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.
CLAS Advising and Office Logistics
I share my time between the AAC and the UF Online Office, where I advise Criminology students who were admitted prior to Summer 2015. I oversee the advising and programming for all CLAS UF Online students. I also assist the UF Online program in managing curriculum issues and policies related on-line programs.I have been in the AAC since 1995 and began working with the UF Online Office in Spring of 2015. My contributions include chairing the college Petitions Committee, creating and chairing the college Appeals Committee, coordinated the efforts of the Retention Team, and I created and coordinate the European Studies portion of the UF in Salzburg Overseas Study program (2004 – present). My passion is working with students individually and in groups. I served as faculty advisor for the CLAS Student council for several years and started the UF chapter of a national honor society (Tau Sigma) for UF transfer students. I have also enjoyed teaching the Flexible Learning section of SLS 1501 (College Success) since 2004. I have presented at over 20 national and regional conferences on various topics related to academic advising, delivered a few Keynote addresses at advising events, and served numerous leadership roles in the National Academic Advising Association, including member of the Board of Directors and Vice President.
I was born in Queens, NY, grew up in Allentown, PA, and lived in 6 different states before settling in Florida. I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia, where I attended on a wrestling scholarship. One of the best “teachers” I ever had was my college wrestling coach who helped me realize that my sport provided the opportunity to make it to college, but it was my education that would give me the opportunity to make it in life.
Sara C. Mock
Assistant Director, New Student Development
I advise CLAS majors, exploratory students, pre-law students, and students in the AIM Program. I assist with the advising-related initiatives for new students, including annual Preview orientation for UF’s 6,600+ first-year students. 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 have been active in NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and am on the Board for SAPLA (Southern Association of Pre-law Advisors). I love helping students to have a successful transition to the University. 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!
Assistant Director, Special Populations
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 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 provide general advising for all CLAS majors and exploratory students and serve as the liaison for the college and the Innovation Academy. I also work on programming and advising for AIM students throughout the year. I plan and attend outreach advising for transfer students at Santa Fe interested in CLAS majors. During my advising sessions, I always try to make sure students are leading the session and making their own decisions regarding their academic futures. I will strive to provide all the information they need to make these decisions. I am proud to be the first person in my family to complete a Bachelor’s degree and want to help every student I meet with cross the stage at commencement and become a Gator alum.
I am a general academic advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am originally from the Midwest and earned my Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas, where I worked as an advisor and career counselor. I also have a degree in English Literature, so I am a proud product of a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences myself, and believe wholeheartedly in the holistic development that CLAS can provide. As a first-generation student, I was the first person in my family to earn a college degree, so I understand how daunting it can be to navigate the college experience. Students at UF make up a remarkably diverse and brilliant group, and I am privileged to get to work with them every day toward their personal, professional, and academic goals.
Mandi (Santos) Cutchins
I joined the Academic Advising Center in January 2012. I provide advising for all CLAS students, students in Biology, Botany, and Zoology, as well as students from all colleges who need pre-health advising. I teach a sophomore leadership seminar through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences which focuses on personal leadership development within the second year. I also work with the CLAS Ambassadors and Pre-Health Diplomats. My favorite part of advising is working with student’s throughout their time at UF and seeing how far they go in their academic journey. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Studies and received my Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron.
I serve as a general advisor for all majors within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & International Affairs, and I enjoy working with students to help them understand the great benefits of a CLAS degree. I also completed a Master’s in Organizational Learning & Leadership degree from Barry University in Miami, Florida. Before joining the Academic Advising Center, I worked with First-Year Experience programs, Student Life, and Residence Life. My goal is to help students understand all the resources UF has to offer to aid them in their academic success. I am excited to be a part of the AAC team here at UF!
I provide general academic advising for CLAS majors, exploratory students, and students in the AIM program. I also work on programming for AIM student initiatives, Exploratory student workshops, and help manage our “Success in the Swamp” program. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and my Masters in Mental Health Counseling and Education Specialist degrees here at UF. I utilize my experiences working with undergraduate and graduate students in mental health counseling, career coaching, and holistic wellness within my advising sessions. I enjoy working with students who are exploring their academic and career options as well as helping them make the most out of their experience at UF in a purposeful and balanced way. My belief is that personal and professional growth occurs in and out of the classroom and it is ultimately up to the student to move forward with those experiences. As an advisor, I provide students with the necessary information to help them make informed decisions as well as connect them with resources to facilitate their academic development.
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 as a general advisor for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as those in UF’s PaCE program. I also serve as a college advisor to UF Online Psychology and Computer Science majors. Additionally, I serve on the AAC communications committee, and as a University Minority Mentoring Program mentor.
I studied Computer Engineering for three years in undergrad before changing my major to Psychology. I understand that we draw motivation from all types of sources and that sometimes our goals in life change; our paths in life are rarely direct. In my role as an Academic Advisor, I strive to help students find ways to reach their academic and career goals. This often requires facilitating through provoking conversations about the many paths that exist to achieve them.
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 provide general advising for all majors and also work with our UF Online and PaCE programs. 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!
General Advising, Pre-Health Advising
I provide advising for all students in CLAS as well as students from all colleges who need pre-health advising. I love helping our future doctors, dentists, and veterinarians prepare for such demanding careers and seeing them achieve their goal of entering professional school. I also sit on the Student Conduct Committee and the Undergraduate Advising Council for the university. 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!
CLAS Career Advising
CLAS Career Advisor
I am an extension of the Career Resource Center that works with students, faculty and staff from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as connects employers to CLAS. I meet with students one on one, facilitate workshops, work with faculty and staff to bring CRC services to students and work with employers that are eager to recruit Liberal Arts and Sciences students. As a former Liberal Arts and Sciences undergrad, I was able to translate my Psychology degree into a career in the hospitality industry that allowed me to use a variety of transferrable skills. I am able to bring this knowledge to my role at the UF Career Resource Center (CRC) with the hope to share it with students in order to guide and motivate their career exploration.
Secretary to the Director and Associate Director
Alisha Diane Jordan Olin
I assist CLAS students by logging in the various forms submitted to the office and returning the results in a promptly manner. I enjoy assisting students and the Academic Advising Center very much.
I am proud to be one of two UF grads in my family.
UF Online Assistant
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 in Silicon Valley and Microsoft in Washington. When we moved to Florida–where my wife grew up–I was excited to come to UF and help thousands of students prepare for and execute successful college lives!
Sandy L. Williams
Senior Computer Support Specialist
Graduate Student Assistants
Graduate Student Assistant
I provide general advising to CLAS students in a variety of areas including changing and exploring majors, planning out coursework, and connecting with resources, with a drive to help UF students make the most out of their academic careers! I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with degrees in Psychology and Sociology. I am currently working towards earning my master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from UF’s Counselor Education program.
Graduate Student Assistant
As a graduate assistant, I work with undergraduate students regarding registration, choosing and changing majors, and helping students find campus resources to enhance their academic success. This is my first year as a graduate assistant in the AAC. I completed my undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and am now working on my master’s degree in School Counseling at UF.
Graduate Student Assistant
As a first-year graduate assistant, I provide general academic advising regarding course registration, degree requirements, major choices, campus resources, etc. When I was a student 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, and I am currently a graduate student in UF’s College of Education. 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.