success. “I can work an eight-hour day

Degrees of success: Academic advisor stays involved, starts scholarship

Katherine Adams spends her days in Tucker Hall as an academic advisor for the School of Social Work. She lends an ear to graduate students and helps faculty advise social work students. After work, she coaches her son’s soccer team, takes doctoral classes and still makes the time to hang out with friends downtown.

An extrovert who likes to stay busy, she’s working on her third degree from UGA and has served as the program coordinator in the social work school since a month after earning her psychology degree in 2005.

She wasn’t sure someone fresh out of college could get a UGA job. But her meticulous organizational skills impressed her soon-to-be boss.

“I got the job because in the interview I said that I color code paper clips. I’m incredibly organized,” she said, laughing.

Now she works with the 315 social work graduate students at the Athens and Gwinnett campuses. She handles orientation, registration and students taking classes outside of the department.

“I like our students a lot. They’re my favorite thing about this job,” she said. “This summer when I took the summer off of school, I had students in Namibia, South Korea, Ghana, Honduras,” she said. “I’m getting a tan, and they’re out there saving the world.”

Adams, along with Susan Waltman, a social work alumna and member of the Board of Trustees for the Arch Foundation for the University of Georgia, helped to establish a scholarship for master’s students specializing in mental health issues. The Mary Jane Coberth Scholarship was set up in honor of Adams’ mother who committed suicide 2½ years ago.

“When this happened to my mom, I couldn’t be involved,” Adams said. “Usually I’m really involved. If someone in my life was touched by cancer, I went crazy for Relay for Life. When my son was in the hospital, I was involved with UGA Miracle. But every year when we give this award out, I feel like I’ve done a little more for my mom.”

For the past seven years, Adams has been involved with UGA Miracle, a student philanthropic organization that raises money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a hospital in the Children’s Miracle Network. She met the group, best known for its annual dance marathon, when she was an undergraduate at UGA and her son was having his fourth surgery.

Born with his intestines outside of his body, Seth, now 10, became the poster child of UGA Miracle, and a bit of a local celebrity. To this day, the students remain involved with her family.

Adams said that she has great friends, and that the secret to balancing, family, work, school and a social life is a great support system. (And getting up early to study on Saturdays). Her husband, Chad, helps with Seth and cooking, gives her time to study, and has been a constant support her through years of schoolwork.

She’s been taking classes at UGA almost nonstop since 2002. She has about three years left before she gets her Ph.D. in adult education and becomes Dr. Adams. She says that when she finishes her Ph.D. that she will (finally) be done with school.

So what will she do then?

“I want to pack my family up and take a vacation—a really long one,” she said.


Katherine Rose Adams
Academic Advisor II

School of Social Work

B.S., Psychology, UGA, 2005

M.Ed., Human Resources and Organizational Development, UGA, 2007

At UGA: 4 years