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Krysta Diehl

Academic advisor
College of Sciences and Mathematics

Krysta Diehl has worked as an advisor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics since 2006. A native of Plant City, Fla., Diehl received her bachelor's degree in education from the University of South Florida. After teaching in Florida schools, Diehl moved to LaGrange, Ga., and commuted to complete her master's degree in counseling at Columbus State University. While studying at CSU, she also worked as an intern in the CSU Counseling Center where she discovered her passion for working with college students. Diehl recently won a national Outstanding Advising Award - Primary Advising role from the National Academic Advising Association, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students. Diehl also was selected by Auburn's Office of the Provost to receive the inaugural Auburn University Outstanding Advising Award - Advisor Category, an honor which recognized Diehl for her outstanding academic advising of COSAM students. Diehl and her husband of 33 years, John, have three sons and six grandchildren.

1. What motivated you to get a master's degree in counseling?

My undergraduate degree was in education and I had taught school for a number of years. I liked the art of teaching, but I wasn't fond of classroom management. Teaching let me connect and breakdown information into relevant pieces but I really wanted a job which allowed me to relate one-on-one. For me, a degree in counseling was the answer. I learned what it meant to listen, and my internship in a college counseling center for a year helped me realize how to work with college students. In 2005, I reconnected with Ruth Ann Fite, who was an advisor in COSAM, at an Auburn football game, and when she told me about what she was doing I knew that advising was what I wanted to do when I completed my master's degree in counseling.

2. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Simply put, I love my job as an advisor! Advising allows me to use the skills I learned in teaching and counseling, plus it gives me the opportunity to work with college students. It is very rewarding to watch students progress and mature from freshmen to seniors. I spend my work week with students, but I also spend some of my off time with them through our church college ministry Generations Family and through discipleship. My husband and I have also gotten to know three Chinese graduate students through Friends of Internationals which is an amazing opportunity to share our culture and home with some young people who are studying at Auburn and a long way from home.

3. What are the common misconceptions about student advisors?

Some students think that advisors should tell them what to do. In COSAM, we tell students that we see ourselves as guides who can enable them to make informed and rational choices. Our focus is teaching students how to choose the best thing to do, often from many attractive choices. We will always supply students with lots of help, but we feel like equipping them with some great life skills is much more important than just supplying answers. My advice to students is that they get to know their advisors and teachers. Both can be very valuable resources.

4. What was your first reaction when you found out you would be receiving the Outstanding Advising Award?

Disbelief! Beth Yarbrough is my supervisor and the director for student services in COSAM. As soon as I got to work that day she asked me if I had checked my email yet. Since I hadn't, she was pretty much jumping up and down as she told me that I had received the award. Beth put together the nomination package which was lots of extra work. That's an example of the great and supportive people I work with in COSAM. I feel humbled, excited and very encouraged to have received this award. I'm very thankful to Dr. Boosinger and the Office of the Provost for supporting academic advisors and providing advisor recognition. I'm very optimistic it will continue.

5. What is your favorite thing about Auburn?

Growing up in Florida with a dad who was a University of Florida graduate, I was raised a Gator fan. I loved the traditions and enthusiasm of the Florida fans, but I am proud to say that I am now a devoted and enthusiastic Auburn fan. I even cheered for Auburn in the pouring rain when they played Florida in 2006. Auburn is a wonderful and welcoming place to live and work, and my husband and I plan to retire here.

July 29, 2013