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Getting to know

Caleb Maddox pays it forward

Caleb Maddox’s personal college experience drove him to pursue a career in academic advising. Since joining the College of Public Health and Human Science’s Office of Student Success in January, he’s been giving students the help he wishes he had. 

Caleb received his master’s degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University. Before coming to Oregon State, he worked in central academic advising at Idaho State University, advising in all of the university’s 46 majors. Caleb has also worked in student activities, new student and family programs, student affairs and residence life.

What made you decide to get into this field? Is there one specific moment that inspired your career path?

“I was a non-traditional student who was severely underprepared when I got to college. Because of this, I struggled to find resources and get the help I needed. I worked really hard and ended up having a successful college career, and I want to help others dealing with similar struggles on their quest to become educated.”

What do you love about your field? What energizes you?

“While there are many things I love about my field, working with students and helping them develop and foster their critical thinking skills is at the top. I enjoy helping students better understand how to help themselves and be self-advocates in their daily lives.”

Why did you choose to work at Oregon State/CPHHS?

“There were a few things that drew me to OSU and the CPHHS. I’ve always wanted to live in the PNW, and this specific area felt like a fantastic match for my personality, social needs and exploratory habits. I had heard from friends and colleagues that OSU would be a good fit for me because of the emphasis that I place on student development and helping students holistically.

“I chose CPHHS because, as someone in a helping profession, I also love helping people who are service-minded. In CPHHS, all of our majors emphasize serving or helping people in various ways, so I wanted to work in a college that shares these same values.”

What’s the best thing about working in the Office of Student Success?

“I’m still brand new here, so I’m sure there will be many more things in the future. So far, I have really enjoyed connecting with the other staff and faculty and experiencing the emphasis that everyone places on student success.”

What are you most proud of in your work so far?

“As an advisor I am always extremely proud when I can help students become more self-sufficient and confident in their abilities to tackle everything that life throws their way. In my advising role, I don’t just help students figure out their academic path, but I also serve as a sounding board, a cheerleader and a mentor.”

How do you strive to affect people’s lives with your work?

“I strive to affect peoples’ lives not by immediately giving them all of the answers, but by helping them gain the tools to be able to find the answers on their own in the future as well. I believe my work makes students’ lives better by helping them develop at their own pace, but always pushing them to push themselves a little harder.”

What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?

“I am a pretty open book, so there aren’t many things that people don’t know about me. However, something many people find interesting is that I’ve gone skydiving twice in my life and I hope to go a third time out here in Oregon at some point.”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

“It really depends on the season. Like many others around my age, I enjoy playing video games, watching Netflix and Hulu, or having game nights with friends in the colder months. In the summer, you can usually find me on a hiking trail, kayaking on a river, exploring new areas nearby or planning my next trip. It’s a goal of mine to make it to all 50 states, and I’m at about 30 right now.”