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Faculty and Staff

Poole Staff Spotlight: Meet Kayla Ridgell

By Jess Clarke

Poole College of Management’s advising office is home to a team of talented, enthusiastic and engaged advisors who are committed to helping Poole students succeed – inside and outside the classroom. Get to know a bit about Kayla Ridgell, one of our academic advisors.

Q&A with Kayla Ridgell

Tell me about your role within Poole College’s office of undergraduate advising. 

I work directly with students to assist with their coursework plans. I take a holistic approach when interacting with them, understanding that their identity consists of more than just how they perform in the classroom. I enjoy hearing about their lives outside of Poole and what they hope to accomplish after graduation…Poole consists of such a diverse group of students. I’m enjoying getting to know them.

What are your top 5 CliftonStrengths?

Developer, Discipline, Includer, Positivity, Responsibility

What brought you to Poole? 

I was ready for a full-time role where I could build relationships with students and provide them with tools to be successful…I went into my graduate program aspiring to become an academic advisor but discovered a love for teaching during my assistantship. One of my favorite parts of being an instructor was building rapport with students, and I thought it would be nice to find a job where I could do that full time…I also thought Raleigh would be a great area to live…There’s so much to explore, and I thought it would be great when establishing a healthy work-life balance.

Ridgell’s first solo class as a graduate instructor

What did you want to be growing up? 

I wanted to be a pediatric dentist…I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children who were afraid of the dentist like I was…I shadowed dentists and even attended a med camp in Washington, D.C., as a rising junior in high school. It’s funny how I ended up in the humanities discipline instead. I absolutely enjoyed my communication programs though. I’m thankful I still get an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

What do you appreciate most about working with students? 

I appreciate hearing about their backgrounds and learning what they wish to achieve. Students at Poole are very ambitious, and I’m excited to see them accomplish the goals they set for themselves.

If you had to give a piece of advice to a student just starting out in Poole, what would you tell them? 

I’d tell them to get involved. Poole offers so many clubs, organizations and opportunities in general…I’d also suggest utilizing all the free resources offered at Nelson Hall.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of Poole. 

Outside of Poole, you can find me with a book…I also enjoy journaling, discovering coffee shops and spending time with family and friends.

What is something your colleagues or Poole students might not know about you? 

This is my first in-person role post-pandemic, so I’m still adjusting. I’m very outgoing and love people, but there are times where I just need to step back and recharge. People don’t expect that because I’m pretty high-energy a lot of the time, but the pandemic gave me an opportunity to discover what it really means to rest and practice self-care. These things will help me be a better coworker and advisor to students.