My UMR with Anna Ribikawskis - Senior Student Success Coach

Authored By: Mamisoa Knutson 10/09/2019

Anna RibikawskiWhat brought you to UMR?
Parry Telander, the director of student success coaches and I went to graduate school together. I ran into him at a professional conference where I mentioned that my family and I were moving to Rochester. He told me they would be hiring for student success coaches and I applied. What made me really want to work here was the structure of the coach job -- it is my dream job. 

What is your role at UMR?
I help current college students figure out where they want to go after college and how do they deal with everything that gets in the way. I help our students with academics, career and life.

Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
I like the structure of the job; I love variety -- it’s one of my work values (I help students figure that out). I love that I get to teach, specifically the second year CLI classes. I get to work one-on-one with students and work on projects. There is enough autonomy in my job to follow my interests, such as intercultural development. I like that no day is the same and that I don’t get bored. I like being able to help people make positive behavioral changes.

What is one interesting fact about you that you want others to know about you?
I’ve traveled a ton. I’m a big proponent of getting out of your comfort zone. I traveled by myself to Japan when I was 12. I funded all of my own trips by babysitting.  I was a live-in nanny on the east coast for a time. My most cultural difference was socio-economic differences. My favorite music is reggae - classic, not current reggae. I have three girls within three years. 

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I would run my own free gymnastics program for kids in Rochester. I love the sport and I love teaching little kids. The hobby that I have is deep, meaningful conversations with people. I love talking politics, religion, all the stuff you’re told not to talk about, that’s what I want to talk about.

What are some small things that make your day better?
I love it when my students share their success with me. Sometimes they come to me with me their problems, I love it when they share their celebrations. 

What’s the best way to start the day?
Coffee and yoga, outside. Not coffee while yoga, but I would need the coffee before the yoga.

What advice do you have for UMR students during their time here?
Balance. Breathe deep and define balance, and through doing that you will reach success.