A Helping Hand
The average student, juggling classes, work and extracurricular activities, must grasp moments of relaxation whenever they reveal themselves. However, in the hustle and bustle of a busy day, we often forget to pause and reflect on those individuals who make our days run more smoothly, those who work tirelessly to ensure our academic success. One such individual is Andrews University’s Student Intervention Coordinator and Disabilities Service Provider, Carletta Witzel.
Witzel has lived and worked in the Andrews University community for quite some time. Once a student herself, Witzel roamed the same campus many of us enjoy today. She graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology (which would be followed by a Master of Sustainable International Development in 2008) and also raised a family that would follow in her steps and become Andrews University students themselves. Now, she shapes students’ Andrews experiences by working as part of the staff and faculty members that continue to help students discover and achieve success.
Here at Andrews, Witzel acts as the Student Intervention Coordinator. Day after day she meets with students and deals with cases that are very real and personal for many collegiates. Whether it is scheduling and planning for success, working on a path of recovery, or finding tutors for that extra boost, Witzel works with a vast variety of students and faculty in order to aid those who are struggling with any aspect of their academic life.
Witzel said, “Most students who are having trouble with their classes are incredibly capable but something else is in the way. Maybe their course-load is a bit heavy or they didn't have to learn study skills earlier and may simply need an introduction to what needs to be done differently now; they just have difficulty finding that key element to help them perform to match their potential.”
Additionally, Witzel takes time to talk to students she works with in order to help them not only realize their individual difficulties but also fully recover from factors outside students’ control, such as learning difficulties or illnesses. From working on study skills to helping the student receive extra time to complete an assignment, Witzel does what she can in order to help students achieve success.
Another title Witzel holds at Andrews University is the Disabilities Service Provider. This part of her job allows her to work even closer with students. Here, the issues she deals with involve matters that are personal and delicate to students with different types of specific needs. This position includes managing important documents for the various needs of different students and keeping them in a safe place for confidentiality. She also deals with each case personally and connects students with the correct branches of Andrews University in order to make any accommodations the student might need.
Along with helping students reach their full academic potential, Witzel uses her field of work to help them find and reach spiritual growth as well. The God given human capabilities are amazing, and Mrs. Witzel strives to help students avoid selling themselves short. She wants each student to explore what they think God has planned for them. She challenges them to search for what God has designed them to do, rather than focusing only on what might get them the biggest income or the most prestige in life.
Witzel said, “I try not to be in students’ faces all the time about spiritual things, but there's that undercurrent here that spirituality is an important value. I see the students at Andrews as people who are in one way or another preparing for service and that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to work for a church. They may be in service wherever they go and I find it exciting to help get people to that position where they're able to go and serve. It makes my day when I see students who were concerned about their classes do well at the end of the semester; I've been here long enough to see people graduate and walk across that stage. That excites me and keeps me going.”
By helping students grow academically and spiritually, Witzel emits the values and standards upheld by Andrews University on a daily basis. She receives each case and works diligently to help that specific student find success and their callings all while humbly taking a seat in the background roles of the staff and faculty that help make Andrews the esteemed University that it is.
Over the course of her numerous years working as a professional, Witzel has been offered positions working with different organizations and receiving different titles, but she has kindly refused them all.
“I want to help students who are in a journey similar to the one I was in, where there's a spiritual component as well as an academic component,” she said.
Witzel has been helping students at Andrews University achieve success for fifteen years. Although at times her desk might get full of folders and cases, Witzel says she finds a way to continue to deal with each task to the best of her ability. Year after year, students have gone on to achieve the success Witzel has helped them discover. Although Witzel might say that it’s all part of her job, it is not every day that so many students can point to one individual as the catalyst of their success.