Lindsey Phernetton: Staff
What do you do at the college? How does your job help students meet their goals?
I am a student success navigator here at GHC and I love it. My role as a Student Success Navigator is to help students get started at GHC and guide them along the entry registration process. We start by discussing their goals and what they would like to see at the end of their time at GHC. My goal is to ensure they feel confident with their first steps at GHC and to provide a great start.
One of the best parts of being an entry advisor is that students don’t always know what they want to do when they come to GHC other than they know they are ready to start something. It’s exciting to watch students discover courses they can take and see their excitement set in. By the end of our appointment my hope is that students feel well equipped and ready to tackle their first quarter while knowing there is a team behind them cheering them on and supporting them every step of the way.
Come say hi! We do such great things here for students and help students find anything they need. We are really cool and have great potlucks!
What’s your favorite part about working at GHC?
We have a lot of power in our positions. Knowing that we can change someone’s life for the better, and help someone become the best version of who they are – that’s the coolest.
What advice do you have for students? What do you wish students knew about?
Come hang out with me! Come talk to me! It wasn’t that long ago that I was a student so I’m pretty familiar with what it’s like to be a student while managing life outside of schoolwork. Our pasts might not be the same, but come talk to me. I’ll do my best to find a resource for you. It doesn’t even have to be me that you come chat with. We have an incredible team in the Student Support Center that want to see students succeed but we can’t help or provide those resources unless you come chat with one of us!
Are you a GHC alum? If so, can you share something awesome about your experience as a student? What about your experience as a student made you want to get a job here?
I didn’t know when I started here at GHC that higher education was a profession. I didn’t know, or I guess it didn’t really dawn on me, that real people were doing the work behind the scenes. Then I got my first work study position, and I thought: this is it. I have to do this. For me, being a student at GHC gave me confidence and helped me discover who I was as an individual and outside of being a partner/wife, and a parent. I got to come here and become just me, Lindsey.
My time at GHC was busy. I started as an online student and my goal was to come here, get my business management degree, and get back into the workforce. I was a salon manager at the time, and just wanted to get management experience and go back. I came here and took an accounting class and I was like, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. So, I switched my plan and just hit the ground running. I found myself getting so involved in everything, and it was super cool. I got to become involved with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and with the GSA and help with the drag show, and really just, the whole GHC community. Being here let me find who I was and let me shed the old version of who I was and just be myself. That is hands-down the best thing this place has done for me. It gave me a lot of confidence I never had before. That came from the relationships I got to develop through my work study position in the WorkForce area. Getting to work with students and hear their needs was WOW. Talking to students and hearing “I can’t come to college, I’m not good enough,” and I told them “Let me tell you. You ARE good enough.” I was able to give back that community that I got. Some of the relationships I developed here have been the longest-standing relationships I’ve had in my life. The staff wanted to know who I was as a person, and that’s what really made me want to stay here. All I want to do is help students find the best versions of who they are. I get really emotional about it.
I love getting to tell students, “I took this class. It wasn’t easy, but I really developed a great relationship with the instructor because I had to reach out.” It shows them that our instructors are humans too and removes the idea that college is this big scary place to be.
I can tell that you’re extremely passionate about your students, and about the college in general. Where does that passion come from?
I struggled with post-partum depression really bad after I had my son. I struggled with low self-worth and self-esteem, and I didn’t really matter to me. People here showed me they cared and that they wanted me to be here, and that I belonged. They showed me that I can do it. They didn’t do it for me. They showed me the route and said “you can do this,” and cheered me on. Because I got that, I think it gave me the drive to continue to give that to others. People from all across campus, not just Student Services, but folks from Custodial, IT, Campus Ops, our kitchen staff, they were constantly reminding me in so many ways, no matter how deep the hole is, there’s a ladder. People here weren’t going to let me slip back into my old unhealthy ways. We all have the opportunity to do good and make change, by even the simple things like asking how someone is doing and if they’re okay.
What do you do when you’re not working at GHC?
I have a seven-year old, and I spend a lot of time hanging out with him and my husband. We’re pretty outdoorsy, so we do a lot of extracurriculars that keep us outside. If I’m not hiding in the trees, I’m at my other happy place, which is the beach. I also enjoy attending various GHC events. I love getting to see our students thriving in their activities whether it’s a sporting event, a show at the Bishop Center, or something being hosted by one of our many clubs.
If a student wanted to work in your area, what advice would you give them?
Start as a work study! If you want to work in higher education and help people, Student Services is kind of the best. If you want to make a change for someone, but you’re not sure how, you get to do that in Student Services. I get to see people happy and excited every day. Come hang out with us, observe, shadow us! I love talking about what I do.
If you could give any advice to potential students, what would you say to them?
I would share my story. Not everyone has a good opinion of community colleges, but my experience was so positive and I want to share that. Put the old version of you behind, and every day is a new chance, a fresh start. Come hang out with me because I will help. Let me know your frustrations. I will do my best to help you!
If paying for college is your problem, let’s talk. I speak financial aid fluently, and I know a good amount about all the funding programs on campus, or at least who to connect you with. Come out with me and walk the campus and let me show you around. Ask me a million questions a million times. It’s our job to help students be successful, and if I’m not understanding your questions, ask again until I do!