More than just advice: Asst. director of LAS advising sees value in student experiences

Across nearly a decade of advising students at Wichita State, Nancy Krehbiel has established a reputation of charisma and support for students.

“It’s just so rewarding to see students persist in spite of so many barriers that are stacked against them,” Krehbiel said in a recent interview with The Sunflower.

Krehbiel is currently the assistant director of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Center, but she first joined the center as an assistant academic advisor in 2011 while pursuing her graduate degree in counseling at WSU.

Krehbiel said she wants her students to persist and obtain their individual goals, whether that’s earning a degree at any level or passing a class that semester.

Angel Hernandez, a returning adult student, said Krehbiel helped him get back into school.

“[She] helped me get the paperwork ready,” said Hernandez, now a junior studying marketing. “And the thing that I really liked about her was that she always made me feel like she was there for me.”

Krehbiel said she tries to empower students to make their own way at the university, but sometimes external barriers prevent them from connecting with resources or getting on the right academic track. That can be frustrating, she said.

“The thing that I tell myself is that another role that I play as an advisor is to be an advocate for students,” Krehbiel said. “If there are systemic barriers that I’m seeing time after time with students, I feel like part of my role is to advocate for students and to voice those things to other members of the university and our administration.”

To Krehbiel, students are more than the grades on their transcripts or the requirements of their degrees. Each student’s values and goals breathe life into their degree and experience at WSU, she said.

Krehbiel said she has aspirations to one day become the director of an academic advising center, whether at WSU or another university.

Krehbiel’s undergraduate degree in English literature also comes from WSU. She said she was drawn to the concept of stories.

“That’s a lot of what I get to do in my work every day,” Krehbiel said. “I get to hear from students of what their stories and experiences are.”

She said it’s rewarding to see the different paths students go down and the stories they weave.