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Behind the scenes with Megan Hughes, fisheries and wildlife sciences advisor

Megan Hughes, fisheries and wildlife advisor, stands outside in a bright pink button-up shirt.

When making a career switch, Megan Hughes recalled the positive impact her Oregon State academic advisor had on her studies. Now she’s in the advising role for fisheries and wildlife students. (Photos by Rick Henry)

By Tyler Hansen   
May 31, 2016

Megan Hughes is an academic advisor in Oregon State’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Her role involves working with Ecampus students in the online fisheries and wildlife sciences program as well as first-year students on the Corvallis campus. She started working at OSU in 2008 in the Registrar’s Office as a records specialist and veterans certifying official. In 2011, she joined the fisheries and wildlife advising team. Megan has OSU in her blood – she earned a B.S in Animal Sciences with an option in equine sciences from the university in 2002, and she finished her Ed.M. in College Student Services Administration in 2012.

Describe your role as an advisor for Ecampus fisheries and wildlife (FW) students.

“In our department, each new student is assigned to one of the three FW Ecampus advisors. The advisor reviews the student’s transfer courses, makes exceptions if possible, and prepares any petitions needed. The advisor then contacts the student to set up an initial advising appointment in which they cover the curriculum, the program and answer any questions.”

“Each term, advisors contact students about advising (by phone, email or Skype), which is required before they can get their registration PIN. Additional contact is made with students who are placed on academic warning or probation at the end of each term. In addition to Ecampus advising, I also advise FW Corvallis campus freshmen, serve on departmental committees and work on special projects.”

Why did you decide to get into this field?

“When I was considering a career change, I remembered how much I enjoyed working with college students as a peer leader and riding instructor when I was an undergraduate at OSU. I also thought about the positive impact that my academic advisor had on my college career, and that is what made me want to become an academic advisor.”

In 10 words or fewer, what do you like most about being an advisor?

“I enjoy making a positive difference in the lives of my students. (Sorry, 12 words but two were very tiny!)”

What is most fascinating to you about fisheries and wildlife sciences?

“I’m continually amazed by the boundless enthusiasm that students and faculty in this discipline show for the conservation of our natural resources. We have some really cool people who do some really awesome things!

“Check out the research projects that our faculty are working on around the world on an interactive Google map.”

Megan Hughes, fisheries and wildlife sciences advisor, walks in the Student Experience Center plaza.

When she’s not helping students succeed, Megan Hughes is busy with any number of activities, including Civil War re-enactments.

What do you consider to be the main benefits of online learning?

“I believe it is the flexibility of the online program because it allows students to be around the world, in various work and family dynamics, and still have the ability to pursue their dreams and educational goals.”

What do you do to build a connection with students who you’ll likely never meet in person?

“I give them my friendship and let them know that we are in this together.”

How have you evolved as an advisor since you began working with students online?

“At first, I needed more preparation time before each appointment but, with experience, that need has dwindled. Also, I used to be a bit nervous with ‘meeting’ new students over the phone. Now, it feels like an adventure each time I get to meet the next new person and hear their story.”

What’s the best piece of advice you can give students?

“Time management. Use a physical calendar (posted in your study area) that shows the days for entire term. For example, try the term-at-a-glance calendar in the OSU Learning Corner.

“Write on it all that you need to do for each course from your syllabi. Color code exams, assignments, etc. This will help you understand what you need to do for your classes and remind of what is due so you can plan ahead (even though your computer is turned off).”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

“I enjoy spending time with my husband, friends, family, church group and cat. I also like to do crafty things like make cards and sewing projects. In addition, I do Civil War re-enacting in the summer with the Northwest Civil War Council in Oregon.”


  • Jacob Swanson says:

    Dear Megan,

    I am trying to take Fundamental Genetics BI 311 through the OSU ECampus this fall. I am currently a Michigan State University Senior studying Fisheries and Wildlife and my adviser Jim Schneider directed me towards taking this class. This class at MSU is currently full and its the last class I need in order to graduate so I was wondering if you would be able to tell me how I can sign up for this class if its not too late? Thanks.

    Jacob Swanson

  • Tyler Hansen says:

    Hi Jacob. Thanks for reaching out to us. The best person to answer your question would be one of our Ecampus enrollment specialists. Our offices are closed for the night, but I’ll direct them to your question and they should respond to you ASAP tomorrow.

    In the meantime, here is the link to the Ecampus BI 311 class for fall term ( There are still 30 spots available for fall, so you should be safe there. You can also download a sample syllabus if you’d like.

    And while I’m at it, I’ll share with you this link that provides good resources on admissions requirements for nondegree-seeking students, how to apply, etc. (

    I hope that helps for now. I’ll ask one of my co-workers to follow up with you ASAP. Thanks for your patience, Jacob.


  • Celina Chang says:

    Hello Jacob!

    Thank you for contacting Oregon State Ecampus with your questions and interest in our online coursework. You’re not too late to get into a fall term class and I’m happy to help with your next steps!

    You may use the nondegree-seeking application form ( to take classes without pursuing a degree. Within a few business days of submitting your online application, you should receive an email from the OSU Office of Admissions with confirmation and an OSU Student Identification Number. Since course registration for fall has been open for some time for enrolled students, I would recommend applying as soon as you’ve determined you’d like to take this class with us.

    You will need to get a prerequisite override after you are admitted to show that you have completed the required prerequisites at another institution. Please review the Ecampus Overrides page ( for more information about how this process will work after you are admitted. There is a special heading near the bottom for courses that require you to work directly with the department.

    If I can be of further assistance, please let me know!

    Best wishes,

    Celina Chang, Enrollment Services Specialist

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