Amber Sechelski is a learning specialist for the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). After earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, Amber worked as a veterinary technician for the anesthesiology service of the university’s veterinary teaching hospital. It was there that she discovered a love for teaching as she helped students in their fourth year of the professional veterinary program learn the technical skills required for administering anesthesia to both small and large animals. She went on to earn a teaching certificate in English, Language Arts, and Reading from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) and to teach English at the high school level. Later she obtained a position as an Academic Mentor in the Student Advising & Mentoring (SAM) Center’s Office of Academic Support Programs at SHSU, where she called upon the pedagogical knowledge and skills that she had acquired in the pursuit of teaching to assist her in providing academic support to the institution’s students.
While serving in roles of increasing responsibility in the SAM Center (i.e., Senior Academic Mentor and Assistant Director of Academic Support Programs), Amber earned a graduate certificate in academic advising and a master’s degree in higher education administration from SHSU. She also assumed the role of program leader for the department’s Study Skills program, which helped students with such issues as managing time, reading textbooks, taking notes, taking tests, and managing stress. In 2019, she graduated with a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from SHSU, having earned two Dean’s Awards for Exceptional Graduate Student Research from the Southwest Educational Research Association during her time in the program. After graduation, Amber sought to join the SHSU-COM Educational Affairs team as a learning specialist because she knew from her experiences as both an academic support professional and a student at SHSU that the institution possesses a culture in which faculty and staff strive to support the success of all students, and she wanted the opportunity to help foster that culture within SHSU’s newest college.