About bbv@illinois.edu

Academic Advisor Department of Psychology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

New Compass2g Space for Advising!

I’m going to try something a little different for me this year – sharing information with you via Compass2g. I will post my weekly schedule and announcements to Open Learning – Psychology Advising – Billy Vermillion. All of my current advisees have been added as users to this space, so you should see it when you open your Compass. If you are new to Psychology and are assigned to me, I will add you, as well; if it doesn’t show up in Compass after a few days, just let me know.

I’ve also added links back to this site, an FAQ (“How Do I…?”), and additional information about research labs. I’ll be adding/updating Compass throughout the year, so check back regularly.

For now, I am going to keep this blog site up and running and may continue to make changes to it, though I will probably be posting here less frequently for a while. I am hoping to gradually move all of the resources and information from this site into Compass.

How to Be More Productive

CNBC quotes our own Alejandro Lleras in a blog post on boosting productivity. Good advice!

According to a study in the journal Cognition, even brief diversions can dramatically      improve a person’s ability to focus on a task for prolonged periods of time.

‘From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long
tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task.’

Google Values Soft Skills

“The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

Sounds a lot like the skill set you develop in Psychology and LAS.

(STEM expertise is #8, and you get that with our major, as well!)

Read the article in today’s Washington Post.


On Success and Failure

This seems like a good lesson for all of us. Success and failure really are intertwined. It’s all about trying and working toward your goals.

Worth a read!

This Princeton professor posted his CV of failures for the world to see

“Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me,” Princeton assistant professor of psychology and public affairs Johannes Haushofer wrote on the CV.

Did You Know? Supporting Coursework


Have you ever seen this on your DARS audit?


– NEEDS:         12.0 HOURS


If you are a Psychology major who began your undergraduate studies prior to Fall 2015, this is one of your degree requirements. Students are required to complete 12 hours outside the major; these courses do not have to be from the same discipline, but they should have some sort of thematic unity (e.g., pre-med courses, courses on health-related topics, world literature courses, courses about history and politics, etc.). We want this requirement to work for you — think about taking courses that will help you meet your career goals, provide you with valuable skills, or deepen your understanding of a particular subject.

Many students complete this requirement by declaring an official minor or second major. If you do this, you will not need to meet with your advisor to complete a major plan of study; it will be entered by your records officer once you apply to graduate. If you do not declare an official minor or second major, you will need to meet with your advisor in Psychology (me!) to discuss the courses you want to use for this requirement. I will then submit the required paperwork to the College of LAS.

Note: This is not a graduation requirement for students completing a Psychology concentration. Refer to the department web site for more information.