Devon Graham is the administrative specialist for the college’s main advising office. She helps students schedule their semester academic advising appointments, assists with new-student orientation in the summer, and processes students’ course petitions for general education credit.
“I am the primary appointment scheduler, as well as the front line for greeting students and visitors to our office in person and over the phone,” said Graham. “I also support Advising Director Margie Russell and Assistant Director Lisa Byrd in a number of duties, including helping to maintain their calendars, carrying out administrative tasks as needed, and meeting/event support as well.”
Graham works closely with TCE’s eleven academic advisors. Since taking this position, she has quickly familiarized herself with the quirks and oddities of the Grades First system and has a strong handle on how to navigate it wisely.
“I am also a 2017 UT graduate myself, so I know my way around campus pretty well and am familiar with a lot of various aspects of UT from both a student and staff member’s perspective,” she said. “Oh, and I am proficient in Spanish and love every opportunity to practice my translating skills.”
Graham was born and raised in Knoxville. She earned her BA at UT in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures with a Hispanic Studies concentration.
“That is basically just a fancy way of saying I was a Spanish major,” she said. “I originally chose to study Spanish because I thought I wanted to be a teacher or educator like my mother and grandmother before me, but ended up changing my mind and did not pursue a teaching license and graduated with the BA in MFLL and a minor in Psychology.
She felt that she belonged in the education sector somewhere, so after graduating she took a position doing event coordination with the UT Department of Mathematics.
“I had a wonderful experience working in Mathematics for about a year and a half, but always saw myself moving towards a career with more student contact,” said Graham. “Working in the Engineering Advising Office has been a perfect fit for me so far since starting in June 2019.
Her role combines her desire to help students further their academic goals with her natural inclinations for being detail-oriented and communication-driven.
“I know that it is important for me to do my job well so that Margie, Lisa, and our eleven advisors can focus all of their attention on advising and supporting our students,” she said.
She has previous experience in TCE as a student worker in the Engineering Professional Practice office.
“I loved the environment here in TCE, and was so excited to have the chance to return,” said Graham. “TCE is a great place to work.”
Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and indulging in the “guilty pleasure” of reality TV shows. She recently received her open-water SCUBA diver certification, and looks forward to adding experiences with that hobby.
Graham and her boyfriend recently adopted a cat from a local rescue organization.
“Her name is Shiloh—named after the US Civil War battle that took place in southwest Tennessee,” said Graham. They are fans of Ulysses S. Grant, she explained, and Shiloh was the site of one of his major battles. “Shiloh just joined our family within the last couple of weeks, and she is adjusting quite well and spends her days birdwatching from our windowsill and begging for treats.”