Meet academic advisor John Rarig

John Rarig is one of many at Voiland College whose role it is to help make the transition to college a smooth one. We recently spoke with John about his role and the keys to student success.

John, what are your responsibilities as a student advisor?

My primary responsibility is advising undergraduate students in Voiland College’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department – helping them schedule their classes, letting them know about the academic and financial resources that are available to them, and alerting them about scholarship, job, and internship opportunities that are here at Washington State University.

What advice would you give to students to prepare for college?

It’s helpful to think about how you will manage your time. Utilizing a planner or an app for your phone can help students stay organized and efficiently manage items related to their academics. I also think it is important to take the highest level of mathematics that you can while in high school or community college. Math is used in every career field and when you take some time off from math before coming to college, it can be really hard to pick back up from where you stopped.

What advice would you give students to excel once they get to WSU?

I always encourage students to get involved early on during their time at WSU. Getting involved can help make a big school like WSU feel much smaller and personal.

I also advise students to not be afraid to ask questions or seek out help when they need it. Professors are always happy to help students who come to their office for help with their class. There are a multitude of advisors, tutors, and support staff who are happy to help ensure students are set up for success at WSU as well.

Why should students attend WSU Pullman?

Pullman is truly a college town and you can feel the energy return when students come back in the fall. WSU Pullman campus has a very welcoming vibe to it that helps students feel like Pullman is home. The diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and cultures present at WSU Pullman helps students become well-rounded individuals as they progress through their academic experience.

What makes Voiland College a great place to learn about engineering, computer science, and architecture?

Voiland College is full of excellent faculty who are really invested in the undergraduate student experience. There is ample opportunity for students to get involved in cutting-edge research and chances to pursue creativity through involvement with VCEA-affiliated student clubs or the Frank Innovation Zone (FIZ). The faculty and staff in Voiland College really seem to love WSU and their jobs, which makes for a welcoming learning environment for the students in the college.

What do you enjoy most about advising?

I really enjoy listening to students tell their stories. It is always fun to hear students talk with excitement about their courses and their extra-curricular experiences. Listening to students talk about how exciting their internship experience was makes me feel like I get to play a small part in helping making their dreams come true. It is very rewarding!

What does John Rarig do when he’s not advising students?

I love spending time in the outdoors when I am not in my office. I enjoy backpacking and hiking with my wife, with some of our favorite spots being Olympic National Park, Glacier National Park, and the Eagle Cap Wilderness. I’m also a pretty big sports fan and spend time watching the Seahawks, Mariners, and Cougs whenever I can.