Academic Advising Center: Craig Skinner

Please tell us about yourself and your background.  I am an undergraduate advisor here at Webster. I’m originally from Chicago, but have been in South City STL for about eight years now.  My wife and I are the happy wranglers of three crazy dogs; two puppy mini-poodles and a senior basset hound.  I started advising undergraduates right out of grad school in Chicago, and have been loving the ride ever since.  I have a B.A. and M.A. in English/Literature from DePaul University in Chicago and a M.S.Ed. from SIU-Edwardsville.

What do you do in your free time?  I love to cook, collect cookbooks, garden with my wife, take hikes, swim any time I can, collect (X-Men) comic books, read anything and everything (especially books about food culture/history and gastronomy in general), play and listen to music, and try new cuisines.

How long have you been with Webster?  Two years in January 2019.

How do you help Webster University Online students? I assist online students with their advising needs.  I help introduce them to our program options and show them how to use tools to learn more about our offerings, find and register for classes, immerse themselves in their student experience, and remain a resource for them from admission to graduation.

What are some of our students’ frequently asked questions? Question: “Are online courses easy?”  Answer: No. 🙂 I let students know that, while they don’t meet in a classroom, online classes are not easy.  You have to be driven, mature, organized, self-starting, and you need to be able to take action for and advocate for your own needs.

What part of your job is the most satisfying?  Seeing a student who struggled at first but is now thriving.

Do you have any advice for students?  Don’t be afraid to explore new areas of study.  If you love it, great – you just found a potential new major, or minor!  If you don’t, take something else next time and learn from the experience.

What’s your favorite part of Webster University?  The students at Webster are excellent – they certainly teach me more than I teach them!  In my experience, Gorloks are welcoming and open, and I love that spirit about us.