New Year, New Faces: Meet Traci Howard Moore, the Director of Student Success and Transitions

New+Year%2C+New+Faces%3A+Meet+Traci+Howard+Moore%2C+the+Director+of+Student+Success+and+Transitions

Aguiele Ndoungla, Writer and Photographer

Since last Spring, Austin College has undergone changes on different levels, from renovating the cafeteria to hiring new staff and faculty members. Regarding the new joiners,  Austin College welcomes Traci Howard Moore who holds the position of Director of Student Success and Transitions. As the director of Student Success and Transitions, Moore connects students with the main resources available which are intended to multiply their chances at academic success. She does that by working closely with the student and other service departments at Austin College such as the Academic Skills Center.

Moore says a professor or a mentor usually reaches out to her about a particular student, before she proceeds to contact their mentor and the student to assess how he/she can be helped effectively. “This position is really more around helping the student find success at Austin College,” she said. Moore does not only work with students experiencing some kind of academic fallback, but also with transfer and first-generation students whose shoes she used to be in.

Something worth noting about her is the passion she has for her job, which comes from her experience at college. Indeed, Moore is a first-generation student, but her academic path did not equate straight line. Her first year of attending college, she struggled with focusing on her education due to a lack of study skills and a desire to socially fit in a new and unknown world. This resulted in her failing her freshman year. After that experience, she realized she did not want any other students to go through the same. Hence her decision to go into the educational field. When asked about what skills she believed were key to her role, she stressed on the importance of being resourceful while listening and understanding the other and accepting each student has a different life experiences, despite any existing similarities.

One aspect Moore appreciates about working at Austin College, is a good balance between her work satisfaction and her passion, which are both valuable to her. Indeed, one of the main reasons Austin College interested Moore was its small size which allows her to connect easily with students and have a more meaningful and faster impact on them. In addition, since she moved in Texas from California, she heard good feedback about the AC community. “I just love the idea of being at a small liberal arts college. There is obviously much value for students to be in an environment like this, but faculty and staff also find great value this environment as well. The ability to easily connect to students in a supportive environment is crucial to the work that I do,” she emphasizes.

Regarding advice for students interested in her kind of work, she encourages them to be open, “always leave room for understanding the student’s perspective,” consider pursuing an advanced degree in Higher Education and always be open to learning about a wide range of areas within Higher Education.

Moore’s role at Austin College is definitely valuable to members of the student body and faculty  who are encouraged to reach out to her any time, even for a courtesy coffee chat. Her office is in Idea Center 220 and one can schedule meetings with her using this link: https://calendly.com/thowardmoore-studentsuccess

Moreover, a Student Success web page will be available soon!