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Meet Nathanial Garrod, Student Success and Retention Coordinator
Meet Nathanial Garrod, Student Success and Retention Coordinator

What brought you to PSU and how long have you been a SBA advisor?

I moved to Portland after I finished my graduate degree – I wanted to be back on the West Coast, and the many of the values of Portland as a city (being environmentally friendly, good food, public transportation, lots of space for bicycles and so on) are congruent with many of my own values.

Where did you attend college and what did you study?

I went to Sonoma State University for a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing), about an hour north of San Francisco in Northern California. Then I drove halfway across the country to earn my Master of Science in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in College Student Development at Oklahoma State University.

What's your favorite thing about PSU's School of Business?

Two favorites: I think the creativity and passion of students in the SBA is absolutely incredible, but I also love that being centrally located in downtown Portland there are so many opportunities right at our doorstep. It is so incredible to see students take part in being part of a healthy, vibrant city and helping grow it in a positive direction.

What’s your best advice for students to make the most of their SBA student experience?

Students should definitely meet with and get to know their advisor. We are passionate about helping students navigate through to eventually complete this large professional and life goal. I would also recommend students to get to know their professors, especially in their field of study. Professors can be great mentors and give professional advice that can't be found elsewhere.

Student Success and Retention Coordinator? What does that mean?

I am responsible for advising programs and services for students in their freshman year. I want to make sure your transition to the School of Business Administration at PSU from your high school is smooth. I run the Peer Mentor program (currently just for Freshmen, hoping to expand to Transfer Students soon) and plan workshops and events for all students. These events include the SBA Welcome Week and SBA Community Mixer every term. I also coordinate with the advisors for outreach to all freshmen before and after registration day, to make sure you have all the answers to your questions!

What do you like to do when you’re not advising students?

I run a lot (upwards from 4-6 miles at least two or three times a week), read (novels, academic writing, literary journals and comics mostly), and travel a bit (for races, ComicCons, and to visit friends).

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Make an appointment with your academic advisor at least once every other term. You will need to reserve a time a few weeks in advance. Be sure you are on track to graduate and learn about academic opportunities you may not have considered. Students who meet regularly with advisors are more likely to graduate on time and avoid problems with course availability.

Stop by the Undergraduate Programs Office at Room 240 or call 503-725-3712 to make an appointment.

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