May 30, 2024

Take 5 With Academic Advisor Hannah Russell

This June, Hannah Russell will be celebrating her five-year anniversary at Columbia Southern University. In her current role as an academic advisor, Hannah is the primary point of contact for her students. She assists incoming students to ensure that they have all the information and resources they need to be successful. She also supports existing students as they navigate through their degree, helping them overcome obstacles that they may encounter in their courses or personal life.

We asked Hannah to share more about herself and what she loves most about her career:

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job? It brings me a lot of fulfillment knowing that I have a part in helping my students reach graduation and earn a degree that could potentially change the course of their life! I also love getting to talk to students from all walks of life, and learn about their unique goals and aspirations. It is also my goal to help students develop the confidence to make important decisions about their education and future by providing the necessary information, resources and support.
  2. What is your favorite CSU memory or moment? My favorite CSU memory was the Employee Appreciation Day at Gulf State Park. It was such a blast getting to spend time with co-workers and watch everyone play flag football on the beach. One of my favorite recent moments was receiving the news that our SACSCOC accreditation was approved!
  3. As a current CSU student, what program are you studying and why? I am currently working on a Master of Science in occupational safety and health with a concentration on environmental management. I have an undergraduate degree in environmental science and find environmental science very interesting. I chose this master’s program because I wanted to learn more about environmental management and how occupational safety and health ties in with it. I also love taking courses at CSU because I get to see everything from a student’s perspective, which helps me be a better advisor.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? In my spare time, I really enjoy spending time with my family. I also love the outdoors! Usually on the weekends you can find me at the state park, beach, bike riding or just playing in the yard with my daughter. I also love to travel a couple times a year and find places to hike or scuba dive.
  5. Considering your job, what advice would you give to a CSU student? My advice for new college students would be:
  • Set short term goals for yourself while working towards your degree. Most degrees take a few years, so it is easy to lose sight of long-term goal. Setting short term goals and reaching them will give a little boost of motivation to keep going.
  • Do not procrastinate, make yourself a realistic schedule of when you will work on your courses throughout the week, and hold yourself accountable.
  • Be open to constructive criticism and be willing learn from it. Try and remember that you are given feedback to help you learn and improve.
  • It’s ok to take a break when things get tough in your personal life, but don’t give up on your education dreams and goals completely.

Our Academic Advisors are here to help! Students can find their academic advisor’s individual contact information by signing in to the myCSU Portal. Questions? Call the Academic Advising Center at 888-785-3008 Ext. 6518 or email at

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.