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Meet Our Staff

Michelle Crandell Michele Crandell
Academic Advisor

By promoting independence in a calm and accepting environment, Michele encourages students to make choices based on their priorities and interests. She provides students with tools and information useful in making these decisions and strives to give them support throughout the process.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Stevens Point, WI
Major: Psychology, Linguistics
Top 5 strengths: Individualization, Input, Learner, Intellection, Context
Hobbies: Knitting, gardening, gaming, writing, and cooking

Denis Fernandez Denise Fernández
Assistant Academic Advisor

Denise believes that every student’s lived experience is instrumental to their educational journey. She strives to build a collaborative and constructive environment where students can feel institutionally supported. As a first-generation graduate, Denise is committed to working with students to navigate university settings and become well-rounded individuals.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Hometown: Winters, CA
Majors: Ethnic Studies, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Hobbies: Attending concerts, watching movies, traveling

Vanessa Garcia Vanessa Garcia
Academic Advisor

Vanessa believes that empathy plays a major part in academic advising. She enjoys building rapport with her students to better understand their specific challenges and struggles while being as resourceful as possible. Vanessa is mindful of the holistic growth of her students and wants them to feel fully supported throughout their college endeavors. She strives to develop an environment that is open and inclusive to all students on campus.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Laredo, TX
Major: Communication Disorders, Student Affairs in Higher Education
Top 5 strengths: Restorative, Harmony, Connectedness, Learner, Relator
Hobbies: Dancing, swimming, and Netflix binging

Jeff Handy Jeff Handy
Interim Direcor, Title IX Liaison

Jeff strives to help every student make an informed decision about their academic and professional goals. He treats each student as an individual worthy of undivided, personal attention and seeks to be reliable, honest, and kind in his advising practice. The university is filled with confusing terminology and processes, and Jeff prides himself on being able to translate policies and procedures into more easily understood terms. With each appointment, Jeff’s hope is that every student leaves feeling more confident and empowered to navigate their undergraduate experience.

Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Norwich, NY
Major: Philosophy
Top 5 strengths: Analytical, Strategic, Achiever, Discipline, Intellection
Hobbies: Reading, riding bikes, and playing video games

Steven Hargis Steven Hargis
Career Counselor

Steven utilizes his empathy and positiveness to build a warm, friendly, and creative environment that allows students to explore their values, skills, and interests. He is dedicated to providing students with resources and tools that are useful in helping them find promising majors and careers that suit them well. Steven understands that every student is different and strives for a collaborative approach that empowers them to be not only successful in their undergraduate journey but for life afterward.

Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Major: Psychology, Counseling
Top 5 Strengths: Ideation, Learner, Command, Relator, Self-Assurance
Hobbies: concerts, sports, writing, traveling

Adriana Lopez Adriana Lopez
Academic Advisor

Adriana takes a holistic approach when advising her students. She believes in supporting and promoting student success both inside and outside the classroom. She recognizes that students come to college with diverse experiences, identities, and beliefs and tailors her advising to meet the individual needs of each student. She is also committed to approaching each student with empathy and unconditional positive regard while striving to help them the best she can in any way she can.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Psychology
Top 5 strengths: Individualization, Restorative, Adaptability, Communication, Positivity
Hobbies: Farming, traveling, and Netflix binging

Jordan RossiJordan Rossi
Career Counselor

Jordan believes relationship building and empathy are important when helping students. He recognizes each student’s lived experience is unique, and he maintains a supportive environment that’s inclusive for students from all backgrounds. Exploring majors, career aspirations, and identity can be an exciting moment that may prove pivotal for the student. Jordan’s goal is for students to feel supported, empowered, and more confident as they navigate career and major exploration.

Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Psychology, Counseling
Top 5 strengths: Achiever, Input, Maximizer, Relator, Learner
Hobbies: Traveling, attending concerts, being outdoors, and playing sports

Emily Swanson
Career Counseling Cooridnator

Emily uses her warm and calm demeanor to help students discover their values, interests, personality, and skills in a supportive environment. Emily is student-centered, strengths-based and collaborative to allow students to brainstorm possible majors and careers that fit them as a whole.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Psychology, Counseling
Top 5 strengths: Responsibility, Analytical, Empathy, Relator, Intellection
Hobbies: Trying new restaurants, music, and being outdoors

Celean Terry
Academic Advisor

Celean believes in helping the whole student. Her goal is to provide students with information to make informed decisions about their academic plans for the future. Celean enjoys getting to know her students and understanding that each is unique and different in their own ways. She creates a warm, welcoming environment that is open and inclusive to all students on campus.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Coldspring, TX
Major: Public Administration, Student Affairs and Higher Education
Hobbies: reading, traveling, and trying new foods

Adria Villarreal
Career Counselor II

Adria understands that choosing a career path can be challenging for many students. Her goal is to engage students in a collaborative process of self-discovery and provide personalized career counseling services. She strives to create a supportive environment where students can develop self-awareness, increase knowledge, and develop skills to navigate the complex landscape of the university and beyond. She values diversity and appreciates the unique strengths and needs of each student.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Major: Psychology, Counseling

Top 5 strengths: Learner, Intellection, Responsibility, Input, Restorative

Hobbies: Coffee, Music, Gardening, Reading, Art