Staff Profile: Calla Talman, Office of Student Services
What brought you to VCU?
After living in Atlanta for nearly six years, we moved home to the Richmond area to be closer to family. Upon our return, I worked in admissions overseeing recruitment initiatives at my alma mater (Longwood University), however, during that year I began to miss advising more than I anticipated. So, I set my sights on getting back into it and VCU had the perfect spot for me within CHS-sciences advising. It has been great getting back into a diverse and vibrant campus community and connecting with students at the advising level.
Can you describe what you currently do in your role at VCU? What does your day-to-day look like?
I tell all of my students that I am here to help with anything; I may not be able to directly solve their problem, but I can connect them with the correct resource(s) and support them. I think that is the best way to summarize what we do in advising.
At the baseline, I ensure my students are following degree requirements, and understand their options within those requirements. But, it goes far beyond that...I serve as the first line for my students; if they are struggling to attend class, I help them navigate that issue. If they are unsure of how to manage their time or study properly, I have a conversation about study habits and research-based study techniques (and strongly encourage them to see the academic coaches!). Most often, there are many outside issues that impact a student's ability to be successful in the classroom.
I am here to listen, offer support and guide them to the correct resources on campus to ensure they have a strong support system for optimal success here at VCU. In between those conversations, I am auditing degree candidates, assisting with commencement plans for all three of my departments, and offering various levels of support to our faculty, to name a few.
"I tell all of my students that I am here to help with anything; I may not be able to directly solve their problem, but I can connect them with the correct resource(s) and support them."
Tell us about the things you are most passionate about.
At work: helping students navigate the various "speed bumps" they may face, helping them reach goals and find new levels of success, specifically interested in the unique challenges that high-achieving students face.
Outside of work: my family, running/yoga/weight-lifting, reading, and I am a skincare nerd. I love reading about the science behind it all.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Managing to work full-time and raise two little ones alongside my husband. It lends to a pretty hectic life day-to-day but somehow, most days at least, we seem to pull it off...I think? :)
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
I am a yearbook nerd. I went to yearbook camp in high school and now I am making the yearbook for my daughter's elementary school. I can get lost in page layout and design for hours.