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Meet our Advisors and Staff


 

Academic Advising Center Leadership

Beth Howard

Beth Howard

Associate Dean


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Beth joined the Academic Advising Center in September, 2015. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Psychology from Skidmore College and a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She taught a variety of courses in the Biology Department at Rutgers before moving to academic advising and advising administration. She believes that effective advising plays a pivotal role in student success.

John Nilsson

John Nilsson

Assistant Dean

Director of Appeals for General Education


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

John has been an academic advisor since 2001, when he was a graduate student in history at the University of Washington. In 2003, he started working in the Academic Advising Center. John received his BA in history from Brigham Young University and his MA in history from the University of Utah. He enjoys helping students discover their strengths and create plans for their future success.

Julia Vincent

Julia Vincent

Associate Director

Director of Curriculum


  Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Julia joined the AAC team in 2012.  She is an alumna of the University of Utah with undergraduate studies in Mass Communication and Leadership Studies.  She also earned her Master’s degree in Information Systems from the U.  Julia is passionate about working with first year students, exploring students, and underrepresented students. She finds joy in the classroom and can often be found teaching UGS 1050: Major Exploration.  In her free time, Julia enjoys gardening, renovating her home, spending time with her two black cats, and sewing.

 

 

Academic Advising Center Full Time Advisors

Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton

Assistant Director

Director of Milestone Advising Program


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Jason joined the Academic Advising Center team in March 2015. He received his BA in Communication from Humboldt State University and his MA degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.

Stephanie Begaye

Stephanie Begaye

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of
Major Exploration Program


  Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Stephanie joined the Academic Advising Center in July 2015 as part of the Major Exploration Program team. She graduated from the U in 2010, double majoring in Psychology and Behavioral Science & Health.

Anna Bouska

Anna Bouska

Assistant Director

Director of Academic Standards


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Anna is originally from Alabama and completed both her B.S. in Human Resource Management and her M.A. in Communication Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and has been advising college students for 6 years prior to joining the AAC in June 2021. Anna loves spending time outside, curating new recipes, and spending time with her cat, DK.

Tricia Cook

Tricia Cook

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of Advisor Education and Professional Development


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Tricia is a Utah native and has spent her academic and professional careers learning and working in multiple Utah higher education institutions. She began advising in 2016 and was immediately hooked! She loves nurturing others by helping them to reach their highest potential through teaching, advising, and training. During her freetime, Tricia can be found running, woodworking, bargain hunting, or hugging strangers' dogs.

Heather Crum

Heather Crum

Senior Academic Advisor

Assistant Director of Academic Standards


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Heather enjoys advising students and helping them reach their academic goals. She graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. degree in Human Development and a M. Ed degree in School Counseling.

Ashley Glenn

Ashley Glenn

Assistant Director

Director of Orientation and Outreach


 Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Ashley joined the AAC team in January 2020 after 5 years in International and Area Studies. As an undergraduate, she double majored in English and History before continuing on to earn a Master’s degree in History at the U. Having been a first-gen student, Ashley is passionate about working with students during orientation in finding their place at the U and in identifying the possibilities that come through learning.

Steve Hadley

Steve Hadley

Assistant Director

Director of Advisor Education and Professional Development 


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Steve is originally from Hurricane, Utah and has worked in the AAC for over 15 years. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sociology from Utah State University. 

Hannah Hill

Hannah Hill

Academic Advisor II

Academic Standards Advisor


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Hannah joined the AAC team in June 2022. Originally from Oklahoma, she double majored in Spanish & Psychology as an undergrad at Hendrix College and went on to earn an M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Austin. Hannah is passionate about supporting students in building community in college. Outside of work, she is an avid podcast listener who is always on the hunt for the next great dog park to explore with her partner and their pup!

Quentin Hodges

Quentin Hodges

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of PreProfessional Advising


 Email

 Office in Building 44

Bio

Quentin is a proud alum of the University of Utah. He graduated in 2011 with a degree in Exercise Physiology (now called Kinesiology). Quentin obtained his Masters of Education degree from Clemson University in South Carolina. After moving back to Utah in 2019, he has been an academic advisor on campus dedicated to helping students as they navigate their academics. Additionally, Quentin is fanatical about movies, musical theater and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Alessandra Holt

Alessandra Zamora Holt

Academic Advisor I

PreProfessional Advising


 Email

 Office in Building 44

Bio

Alessandra was born and raised in Salt Lake City and is a U alum twice over. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies in 2017 and her Master’s degree in Education, Culture, and Society in 2019 before joining Preprofessional Advising in May 2021. As a first generation Latina, she is passionate and committed to helping students navigate higher education.  She is a new mom and loves spending time with her family. An avid cook and baker, she loves to decorate cakes and is a huge foodie.

Nichole Hutchins

Nichole Hutchins

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of Major Exploration Program


 Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Nichole completed her B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management in NC in 2012 and her M.A. in Education and Human Development in D.C. in 2020. Nichole is passionate about helping students discover their unique paths. Prior to advising, she spent a number of years working internationally in Thailand, Ecuador, Mexico, Germany, and Jordan. In her free time, Nichole enjoys rock climbing and art in all of its forms.

Lisa Hutton

Lisa Hutton

Assistant Director

Director of Major Exploration Program


 Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Lisa joined the AAC team in Sept. 2019 after advising for 7 years in the College of Humanities. She graduated from the U in 2008 with a BA in International Studies & minor in German, & in 2015 earned an MEd in Adult Learning & Global Change from the University of British Columbia. She loves college football, gymnastics, & all dogs, & is excited to promote the value of major exploration to the university campus.

Caroline Luman

Caroline Luman

Academic Advisior I

Major Exploration Program


 Email

  Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Caroline joined the AAC in June 2022 following her graduation from the U, where she double majored in mathematics and gender studies. Prior to advising, she spent time tutoring a wide range of students, including high school and college students. She also spent time as a teaching assistant for the Gender Studies Department and worked for the College of Mines and Earth Sciences at the U. She is committed to helping students find a major that brings them joy, empowerment, and community!

Jon Murphy

Jon Murphy

Academic Advising Coordinator

Utah Global Advisor


 Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Jon is originally from the Washington D.C. area but moved to Japan after completing his undergraduate program in Communications. He has since earned MA degrees in TESOL/Applied Linguistics and Sports Administration.  Jon strives to help students achieve their full potential and have tremendously positive experiences at the U. Outside of higher education, Jon has served as a basketball official for 20 years and enjoys traveling.

Shelley Nicholson

Shelley Nicholson

Assistant Director

Director of PreProfessional Advising


 Email

 Office in Building 44

Bio

College is hard! Shelley's role as Director of PPA is to help students navigate the complexities of how to be a competitive applicant for professional health programs, and also simply just how to be a successful college student. She currently teaches two courses, UGS 1020: Intro to PreMed/PrePA and UGS 1021: Applying to Med School.

Annie Patterson

Annie Patterson

Academic Advising Coordinator

Milestone Advising Program


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Annie joined the AAC in June 2022 after serving as an academic advisor and career coach at the University of Kansas. There she earned a BSE in Elementary Education and her MA in Organizational Communication. Annie's favorite part of her work is helping students connect their values and passions to majors and careers. Outside of work, you'll find her trying new foods and spending time with her partner and two cats.

Terese Pratt

Terese Pratt

Assistant Director

Director of Transfer Program


 Email

 Office in SSB

Bio

Terese has enjoyed working with students in academic advising and orientation at the University of Utah for over 15 years. Terese is an alumna of the U of U, receiving a BA in English and MA in Linguistics.

Madeline Rencher

Madeline Rencher

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of Orientation and Outreach


 Email

 Office in Marriott Library

Bio

Madeline graduated from the U with an Honors B.S. degrees in Psychology & Health, Society & Policy, & a B.S. in International Studies with Minors in Leadership Studies & Health. She graduated in 2018 with her Master’s Degree in International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Lane Sutton

Lane Sutton

Academic Advisor I

PreProfessional Advising


 Email

 Office in Building 44

Bio

Lane graduated from the University of Utah in 2021 and earned a BS in Kinesiology with an Exercise Science emphasis. Prior to joining the Academic Advising team, Lane spent time as a college advisor for high school students. He is passionate about education and is committed to helping students reach their goals. In his spare time, Lane is a tennis instructor and a coach for the boys' and girls' tennis teams at a local high school. He is an avid sports fan and loves exercise.

Dijana Trajchevska

Dijana Trajchevska

Academic Advisor I

Academic Standards Advisor


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Dijana joined the AAC team in June 2022. She earned her MA degree in Linguistics from the University of Utah in May 2021. Prior to advising, she spent time teaching domestic and international undergraduate students at the U. She loves traveling, listening to podcasts, and all dogs! She is excited to promote the values of inclusivity and empowerment.

Amy Urbanek

Amy Urbanek

Senior Advisor

Assistant Director of PreProfessional Advising


  Email

  Office in Building 44

Bio

Amy joined her alma mater as an advisor in 11 years after earning her BS degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. She also has a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University. Amy enjoys the outdoors, reading, music, and trying to train her senior rescue dog. While he is pretty set in his ways, you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks.

April Vrtis-Curran

April Vrtis-Curran

Academic Advising Coordinator

Assistant Director of Orientation and Outreach


  Email

  Office in Marriott Library

Bio

April began her time at the U as an Undecided Advisor for the College of Engineering in 2016. In 2022, she joined the Academic Advising Center. April hails from the Midwest where she obtained her B.A. in Psychology and Master’s in Leadership in Higher Education from North Central College. She is a bit of a homebody and enjoys spending time with her husband, dog, cat and kid.

Bridge Advisors & College Liaisons

Lauren Bustamante

Lauren Bustamante

Bridge Advisor

College of Science


  Email

  Office in LCB 212

Bio

Lauren is originally from Southern California where she worked in higher education before moving to Utah in 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of La Verne and her Masters of Science in Academic Advising from Kansas State. As a first generation Latina she is passionate about helping students achieve college success. Her personal motto is “Si, Se Puede!”.

 

Shawn Carlyle

Bridge Advisor

Advisor, College of Social and Behavioral Science


  Email

  Office in Gardner Commons

Bio

Shawn was born in Pocatello, Idaho, but grew up in a number of towns including Silver Spring, MD; and Denver, CO., before moving to Salt Lake City in 1985 to attend the University of Utah. While at the "U", Shawn received a BA in HIstory, BS in Anthropology, and finally completed his PhD in biological anthropology in 2003. Shawn has been advising for the Department of Anthropology for just over five years, and also teaches classes for the Departments of Anthropology at both the University of Utah and Weber State University.

Angelica

Angelica Dennis

Bridge Advisor

Advisor, College of Social and Behavioral Science


  Email

  Office in Gardner Commons

Bio

Angelica is originally from Toronto, Canada where she worked in the creative industry! There she merged her love for people and the art of makeup. As an advisor at the U, she is passionate about empowering students to take the lead in their own academic journey with enthusiasm and care. Angelica is also a student pursuing her business degree in Operations and Supply Cha in Management.

Cyri Dixon

Cyri Dixon

Bridge Advisor

College of Science


  Email

  Office in Crocker Science Center

Bio

A graduate of Utah State University with a degree in Physical Sciences Ed., Cyri also has minors in physics & chemistry teaching. She has recently earned her Masters of Public Administration degree at the U. She loves camping, sports, Wonder Woman, & her dog, Roka.

Andrew Grace

Andrew Grace

Bridge Advisor

College of Fine Arts


  Email

  Office in ART 270

Bio

Andrew is a bridge advisor in the College of Fine Arts. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate in English. The first one was from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. The other two were from the University of Oregon.

Sara Hatch

Sara Hatch

College Liaison

Advisor, College of Education


  Email

  Office in SAEC

Bio

Sara is an advisor in the College of Education, and she enjoys working with students to help them be successful in reaching their academic goals. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Utah Valley University. She enjoys reading books and eating chocolate.

Emily Howsley

Emily Howsley

Bridge Advisor

College of Engineering


  Email

  Office in WEB

Bio

Emily hails from the Grand Canyon state. She is a photographer, artist, and freelance writer for KSL.com and Deseret News. She loves cats, and traveling – but not traveling with cats. Emily enjoys connecting students to opportunities.

Elirissa

Elirissa Hui

Bridge Advisor

College of Health


  Email

  Office in HPER-N

Bio

Elirissa is a first-generation college graduate and earned her Bachelor of Science in Family & Human Services from the University of Oregon and her Master’s of Education in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University. She has been an academic advisor in the College of Health since January 2021. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting and finding good restaurants to try with her partner.

Jenn McLaurin

Jennifer A. McLaurin

Bridge Advisor

College of Fine Arts


  Email

  Office in Performing Arts

Bio

Jenn is a bridge advisor in the College of Fine Arts. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Anthropology in 2012 and her Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration in 2014, both from the State University of New York, Buffalo State.

Sonia Meza

Sonia Meza

Bridge Advisor

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences


  Email

  Office in GC

Bio

Sonia was raised in Sparks, Nevada where she worked in study abroad, advising underrepresented students and helping them prepare for their programs, before joining CSBS in 2021. She is a first-generation graduate and earned her B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Psychology from Dartmouth College. Her favorite part of advising is encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone and watching them grow more confident in their experiences and skills.

Karleton

Karleton Munn

College Liasion

Honors College


  Email

   Office in Kahlert Village

Bio

Karleton returned to the University of Utah and joined the Honors College in the Summer of 2019. After completing his undergraduate degree in English at Weber State University, he worked as an academic advisor here at the U in the Dept. of History. During that time, he completed a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Ohio State University and will finish in Summer of 2022. Karleton works with all honors students but is the Honors College liaison to the Academic Advising Center, College of Humanities, College of Science, and the College of Education.

justin nistler

Justin Nistler

Bridge Advisor

College of Humanities


  Email

   Office in LNCO

Bio

Justin has been advising in the College of Humanities since November of 2016 & has loved every minute of it. Originally from Audubon, Minnesota, Justin relocated to Utah at the end of 2015 to chase his love of mountains and all of the adventures they provide.

Daniel Paul

Daniel Paul

Bridge Advisor

David Eccles School of Business


  Email

  Office in SFEBB

Bio

Dan joined the David Eccles School of Business Advising team in 2020. He received a B.A. in writing from Columbia College Chicago, a MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, and a PhD in English from The University of Cincinnati. Before pivoting to advising, he was a faculty member teaching writing at Rollins College in Orlando. Some of Dan's favorite hobbies include: reading, cooking, and spending time outside with his wife and dog. As a writer, Dan is always excited to talk about what you're reading or watching. He looks forward to working with you.

Marissa Smith

Marissa Smith

Bridge Advisor

College of Nursing


  Email

  Office in CNB

Bio

Marissa worked for six years at Weber State University in Access & Diversity, advising low-income, unrepresented, first generation students while also serving inner city Ogden communities in a variety of capacities including: youth programming and development, education equity and access, community and academic program development and management, and community partnerships management. She did both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Weber State University.

Ali Johnson

Ali Tomney

Bridge Advisor

David Eccles School of Business


  Email

  Office in SFEBB

Bio

Ali is a Utah native and received her B.A. in Psychology from Weber State and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Utah.  She is currently a Business advisor and enjoys working with students to help them excel at their personal and academic goals. Outside of work Ali enjoys spending time with her wife, watching Netflix, and training her dogs, Juno and Willow.

Josh Wardle

Josh Wardle

Bridge Advisor

Medical Laboratory Science


  Email

  Office in Building 379

Bio

Josh has been an academic advisor since 2014 and began working at the U in 2021. Although he has primarily advised students majoring in the sciences, he had a brief tenure in athletics working in student-athlete academics and eligibility. He graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. in Health Science and from Southern Utah University with an M.A. in Professional Communication. Josh enjoys being physically active and attending concerts and sporting events.

Brenda

Brenda Wicks

Bridge Advisor

College of Mines and Earth Sciences


  Email

  Office in 304 CME

Bio

Brenda moved from Minnesota to Utah in 2014. She is the academic advisor for the Department of Metallurgical Engineering & the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. She enjoys working with students that are pursuing degrees & careers in the STEM fields. Brenda treasures her faith, family, friends & the beautiful mountains of Utah.

Academic Advising Center Admin Team

Joseph Bradford

Joseph Bradford

Computer Technician


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Joseph has a BS from Clemson University in Materials Science in 2008, and is currently studying Computer Science at Weber State University. He loves cooking, the outdoors, and his family.

David Eisen

David Eisen

Administrative Assistant


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

David has been with the Academic Advising Center since March 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French (plus a Secretarial Certificate) from the University of Utah and attended the University of Washington for one year.

Cassidy

Cassidy Heacock

Office Assistant


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Cassidy is earning her associates in social work from SLCC, hoping to transfer to the University of Utah next fall to continue with my bachelor's and master's degree. I enjoy helping people, and giving them a voice.

Tammy

Tammy "Sunshine" Mabey

Director of Operations


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Tammy joined the Academic Advising Center in January of 2012. Tammy is a Hoosier, hailing from Indiana originally but has lived in Utah for the last 31 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Communication and a Master of Science degree in Gerontology.

Elisabeth Petty

Elisabeth Petty

Office Assistant


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

I am a transfer student with an Associate Degree in American Sign Language from California. I moved to Salt Lake two years ago to obtain a Bachelors in Speech, Language, and Hearing Pathology. I will graduate in Spring of 2022 with future plans to pursue a master's degree in Speech Pathology in Fall of 2023. 

Ruby

Ruby Pfeiffer

Reception Team Coordinator


  Email

  Office in SSB

Bio

Ruby joined the AAC in 2019 after graduating from the U with a BA in International Studies and a BFA in Modern Dance. Moving from Orange County, California, Ruby fell in love with Salt Lake City and decided to stay at the U, with the goal of one day becoming an academic advisor. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Global Education and hopes to continue helping students in their journey here at the University of Utah.

Last Updated: 6/27/22