By Abigail Hummel
Sophomore, Biology Major
Regan Garner is what one might call a college expert.
A graduate degree in Social Foundations of Education and a thesis on the history of a local high school’s IB program initially sparked Regan’s interest in the transition from high school to college, but her formal education was just the beginning. As an Honors advisor, Regan has had years of experience working with prospective Gators during and after the admissions process. If you seek advising from this admissions aficionado, you can be sure that you’re in good hands.
PRISM: What is your favorite part about being an advisor?
RG: Listening to and working with students that are motivated and ready to be challenged—not just academically, but as young adults trying to sort out what is important to them and why. My friends often tease me for spending so much time with “college kids,” but then I tell them a story or two about our students, and they rethink their assumptions.
PRISM: Before working in the Honors Program, you worked in the Office of Admissions. How do you feel about working in the Honors Office now, and how is it different from your experience in the Office of Admissions?
RG: My time in Admissions helped me to learn a lot about the application cycle, housing, and other important elements of UF administration, but I did not spend much time with students once they were admitted. Being in Honors allows me to develop long-term relationships with students, and I feel fortunate to work with great colleagues and a creative leader (Dr. Knudson).
PRISM: What are some of your favorite “hidden gems” around Gainesville?
RG: As a Gainesville resident for almost 20 years, I try to buy local as much as possible. I love that I can frequent businesses owned by my friends and neighbors, and I think that holds people accountable for their decision-making. Some favorite spots of mine are Vine Bakery, Pho Hanoi, Élan Hair Salon, The Wine & Cheese Gallery, Southern Charm Kitchen, and the Palomino Pool Hall.
PRISM: Tell us about your college experience. What was your favorite part of college, and what do you think is the one thing that all college students should have the chance to experience?
RG: My favorite part of college was my study abroad trip [exploring classical archaeology in Italy], but, unfortunately, not every student can have that opportunity due to financial limitations. I was also involved in campus and community activist organizations that helped me to meet like-minded people and develop a deeper understanding of issues that are not always discussed in the classroom. I believe students should seek out organizations that may not necessarily relate to their major (or look “good” on a résumé) but that satisfy important human needs such as personal growth, self-awareness, fitness, and spirituality.
PRISM: What advice do you have for the Honors freshmen who are just starting at UF?
RG: Relax, you’ll do fine. See your advisors. Buy a bicycle!