The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 17, 1998, Page 3, Image 3

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    Adviser dedicates
career to students
ALVAREZ from page 1
College, Alvarez plays a bigger role
in the university.
He is adviser of the Mexican
American Student Association. He
also is adviser of the Future
Educators of Color and the new his
torically Latino nonexclusive frater
nity, Sigma Lambda Beta.
He is involved with the Teachers
College Equity Committee and the
Chancellor’s Commission on the
Status of People of Color.
Despite his busy schedule,
Alvarez said his priority is students.
“I could go to meetings all day
and never advise, but that’s the bad
part because I like spending time
with students.”
The heart of it all
Alvarez, 40, is using his love of
working with students to help the
Teachers College attain its goal of
creating a “teaching force that looks
like America,” said Ellen
Weissinger, associate dean of the
“He’s the heart of it, he really is,”
she said.
Weissinger said Alvarez has
brought to the Teachers College not
only a combination of talents, but
integrity, a warm personality and a
genuine passion for helping stu
“You don’t get that package very
often,” she said. “He’s made a real
difference with our students.”
Freshman Shanita Rice said her
friends are jealous she has Alvarez
as an adviser.
Rice, a secondary education
major from Omaha, said Alvarez
dispelled the stereotypes she had of
advisers when she first arrived in the
“My preconception was that he
really wouldn’t care,” Rice said.
But her mind changed quickly.
And she now sees Alvarez nearly
every week.
“Anyone would be lucky to have
‘him as an adviser,” she said.
Alvarez said he was not a very
good student in high school, and
because of this he has empathy for
the students he advises.
“I wish I would have had some
one when I was younger,” he said.
When advising, Alvarez focuses
on guiding the students who are
unsure of their futures.
“You can have them change one
thing and try something and perse
vere. That’s worth it,” he said.
Rice said that along with show
ing her he cared about her success as
a student, Alvarez got her involved
with the Future Educators of Color,
making her the secretary.
Alvarez started Future Educators
of Color in the fall for students to
show them there was opportunity in
education and because minorities in
the college needed a student group
for support.
Weissinger said Alvarez has had
a lasting impact on the college.
“I think that Tim has been an
extraordinary force in helping us
make progress in supporting stu
dents of color in the college.”
But he doesn’t confine his men
toring and advising to the Teachers
Keith Zimmer, associate director
of academic programs in the NU
Athletic Department, said Alvarez
advises many student athletes.
“He’s knowledgeable in what
sports they play and uses that as a
way to build some rapport with his
Taking a detour
Alvarez’s success as an academic
adviser is due to his own struggles in
the academic world.
“I’ve had failures,” he said. “I
think I’ve done pretty well compared
to where I’ve been.”
After receiving his associate’s
degree at Western Nebraska
Community College in Scottsbluff,
he took a route away from education
and worked in retail for Nash Finch
Co., a grocery firm, for 12 years. He
spent five of those 12 years as a
“I did that for 12 years and then I
thought, ‘Boy this really sucks,”’ he
He left retail so he could spend
more time with his wife, Lori, and
his three children - Josh, now 10;
Jason, 9; and Tiffany, 5.
He went on to complete his bach
elor of science in human resource
management at Bellevue University
in one year and received his master’s
degree in developmental counseling
in 1993 while at Eastern Wyoming
Community College.
While working at the college, he
was invited by his friend, Marty
Ramirez, who now works at the
University Health Center, to look at
a UNL job.
A position opened up in
Admissions, Alvarez applied, and he
soon became the assistant director.
He will complete his doctorate in
educational administration in
“I think everybody in this world
should have to struggle at one time
because it gives you a better appreci
ation for what it takes to do good and
to do the right thing.”
Supporting the minority
If he has the time to give to stu
dents, he’ll give it.
That is what Alvarez said about
his work with MASA, Future
Educators of Color and Sigma
Lambda Beta.
He knows it is difficult for stu
dents sometimes to find someone to
support their cause.
Alvarez also knows that it is dif
ficult for minorities to receive the
support they need in a large universi
ty setting.
“I was just kind of lucky that I
ended up getting where I am,” he
said. “It’s not because I’m really
“It’s just that I had perseverance
and wasn’t willing to quit.”
Republicans talk tax relief
FORUM from page 1
tax, and that’s Mike Johanns,” he said.
The candidates were asked to rate
Nelson’s performance on a scale of one
to 10,10 being the best
Breslow rated Nelson a five, saying
his efforts to control spending merited
the lowest score - one - and noting
state spending has risen 120 percent in
10 years.
Johanns rated Nelson a six, and
Christensen rated him a six and a half.
Candidates also differed on which
state programs could be conducted
more efficiently.
Johanns said he would reduce state
spending by encouraging more people
to leave the welfare rolls and go to
Breslow said $12 million to $15
million per year could be saved by pri
vatizing the $74 million prison
approved by the 1997 Legislature.
Christensen said better efficiency
could be reached by privatizing some
operations of the Department of Roads.
Despite die 1998 Legislature’s pas
sage of sales-, property-, and income
tax relief, all candidates agreed their
plans for lower state spending had not
been pre-empted
“Pure and simple, no tax-cut plan is
going to be made permanent if we
don’t cut spending,” Johanns said.
Breslow said the Legislature’s
approval of a 12 percent growth in state
spending this year was “outrageous.”
He said his proposed property-tax
reductions would be supported by a 5
percent reduction in annual spending
and the natural growth of the economy.
Christensen said he would make
permanent a one-year, 10 percent
sales-tax cut approved by the
Legislature this year. A 5 percent
income-tax cut made permanent by
this year’s Legislature should be dou
bled, he saic£ and increases in property
valuations should be accompanied by
proportional reductions in mill levies to
prevent increases in property taxes.
Christensen said the state should ✓
support the levy lids but continue to
allow local overrides. Improved effi
ciencies in city and county govern
ments also must be achieved, he said.
Switching topics, Breslow and
Johanns indicated a person’s homosex
uality would not preclude their being
appointed to public office, but
Christensen said he would not appoint
a homosexual to such a position.
“If I knew that a person was a
homosexual, I would not appoint that
person to a position of leadership,” he
said. “The people who surround me are
going to reflect my values and beliefs.”
The forum, sponsored by the
Omaha World-Herald and KPTM-TV
(Fox 42), was broadcast statewide on
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