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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 five strengths: Individualization, Input, Learner, Intellection, Context
Hobbies: Knitting, gardening, gaming, writing, and cooking

Denis Fernandez Denise Fernández
Core & Flags Program Coordinator

Denise believes that every student’s lived experience is instrumental in 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, and 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 five strengths: Restorative, Harmony, Connectedness, Learner, Relator
Hobbies: Dancing, swimming, and Netflix binging

Jeff Handy Jeff Handy
Director, 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 five strengths: Analytical, Deliberative, Intellection, Consistency, Relator
Hobbies: Reading, bikes, and video games

Alexandra Holmes
Assistant Academic Advisor

Alexandra strives to create a warm and welcoming environment where students can feel supported in exploring their academic and future plans. She enjoys getting to know her students individual interests and hobbies and helping them to create a fulfilling journey at UT. Alexandra hopes that students leave each appointment empowered with the resources they need to navigate their undergraduate experience. Alexandra has experience living abroad and teaching English as a Second Language, and she loves experiencing different cultures. As a native New Yorker, she is eager to learn more about Texas from her students!

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Major: Human Development
Hobbies: Traveling, yoga, baking, running

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

Kristal Trimble
Administrative Associate

There is nothing that Kristal loves more than helping people and providing support in any way that she can. As the administrative associate, she is able to assist and collaborate with her colleagues, as well as tend to the harmonious and efficient functioning of the office environment. Kristal aims to offer students and visitors consistent care, empathy, compassion, and understanding, while helping them get connected with the resources that will be of greatest benefit to them.

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Pittsfield, MA
Major: Psychology, Women’s Studies
Top five strengths: Empathy, Connectedness, Positivity, Developer, Intellection
Hobbies: Dancing, yoga, laughing, being in nature