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Ryan Plis

Department/Unit: Newnan LSA Advising

Working Title: Academic Advisor / Counselor

Let's get to know Ryan...

How long have you been with the university, and how long in your current position?

I’ve been at U-M a little over two years, and in my current position the whole time.

What has been your most memorable experience at U-M?

I think some of the most memorable experiences I've had at U-M have been working with new, incoming students during first-year orientation. I love the excitement the students bring—they are brimming with possibilities and potential—and the energy is palpable. It's very rewarding to help them start to feel at home on campus during this time of big changes in their lives.

What gives you a connection to your job and helps you define your purpose?

One of my favorite points of connection to my job is the work I get to do with our Assessment Team. We look at data and surveys related to our work in advising and some of our outreach activities. I love the opportunity to look at the big picture of our impact on students, as well as to "nerd out" and use some of the skills in quantitative and qualitative research that I honed during my PhD work.

What motivates and energizes you at work?

The opportunities to help students make decisions is a huge motivator for me. The college years are times of great opportunity, but also the first moments when students make long-term and often quite meaningful decisions for themselves. Being there to guide and reassure them, and ask them questions about why they're doing what they're doing, is very rewarding for me.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the university?

Get to know as many people who work at U-M as you can. I'm always surprised by how smart, interesting, and creative my co-workers are, and many of us have taken very circuitous paths to get where we are.

If you had a spontaneous day off, what would you do?

As boring as it sounds, I would probably spend most of the day reading a book and maybe trying to surprise my wife at work to go get lunch.