Thomas M. Nishi

Academic Counselor

MPH - University of Hawaii`i, Manoa

What is your approach to advising or supporting students?
Empowering students by providing the tools they can use to become successful.  This means connecting students to the resources on and off campus available to them, and insuring that students know how to access and use the resources.  Students can then make the best informed decisions for their educational careers at SFSU.

What inspired you to pursue a career in advising?
I found a part-time job in my last term at UCLA in the Academic Advancement Program as a peer counselor.  The program is the educational opportunity program for UCLA. After I finished the BA, I was able to work full time in the AAP tutorial center.  A year later my roommate's girlfriend referred me to another job, and helped me learn how to write a resume. I applied and landed a job as the first Asian American EOP coordinator at UCSB .  Many jobs and years later, I arrived at SFSU.
What excites you about helping students at SF State?
I am happy to assist students in their academic career.  Sometimes I am able to know that a student I met has been successful and earned their degree.
What's your favorite part of your job?
Meeting and speaking with students.
What's the best class you've ever taken?
First class in primary  public health care.  We graded ourselves, and I met a mentor who guided and supported me, one of the smartest persons I've ever met. 
What's the most unusual job you have ever had?
Worked as a mechanic on the road, no location. We fixed cars where they were parked, went to the customers, instead of the customers coming to us.
What advice do you have for SF State Gators?
Don't be afraid to fail.  Each person has a unique path, and you will learn more from failures than successes. 
About me (likes & hobbies)
Trained in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido for about the last 35 years.