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John Raines

Academic advisor
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

John Raines is a transfer specialist in academic advising for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, where he has the opportunity to meet with prospective transfer students, plan schedules, plan for transfer orientation and workshops, and coordinate the work of military personnel transferring to college. He is also a member of the Auburn DegreeWorks committee, which is a new program providing a comprehensive set of web-based academic advising, degree audit and course planning tools for students and their advisors in determining curriculum requirements. Raines is an Auburn alumnus who earned both his bachelor of secondary education in 1977 and his master of education in 2005. He began working in Auburn's Office of the Registrar in 1998, before joining the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering in 2002. In his spare time, Raines enjoys golfing, cooking and canoeing. He and his wife Kim will celebrate their 29th anniversary this year.

1. What led you to Auburn and academic advising?

I worked for Delta Airlines and took an "early-out" after 20 years. My wife and I had always wanted to return to Auburn (she is an alum, as well) and one day we just decided to do so. I began working part-time in the Office of the Registrar not long after our return and soon found that I really enjoyed working with students and being on campus. I pursued an advisor opening in Engineering and was fortunate to be hired in January of 2002.

2. What do you enjoy most about your work with students?

Working with engineering students is a pleasure. I'm constantly reminded that these students are smart, focused and genuinely interesting people. Being in an advisory role, I get to spend time getting to know students and I can say I am confident that our future is in good hands. I remember being an undergrad and I remember faculty and staff who were helpful. I try to be helpful and to be an advocate for our students, just as so many were for me.

3. What is Auburn DegreeWorks and how do you think it will benefit Auburn students?

Auburn DegreeWorks is our new automated graduation check-out system. It is a powerful software package that will allow our students to take more control of their degree planning and keep them more easily informed about academic progress. Students will have 24/7 access to information that could only be had from an advisor before. A very interesting feature is the "What If" scenario. Using this, a student can see where he or she would stand in a new curriculum if a different major was pursued.

4. As an advisor, how do you think the program will help you do your job more effectively?

Auburn DegreeWorks should help advisors to be more efficient! I think that this program will help lessen the amount of clerical, paperwork duties that have grown to occupy so much of our time and allow us to use that time actually speaking with students. Auburn DegreeWorks will not replace advisors. It does nothing that we don't already do; it just does it more efficiently.

5. What one piece of advice would you give to current Auburn students?

The one piece of advice I have for all Auburn students is to get involved. Opportunities that you don't even know are there will open to those who get involved. Good examples include, but are certainly not limited to, co-op, study abroad, undergraduate research, professional organizations and Engineering's racing teams.

Sept. 4, 2012