Taking on new challenges

For the most part, an adviser’s central task is to ensure that a student meets all the necessary requirements in order to graduate. But, for Louie Bottaro, advising means much more.

Advisor Louie Bottaro thinks mentoring is not just about graduation requirements, but how to get students where they want to go. Student Neha George realized that meant switching majors. (photo: Jim Folts)

Advisor Louie Bottaro thinks mentoring is not just about graduation requirements, but how to get students where they want to go. Student Neha George realized that meant switching majors. (photo: Jim Folts)

“I want to talk about your life and help you figure out how to get to where you want to go,” he says.

For Neha George, getting there meant making a major switch from biochemistry and biophysics to political science. George felt that by migrating to the College of Liberal Arts, she would be challenging herself.

After taking an international relations course, George discovered a new perspective through which she could view the globe and learned, in part, “what it means to be a citizen of the world,” she says.

“Making the move to the College of Liberal Arts has been a humbling experience.” George says. “Not only did it get me out of labs, but I’ve found that political science helps you to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you.”

Especially motivated by the status of women in varying regions around the globe, George has found a position that not only matches her course of study but also her central interests within political science by working at the Women’s Center on campus as an outreach and activism coordinator.

Bottaro has also challenged her, providing advice on potential internships and, as graduation approached, her job search.

“I definitely seek his opinion on what I can excel in or what not might be a good fit for me,” George says. “I value his ability to not just relate, but his willingness to speak his mind.”

~ Tara Pistorese

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