Stephanie Hands biography

Stephanie Hands is the Director of Advising for the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Stephanie is responsible for all advising functions within the college. This includes benchmarking and data collection, staff hiring and training, student transition and completion, structure and policy reform, and communication within the college and with other stakeholders in the academic community.

Stephanie has worked in advisement since the day she started at UNM, as a student, in 1989. She began in University College Advisement Center (UCAC) as a freshmen work-study.  She was the first peer advisor in that office and continued with UCAC Advisement after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, initially as Administrative Support, then as an Advisor, and lastly as the Supervisor.  She led the advisement unit for approximately five years.  It was in UCAC that she honed her ability to effectively address the needs of students in one of the most critical and fast-paced student support units on campus.

Her extensive tenure with Arts & Sciences (13 years) positioned her as a key contributor to the greater UNM strategic plan for student success. She developed a proposal with three UNM colleagues that was approved by the Provost for a Provost’s Committee for Advisement (PCA), a campus-wide advisement committee that provides coherence to UNM advising through unified training, professional development, and collaborative initiatives and programming informed by best practices. She was appointed one of the Coordinators of the PCA, and still holds that role to date. As a Coordinator she has been able to provide guidance and insight into overarching advising goals, and collaborate with important campus constituents to evolve the student-advisor relationship. She and her campus partners are now looking at scaling some of these initiatives into campus-wide practices. Her presentations at a Regional NASPA conference and a National NACADA conference on how partnerships have evolved and stayed successful over time, and the evolution of Advisement at UNM, underscore her commitment to successful partnerships.

The progress of Stephanie’s unit and the role she plays in creating vision and implementing mission has attracted the attention of colleagues outside UNM.  She has been asked to participate in national discussions about advisement and student success, and to be a leader in NACADA, Academic Advisement’s international organization. Through NACADA, she was recognized for her services as an Outstanding Academic Administrator in 2012.  She served on and chaired the NACADA Academic Administrators’ Institute Advisory Board.  She earned faculty status at NACADA’s Administrators’ Institute, and for the last three years has been consulting and sharing process knowledge with several universities across the country.  Her interests include advising administration, advising models and structures, technology, assessment, and relationship building with other student success units.

Stephanie has lived in Albuquerque for over 25 years and earned both her Bachelor’s in Psychology and her Master’s in Business Administration at UNM.  She is currently taking courses in the graduate Educational Psychology program.  She is married and has a teenage son who attends Albuquerque High School and plans to attend UNM after graduation, although he will likely pretend he is not Stephanie's son while on campus.