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ERCAdvisingStaffWI20

Advising Staff

  • Melissa Ellew - Dean of Advising

    Melissa Ellew - Dean of Advising

    Melissa Ellew (she/her/hers) has been with ERC since 2005 and is dedicated to advocating for students and their success. She believes in the importance of personal connection and works along with the ERC advising team to create a space where students can connect with ERC advisors, share their stories, and find support. Melissa earned a B.A. in Communication from UC San Diego and a M.A. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of San Diego. She lives in Chula Vista with her husband and two children and in addition to spending time with her family, Melissa enjoys traveling and running.

  • Ivonne Avila - Senior Academic Counselor

    Ivonne Avila - Senior Academic Counselor

    Ivonne, graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in History (United States) and minor in Biology.  She began her advising career as an undergraduate Peer Advisor, and discovered that she loves helping, guiding, mentoring, and teaching students. Throughout her years at UC San Diego, she worked as an undergraduate academic advisor in the departments of: Ethnic Studies, History, and Computer Science and Engineering. She took a three year break from UC San Diego, and worked as an Admissions Evaluator at SJSU. As a first generation graduate, her goal is to provide students with support and knowledge on how to make the most of their experience at UC San Diego.   On her free time, she likes to teach indoor cycling, circuit training, boot camp, play beach volleyball, and spend time with her family.  

  • Lorna Hirae-Reese - Senior Academic Counselor and International Programs Specialist

    Lorna Hirae-Reese - Senior Academic Counselor and International Programs Specialist

    Lorna graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa with a B.A. in Public Relations. From Hawaii to Oregon State University, Lorna received her M.Ed. in College Student Services Administration and ten years later a M.S. in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from San Diego State University. Lorna started her career at UC San Diego as an Assistant Resident Dean at Revelle College and later held a position as an Assistant Dean of Students at Eleanor Roosevelt College. Lorna has also worked at Project Concern International as a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, United States International University as a Housing Director and an Assistant Dean of Students, and CSU San Marcos as the first Housing personnel. As a first-generation college graduate, Lorna is committed to promoting access and equity in education and helping students to be the best that they can be in college.

  • Lydia Ramirez - Senior Academic Counselor

    Lydia Ramirez - Senior Academic Counselor

    Lydia graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A in Spanish and a minor in Sociology.  She completed her Masters Degree at Point Loma Nazarene University in Education - Counseling and Guidance. As part of Lydia’s graduate work, she 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. She began her advising career as Graduate Advisor at UC San Diego in the department of Engineering. Lydia works closely with our Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program, Black Alumni Scholarship Fund students and the scholarship programs to help students maintain eligibility. Lydia loves working with students. Her goal is to help students achieve their academic and professional goals. During her free time she enjoys spending time with family, friends, her dog, reading and traveling.

  • Julie Nguyen - Senior Academic Counselor

    Julie Nguyen - Senior Academic Counselor

    Julie graduated from UC San Diego's Eleanor Roosevelt College with a B.A. double major in International Business and Communication. During her time as an undergraduate student, Julie was involved as a Freshmen, Transfer, and Senior Orientation Leader for ERC. Additionally, she 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. She loves working with students and wanted to continue providing support for them as they navigate higher education. In her free time, she loves attending concerts with her friends and trying out new food places. She also enjoys traveling when she has the opportunity whether it be visiting a new city in the states or going abroad!
  • Ivette Bautista - Senior Academic Counselor

    Ivette Bautista - Senior Academic Counselor

    Ivette (she/ her) graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. double major in Public Administration and Spanish. Prior to working at ERC, Ivette worked at the Muir Academic Advising Office for four years, where she supported undergraduate students through holistic advising. Ivette is a first-generation college graduate and feels passionate about helping students from marginalized communities succeed in college. In addition to her work with college students, Ivette is currently earning her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling abroad, exploring new places, and spending time with loved ones.

  • Gloria Aquino - Academic Counselor

    Gloria Aquino - Academic Counselor

    Gloria 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.  She is the coordinator of the Degree Audit and Graduation process and liaison to Veterans Affairs. 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 raising her four boys, cooking, playing piano, attending youth symphony concerts (her twins play the oboe and violin), road trips, the beach, books that make her cry, food network, reality shows, and family gossip!
  • Thalia Roman - Academic Counselor

    Thalia Roman - Academic Counselor

    Thalia graduated from UC San Diego’s Muir College with a B.A. in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. During her time at UCSD, Thalia was a board member for a student organization called Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine where she discovered her passion for helping students, especially those who are underrepresented in higher education, reach their academic and professional goals. She went on to work as an advising intern for her home college and has gained additional experience working with students in the Warren Residential Life Office and COSMOS. As a first-generation college graduate, Thalia is dedicated to providing the necessary support and resources for students to succeed academically and make the most of their time here at UCSD. Outside of work, Thalia enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, watching soccer and spending time with her family.

  • Gireesha Sabaratnam - Assistant Academic Counselor

    Gireesha Sabaratnam - Assistant Academic Counselor

    Gireesha graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning and a minor in Art History. During her 1st  year at UCSD, she began working as an Intern for the Thurgood Marshall Academic Advising Office where she began to realize her passion for Academic Advising. She was later promoted to Lead Intern and received the Academic Advising Leadership Award for outstanding service to the Marshall College Academic Advising Office. Gireesha has a passion for creating change in the community by helping and guiding students throughout their education. She knows that being the Assistant Academic Counselor is just the beginning of her journey in supporting students. In her spare time, Gireesha loves to hike, meditate, play guitar, travel, explore the world, and spend time with family and friends.

Peer Advising Staff for 2021 - 2022

  • Jonathan Thio

    Jonathan Thio

    Major: Psychology, Education Studies
    Minor: Business
    Graduating Quarter: Spring 2022
    Hometown: Escondido, CA
    Years as an ERC Peer Advisor: Started Summer 2021
    Cocurricular Activities: PERC, Board Game Club, Orientation Intern, Wellness Peer Educator
    Career Goals: I would like to become a High School Guidance Counselor, or some similar position where I can help high school students.

Advising Student Intern

  • Sahithi Karumudi

    Major: Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Cognitive Behavorial Neuroscience
    Graduating Quarter: Spring 2024
    Hometown: Santa Clara, CA
    Years as an ERC Advising Student Intern: Started Fall 2020
    Cocurricular Activities: 
    Career Goals: