Miranda Atkinson

Acting Director of Tykeson College and Career Advising

What is your background and areas of interest?

My educational background and interests span a variety of fields, and I enjoy seeing the connection between them all. I have a bachelor of science in psychology, with a focus on neuroscience, and I also minored in biology and English. As an undergraduate, I enjoyed participating in research and serving as an editor for the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, (NWSAJ). In graduate school, I pursued a master of education in counseling psychology, focusing on sports counseling. It was through this experience that I discovered a passion for supporting students through their educational journeys and found my way to advising.

As an advisor, I am interested in integrating academic and career advising so students are supported in connecting academic choices with career possibilities. I’m also passionate about addressing systems of oppression and inequity in higher education and how advising can play a key role in student experiences and making essential changes.

I’m also a dancer and supporter of community art here in Eugene.

What brought you to the University of Oregon?

My partner and I wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest, and with several family members as Ducks, I knew the UO would be a great place to pursue my career in advising. Plus, there is a wonderful community art scene here in Eugene.

How did you get involved in academic advising?

I knew that I loved teaching dance, and also found that I loved working with students during my graduate internships and practicums, so I tried it out after graduating. With a passion for education and all that is possible when students are equitably supported while pursuing their degrees, I found that advising was a perfect fit for me to connect with, support, and learn from others.

What’s the best advice you have for a college student?

Do things, and be confident in expressing what you need and want. Some of my most significant college experiences came from unplanned opportunities. I found my passion for social justice when taking a literature class that examined the characterization of women as mentally ill when they refused to conform to systems of oppression. I found my passion for teaching dance when applying for a job while I was an undergraduate. These decisions have continued to shape who I am and the choices I make.

At the same time, you’ll get a lot of advice (much like the advice I just gave above), and it won’t always work for you. You know yourself best, so do what works for you. There is no single “best” approach to navigating college, so there is a way to do so that works for you and who you are. Resources on campus can help, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Reach out to your advisor and they can help point you in the right direction.

How can students contact you?

Email is the best way to reach me: mirandaa@uoregon.edu.