Andrea Graves, the academic success coordinator for the Office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships (NISF), talked to The NAU Review about her love of travel, the joy she feels helping students craft applications for competitive national scholarships like Fulbright and Goldwater awards and her bucket list items.
What brought you to NAU?
In 2007, Jay and I were looking for a way to move our family west from Macomb, Illinois, where I was associate professor of flute at Western Illinois University. We wanted to be closer to our Texas families. Both of us found great opportunities at NAU, Jay as director of catering and me as part of the Campus Services and Activities team.
How did you get involved in the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra?
I was fortunate that there was an audition for the FSO 3rd flute/piccolo position the summer we arrived, and I won!
What have you been most proud of this week?
I created a new residential program—the Honors Native American Summer Research Program (HNASRP) —a pipeline for national scholarship success for NAU Native American Students.
What does your work in the NISF entail?
Besides coordinating HNASRP, my role is focused on promoting prestigious national scholarship opportunities for all currently enrolled Lumberjacks and alumni. When students and I identify awards that sync with their educational and career goals, I offer personalized advising through the entire application preparation and submission process. My goal is to help the students be winners, but I am most inspired to see their growth in articulating their goals through persuasive verbal and written communication, whether they win or not. Shout out to the winners of AY23—Fulbright, Udall, Cobell and NALCAP!
Tell me about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.
Growing up in the flatlands of West Texas, I have fond memories of many summer trips to Colorado where my family had fun fishing, hiking and camping in the Gunnison/Lake City area. Ever since, I’ve been inspired by mountains. Today, I’m grateful to live among the beautiful San Francisco Peaks and to be even closer to the Rocky Mountains.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
A perfect day off usually includes some tennis, hiking with my dogs, some gardening and cooking with my family.
What are three things on your bucket list and why?
I like to travel, so here goes: 1) see the pinnacle of all mountains at Mount Everest National Nature Reserve in Tibet; 2) take a cooking class in Italy on the Amalfi Coast; and 3) attend a concert of the Vienna Philharmonic.
What is your philosophy in life?
It’s the journey, not the destination.
If you could pick one piece of advice to give someone, what would it be?
Always keep learning and growing!
Did you know the Office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships is open to all NAU students? If you’re interested in a Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, Rhodes or any other national scholarship or fellowship, make an appointment with Graves now to learn more about available opportunities, talk through the process and get help on your application.