As an academic advisor, LouAnna Eichrodt helps students—specifically international students—navigate the waters at Kelley. Next year, she’ll be experiencing Kelley from a whole new angle: as a Kelley parent.
Q: You’ve been working with international students since you were an engineering advisor – what do you like about this role at Kelley?
LouAnna: I like that a part of my job here at Kelley is dedicated to helping this population. I get to be these students’ translator to the American education system. They typically need additional support because everything is new to them, and many are challenged by not having a support network here. I like being their liaison. Growing up, we had a foreign exchange student live with us for a while so I had experience with someone coming in new to our system. I’ve always been interested in international people, and I love to travel, so now I get to help play a role in international education.
Q: What do you enjoy about advising?
LouAnna: I feel like I’m an advisor even when I’m not at work. I tend to be that person others bounce their ideas off of and I offer feedback. I’m also the one at restaurants asking the wait staff about their work, and if they tell me they’re in school, I ask all about their program and often give my business card out at dinners to be a contact for them and connect them with others. I just enjoy being along the journey with a student, and education is very important to me.
Q: Why do you find education so valuable?
LouAnna: I was raised in a very poor household and I was a first-generation college student. My parents were supportive but let me know early on that the only way I could go to college was if did really well in school and earned scholarships. Challenge accepted. I worked very hard and earned a scholarship to Franklin College. I not only earned a bachelor’s degree, but am also the only one in my family to have a master’s degree. I’ve instilled that same desire for education in my 17 year-old daughter.