Eliot James Watson

Retention Specialist
College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Eliot Watson

B.A. in Psychology, CSU Sacracmento
M.A. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy, CSU Sacramento

What is your approach to advising or supporting students?   

I approach advising as a team effort. My role as the advisor is to provide the student not only with the information they seek, but also the resources and skills to find future information on their own if they prefer it. I always encourage students to utilize any and all advising resources on campus whenever they need to, but I also strive to empower students to think critically so that they can find their own answers as well. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in advising?

During my undergrad, I studied psychology and had notions of becoming a counselor/therapist. While researching careers within psychology, I worked a series of student advising positions that gave me a chance to advise and guide fellow students. I enjoyed the counseling aspects of such a position, helping students navigate the academic and holistic complexities of college life. I decided to pursue a masters degree studying higher education and become an academic advisor so that I could work with students and empower them to be successful in college and beyond. 

What excites you about helping students at SF State?

As a student at a different CSU, I went through a lot of the same challenges that students face at SF State. Paying for housing, tuition, books and even food was a challenge on top of the typical academic difficulties that come along with college. During this time, I received a great deal of help and guidance from advisors and professors alike, and these interactions helped me to both grow as a person as well as graduate in four years, a difficult feat at many CSU's today. While I cannot solve every student issue I encounter, it is a privilege to helps students through this challenging and formative time in their lives.

What's your favorite part of your job?

As a Retention Specialist, my primary role is to help students begin their college experience successfully. I get to work with primarily freshman and sophomore students during their transition to and through college in an effort to ensure their eventual graduation. I help students plan future courses, find key resources on campus such as tutoring and self-care services. and eventually to apply for graduation. It is incredibly rewarding to help students attain a goal they have worked so hard to achieve.

What's the best class you've ever taken?

During my undergraduate years I took a psychology course entitled "Stress Management." This course not only examined the psychology and physiology of stress, but also different types of stress (good, neutral, and bad), techniques for limiting and managing stress in your life, and lifestyle practices which can contribute to a happier, less stressed life. My professor told us two of the biggest changes you can make to reduce stress in your life: exercise and meditate. I need to do both more. 

What's the most unusual job you've ever had?

Pianist in a jazz band at Picchetti Winery. I was in high school, and I received about $20.

What advice do you have for SF Gators?

Get out there and get involved! In addition to providing fun and exciting new experiences, there is researcPianist in a jazz band at Picchetti Winery. I was in high school, and I received about $20.h that shows that more involvement on campus can make students more likely to stay in school, graduate, get better grades, and enjoy their college experience more.

About me (likes and hobbies):

I enjoy long-boarding, hiking, backpacking, camping, traveling, playing piano/guitar, and playing games. My favorite TV show is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, my favorite movie is Flash Gordon, and my favorite book is Ender's Game.