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Why See an Advisor?

The Chemistry Academic Advising office serves undergraduate student majors and students enrolled in Chemistry courses with questions including, but not limited to, course enrollment, major and minor requirements, department policies, and academic regulations. 

What can you expect from your Academic Advisor?

Advisors will…

  • Explain department policies and procedures and university regulations
  • Help you with questions regarding enrollment, petitions, prerequisites, and anything related to your major requirements
  • Work with you to develop your long-term academic plan
  • Assist you with improving your decision-making skills and help you to develop autonomy and responsibility for your educational plans and achievements
  • Help you identify academic and career goals and provide recommendations to help you successfully meet those goals
  • Refer you to appropriate individuals, offices, and centers on campus
  • Provide a respectful and supportive space for you to ask questions, discuss interests and express concerns

What does your academic advisor expect from you?

  • Read email or notifications sent from Chemistry Advising and the Registrar’s office
  • Use online resources to find information about courses, policies, deadlines, etc.
  • Schedule and attend an advising appointment at least once a year
    • Be courteous and respectful (e.g. schedule your appointment early, silence your phone during your appointment)
    • Come prepared; bring any relevant materials with you (written questions, quarter-by-quarter plan, draft schedule, etc.)
    • Arrive on time (a few minutes early, if possible) and check in at the front desk
  • Attend scheduled appointments or academic advising workshops
  • Ask questions during advising sessions or through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC)
  • Review degree audit each quarter, particularly before enrollment times
  • Learn to use information about course descriptions, offerings, and prerequisites to draft a long-term academic plan
  • Follow-through on recommendations and referrals
  • Accept responsibility for choices and decisions

Learning outcomes for Chemistry/Biochemistry major advising sessions

  • Know how to use the degree audit system to monitor progress toward degree completion.
  • Identify specific educational, career, and life goals.
  • Make informed decisions concerning career goals or advanced education.
  • Establish social networks that help further career plans.
  • Appreciate the value added to their educational experience through mentoring and/or co-curricular opportunities.

Advising Staff

ERICA LENNARD, Director of Student Affairs

Erica has had a rewarding career with UC San Diego for over 15 years, in a variety of roles. While earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCSD, she started out on campus as a student employee at the UCSD Library and also the Medical Center. With the support of terrific mentors and role models, she later moved into leadership roles on campus. She has served as the Director of Student Affairs and Industry Relations in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since January 2011. She thoroughly enjoys working with our Student Affairs team to help guide both our undergraduate and graduate students towards their degree goals, and she is also proud to support our excellent faculty as they pursue impactful, cutting-edge scientific research.


On a personal level, Erica is committed to health and wellness, and earned a national certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She keeps active with her husband and their energetic Golden Retriever. She enjoys hiking, skiing, traveling, reading, and continuously learning!  Erica’s door is always open if she can be a resource to you during this enriching time in your life as you strive for success in your educational and career pursuits!


HANNA FOLEY, Undergraduate Advising Manager

Hanna graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Applied Linguistics and has a background in education, peer mentoring, tutoring, and ESL teaching. In 2015, she moved back to her hometown of San Diego and soon after started her career in Student Affairs in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at UCSD. As a former transfer student herself, she understands the unique struggles that come with transitioning from community college to the UC system, and is happy to help students with this transition whenever possible. She is passionate about supporting students in acheiving their academic goals, and getting all of their questions answered! Off the clock, she enjoys traveling, reading, biking, yoga, and trying every Thai restaurant in San Diego.


SELAINA MANSHEIM, Undergraduate Advisor

Selaina earned her B.A. in Marketing and Graphic Design from American University and worked for education non-profits and small tech companies in Washington D.C. and Colorado. Missing the Pacific Ocean too much, she moved back to her hometown of sunny San Diego to pursue her M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Diego. After supporting students in K-12 schools for a couple years, she moved on over to advising undergrads in the Chemistry department here at UCSD. As a first generation college student and counselor, she empathizes with the diverse experiences students bring to the table and is passionate about working with them on their short and long term goals, both academically and emotionally. As a San Diego native, Selaina loves to be outside (especially at the beach), traveling, exploring, taking care of too many plants and a good book!


GELSEY THOMAS, Undergraduate Advisor

Gelsey earned her B.A in Sociology and M.A in Postsecondary Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. Prior to transferring to San Diego State University, Gelsey earned an A.A. in Sociology from San Diego Mesa College. She has a professional background in academic advising, assessment, along with student success coaching, mentoring, and leadership. Gelsey is passionate and dedicated to serving diverse student populations and consistently acting as a supportive student success resource. Outside of work, Gelsey enjoys exploring the amazing restaurants San Diego has to offer, playing with her corgi, exercising at the gym, and spending time with her friends and family.

Advising Options

Location, Hours, & Contact Information

Please note that the Student Affairs office (York Hall 4010) is currently closed. All Student Affairs staff are working remotely until further notice. Please contact us via email for any questions.

Student Affairs Office Info

Location and Phone

York Hall 4010 (Revelle College)
Phone: (858) 534-4856

Office Hours

Monday - Friday | 8:30 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00

Walk-In Advising

Monday - Thursday | 9:00 - 12:00 (last walk-in 11:45) and 1:00 - 4:00 (last walk-in at 3:45)

Advising Appointments (Click Here to Request)

Fall, Winter, Spring | Monday - Thursday - Weeks 3-10

International Student Advising Appointments (Click Here to Request)

Tuesdays and Thursdays offered in Central European Standard Time

Summer | Monday - Thursday - Weeks 3 & 4

Spring 2021 Advising


Student Affairs Office Hours: Our undergraduate advising staff is here to support you remotely this Academic Year (via the Virtual Advising Center [VAC], email, and Zoom) Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, unavailable daily from 12-1 PM. 

General Questions: Please contact us via the VAC in lieu of our front desk number. If you would prefer to speak over Zoom, please make this request via the VAC. If you are unable to access the VAC, feel free to contact us via email at

Walk-In Advising: See walk-in advising information here:

Any questions that you would like to ask through a walk-in advising session can also be submitted via the VAC. 

Advising Appointments: All advising appointments (for long term [more than one quarter] planning) will be conducted via Zoom for 30 minute online advising sessions and are submitted via the Advising Appointment Request Form. See reasons to request an appointment here. Remember, most questions can be answered during a walk-in advising session or via the VAC!

Peer Advising: All peer advising will be conducted via Zoom. Spring 2021 Zoom meeting access information can be found here. Students can also submit questions to peer advisors via email at 


Walk-In Advising

Virtual Spring 2021 walk-in advising will take place every Wednesday during weeks 2-10 from 9-11:30am and 1:30-3:30pm. Walk-in advising is intended for continuing students. 


INCOMING STUDENTS: If you have questions about your admission status, please contact UCSD Admissions. If you have questions about your Fall 2021 schedule, you will be able to ask an advisor via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) later this summer. If you would like to create a quarter-by-quarter plan, you will be able to once Fall Quarter begins! For any additional questions, please feel free to contact

Please note, in preparation for the ACS-SA annual Research Symposium there will be NO walk-in advising on Wednesday, May 26th.  


Spring Walk-In Advising [2021] For Continuing Students


Time: 9-11:30am & 1:30-3:30pm
(Weeks 2-10)


Join Zoom Meeting:


Meeting ID: 920 4443 9289


  • Walk-in sessions are limited to 15 minutes maximum.
  • Once you click on an advisor's walk-in Zoom link, you will be placed in the waiting room. Once the advisor is ready to meet with you, you will be let into the walk-in session.
  • Wait times differ depending on the number of students in the waiting room.
  • Last walk-ins will be taken no later than 11:30AM and 3:30PM.
  • Remember to check over the walk-in advising topics below to see if a walk-in session is appropriate for your needs.
  • If you would like to create a long-term academic plan, please make an appointment

Examples of walk-in advising topics:  

  • Degree audit check and correction 
  • General enrollment inquiries 
  • Choosing classes for the next quarter (1 quarter planning) 
  • Submit Academic Forms (i.e., Study abroad, VA, Double Major, Max Unit) 
  • Major requirements and policies 
  • Information on campus resources 
  • Research opportunities 
  • Minor course planning
  • Petition questions

Advising Appointments

There will be no in-person advising in Spring 2021. Please see the Spring 2021 Advising Section for remote advising options. See our COVID-19 Undergraduate Updates page for additional updates and information.

Advising appointments are only necessary for:

  • Develop a quarter-by-quarter academic plan (longer than one quarter course planning)
  • Review forms for Readmission 
  • Speak with an advisor about personal issues

VAC (Virtual Advising Center)

The VAC serves as a record of all correspondence between students and academic advisors. 

Current UCSD students can submit a brief question 24-hours a day through the Virtual Advising Center.

  • VAC messages are reviewed daily (M-F) by advising staff
  • Questions are reviewed according to place in the queue 
  • Typical response time is 1-3 business days (depending on time of the quarter)
  • Ideal for when you are unavailable to stop by for walk-in 

Please use email etiquette and courtesy when submitting your message. State your question/s clearly and if applicable, refer to previous communication with advising staff.

Non-UCSD students- ask questions via email to

Peer Advising

Welcome to Spring 2021 Peer Advising! See below for information on how to access virtual Spring services:

Topic: SP21 Peer Advising (Fridays AM/PM)


Time: This is a recurring meeting - meet anytime (Friday)

Join Zoom Meeting:;!!Mih3wA!U_yVHD8rAw2ZMD_-vTks2fTlrozyKT0N4v1m33KLMwnvap1VXzI3xAYbJ_ta-QVk$

Meeting ID: 988 952 6082
Password: chempeers


Who are Peer Advisors?

Chemistry Peer Advisors are undergraduate students majoring in one of the degree programs and who are available to answer questions from fellow students.  It is especially helpful for freshmen and new transfers, but all are welcome!  They can provide insights on questions such as:

  • Why did you pick Chemistry as a major?
  • What is it like to be a Chemistry student at UCSD?  
  • What resources have you found helpful?
  • How did you get involved in research or teaching?
  • What do you plan to do after you graduate?

Have quick questions? Our Peer Advisors are also available via e-mail at




Ayuri Kirihennedige
Lead Peer Advisor 
3rd Year
Pharmacological Chemistry Major

Ayuri is a third year Pharmacological Chemistry major from Northern California. She is currently pursuing UCSD’s 7-Year B.S./PharmD program. Ayuri would ideally like to work with a Japanese pharmaceutical company as a liaison between Japan and the United States. Her goal as a chemistry Peer Advisor is to holistically help students reach their goals by addressing study habits, class choices, and different methods of seeking academic assistance.


Tri Tran
Peer Advisor
3rd Year
Biochemistry/Chemistry Major

Tri is a third year biochemistry major at Revelle College. He is currently involved in ACS-SA and is a volunteer at the UCSD Health’s Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. Tri’s goal as a chemistry peer advisor is to assist others in achieving their ideal academic journey and share his sincere passion in the field of chemistry. He aspires to attend medical school in the future. In his free time, he enjoys photography and hanging out with friends. In this upcoming summer, he plans to study abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland through UCSD’s Global Seminar.





Richard Niederecker
Peer Advisor
2nd Year Master's Candidate in Chemistry

Richard is a second year Master's candidate in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, with the goal of becoming a physician scientist. He transferred to UCSD from Saddleback College and is an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Jerry Yang’s Lab working on developing a hydrogel capable of delivering a protein to peripheral nerves. He has attended multiple undergraduate summer research fellowships and was an AMGEN Scholar at UCSF. Additionally, he is a co-coordinator of Roger’s Community Garden in Revell college where he has participated in student run research on translational gardening techniques to benefit underserved communities.



Montana Panec
Peer Advisor and Student Sucess Center Representative
3rd Year
Pharmacological Chemistry Major

Montana is a third year Pharmacological Chemistry major from Thousand Oaks, CA. She currently works as a lab assistant at Catalent Pharma Solutions, volunteers for the UCSD Free Clinic, and is also involved with ACS-SA. She is a recent admit to UCSD’s 7-Year B.S./PharmD program. After pharmacy school, her dream is to be an acute care pharmacist at a children’s hospital. In her free time, she enjoys going to the zoo, hiking, and listening to audio books. Her goal as a peer advisor is to give back to the chemistry community to help other students succeed and meet their goals. 







Lu Yue Wang
Peer Advisor
3rd Year 
Biochemistry/Chemistry Major

Lu Yue is a third year Biochemistry/Chemistry major at Muir College. She is currently an illustrator at Saltman Quarterly and a secretary at Healing Hands. She is also involved in UCSD's Pre-Pharmacy Society and is looking forward to beginning her new internship at Palomar Health this coming winter. As of now, Lu Yue would like to become a clinical pharmacist through UCSD's 7-Year B.S./PharmD program. In her free time, she enjoys creating digital art, playing the Kalimba, and spending time with friends. Her goal as a Chemistry Peer Advisor is to help guide students on the best path forward to achieving their goals.



Kavya Balaji
Peer Advisor
1st Year 
Biochemistry/Chemistry Major

Kavya is a first year Biochemistry/Chemistry major from San Jose, California. She currently works as a research intern at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, creating a diagnostic tool for infectious disease by utilizing the intersection of engineering, biology, and chemistry. She hopes to work in the biotechnology industry, using technology to aid drug delivery and disease-monitoring. She is also part of a sorority and appreciates balance between work and fun. As a peer advisor, her focus is to cater to first and second year students looking for their first internships or research experience; she also hopes to work with those who are interested in the technological side of biology and chemistry.



Ali Quezada
Peer Advisor
3rd Year 
Biochemistry/Chemistry Major

Ali is a third year biochemistry/chemistry major at Muir College. She is currently a laboratory assistant at Scripps Research and a licensed Caregiver. Upon completing her summer internship at Stanford Medical school, Ali solidified her goal in pursuing medical school in hopes of obtaining a MD/PhD degree. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and camping. Her goal as a Chemistry Peer Advisor is to help students follow their passions while also guiding them down the path of networking and involvement.