The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) academic advisors conduct almost 30,000 in-person student advising sessions each year while maintaining an average student-submitted rating of 4.7 out of 5. Along with office walk-ins, our advisors also attend to email advising, phone advising, group advising, and represent CLAS at various campus functions and national advising organizations. Among us, we have numerous university- and nationally-recognized leaders and awardees.
Joseph F. Spillane
Director, Academic Advising Center
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
In addition to overseeing the operations of the Academic Advising Center as the Director, I also serve as the CLAS Associate Dean for Student Affairs. In that capacity, I work with the Dean’s Office and the departmental undergraduate coordinators to ensure that all CLAS students have access to appropriate courses and advising. I also serve as the college’s liaison to various university-level committees, such as the curriculum committee, the commencement committee, and more. I am a historian by training, and have been a member of the History faculty at UF since 1995, researching and teaching modern American history, especially the history of drugs, crime, and the criminal justice system. My goal as Director and Associate Dean is really the same as in the classroom—to ensure that all students are getting the best possible undergraduate experience. Our undergrads are the university’s greatest asset. Each student deserves the chance to make the most of their time in CLAS!
Lynn B. O’Sickey
I help to manage the operations of the CLAS Academic Advising Center. In that capacity, I troubleshoot issues for students, faculty and parents. Frequently, I work to get policies and procedures clarified or simplified to ease the administrative life of undergraduate students. I help the AAC and the College to collect and use data to make decisions that are designed to enhance the undergraduate student experience and student success. I serve on numerous committees and often share the front-line perspectives of undergraduates and academic advisors.
As someone who struggled academically as an undergrad, I get great satisfaction helping students avoid or successfully navigate potential struggles. I also love helping students open their minds to the breadth of opportunities available to them and the range of possibilities their futures can hold. In many cases, students are unaware of the many, many paths they can take to achieve their goals. Helping students clarify those goals and then find the right path for them is immensely gratifying.
Sara C. Mock
New Student Transitions
I advise CLAS majors, pre-law students, and exploratory students. Originally from Iowa, I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and my master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I have worked at UF since 2000, first as assistant director for experiential education in the Career Resource Center before transitioning to the CLAS Academic Advising Center in 2003. I assist with the advising-related initiatives for new students, including coordination of academic advising at Preview (orientation) for UF’s 6,700+ incoming first-year students each year. I have served on multiple campus committees, including the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars (MFOS) Steering Committee, Academic Integrity Task Force, and Student Conduct Committee, and have served as a mentor in the Reitz Scholars Program and the University Minority Mentorship Program. I am the current president of SAPLA (the Southern Association of Pre-law Advisors), a member of the board for PLANC (Pre-law Advisors National Council), and have been active in NACADA (National Academic Advising Association). I love helping students to have a successful transition to the University, and some of my recent advising project work involves assessing and working to improve the academic transition of transfer students to UF. I realize UF can seem large and daunting, and I enjoy helping students to feel at ease by showing them there are friendly people here to help. I encourage all students to find an advisor with whom they connect, meet with that advisor regularly, and ask lots of questions. There are many fabulous academic opportunities at UF, and we love to help you find a path that’s a great fit for you!
The special populations the college serves include pre-professional students (pre-health and pre-law), as well as students coded “exploratory” and AIM. In addition to advising general CLAS students, I work specifically with students admitted through the AIM Program. I also contribute to the services the college extends to exploratory students and serve on the steering committee for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from American University in communications and foreign language media. After working for about six years in the non-profit field, I returned to school to get my Master’s degree from the University of Florida in student personnel and higher education administration. My journey into academic advising was a slightly unorthodox one, full of unexpected surprises. I try to use the experience to help guide students through what can be the intimidating process of finding a major and also to help them try to make the most of their undergraduate years.
Assistant Director CLAS Programs
I serve as a general advisor for all students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and have a particular interest in working with students who are interested in studying abroad. I also sit on the Student Conduct Committee and work with the Undergraduate Advising Council for the university as a past chair. I’m happy to say I’ve always been a Gator and earned both of my degrees here. I went through most of my time as an undergraduate student completely undecided about my career path, so I can also relate to students who have not yet discovered what they want to do in life. Through experiences like travelling, teaching, and taking on a variety of jobs I finally discovered that I love working with college students. I hope I can help you find your path and reach your goals during your time at UF!
Assistant Director for Data Management and Analysis
I am a data analysis and application developer for the Academic Advising Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida where I also provide technical expertise to faculty, staff and students. After attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where I received a bachelor degree in Anthropology I attended the University of Georgia and received a Master’s degree in Zoology. I previously taught Biology at two small liberal arts colleges in Georgia, Berry College and Mercer University.
I am the pre-health advisor for UF First Year/Freshmen students in CLAS and all other colleges at UF. I also advise First Year/Freshmen students who are Biology majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). I retired from UF in 2014 as the Coordinator of the Microbiology and Cell Science (MCS) undergraduate major and program. The MCS major is offered in two colleges at UF so I was the primary advisor for students in this major in CLAS and also in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). During those fifteen years I worked very closely with the former and current pre-health advisors since many of my majors were also pre-health students. Prior to that position, I worked as a general advisor for the First & Second year students in the College of Health and Human Performance. For 20 years prior to my advising positions, I was an Elementary and Middle School teacher/coach for the Marion County and Alachua County School Boards with a background in Fitness, Health & Wellness. I am a true orange and blue gator who received my B.S. and M.Ed. from UF. I am delighted to be back to work in the AAC working with so many talented and ambitious students so please come see me when you get settled in at UF as a Freshmen so I can assist you with your pre-health and other academic needs.
My role in the AAC is to provide academic advising to all CLAS majors, as well as students who are interested in pre-health professions from all majors at UF. I have worked at UF professionally for over five years, and my first role at UF was in the Office of Admissions working with readmissions and transfer students, freshman students and transfer evaluations. For the past four years I was the Academic Advisor for the Innovation Academy program here at UF, which allowed me to be cross trained across many majors and colleges as well as the specialist in the Innovation minor and program. My Bachelor’s degree was awarded from the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a major in Anthropology, and it has served me well when working with diverse student populations at UF. I finished my Masters of Education degree in Spring 2017 and began my journey in LS in July 2017. In my free time I love to be with my family, husband, two children and our pups. I am also a huge advocate of nature and I am an Advanced Scuba Diver through UF, where I have dove to depths of over 110 feet at the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove! Overall I am most looking forward to helping students grow and find their passions in our college.
Greetings Gator Nation! I advise the general population of CLAS, as well as our AIM and pre-law students. Originally from Detroit, MI, my journey has led me here to work with so many great minds to continue to help students achieve their goals. Having several years of working in Student Affairs has allowed me to gain tremendous skillsets in assisting with the development of students, and I hope to continue to learn and grow here at the University of Florida. I am excited to be here and hope to see you soon!
I provide general academic advising regarding course registration, degree requirements, major choices, campus resources, etc. When I was a student at Penn State, I completed degrees in Mathematics and Psychology with emphases in Statistics and Sexuality, respectively. More recently, I have worked as an academic advisor for international students at Santa Fe College. My own experiences and participating in my students’ experiences have taught me that each path is (and should be) unique. Any student can customize their college experience to maximize his or her life during and after that time, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to help in that process through my advising.
I primarily advise Biology, Geology, and Geography majors in our UF Online program. I received my Bachelor of Music from Stetson University and my Master of Music from right here at the University of Florida, both in flute performance. So how did I become a CLAS advisor? As an undergrad, I held work-study positions in University Operations and Admissions which lead me to my graduate assistantship in Admissions and Undergraduate Students Services. Through these experiences, I discovered and developed my passion for advising and student success! One of the best parts of my job is getting to know and work with students pursuing a degree from UF from all walks of life, all over the world! When I’m not advising, I stay active in the community performing in local orchestras, directing the Gainesville Flute Ensemble, and teaching flute lessons. Go Gators!
I provide advising for all students in CLAS, students in the Biology, Botany and Zoology majors, as well as students from all colleges who need pre-health advising. I help coordinate the CLAS Pre-Health Post-Bac (PHPB) program for students who graduate with a non-science major and wish to complete courses required for healthcare professional graduate school admission. I am passionate about helping students prepare for professional careers in healthcare and seeing them achieve their goals. I also serve on the UF College of Medicine and the NAAHP Committees on Diversity, the Medical Honors Program committee and the University Advisor of the Year committee. I worked in healthcare for several years as an R.N. and hospice chaplain. While most of my healthcare experience was in pediatric and pediatric and adult hospice, I also had the privilege of working with both the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota providing educational and daily living needs as well as the Roma population in Romania providing medical clinics in cooperation with Romanian healthcare providers. I completed a Masters in Religious Education from Western Theological Seminary and a second masters in Counseling from Central Michigan University. I came to UF as an advisor and find it a privilege to work with students and my peers. I came to advising in a non-traditional manner but greatly enjoy the opportunity to serve students in reaching their personal goals.
I provide general advising for CLAS majors and Exploratory students. Additional responsibilities include programming support services for CLAS Transfer Students and development of CLAS programs students for students currently enrolled in Chinese Universities. Currently, I serve as faculty advisor for the following UF student organizations, Health Educated Asian Leaders (HEAL) and the Delta Chapter of Tau Sigma National Honor Society. My family emigrated from Hong Kong, and I am the first in my family to attend college. I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.S. in Chemistry and then my M.S. in Biomedical Science at Barry University in Miami, FL. I taught Biology courses at Loyola University of Chicago, and also worked as a Learning Assistance Counselor. At UF, I previously worked as a pre-health advisor and have taught courses in the Honors Program. I believe education provides the tools to help us discover our talents and passions and the opportunities to use those gifts to serve to others.
Laura Beth Lancaster
I work with our UF Online program, and primarily advise Criminology and Anthropology students. I earned my M.S. and Ed.S. in Counseling and Human Systems from Florida State University, and my B.A. in Liberal Arts from Flagler College where I was on the college volleyball team. I am a big advocate for a Liberal Arts and Sciences education as I feel it provides students with a holistic education and the skills needed to be successful in the next steps of their lives. During my academic career I had a coach, advisor, and faculty advisor who took the time and effort to be there for me and help me along the way. I don’t know where I would be today without these individuals and I hope to be that person for my students. I love working with students and helping them along their paths, it is a dream come true to be in the position I am in. It’s great to be a Florida Gator!
I work with our UF Online program, and primarily advise Computer Science and Psychology students. I am a proud Gator graduate, with my Masters of Education in Student Personnel in Higher Education from UF. I was also a Liberal Arts and Sciences student, with my undergraduate degree in English. I truly value my liberal arts background and know it prepared me with strong writing and critical thinking skills that helped me through graduate school, and that I still use daily. As both a first-generation and transfer student myself, I always feel a special connection to these populations of students. I feel very privileged to say that I honestly love my job!
I am a general academic advisor but also spend much of my time working with prospective transfer students, Transfer Preview (orientation), and with pre-law students. I also work with students who are seeking readmission to UF and with Fresh Start students. Regardless of what category of student with whom I am working, I strive to provide accurate and honest information so that students can make good decisions and set realistic goals based on their interests, values, and goals. As I near my 25th anniversary as an academic advisor at UF, I feel very lucky to have had a small part in the academic journey of so many great students.
I work with our UF Online program, and primarily advise Sociology students and PaCE students pre-transition to campus. As a graduate of the University of Florida, I am so proud to help students graduate as Gators! I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UF, so I have a tremendous affinity for the majors we offer in CLAS. Prior to returning to UF, I worked at both the University of Oklahoma, where I earned my Master’s degree in Education, and Florida Atlantic University. As an academic advisor, I love to collaborate with students to co-create academic plans and help them achieve their goals!
I joined the CLAS Academic Advising Center in the Summer of 2015, coming from Newnan, GA. I earned my Masters of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Valdosta State University. I have been involved with various facets of student development at Valdosta State University and Georgia Southern University. In my spare time, I try to stay physically active and I enjoy visiting the many restaurants Gainesville has to offer. Feel free to stop by the AAC and say hello!
CLAS Career Advising
Assistant Director for Career and Industry Engagement
As the Career Connections Center embedded liaison for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I work to create customized services to meet students’ specific needs. I provide innovative and engaging ways for CLAS students to consider pursuing career development the moment they step onto campus. Through this role, I also work with staff, faculty, and employers to develop meaningful partnerships. I’m a UF alumna and am beyond thrilled to be back in the swamp. As an undergrad here, I studied Wildlife Ecology and Portuguese, and the experience I gained through CLAS has helped me to be successful by committing to life-long learning.
I serve as the Graduation Coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Organizational Learning & Leadership. I have worked with First-Year Experience programs, Student Life, and Residence Life. I most recently served the AAC as an Academic Advisor. Have questions about graduation? You’re in the right place!
Lecturer, Curriculum Coordinator
I teach courses and coordinate the curricular elements of the Beyond120 program, with a specific focus on the professional development of undergraduate students through academic engagement. I have a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas and am currently working on my Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction here at the University of Florida. I am particularly interested in the intersection of culture, college, and career, and I love helping students navigate that path successfully.
Lecturer, Internship Coordinator
In my role as a lecturer, I teach classes in the Beyond120 program and coordinate the Alumni Internship Program. I am originally from the Jacksonville area, but moved to Orlando to attend UCF and earn a Bachelor’s degree. I also have a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from UF, and I’m currently a doctoral student in the Higher Education Administration program here at UF as well. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering, spending time with friends and family, being involved in church, and of course, going to Gator games!
Joseph Orser, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Global Engagement
Lecturer, Undergraduate Research Coordinator
My role in the Beyond120 program involves teaching courses and performing various functions to promote, support and improve undergraduate research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Before coming to UF, I completed a doctorate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I taught many research-oriented classes and developed a passion for undergraduate education. Here at UF, I strive to be a resource for both CLAS students and CLAS faculty to ensure that researchers and mentors get the most out of their undergraduate research experience.
Academic Assistant II
Graduated from UF with a B.A. in English (Literature) in the Fall of 2005 and joined the Academic Advising Center in May 2006. I assist CLAS students by logging in the various forms submitted to the office and returning the results in a prompt manner. I enjoy assisting students and the Academic Advising Center very much. Go Gators!
Administrative Support AST I
As a Student Assistant Supervisor, I hire and train federal work study students to do various duties in CLAS Advising. I enjoy working with the students because I get to watch them grow into young professionals. I also assist CLAS students with general information and schedule appointments when needed.
UF Online Assistant
As an advising assistant for UF Online, I serve as the primary contact for all CLAS students in UF Online. I assist our students by providing general information and scheduling appointments with advisors when they have more specific questions and advising needs. I love answering student questions and informing them of the different resources they have as a UF student. I am a proud graduate of the UF College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a major in Sociology! I believe there are many benefits and values of a liberal arts education, and it is a privilege to serve CLAS students. When I am not working in the AAC, I love to sing and participate in medical missions!
Advising Information Systems Staff
I manage the AAC website, Preview Prep, a few other UF sites and tools. In this role, I have the great fortune to work with all the teams of the AAC to assist incoming students, different student populations, and communicate helpful information. My path from college started in online journalism, writing articles about federal tax news legislation and becoming the office computer guy. From there, I moved more into tech, working at Cisco Systems and Microsoft.
Graduate Student Assistants
Graduate Student Assistant
I help students with general advising regarding their plan of study in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am a 2018 graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education here at UF. Education and helping students achieve their goals is my passion. In my free time I enjoy running and spending time with my beagle, Sadie. I am very excited to be part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences advising team here at UF!
Graduate Student Assistant
As a graduate assistant for CLAS, I help students with any general advising questions by providing information and support about their academic plan. I graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with my Bachelor’s in Psychology. Currently, I am pursing a Master’s degree with UF’s Counselor Education program, hopefully one day leading me to be a school counselor! I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful part of UF’s community.