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
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.
Glenn was born in New York City and grew up mostly in Pennsylvania although he lived in 6 different states before settling in Florida. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he also was a scholarship athlete in the sport of wrestling. Glenn began working at the University of Florida in 1995 as an academic advisor. During his UF career, Glenn has worked with many CLAS student populations including: probation and at-risk students, readmitted students, exploratory students and most recently online students. Glenn also teaches SLS 1501: College Success, through Flex Learning and in UF Online. Glenn worked closely with the creation and development of the UF Online program which now delivers over 20 entirely online degree options to thousands of students worldwide. In 2004, Glenn created and still serves as program director for a European Studies Summer Program in Salzburg, Austria. He has delivered over 25 advising related presentations across North America and served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising. Glenn is the proud father of two spectacular daughters born in 2003 and 2007.
Hello! My name is Ryan Braun and I am the Director of the Beyond120 program. I work with students to help them cultivate and articulate the unique skills provided by a liberal arts and sciences education. I also work with the talented faculty, staff, and alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to support student development through experiential learning, curriculum, and mentorship. The courses I teach are SLS1409: Professional Pathways in the Liberal Arts and Sciences and SLS3226: The Art of Adulting in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Sara C. Mock
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.
My role in the AAC is to provide academic advising to all students who are interested in pre-health professions from all majors at UF, as well as help advise CLAS Biology, Botany, Zoology and Marine Sciences majors. I have worked at UF professionally for over eight years, and my first role at UF was in the Office of Admissions working as an Admissions Officer for readmissions, transfer students, freshman students, and transfer evaluations. From 2013 to 2017, I created the Academic Advising Program for the Innovation Academy program here at UF. This allowed me to be cross trained across many majors and colleges, as well as the specialist in the Innovation minor. 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 pre-health students grow and find their passions in our college.
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!
Originally from Newnan, GA, I joined the CLAS Academic Advising Center in 2015. I advise CLAS Majors, PROMISE Scholars, and serve as the faculty advisor for CLAS Ambassadors. I believe the purpose of advising is to enhance the student experience; when I advise students, I aspire to equip them with the information and resources needed to effectively maximize their time at the University of Florida. At the core of my advising philosophy, I commit to be a resource to students. I promote this through intentional conversations and providing continual support based on student need; my goal is to have students leave our meeting confident in the information they received and empowered to take the next step in their academic journey. Go Gators!
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 a general advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Prior to serving as a general advisor, I worked for the Academic Advising Center as a Graduate Assistant. I enjoy helping students navigate their unique experiences at UF. I began my college career at the University of Alabama where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and later joined the Gator Nation at UF where I earned my Master’s degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education. As an advisor, I am passionate about helping students think outside of the box and find experiences in and out of the classroom to prepare them for their future.
My role in the AAC is to provide academic advising to Biology majors and all students who are interested in pre-health professions from all majors at UF. I made the move to the University of Florida from Georgia Southern University where I earned both my Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees in Kinesiology – Exercise Science. In addition to my degrees I received my Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP) credential through the American College of Sports Medicine. During my time at GSU, I worked with the competitive cheerleading program and won two national titles! In my free time, you can likely find me working out, reading a good mystery book or trying out a new recipe! Overall, I am most looking forward to helping pre-health students find their passions and work towards achieving their goals. It’s a journey and we are in it together!
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 work with our UF Online program with Computer Science students letters A-K and PaCE students pre-transition to campus letters A-K. As a proud graduate of the University of Florida, it is my privilege to help current and future students achieve gator graduate status! I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and went on to pursue my Master of Fine Arts in Production & Stage Management from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. With my artistic background, I look forward to being able to help students think outside of the box when it comes to academics and their life pursuits. It is my goal to create an inviting and collaborative space for students to help achieve their goals here at UF and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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!
My name is Marquita Ockletree, and I am from Durham, North Carolina. I have been in the educational field for over 14 years, advising specifically for about 7 years. I enjoy working with all students. Assisting them in reaching their ultimate goals in life provides me with my daily purpose. I am passionate, funny, and a caring individual who loves to cook, read, and travel. I derived from an HBCU, so my experience here is even more rewarding as I gain more diverse ways to assist all students. I am happy to be a part of the UF CLAS family, ecstatic about my opportunities, and optimistic about my future.
I primarily advise students who are interested in pre-health professions (across all majors). In 2016, I graduated from UF with a M.S. in Health Education and Behavior and received my Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) credential from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. I have worked at UF professionally for over four years. I serve on numerous college and university committees, including the UF Undergraduate Advising Council, as the Professional Development Chair. In my free time, I enjoy running with a local running group and have completed two marathons. Overall, I am passionate about advocating for students and enjoy helping them discover and pursue their personal and professional aspirations.
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!
In my role as the Global Engagement Coordinator for our Beyond120 program, I teach courses related to global engagement and love meeting with students to talk about their plans to add a global component to their undergraduate experience, whether that’s an international internship or an exchange program. I am also program director for UF in Vigo, UF in London: CLAS Internship, and have helped lead excursions to meet with CLAS alumni in London and Washington D.C. Having had an impactful study abroad experience in Tanzania, I am truly passionate about helping students go abroad to continue their education both in and out of the classroom. 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 in CLAS completely undecided about my career path, so I can relate to students who have not yet discovered what they want to do in life. I hope through our Beyond120 programming I can help you find your path and reach your goals during your time at UF! Through experiences like traveling, teaching, and taking on a variety of jobs I finally discovered that I love working with college students, but in my free time I’m a mom, equestrian, photographer, and spend my Saturdays playing with shelter dogs.
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.
I am director of 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 also advise UF alumni and non-traditional students who wish to pursue admission to healthcare professional schools. I coordinate and am a lecturer for prehealth curriculum and enjoy coordinating the Pre-Health Scholars program for the Beyond 120 program. I am passionate about helping students prepare for healthcare professional careers. Following completion of my nursing diploma and as a non-traditional student, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University, Masters in Religious Education from Western Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Counseling from Central Michigan University. I worked in healthcare for several years as an R.N., hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator. 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 came to UF as an advisor in 2008 as a general and prehealth advisor. I serve on the boards of directors and several committees for the National and Southeastern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions and the Medical Honors Program Advisory committee. It is 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 assist the AAC in various ways as an Academic Assistant. I mainly serve as the assistant to the AAC’s Director, Dr. Joseph Spillane. I assist the Director in managing scheduling, meetings and task-specific assignments. In the office, I also help out with general lobby duties and inquiries. I proudly serve as the designated staff assistant for the Beyond120 program by assisting in course scheduling and team specific assignments. I am a recent graduate of Florida International University, with a Bachelors in Psychology, so working with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is something I can relate to! I’ve loved my time working in the AAC so far and hope to continue helping the team as best as I can.
Alisha Diane Jordan Olin
Alisha is a graduate of the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Criminology and Law. She also has a Master of Education in High Education Administration from the UF College of Education. As the Admission Assistant for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, she works with transfer and readmission students attempting to gain admission to CLAS majors. Her goal is to guide students through the application process, answering questions and addressing concerns of students and their families, to ensure they receive quick and accurate decisions.
I graduated from UF with a B.A. in English (Literature) in the Fall 2005 and joined the Academic Advising Center in May 2006. I am the Graduation Coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). In my free time, I am an enthusiastic multi-crafter with a primary focus in knitting.
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.
I manage AAC, Preview Prep, Beyond120, and the Pre-Health Postbac websites, along with various other administrative tools. My career began in online journalism, covering Capitol Hill and federal tax, pension, and labor legislation, and from there grew more into computers and the tech industry where I’ve worked for Cisco Systems, PR Newswire, and Microsoft.
Rebecca Ellis Colón
As a Graduate Assistant, I help students with general advising questions. I graduated from the University of Florida with my B.A. in English in 2018—as a former CLAS student I’ve been in your shoes! I worked in business consulting for two years before returning to UF, where I am pursuing a Master’s in Education with the Student Personnel in Higher Education program. I look forward to helping students diversify their college experiences, find opportunities for professional development, and use their liberal arts backgrounds to pursue their passions. Go Gators!
Eryan S. Johnson
My role in the AAC is to assist students with general advising questions. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with my B.A. in Sociology. Then, I spent two years working in academic, college, and career advising before coming to UF. I am currently pursuing dual M.Ed./Ed.S. degrees in Mental Health Counseling with the Counselor Education program and a certificate in Horticultural Therapy! I am excited to advise CLAS students and use a collaborative relationship model to support you on your academic, professional, and personal journeys – Go Gators!
My role as a Graduate Assistant within the AAC is to help students with any general advising questions. I graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with my B.S. in Psychology and went on to work as a Registered Behavioral Technician. As of Fall 2021, I am pursuing my M.Ed./Ed.S. in School Counseling through UF in hopes of becoming a counselor within school systems. I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to work with students and help them navigate through their college experience. As always, it’s great to be a Florida Gator!