Advisor Interview: Rex Fodrea, Biological Sciences
Our advising community is rich with a diverse and eclectic population. In each issue of Advising Matters we will “get to know” an experienced advisor in our advising community. This issue features Rex Fodrea, an academic advisor in Biology Counseling and winner of the Richard W. McDowell Outstanding Academic Counselor Award. The interview was conducted by Gabe Bryant.
Gabe Bryant: Rex, tell us, how did you get into advising?
Rex Fodrea: While in graduate school, I had an internship with the Office of the Dean of Students to work on career counseling materials. I enjoyed that greatly and was hired by ODOS to be one of the counselors in the then-new University Division (now part of Undergraduate Studies). That was my entry to advising.
GB: Can you share with us some of your personal interests or hobbies?
RF: I play basketball twice a week. I’m a worship leader and an elder at the West Lafayette Christian Church. I enjoy gardening and volleyball.
GB: What do you like to do in your free time?
RF: I have two kids – Randy, 13, and Maren, 11. I like to spend time with them. I play basketball with Randy and catch Maren when she practices her pitching. We also like to watch movies and Monk episodes.
GB: Tell us one thing people may not know about you, that you would like them to know.
RF: I’m not old ツ.
GB: What is some advice you commonly share with your advisees?
RF: Don’t view your undergraduate degree as a hurdle to be cleared before you get to what you really intend to do. Make your time at Purdue a chance to become an educated person. Take classes that aren’t necessarily required for your degree, but which will fit your interests and expand your horizons. Be involved in student organizations. Do research and seek internships. Bring gifts to your academic advisor.
GB: As a seasoned advisor, tell us something you think is important for advisors to know.
RF: Remember that we have a vast storehouse of potential advice for students, but we don’t have all the answers. Learn from your students, especially when they are right and you are wrong.
GB: What’s your favorite place to eat on or near campus?
RF: Dick’s Bodacious BBQ. Of course, since it closed I get kind of lonely when I go there. My second favorite would be Q’doba.
GB: If we listened in, what music would you be playing?
RF: Classic Broadway musicals and some contemporary Christian music.
GB: Do you enjoy being interviewed and asked off-the-wall questions like in the Exponent?
RF: Not really; I get really nervous whenever the Exponent contacts me because I fear how my answers might get misrepresented there.
GB: What question did we miss that you hoped we would ask?
RF: What is your favorite thing to do when working with other advisors?
GB: And your answer?
RF: Make them laugh.