Senior Student Program Coordinator, First-Generation Student Services & Longhorn Link Program (SSS)
B.F.A., Theatre Studies (Education), University of Texas at Austin
M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, University of Houston
Michelle Shanks was recently appointed the Senior Student Program Coordinator for First-Generation Student Services and the Longhorn Link Program.
First-Generation Student Services began as a student-inspired and student-run organization in the Fall of 2019 to serve the needs of first-generation students on UT’s campus, and expanded in the Fall of 2020 to include paid student ambassadors, virtual student events and virtual mentorship services. Initially funded through generous donations from institutional and external stakeholders and the in-kind contributions of numerous staff members across the university, beginning in the Fall of 2021 First-Generation Student Services will be housed within the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity and will expand to include full-time staff members, multiple tiers of paid student employees, and a variety of academic, personal and professional programming for UT first-generation students. In her role, Michelle will develop and oversee the expansion of First-Generation Student Services, including all programmatic offerings and staff supervision.
Longhorn Link is an institutionally funded Student Support Services program (SSS). The primary goal of the Longhorn Link Program (LLP) is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from each level of education to the next. The program takes a holistic approach to preparing students by providing students with academic support, leadership development, and enrichment opportunities. In her role, Michelle contributes to the overall success of LLP students through leading academic, personal and professional workshops for program participants and providing them with structured mentoring experiences, academic and job-coaching services, and referrals to institutional resources/opportunities.
A proud first-generation college graduate herself, Michelle received her undergraduate degree, B.F.A. (2007) from the University of Texas at Austin and her graduate degree, M.Ed. (2018) from the University of Houston. She has previously worked in the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE) as a Student Development Specialist (2020), Student Program Coordinator (2019) and Graduate Intern (2018). Prior to working at LCAE, Michelle spent thirteen years teaching theatre arts to students in Mesquite and Georgetown Independent School Districts.