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erc-advising-staff-photo-2023.pngAdvising Staff

  • Melissa Ellew - Dean of Advising

    Melissa Ellew - Dean of Advising

    It is my privilege to serve as your Dean of Academic Advising. I have been with Eleanor Roosevelt College since 2005 and am dedicated to our students and your success. I grew up in Lompoc, a small town in central California and came to San Diego to attend UC San Diego. While I was a student at UCSD, I worked at the Academic Internship Program and discovered the career of Academic Advising. I find that helping students navigate the complexities of college life, especially at UC San Diego is how I can help break down barriers toward graduation and have been committed to this work  ever since. I went on to study at the University of San Diego and earned my Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies in Higher Education. Looking back at my times as a students, I was unaware of the support resources available to me so my advice to ERC students is to remember that we are here for you. I believe in the importance of personal connection in academic advising and invite students to share their stories with us.

  • Cindy Hsu - Assistant Dean of Advising

    Cindy Hsu - Assistant Dean of Advising

    Hello! My name is Cindy and I am excited to serve as your Assistant Dean of Academic Advising at Eleanor Roosevelt College! Originally from the Bay Area in Northern California, I attended UC San Diego and graduated with a double major in Psychology and Spanish Language Studies. During my time as an undergraduate student, I really enjoyed being involved in student organizations and being an Orientation Leader. After working in research, I realized how much I missed working with students so I made a decision to switch career paths and pursue academic advising. While working at ERC Advising the first time, I also attended graduate school full-time and earned my Master’s degree in Education from San Diego State University. I was most recently part of the John Muir College Advising team for many years and have now come full circle in returning to ERC Advising again. In my free time, I enjoy planting succulents, loom knitting, making ice cream, and spending time with my family. During your academic journey and beyond, please know that it is always ok to ask for help and explore your options. If you don’t know where or how to start, you can always start with ERC Advising. I look forward to getting to know you!
  • Ivonne Avila - Senior Academic Advisor

    Ivonne Avila - Senior Academic Advisor

    My name is Ivonne and I am one of your academic advisors.  I grew up with my five siblings in downtown San Jose, CA.  Like many at UC San Diego, I started as a Biology major, but changed my major to History (enjoyed History more than Biology)--graduated with a History major and Biology minor.  As an undergraduate, I was a peer advisor for the Third World Studies/Chicano Studies and Ethnic Studies.  When I was a peer advisor, I found my passion and calling in advising students.  I have worked as an undergraduate and graduate academic advisor in many different academic departments (Ethnic Studies, History, and CSE) at UC San Diego.  However, I enjoy my position at ERC as a college academic advisor, where I can assist more students in various disciplines.  As a first-generation student, I was lost at UC San Diego and made terrible academic decisions.  It was my college advisor who guided and helped me find my way towards graduation and discover my passion for advising. I decided to pursue a career in advising to assist and guide students to find their passion, achieve their goals, and to find their own pathway towards graduation. On a personal note, I enjoy: traveling with my family, spending time outside under the sun, and working out (I have been teaching indoor cycling for over 16 years). If anything I learned at UC San Diego during my undergraduate years, it is best to seek guidance and advice from the experts, and to have realistic and attainable goals. 

  • Lydia Ramirez - Senior Academic Advisor

    Lydia Ramirez - Senior Academic Advisor

    I am looking forward to getting to know you and working with you! I  attended the University of San Diego for my undergraduate degree and I completed my Masters Degree at Point Loma Nazarene University in Education - Counseling and Guidance. As part of my graduate work, I was an intern at Barrio Logan College Institute, a program working to motivate underrepresented, first generation students to consider and qualify for post-secondary educational opportunities. I began my advising career as Graduate Advisor at UC San Diego in the department of Engineering. I work closely with our Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program,  the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services and other First-Generation programs to help students maintain eligibility. My goal is to help you achieve academic and professional goals. During my free time I enjoy  spending time outdoors, doing barre, hiking and traveling.

  • Lorna Hirae-Reese - Senior Academic Advisor/International Programs Specialist

    Lorna Hirae-Reese - Senior Academic Advisor/International Programs Specialist

    Aloha, I am happy that you are reading my profile. I hope you will reach out to me for academic support. I am committed to helping you achieve your academic goals. I see education as an empowering opportunity for social mobility and personal growth. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Hawaii, my Master of Education in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University, and my Master of Science in Marriage & Family Counseling from San Diego State University. I started my career at UC San Diego as an Assistant Resident Dean at Revelle College and held other positions later as an Assistant Dean of Students and Orientation Program Manager at Eleanor Roosevelt College. I love spending time with my family and pets and enjoy traveling, gardening, and new adventures.

  • Julie Nguyen - Senior Academic Advisor

    Julie Nguyen - Senior Academic Advisor

    Hi, my name is Julie and I’m one of your academic advisors! I’m a San Diego native and I graduated from our very own Eleanor Roosevelt College with a B.A. double major in International Business and Communication. During my time as an undergraduate student, I was involved as a Freshmen, Transfer, and Senior Orientation Leader for ERC. Additionally, I worked closely with the Chancellor's Associates Scholars Program (CASP) as both a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen students as well as a Student Office Coordinator for the program's office. In my free time, I love attending concerts with my friends and trying out new food spots. I also enjoy traveling when I have a chance, whether it be visiting a new city in the states or going abroad. I decided to pursue academic advising because I really cherished working with students and wanted to continue providing support for them as they navigate higher education. One piece of advice I have for students is to not be afraid to ask for help because we all need it sometimes.
  • Ivette Bautista - Senior Academic Advisor

    Ivette Bautista - Senior Academic Advisor

    Hello! My name is Ivette Bautista (pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers) and I am here to support you with your college experience. I was born in Torrance, California, but raised in Tijuana, Mexico until I was 11. As a child, I crossed the border every day to attend school in San Diego, which provided me with a unique understanding of what it means to navigate two cultures and constantly feel out of place.

    I earned my B.A. in Public Administration and Spanish from San Diego State University in 2016 and have been working at UCSD since 2018. Prior to working at ERC, I worked at the Muir Academic Advising Office for four years where I was able to develop my own advising style. In my interactions with students, I seek to demonstrate compassion and empathy while helping them get closer to their goals. As a first-generation college graduate, I am passionate about helping students from minority groups succeed in college. In addition to my work with college students, I am also working on my Master's degree to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. 

    In my spare time, I enjoy traveling to other countries, reading, and spending time with my family and friends. I look forward to connecting with you!

  • Gloria Aquino - Academic Advisor

    Gloria Aquino - Academic Advisor

    Gloria attended and began her Academic Advising career at UC Davis. After moving to San Diego in 1991, she joined ERC Academic Advising as an Intake Counselor and later as an Academic Counselor.  In addition to meeting with students, Gloria is the coordinator of the Degree Audit and Graduation process.  She also oversees administrative duties for ERC 20 (The Freshman Honors Seminar) and ERC 92 (The Sophomores Honors Project). Gloria truly loves what she does stating “it’s all about the undergrads, I love working with them, laughing and crying with them, sharing the 'aha' moments, seeing them mature, giving them hugs at commencement, hearing them say thank you, and knowing I was briefly part of their lives.” In her time away from ERC Gloria enjoys tending to her roses, cooking, playing piano, road and plane trips, books that make her cry, crochet, and family gossip!


  • Thalia Roman - Academic Advisor

    Thalia Roman - Academic Advisor

    Hi ERC students! My name is Thalia (pronouns: she/her/hers) and I am happy to be serving as one of your Academic Counselors. I was born and raised in Bakersfield, but also have strong ties to my parent’s home country of Peru. In 2014, I moved to San Diego to attend Muir College where I earned my B.A. in Human Development with a minor in Psychology. I originally came to UCSD with an interest in pursuing a career in health care which led me to join the Chicanx/Latinx for Community Medicine (CCM) student organization. It was through my role as a board member of CCM as well as an advising intern at my home college that I narrowed in on my passion for helping students reach their academic and professional goals. As a first-generation college student, the thought of changing my career path was intimidating, but I knew that it was the best decision for me and encourage you all to reflect on your goals and be open to exploring different opportunities. Outside of work, I enjoy playing volleyball, attending concerts, watching soccer and spending time with my family. Please keep in mind that the advising team is here to provide the support and resources you need to succeed and make the most of your time here at UCSD. Do not hesitate to reach out to us!

  • Karen Zhu - Assistant Academic Advisor

    Karen Zhu - Assistant Academic Advisor

    My name is Karen and I am excited to be serving as the Assistant Academic Advisor for Eleanor Roosevelt College! I am originally from the Bay Area, and I graduated from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Dance. During my time at UCR, I was involved in various on-campus positions, including social psychology research, group fitness instruction, personal training, and dance choreography for student organizations.

    One of my favorite college experiences was serving as a Peer Advisor for the Psychology department at UCR. Working as a Peer Advisor gave me the rewarding opportunity of making an impact on students’ academic journeys while I was a student myself. The fulfilling nature of the job also helped me realize my passion for helping students and solidified my interest in the field of academic advising.

    In my free time, I enjoy working out, dancing, cooking, bullet journaling, and taking photos. I look forward to connecting with you and helping you through your academic career!

Peer Advising Staff (2023 - 2024)

  • Sahithi Karumudi

    Sahithi Karumudi

    Sahithi Karumudi is a fourth year Cognitive Science major with a specialization in Design and Interaction. She is from Santa Clara, CA, and is set to graduate in Spring 2024. Having served as an ERC Peer Advisor since the Summer of 2021, Sahithi brings a wealth of experience to her role. Beyond academics, she actively engages in cocurricular activities, contributing to the Sustainable Investment Group, the Indian Students Association, and the Undergraduate Communication Society. Sahithi's career aspirations revolve around UX/UI, Frontend Development, and Consulting, reflecting her passion for the intersection of cognitive science and design.

  • Amy Tran

    Amy Tran

    Amy Tran is a fourth year student studying Public Health with a Concentration in Health Policy and Management Science. She is from Sacramento, CA, and is on track to graduate in Spring 2024. Amy joined the ERC Peer Advisor team in the Fall of 2023, bringing her dedication to student support. Engaging with the campus community, she is involved in VSA and served as an Eighth College Orientation Leader. Beyond her academic pursuits, Amy enjoys spending time with friends, playing board games, indulging in shopping, and honing her baking skills. With an interest in the healthcare field, Amy aspires to become a healthcare administrator, blending her academic focus with practical leadership goals. 

  • Kimmi Wang

    Kimmi Wang

    Kimmi Wang is a third year student pursuing a major in Sociology. She is from Sacramento, CA is set to graduate in Fall 2024. As an ERC Peer Advisor since the Fall of 2023, Kimmi brings her enthusiasm for supporting her fellow students through various avenues. Outside of academics, she channels her creativity into various arts and crafts projects during her free time. Kimmi is an active participant in campus life, contributing to the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee and the Nikkei Student Union (NSU). Her career aspirations align with a deep passion for working with students, expressing a desire to engage in roles such as teaching or counseling.

  • Pranav Madabhushi

    Pranav Madabhushi

    Pranav Madabhushi is a third year student majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. He is from Redlands, CA, with plans to graduate in Spring 2025. Serving as an ERC Peer Advisor since Fall 2023, Pranav combines his passion for science with a commitment to supporting his peers. Beyond academics, his interests are diverse, including working out, practicing martial arts, playing the Indian flute, and enjoying time with friends. Pranav is an active member of the community, contributing to organizations such as Feeding San Diego and volunteering at the UC San Diego Health hospital. His ultimate career goal is to become an Orthopedic Surgeon, reflecting his dedication to the medical field.