Meet our Advisors and Staff

Academic Advising Center Leadership

Beth Howard

Associate Dean

Office in SSB

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

Assistant Dean
Director of Appeals for General Education

Office in SSB

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

associate DIRECTOR
Director of curriculum

Book with JuliaOffice in Marriott Library

Julia joined the Academic Advising Center staff in 2012. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and a Master of Science in Information Systems, both from the University of Utah.

Academic Advising Center Advising Team
(in Alphabetical Order)

Jason Atherton

Assistant Director
Academic Standards Director

Book with JasonOffice in SSB

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.

Marshal Beach

Academic Advising Coordinator
Assistant Director,
Major Exploration Program

Book with MarshalOffice in Marriot Library

Marshal is a newly converted U of U employee and fan as of 2019. After being homeschooled his entire life with every label that implies, Marshal completed a custom designed degree from Southern Utah University before getting his Masters in Public Administration so he could help you find more awesome in life.

Stephanie Begaye

Academic Advising Coordinator
Assistant Director,
Major Exploration Program

Book with StephanieOffice in Marriott Library

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.

Sage Blackburn

Peer Advisor, Academic Advising Center

Book with Sage

Office in SSB

 Sage is a student at the University of Utah and a peer advisor at the Academic Advising Center. She grew up in the small town of Hanksville, Utah. Currently she is  exploring a variety of majors that interest her the most, and is minoring in French.


Lauren Bustamante

BRIDGE ADVISOR, school of medicine, medical laboratory science

Book with Eli

Office in School of Medicine

Lauren is a California native who joined University of Utah in February 2020. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of La Verne, & is currently completing her masters from Kansas State. As a first generation Latina she is passionate about helping students achieve college success. Her personal motto is “Si, Se Puede!”.

Jacklyn Chiu

Jacklyn Chiu

bridge advisor, college of health

Book with Tricia

Office in HPRN

Jacklyn started at the University of Utah in February 2019 as an advisor for the College of Health and now I will also be a Bridge Advisor. I’m also a graduate of University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science. I enjoy traveling, trying new foods, and spontaneous adventures!

Tricia Cook

Tricia Cook

bridge advisor, college of social and behavioral science

Book with Tricia

Office in Gardner Commons

Tricia joined the University of Utah family as an Academic Advisor in 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Weber State University and a Master of Public Administration from Southern Utah University. When she’s not busy assisting U of U students you can find Tricia exploring foreign lands, running races, or building something in the woodshop.

Eli Covarrubias

bridge advisor, college of social work

Book with Eli

Office in Social Work Building

Eli graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Chicano/a/x Studies & Spanish Literature, & an MSW degree from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Eli really enjoys helping students navigate their college experience. They also enjoy the outdoors, gardening, and cooking tasty, creative meals.

Heather Crum


Book with HeatherOffice in SSB

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.


Cyri Dixon

bridge advisor, physics and astronomy

Book with CyriOffice in Crocker Science Center

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

 Angela Gardiner


Book with AngelaOffice in LCB 214

Angie joined the Academic Advising Center as the Mathematics Bridge Advisor in 2012. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1997 with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in French.

Ashley Glenn

Ashley Glenn

director, orientation and outreach

Book with AshleyOffice in Marriott Library

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.

Andrew Grace

Andrew Grace

BRIDGE ADVISOR, college of fine arts

Book with AndrewOffice in ART 270

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.

 Steve Hadley

assistant directoR
director of ADVISOR education and professional development & ASSESSMENT

Book with SteveOffice in SSB

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. 

Emily Howsley

Emily Howsley

bridge advisor, college of engineering

Book with LisaOffice in WEB

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

Lisa Hutton

Lisa Hutton

dIRECTOR OF major exploration PROGRAM

Book with LisaOffice in Marriott Library

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.

Mayumi Kasai


Book with MayumiOffice in Annex 1202

Mayumi is an advisor in the Preprofessional Advising office. She has a Bachelor's degree in International Studies and a Master’s degree in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Utah.

Tascha Knowlton


Book with TaschaOffice in HEB 

Tascha is the bridge advisor for the College of Science in Chemistry. She graduated in 2014 with an Honors BS in Chemistry and a BS in Physics.

Erica Lampers

Erica Lampers

peer advisor, academic advising center

Book with EricaOffice in SSB

Erica is from Seattle Washington, and is majoring in Biochemistry here at the University of Utah. When Erica is not working or at school, you can find her performing with the Marching Utes, watching old movies, or reading Shakespeare.

Savannah Manwill

Savannah Manwill


Book with SavannahOffice in Nursing

Savannah has been an advisor in the College of Nursing since 2016. She has an Honors BA in Linguistics and a BA in International Studies from the University of Utah and is currently completing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

Allie McClaskey

Allie McClaskey

assistant director, TRANSFER PROGRAM
PEER PROGRAM coordinator

Book with Allie

Office in SSB

Allie is from Arizona and joined the Academic Advising Center in April 2017. She has a BSBA in Computer Information Systems from Northern Arizona University and an MA in Professional Writing, also from Northern Arizona University.

Jenn McLaurin

Jennifer A. McLaurin


Book with JennOffice in Performing Arts

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.

Jake McPartlin

Jake McPartlin

advising coordinator, ACADEMIC STANDARDS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, utah global advisor

Book with JakeOffice in SSB

Jake, a Michigan native, started his career in the Registrar's Office at the U in May of 2016. He moved to the AAC in October of 2017. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Shelley Nicholson


Book with ShelleyOffice in Annex 1202

College is hard! Shelley's role as Asst. 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.

justin nistler

Justin Nistler

bridge advisor, college of humanities

Book with JustinOffice in LNCO

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.

Terese Pratt


Book with TereseOffice in SSB

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.

Martina Stewart

Madeline Rencher

advising coordinator, Assistant director
ORIENTATION AND OUTREACH, utah global advsior

Book with MadelineOffice in Marriott Library

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.


MacKenzie Ridley


Book with MacKenzieOffice in SSB

I’m an Idahoan at heart and travel enthusiast! I hope to touch every continent and see all 7 wonders of the world. I’m a junior Honors student majoring in Health, Society and Policy with a minor in Spanish. When I’m not working or in school, I’m usually hiking or skiing.

Martina Stewart

Martina Stewart


Book with MartinaOffice in SSB

Martina has been an advisor in the Academic Advising Center for over 15 years. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's in Career and College Counseling from San Francisco State University.

Jennifer Sweatman

Bridge advisor, Eccles school of business
Book with Jenn

Office in Eccles Business

Jennifer joined the Academic Advising Center as Bridge advisor for the David Eccles School of Business in 2018.  She holds a BA in Philosophy from University of Georgia and a PhD in History from University of Oregon.

Amy Urbanek

Book with Amy

Office in Annex 1202

Amy joined her alma mater as an advisor in 1998, eleven years after earning her BS degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. Amy earned a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University.


Brenda Wicks

COLLEGE OF mines and earth sciences


Joe Witzke


Book with JoeOffice in Annex 1202

Joseph received his BA in History & French from Central Michigan University. After teaching English in France for a year, he moved to Utah earning an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy from the U. He is passionate about helping students find purpose & meaning in their academic & professional careers.

 Academic Advising Center Admin Team
(Alphabetical Order)

David Eisen

administrative assistant

Office in SSB

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.


Jason Lyons

computer technician

Office in SSB

Jason joined the Academic Advising Center in the winter of 2018. Jason is a Utah native. In 2014, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in City and Metropolitan planning from the University of Utah.

Tammy "Sunshine" Mabey


Office in SSB

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 29 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Communication and a Master of Science degree in Gerontology.


Ruby Pfeiffer


Office in Annex

 Ruby is from Orange County, California & graduated from the UofU with a BA International Studies and a BFA in Modern Dance. She hopes to one day be able to help students achieve their academic & professional goals like her advisors did during her time at the U.


Valerie Smith


Office in SSB

Valerie is our newest member in the AAC. She graduated with a BA in History from the University of Missouri-Columbia and moved to Utah in June 2018. She enjoys spending sunny days outside with her dogs, Maisy and Roan. 

Last Updated: 10/26/20