Staff Profile: Juliana Rasnic, Dean's Office

If there is one thing Juliana Rasnic wants you to know it’s that her team does so much more than just help students pick classes.
Juliana Rasnic

“All of our advisers are really amazing dedicated people who work incredibly hard,” says Juliana, director of advising for the humanities and social sciences. “Advisers can help faculty and staff because they interact with most of the students in that department and really have their ear to the ground. Some of our advisers have been in their units for five+ years and have a wealth of institutional and departmental knowledge. The newer advisers can easily grow into those types of institutional touchstones.”

Juliana currently oversees 13 direct reports and her day is a mixture of meetings about complex graduation issues, students in crisis or financial aid fiascos, new adviser training and advising administrative work. “Honestly, I'm most proud of the work I do to advocate for and support our students day in and day out,” says Juliana. “[My ultimate goal for CHS is] to create a supportive, inclusive environment for our advisers and students, in which everyone contributes to our mission of student success and knows how much they and their contributions are valued.”

She cares deeply for her team and aims to support them in the midst of the craziness that is student advising. “[I continually advocate for] a sustainable work/life balance for our advisers so they can continue to best serve our students and model healthy boundaries and self-care with the recognition that those things are essential to increasing our graduation and retention rates (and essential for the future happiness and success of our students after they leave VCU).”

Juliana’s big heart also informs her love of animals. She is the mom of two cats (one calico and one tuxedo) and four snakes (two ball pythons, one western hognose and one king snake), in which all except one of them were rescued or re-homed. As for her love of reptiles, she explains, “Snakes are super shy creatures who mainly want to hide, sleep and occasionally lie in the warm sunlight, which I can totally relate to when I'm stressed out. They also have very subtle personalities that are usually sweet or inquisitive, but people are too afraid of them to realize that or don't take the time to see it. Snakes often end up being unintentionally abused or neglected by owners or unnecessarily killed by people who encounter them and that makes me really sad. I don't like it when creatures get hurt just because they're different.” Juliana’s hoping to get into volunteer reptile education in the future. “I guess you could say I extend my commitment to diversity and inclusion beyond mammals.”

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