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Newsletter Archives

The Transfer Times – May 2023

Transfer Student Spotlight

Iva Millsap

My name is Iva Millsap, my future goals are to be a librarian and eventually come out with some writing to align with my Creative Writing degree. Since I’m taking online classes with my degree, I feel the classes are more involved at a higher level, and I’m learning more about what Texas Tech has to offer.

My transfer process from ACC to Texas Tech went rather smoothly, and I don’t recall having that many questions about it. One piece of advice is to take advantage of the in-person workshop Texas Tech hosts. I went to that, and you can fill out your application right then and there! You want to start as early as you can on the transfer process and not wait until the last minute. Also, talk to your advisor and someone in Transfer Services who can help you start the initial process and what you need to do to get there. 

Staff Spotlight

Hiram Vela

Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about? Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Caitlin, and our cat, Lizzy. I love traveling, doing stay-cations, watching professional wrestling, and playing music with my band, Ram Vela & the Easy Targets. 

What inspired you to work with transfer students at ACC, and how long have you been in this role? I’ve been in this role with the college since January of 2020. Originally, my background was in Career Services, assisting students with their resumes, career exploration and interview preparation. Along this journey, I have transitioned fully to a Transfer Specialist where I have assisted well over 500 students with their transfer goals.

Can you share a success story of a student who you helped transfer to their dream school? There have been a few, but one that comes to mind was a non-traditional student who wanted to pursue a Bachelor’s in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. She had immigrated to Austin from Mexico and was heavily involved with the local school district. In our meetings, we worked very hard on her application, essays, academic resume, and letters of recommendation. Despite not having many extracurricular activities and/or community service experience, she still was accepted to her dream school. 

How do you stay motivated and engaged in your work, and what keeps you coming back each day? I genuinely LOVE what I do and am very lucky to call ACC Transfer Services home. For one, I try to stay as proactive as possible, reaching back out to students who needed extra assistance on their transfer plans or work on projects outside of student appointments. What I think ultimately motivates me is knowing that the students got something beneficial out of our meetings and seeing them use the tools necessary to be successful both academically and professionally.

What is one thing that you wish every student knew about the transfer process, and how they can best prepare themselves for success? It is never too early to start planning to transfer to a 4-year institution. Students can plan ahead by researching the transfer admissions process for their school and understanding how and if it will work for them. Of course, life is always a factor, so I try to help them understand that if now is not the right time, they can always choose to come back and transfer at a later date. 

Victor Gonzalez

What inspired you to work with transfer students at ACC? I’ve worked in other student services roles in the past (primarily admissions, registrar, and financial aid) and this seemed like another role where I could keep developing my understanding and skill set as it pertains to trying to help students have the best possible experience while attending college/university.    

Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about? I am a pretty active person outside of work. I am a pretty consistent runner (long distances). I try to read at least one book per month and try to watch one new movie a week. I love going to concerts. I am a real nerd about wine and strangely enough fragrances (colognes/perfumes). 

What challenges have you faced in your role, and how have you overcome them? For me the biggest challenge of this position has been trying to assist students who may have made an appointment very close to the application and need assistance with multiple application materials (resume, essays, etc.). It is difficult to not try and help a student as much as you can but feel restricted due to just how busy the time period before deadlines can be.

How do you stay motivated and engaged in your work, and what keeps you coming back each day? It is exciting to speak with students for the first time just because I empathize fairly easily and understand I may be the first person who has ever discussed transferring with them at an individual level. I really enjoy reducing uncertainty for students and find it rewarding when they let me help demystify the transfer process.

What do you enjoy most about working in transfer services, and how do you measure your success in helping students achieve their goals? It is pretty straightforward when I think of measuring success and that usually just comes from whether students were able to transfer out of ACC successfully. Even if students aren’t admitted to their preferred institution, if they do move on to a university I think that is essentially helping them reach their goal of achieving a bachelor’s degree. Except for very specific industries and types of training I tend to dismiss the idea that graduating from a specific institution is what unlocks a career. So the idea that a student who spoke to me was interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree got to any institution that awards them represents success.

Do you have any advice for students intending to transfer? Students should start early. They should begin planning from their very first semester after they have had time to get adjusted to ACC. And also make an appointment with one of the specialists! 

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