First-year advisors guide students through exploration and personal growth in a relationship of trust, safety and support. Students are connected with campus resources and engagement opportunities, and we empower students to take ownership of their learning, define their education, and develop career goals while achieving academic success as they transition to their chosen field of study.
What is first-year advising?
Comprehensive first-year advising provides foundational skills, resources and academic support for students during their initial 30 credits for four-year degree programs. First-year advisors partner with departmental advisors to provide students with a solid foundation that will assist them throughout the completion of their degree.
For fall 2023 registration, the AAC will be advising all first-year students who are newly admitted to degree programs or have completed less than 30 credits at UAF within the following colleges:
- CEM — College of Engineering and Mines
- CFOS — College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
- CNSM — College of Natural Science and Mathematics
**Starting in spring 2024 registration, the AAC will advise all first-year students in all colleges at UAF.
If you have not met the minimum requirements for admission to a baccalaureate (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) degree program, you will be admitted as a pre-major. You may see you are listed as a pre-exploratory, pre-general studies or pre-undeclared student. They all mean the same thing.
You will get to change your major status when you are in good standing (your cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher) and you have completed the following:
- 14 credits at the 100 level or above
- Nine of the 14 credits must satisfy the general education requirements
- a C (2.0 GPA) average or higher
You were most likely admitted as an exploratory, general studies or undeclared student if you were not ready to declare a major.
Incoming students are not required to choose a degree program and have the option of choosing general studies-undeclared. You are advised by the Academic Advising Center and will work with your assigned advisor on transitioning into a declared major when you are ready to do so .
Being a general studies student does satisfy the degree-seeking requirements for financial aid purposes.
Students receiving GI assistance or veterans’ benefits may be required to change to a declared major to keep their benefits award.
Anyone can take classes at UAF. There are no GPA or transcript requirements to be a nondegree-seeking student; however, some courses require prerequisite coursework or test scores in order to enroll. If you run into prerequisite errors or need to understand our placements please set up an appointment with one of our advisors. Please visit the registration page to sign up for a class.
Please note: Nondegree-seeking students are not eligible for financial aid.
Pre-professional advising provides information about groundwork for admission to a specific graduate program or professional school. Most professional schools do not require a specific major for admission to their program. However, many courses may be required before admittance into the program, so a student must research admissions requirements carefully.
The Biology and Wildlife Department and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provide additional academic advising for the medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary and pre-health pre-professional programs.
The Study Away program allows you to earn UAF credits while studying for up to a year at an approved university in another state or country.
If you are interested in applying for an academic exchange or study abroad program through UAF, you must fulfill the following minimum requirements.
- Be a degree-seeking student at UAF (working toward a certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's or Ph.D., for example; you do not need to have a declared major)
- Complete at least two full-time semesters (enrolled in 12 credits or more) at UAF before the first semester away
- Be enrolled full time at UAF the semester before your study away program
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 when application is due
- Have a minimum 2.5 semester GPA the semester before your study away program
- Good academic, behavioral and financial standing at UAF
- No incomplete (I) grades on transcript
Note: Specific programs may have other requirements, such as a higher GPA or specific language proficiency requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into a study away program, but all eligible students are encouraged to apply.
The Academic Advising Center's First-year Advising Specialists provide additional support to the Assistant Director for Athletics Academic Services in assisting our UAF student athletes.
The Academic Advising Center administers the credit for prior learning program, wherein students may earn undergraduate credit based on university-level learning they have obtained outside the classroom. Students can document the university-level learning they have gained through employment, volunteer service or other life experiences with a portfolio or copies of licenses and certificates earned. Certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree students may earn up to 25 percent of total program requirements through the credit for prior learning program.
Credentials for admitted degree students who are currently enrolled are reviewed by faculty from participating departments who determine if this process is appropriate and make recommendations for awarding prior learning credit. Review is based on equivalency to courses listed in this catalog. Credit received for prior learning does not affect your GPA and is not considered residence credit. The university will award transfer credit for specified national and state authorizations, certificates, credentials and/or examinations (see transferring credits) that do not need credit for prior learning review.
Our accessible advisors are equipped to answer all of the important questions you'll have when working toward your degree at UAF.
I am Sam. Sam I am. But I prefer my eggs and ham plain.
Sam comes from a small town in central Indiana where he developed a wide array of interests, from archery to musical theater. Their undergraduate career involved several transfers, before finally finishing a degree in music performance and composition at the University of Indianapolis. They spent several years teaching privately while also directing a community orchestra focused on uplifting local and student composers. They later attended Ball State University to complete a master’s in music before transitioning to other interests. In 2022, they spent the year traveling full time across the Lower 48. They eventually made their way to Fairbanks, where they fell in love with the climate and lack of sunburn. They are excited to start this next chapter helping students at UAF find their passion and further education.
In their free time, they enjoy baking, hiking, Irish folk music, a dry sense of humor, video games, the Oxford comma (,!) and solitary confinement. They also have a pet quaker parrot that loves to be the life of any party and will interrupt any conversation to scream into the void. They are excited to be in one place again and look forward to traveling and exploring in the summer months.
Vicky did not think about attending college until well into her adult life. As a nontraditional low-income student, she often struggled with school/life/work balance. However, along with these challenges she also found a community and sense of belonging in academia. With this support, she was able to graduate with an undergraduate double major in English and Russian with a minor in ancient Greek. Her experience drives her to support students in the ways she was supported, and to help students find their own path to success — even if it doesn't look like anyone else's.
Vicky moved to Alaska to earn her master's in English and to escape the Texas heat 10 years ago. She loves the snow and never wants to feel hot again. The winter darkness gives her a good excuse to play video games or board games with friends, and the long summer days offer opportunities for outdoor adventures around the state. Another activity that she will always find time for is disability advocacy. Currently, Vicky is earning another master's degree from the School of Education at UAF.
First-year academic advising specialist
Can help with: Advising first-year, pre-major, pre-undeclared, undeclared, exploratory and nondegree-seeking students
(Zoom and phone appointments only)
Evening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5:00 to 7:00pm AKST
Carrie was born and raised in Western Washington. Her first visit to Alaska was as a 19-year-old when she started working seasonal jobs at remote fly-fishing lodges near Aleknagik and Lake Iliamna. She loved it so much that she returned every summer throughout college. Carrie earned a bachelor’s degree in geology while playing centerfield on a softball scholarship at Central Washington University.
Soon after graduating, she moved to Fairbanks in 1999 and eventually worked as a geologist with the Alaska Division of Geology and Geophysical Surveys while her husband completed graduate degrees in geology from UAF. They moved to California in 2005. Carrie and her family returned to Fairbanks in 2020 after many years of wanting to move back to this interesting community. She has recently moved back to California with her family and is enjoying her role as a virtual advisor for our group.
Carrie enjoys her advising role very much. She wants students to feel seen, heard and supported as they navigate through their experience at UAF. She enjoys knitting, walking among the redwoods in her neighborhood and cooking for her family.
Kelly grew up in the middle of the Lower 48 — just about in the center of Kansas. She got her undergraduate degree in secondary education for speech/theatre and English from Emporia State University in Kansas. After several years working with grades six-12, Kelly took a short break from education to get a master’s degree in English, also from Emporia State. She transitioned to higher education in 2020, working in the Office of International Education at Emporia State. She has always enjoyed helping students succeed and is excited to be a part of your academic support.
In her spare time, Kelly and her husband enjoy cooking together, going for hikes and walks, and playing disc golf recreationally. Kelly also enjoys jogging and Marvel movies. She and her husband share a love of cold weather and are excited to experience Alaska in all its beauty!
Cassie was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula in Nikiski, Alaska. She started her college education at the Kenai Peninsula College and, after receiving her Associate of Arts and getting married, moved to Fairbanks in 2012 to continue going to school. In 2018, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
During her time at KPC and UAF, she worked in the learning centers and focused mainly on supporting students in math and study skills. After graduating, she started teaching study skills courses at the UAF Community and Technical College for success in math courses, college and after college. In 2022, Cassie joined the Academic Advising Center as a first-year advisor and is excited to work with students beginning their college career!
Both Cassie and her husband fell in love with Fairbanks and decided to stay instead of moving back to Kenai. When not at work, Cassie enjoys spending time with her friends, family, four cats and dog. She enjoys reading fantasy novels, gaming, playing Magic and other similar games, fishing, agate hunting, attempting to garden, and enjoying the outdoors.
First-year academic advising specialist
(Currently training) Soon can help with: Advising first-year, pre-major, pre-undeclared, undeclared, exploratory and nondegree-seeking
April is a life-long Alaskan originally from Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula. She moved to Fairbanks in 2003 to attend UAF. April graduated from UAF with a Bachelors of Music in Performance(2009) and a Master of Arts in Music(2011). April has enjoyed being a staff member at UAF for over 10 years and is happy to move into the new role of First Year Academic Advising Specialist. She is excited to work with first year students to help them have a successful start to their academic journey.
In her free time, April plays clarinet and bass clarinet with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra as well as many other community ensembles. Her favorite ensemble to perform with is the Alaska Blaskapelle, a German polka band. She also teaches music lessons privately, enjoys knitting, and studying the German language. April has fully emersed herself in the Fairbanks lifestyle living in a dry cabin with her two cats.
Ginny Kinne was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in Spanish from UAF. Not ready to leave UAF, she spent the next several years serving as the New Student Orientation coordinator, an admissions counselor and an academic advisor. She later became director of the Academic Advising Center. During her time in the center, she finished her master’s degree in school counseling (K-12), also from UAF.
Ginny is married to a land surveyor (who she met in Fairbanks but who grew up three hours south of her in upstate New York) and has a son, a younger daughter, two dogs and a cat. When not in the office, she enjoys knitting, cycling, sewing, baking, experimenting with sourdough, food preserving, beekeeping, listening to live music and enjoying good coffee.
Iris was born in Southern California and raised in Southeast Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor's degree in marine biology with a minor in ocean and coastal resources. She then moved to Alaska to attend UAF. As a graduate student at UAF, she taught the genetics lab (BIOL F260L) and studied sedge ecology.
After completing her master’s degree in biological sciences, she wanted to help students complete their degree at UAF! She worked at Student Support Services, helping first-generation, low-income students navigate college as their academic advisor. Currently, she is pursuing a graduate certificate in scientific teaching and outreach and a certificate in culinary arts at UAF.
She spends her time after work at hot yoga or powerlifting. Being from Southeast Texas, she loves to smoke meat and cook Southern comfort foods!
Nicole Goff was raised in the hot and sunny state of Arizona. She attended Arizona State University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Nicole then spent the next five years teaching fifth, fourth and then first grade. She received her master's degree in curriculum and instruction in March 2020.
In June 2020, Nicole and her husband made the big move to Fairbanks. Nicole's husband received a wonderful job opportunity here in Fairbanks, and together they decided building their life in Alaska was a wonderful adventure to embrace! Nicole worked for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as a first grade teacher for one year before deciding to make the shift to higher education as a career and academic advisor here at UAF.
When not in the office, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband, friends and her three dogs: Bjorn, Odin and Freyja. She also spends much of her free time exploring new places, enjoying new restaurants, reading a good book and spending time outside. Nicole considers herself a lifelong learner and always enjoys learning new things.
Nicole looks forward to meeting with you and supporting you in your goals!
Anne grew up mostly in the Boston area and completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology at Carleton College in Minnesota. She entered her undergraduate career certain she wanted to study abroad, although uncertain where. Then a summer volunteering in China changed her life. Ironically, she ended up running out of time to do an academic study abroad program, partially due to developing an addiction to Chinese classes. One thing led to another and she ended up working as the coordinator of that life-changing volunteer program in China. She then moved to China to teach English and eventually completed a master’s in teaching Chinese at Xiamen University in southern China.
Six years into living in China and finally ready to consider returning to the U.S., Anne noticed that Denali National Park was looking for a Mandarin-speaking intern. In early 2019, she moved to Alaska. After spending a few winters in Fairbanks during the seasonal park ranger off-season, she finally decided to make it her year-round home. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and gardening in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter, and relaxing with her cat, partner and a good book or movie year-round.
She is very excited to support you on your study away journey and hear about all the amazing places it takes you!
Can help with: Time management, online learning strategies, school/life balance, individualized study plans, reading and note-taking strategies, organization, effective communication, quiz and exam prep, setting priorities and goals, self-care, and much more!Schedule with Mal
I just finished my first year as a sophomore at UAF. I am pursuing an associate degree in Fire Science and a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science with the hopes of going to med school. I am originally from Washington, but I moved to Alaska in July of 2022.
Can help with: Time management, online learning strategies, school/life balance, individualized study plans, reading and note-taking strategies, organization, effective communication, quiz and exam prep, setting priorities and goals, self-care, and much more!Schedule with Matia
I am a third-year student at UAF studying Linguistics and Anthropology with an Iñupiaq language minor. I was born and raised in Alaska and I hope to be able to one day become a linguistic researcher and an educator.
Megan grew up in Michigan and one of her biggest passions in life during high school was band. Specifically marching band. When it was time to graduate high school the only thing she knew for sure was she wanted to go to a University with a marching band and decided shortly after to pursue a music education degree at Eastern Michigan University. During her time there she enjoyed playing with Easterns Percussion Ensemble the most and continued to teach music to high school students any chance she got. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2018 and taught middle school band for her first year of teaching in Michigan. She then moved to Fairbanks Alaska to continue her teaching and foster a passion for music in her students at Tanana Middle School. During her time at Tanana one of her many strengths as an educator was creating a safe and supportive environment for her students which she carried over with her as she transitioned in 2023 as an advisor in Student Support Services here at UAF. Her passion for education and supporting students has led Megan to her current position with the Academic Advising Center as the Student Success Center Concierge. She looks forward to what this position will grow to in the future and to supporting the students here at UAF!
When Megan is not at work she is usually at the pottery studio. During her summers off as a teacher she decided to explore pottery at Raven City Studios. Pottery quickly became a passion of hers and with her unique style, the pottery quickly took on a life of their own. It not only became a hobby but an activity that she can do to help foster her mental health. Megan has also been a part of many musical groups in Fairbanks including UAF’s Percussion Ensemble, Aurora Women’s Choir, Community Band, and played in many musical pits for local high schools.
Temporary Program Administrative Assistant
Michael was born in California but is from all over, having lived in New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Texas, New York, Okinawa and Alaska. He came to UAF to pursue his bachelor's degree in biology. Aside from brightening people's days, he enjoys swimming in rivers, ethnobotanical studies, meditation and Asian cooking.
Hours and location
We are open Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday and holidays: Closed
After-hours virtual appointments offered most evenings during the week until 7:30 p.m.