Employee of the Month
Position: Academic Advisor
Years of Service: 5
Recommendation: "Kristen is dedicated to working with individual students to effectively provide guidance as they determine their educational goals. She displays care and empathy as she advises them along their chosen path. It is evident when interacting with Kristen that she is invested in student success. She demonstrates compassion and respect for students from diverse backgrounds. Kristen is dedicated to working with colleagues from various areas of the college to improve processes that support the infrastructure of COM. She contributes meaningful feedback and insight into how processes currently work and ways to refine them. In addition to her work within advising, Kristen participates in campus committees and is always happy to offer support wherever is needed. Her patience and friendly demeanor are inspiring."
Helping students get on the right track with a degree plan, recommending campus workshops and giving presentations in classrooms, Kristen Hatfield wears many hats.
“My role is to find a way to help students be successful,” said Kristen. “We’re very proactive, and I try to get to know my students as best as I can. The goal of the first advising session is to help them feel welcomed and establish that rapport so they have someone they can come back to.”
During peak times, advisors may meet with more than 100 students each week.
“We see a wide range of returning students, transferring students and new students,” said Kristen. “I like serving the students who think they can’t get a degree. They finish the first semester and are successful, and they see they can do more. I like encouraging them to go further.”
Giving students tool on studying, note taking and time management, Kristen helps students succeed in class and in life.
“Kristen has a passion for her job and truly coaches each and every student she works with. She takes pride in maintaining productive and positive relationships with students, faculty and staff alike,” said Michelle Valdes, director of Student Success Center. “Kristen brings great energy, humor and dedication to the office.”
A COM and UHCL alum, Kristen can relate to students.
“I was a single mom going through school. Sometimes I tell them, ‘I know it’s tough. You can do it,’” said Kristen.
“My favorite part is when you’ve worked with a student from start to finish and they come to apply for graduation. I do establish rapport with students. To see them make it to their end goal is the best part of my role.”