Inmaculada Silverio guides students through the maze of advising and earning a degree

By Amber Deschene

Inmaculada Silverio wears many hats for the Department of English.

As the department’s academic support specialist and senior advisor, Silverio guides students with their scheduling and suggests classes to help them succeed. She also works with English department administrators to ensure that the department offers students the classes and materials they need to adequately progress within their major concentrations.

Advising is a broad job with many responsibilities, and Silverio handles more than most people realize.

“Within advising, it’s more than just classes and your schedule,” says Silverio, who also is the department’s pre-law advisor.  “Advising is about every single problem along the way—1,300 students mean 1,300 unique, individual problems. I have students dealing with anxiety because of workload, having issues adjusting to their atmosphere, and some come in just to complain about their professors or grades.”

Drop/add week and graduation are the most stressful times of the year for the advising office, but overall the advisors are pretty steady with students coming in regularly looking for help and direction. Silverio also experience a final rush of students as graduation nears for them. Based on her “graduation checks” for seniors, every semester brings students who think they are set to finish but find out they have to resolve an issue or problem for that to occur.

Silverio earned her human resources degree in Spain at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1995, and has lived in Orlando, San Antonio, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

When she and her family moved to Tallahassee, Silverio found herself in the smallest city she's ever lived in. Unsure what to do with herself in Florida’s capital city, she decided to pursue another bachelor’s degree, this one in psychology from Florida State University.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always been interested in human behavior—why we do the things we do, and how each of us handles similar situations in very different ways,” she says.

Silverio finished her studies for that degree in 2014, and she then went a step further and earned a master’s degree from FSU in counseling, with a specialization in education. She finished that program in 2016. During her time in college, Silverio was a career advisor, a career counselor, and work for the Gadsden County school system as a counseling intern.

She joined the English department in September 2017. Silverio is passionate for helping students take their next steps after graduation from FSU, and she spends much of her day as a problem solver.

When she is not in her office, however, Silverio keeps physically active. She loves to go to the gym in her free time and take pilates, yoga, and kick boxing classes. She enjoys running and has even participated in a half-marathon.

Silverio’s favorite thing to do is travel, though. So far, she has traveled throughout the United States, all across Europe, some parts of South America, as well as bits of Africa.

“Travel is the best thing you can do,” she says, offering that advice to students as well. “The world is so big and diverse, I think that the only way you can get a sense of the world is if you go and see for yourself.”

With Silverio’s extensive education and experience, it’s clear how her expertise supports the growth of her students. Her wisdom guides students every step of the way and allows them to feel confident in their future.

Amber Deschene graduated in Spring 2017 with a degree in humanities. She is currently completing the English department's Certificate in Publishing and Editing.