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Goodson Award

With honest advice and a genuine smile, Jeana Goodson is changing the lives of students.

Goodson, an adviser in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been awarded the President’s Award for Academic Advising by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The award honors five academic advisers from across the university for their dedication to the success of the students.

A+ Dedication

“She knows our potentials and is not afraid to give the tough love to push her students to success,” said Katherine Klassen, a senior industrial and systems engineering major. "Many people respect her and take her advice to heart due to the fact that her love is easy to see in every action. Her compassion and intentionality is always displayed through a friendly smile and giant hug.” 

“Jeana has been our undergraduate academic advisor for over 11 years, and prior to that, an adviser in agriculture engineering for almost 10 years,” said Dr. Natarajan Gautam, associate department head for undergraduate affairs in the department. “In the beginning of fall 2015, we had 777 undergraduate students in our department and just one adviser, Jeana.”

For many students, she is the first person they meet when thinking about pursuing a degree in industrial and systems engineering. Mitchell Mesenbrink ’16 recalls his first experience with Goodson.

“I distinctly remember when she gave me an industrial and systems engineering lanyard,” he said. “It was far before I was able to transfer in and she told me, ‘I know you are going to get in. I’ll see you when the semester starts.’”

The senior enjoys now looking back on the motivation Jeana has given him during his time as a student.

“Here I am, about to graduate in May of 2016 and I still keep my keys attached to the lanyard,” Mesenbrink said. “I cannot thank Jeana enough for all she has done for me.”

Goodson treats every student in the department as her own. She takes pride is seeing them succeed and achieve their dreams.

“Jeana always has an open door, treating all of her students equally,” Paola Gutierrez ’16 said. “If you’re in trouble, Jeana will step up. If you need to enroll in a class, she will make sure to get you in. If you need guidance, she will direct you to the right people.”

Faculty members in the department are impressed with her dedication and enthusiasm she shows toward the students.

“Her first priority is the students,” Gautam said. “Jeana would not hesitate to stand up for a student, even if that would jeopardize her own situation. She is extremely selfless.”

In Hindsight

Over the past decade, she has built strong relationships with her students which led to her being chosen as a Fish Camp Namesake in 2014.

“Jeana had a great impact in getting me to where I am now,” said Mariam Al-Zubeidi ’15 a procurement associate at ExxonMobil. “I am truly forever grateful for Jeana’s skill, care and mastery of undergraduate advising.”

Goodson on Puerto Rico Study Abroad Trip

When the department began building a study abroad program to Puerto Rico, Goodson immediately stepped up to make sure the program would succeed in providing the best experience for the students.

“She was instrumental in building the stage for the study abroad to Puerto Rico,” said Dr. César Malavé, Mike and Sugar Barnes Professor and department head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “Every year, she continues to recruit students for the program and travels with us.”

While developing these relationships, Goodson is always available to help, complete with a caring and helpful attitude.

“Jeana routinely monitors student progress and regularly keeps in touch with them, even if she has not been asked to do so by the college or department,” Gautam said. “She is the first person the students go to whenever they have any issues to deal with.”

Serving the Future

Due to a growing department and meeting university requirements, two additional advisers were hired during the 2015-2016 academic year. Up to this point, Goodson has handled the advising of all undergraduate students.

Diego Alvarado, a former student of the department, recently joined Goodson’s team of advisers.

“Now that I am a fellow adviser, I am additionally grateful for how supportive Jeana has been as a mentor and a friend,” Alvarado said. “Advising students is a challenging task and I have always admired her for how well she handles it.”

Goodson enjoys the potential impact she has on the lives of her students.

“I have always said that being an academic adviser is the next best thing to being a high school teacher because you are still involved in guiding and shaping the lives of young people, then seeing their success,” she said. “I have been fortunate to have received so much support from this department. What I do is not just a job or career, it is a passion.”