About Us

Our Mission Statement

In Social Ecology Undergraduate Advising, we provide holistic advising to each student. By interpreting and enforcing both university and school policies, we seek to empower students to make informed decisions about their education. We collaborate with students to set personal, educational, and professional goals and ensure they have the knowledge of and access to resources to achieve those goals. Ultimately, our goal is for each student to become a proactive agent in their educational journey.

Undergraduate Advising

The Office of Undergraduate Advising in the School of Social Ecology has a committed team of professional staff and peer academic advisors dedicated to helping our undergraduate students achieve academic and personal success. We are student-centered, responsive to student needs and concerns, and solution-focused. We invite you to meet with us to discuss course scheduling, career planning, graduate and professional school preparation, transition/adjustment issues, academic policies and procedures, among many other topics. We look forward to serving you during your undergraduate career at UC Irvine.

Click on each name below to learn more! 

 

Name: Danielle Primavera
Title: Director, Undergraduate Advising
Education: B.A. in English with minors in Education and Sociology from UCI (zot zot!) and a M.S. in Counseling in Student Development in Higher Education from CSULB

Why I do what I do:
I find joy in witnessing and being a part of growth and development. I think college is such an exciting time where students are figuring out who they are and who they want to be, and I love supporting and being a part of that process. My favorite question to ask students is "What are your long-term goals? What would your dream life look like, 5 years from now?" and I like working backwards from there. So, be prepared for that, if you you make an appointment with me. You will be both supported and challenged to grow. As a director, I am able to help students on a broader scale by making sure our practices support student success and that every decision is made with students' best interests in mind. I am lucky to lead a wonderful team and we look forwarding to meeting you!

Fun fact:
I am Filipino American and the first in my family to go to college here in the US and I am proud of myself for navigating that process! Also, I speak Italian semi-fluently (my husband is Italian).

Hobbies:
Dance parties in my living room with my 3 little kids. Watching my succulent garden grow and propagating leaves. Reading. Walking. Walking while reading.

Favorite TV:
Guilty pleasure show is the Bachelor/all Bachelor adjacent content.

Name: Alejandra Garibay
Title: Assistant Director
Education: BS in Statistics from UC Davis

Why I do what I do:
I like helping people help themselves. My favorite moments in advising are when students realize the answer to their questions as we work together.

Fun fact:
I have 2 cats and 2 dogs.

Name: Dmitry Tsukerman
Title: Director of Field Study
Education: M.S. in Clinical Psychology and Ph.D. in Psychological Science

Why I do what I do:
In my own grad school and career experiences and in years of student mentorship, I've learned the importance of making the right moves early to set up for later success. I am thrilled to provide students with the knowledge and opportunities to explore their own grad school and career goals and to get experience and connections that can open up a world of possibilities at the next level. It is even more rewarding to see our students supporting their communities while building their own futures.

Fun Fact:
I can cook many traditional Russian dishes that I learned from my mother and grandmother

Hobbies:
Playing and watching sports (and Fantasy Football!), camping, cooking, and playing guitar

Favorite movies/books/food:
I love sushi and big, rare steaks! Some of my dearest and favorite books are by Fredrik Backman and Larry McMurtry (and secretly, Harry Potter). Several of my all-time TV shows are Friday Night Lights, House M.D., Parenthood, Frasier, and of course, Breaking Bad.

Name: Jamie Shea
Title: Academic Counselor
Education: BA in Psychology and English from the University of San Diego; M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University

Why I do what I do:
Every student has a story and their own journey to take. I love being part of that and helping students to understand all the options available to them.

Fun fact:
I've flown a plane.

Hobbies:
Running, hiking, kayaking, adventuring with my dog, finding fun coffeeshops, reading, and collecting stress balls

Name: Josh Miller
Pronouns: They/them
Title: Academic Counselor

Cats:
2 – Rascal is full of anger and Milo is full of love

Music:
What you’d expect a late-30s hipster to listen to? Radiohead, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Spoon

Hobbies:
Tabletop gaming, video games, trolling Social Ecology student staff Irvine Food Recommendations: Sgt Pepperoni’s (pizza), Memphis Café (southern/soul food), Tim Ho Wan (dim sum)

Advising Style:
I’m big on authenticity and relational advising, and try to create an even playing field in my appointments. That way we can talk through stuff together, rather than me telling you what to do. I also have a ridiculous sense of humor that is a combo of terrible dad jokes and turn-of-the-century Will Ferrell movies (think Anchorman, Talladega Nights). So be prepared for some groaners.

Name: Lisardy Velasco
Title: Academic Counselor - ACE Coordinator
Education: B.A. in Sociology, M.S. College Counseling and Student Development

Why I do what I do:
I found college to be challenging to navigate as a first-generation college student. After learning that academic counseling in higher education was a career, I knew that this is how I wanted to help others. I am excited about helping students transition to college and seeing them thrive.

Fun Fact:
I attended community college for 6 years prior to transferring.

Name: Marie Castillo
Title: Academic Counselor
Education: UCI '22 - B.A. in Psychological Science, minors in Education and Sociology

Why I do what I do:
I enjoy building relationships with students to offer a safe space and insightful resource that can help teach them, regardless of their circumstances, how to take control of their educational experience.

Fun Fact:
I used to do Irish dance and performed on the news every year

Hobbies:
dance, cheerleading, hiking

Favorite movies/books/food:
The Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, tacos

Name: Lizet Ceja Diaz
Title: Field Study Coordinator
Education: Bachelors of Arts, Sociology (Cal State Fullerton)

Why I do what I do:
I am inspired by the difference I can make in preparing students for their professional life after their undergraduate years. Also, as a former community partner, I am passionate about being able to create long-term relationships with our community partners, where our students gain experience and skills, and partners have the support they need to keep providing for our community!

Fun Fact:
I can chew a whole pack of gum in less than one hour

Hobbies:
Kickboxing, crafting, and party decorating

Favorite movies/books/food:
Movie: Gladiator
Book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Food: Mexican, not just because I am one, but because it's the best! :)

Name: Jen Brantley
Title: Office Manager
Education: B.B.A, Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University

Why I do what I do:

Fun Fact:
I used to be a Digital Compositor working on post-production for films. I have 13 movie credits.

Hobbies:
Anything outdoors: surfing, biking, hiking, traveling

Favorite movies/books/food:
Ordinary People, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, mint n’chip ice cream

 

Peer Academic Advisors

Samantha Lim

Calli Genest

Julia Bogdan

Kaitlyn McGee

 

 

 

 

Kaitlynn Nguyen

Katelyn Aoki

Melissa Montoya

Paulina Pizano

 

 

 


 

Student Administrative Assistants

Abdon Danting

 

Johnny Vu

 

Shima Pourmehdi

 

 

 

 


Field Study Student Staff

Phoebe Pham

Su Spengler


 

Graduate Affairs

Jennifer Craig Welti
Director, Graduate Affairs
(949) 824-5918

Irice Castro
Assistant Director
(949) 824-1874

Other Graduate Staff Contacts
Click Here