New Advisors Welcomed to Speed School Community

The Speed School Office of Student Success has two new team members, Farrah Dicken, Academic Counselor, and Annie Fitzpatrick, Academic Counselor, Sr. Each bring pre-existing experience with and enthusiasm for helping students to find their right path. Brittany Blake, the Assistant Director of Advising and a member of the search committee, is enthusiastic about the addition of their new team members.

“I’m thrilled to add Annie and Farrah to our team, and excited to see how our office grows and develops with the new knowledge and skills they bring to the table,” said Blake. “They both come to us from other UofL offices, and have interesting and varied professional experiences from inside and outside UofL that will inform the work they do here.”

Dicken lends a helping hand

Headshot of Farrah DickenMost recently working in the Office of Student Success, Dicken worked as part of the First Year Initiatives campaign, a retention program that offers opportunities to incoming students to network, focus on interpersonal communication, and develop the schools necessary to work towards graduation. Her work there included whatever was most needed in the department, from helping to develop online learning modules to welcome planning.  

A political science undergraduate with a Master’s in Higher Education Administration, Dicken has spent much of her career in academia serving a variety of administrative positions over the years. For a several year stint, she worked at the Center for Women and Families as a domestic violence and sexual abuse advocate, to help victims of traumatic experiences transition to healing. Upon returning to academia, Dicken has remained with the Center on a volunteer basis, to allow her the opportunity to help someone in need, a principle that she hopes to bring to bear in her advising career.

“My impetus for applying for these jobs is that I wanted to be an academic advisor, and working in crisis, working one on one with people, and being a resource. There is a little ego in that, but it’s for good reason; I want to help,” Dicken said. “Once I started applying for jobs at UofL, I thought the Speed advising team was really cool. Speed folks just seemed like a group that really likes each other.”

Fitzpatrick's outreach

Headshot of Annie FitzpatrickMost recently a senior counselor in the College of Education, Fitzpatrick has likewise held a number of administrative positions in academia, including time spent in the REACH Center, as well as working in the Financial Aid office at the Washington University School of Medicine.

An English undergraduate, Fitzpatrick splits her time reading/writing, with more active pursuits, including sports and hiking. Compelled to explore and understand, she looks forward to her responsibilities as an advisor, which not only includes working with students on a one-to-one basis, but in helping develop community building experiences.

“I was really interested in the 60/40 split," said Fitzpatrick. "I knew one of the components was K-12 outreach.”

With the Fall semester on the precipice of beginning, Blake is happy to have Dicken and Fitzpatrick there to help. She believes that their backgrounds are ideal for the Speed School, and that they can help foster that same sense of kinship that the SSoE hopes to engender.

“Annie’s past experiences working with high school and college students will make her an incredible asset to our K-12 outreach partnerships, and Farrah’s background in residence life and programming will positively impact our office’s many student success initiatives,” Blake said.