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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!


ETHEL REGIS LU, Undergraduate Advisor

Ethel graduated from UC San Diego with degrees in Biology and Ethnic Studies.  As an undergrad, she was actively involved in student-led outreach efforts through APSA and the Cross Cultural Center as well as mentored high school and incoming students through OASIS and CREATE.  She went on to a PhD program in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and in 2009, returned to UC San Diego where she has been able to pursue her interests in student program development and academic advising.  She enjoys talking to students about their academic interests and encourages students to make UCSD their “home” where they and others can thrive! 


HANNA FOLEY, Undergraduate Advisor

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 wherever 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, biking, yoga, drawing, and trying every Thai restaurant in San Diego.


BRENNA MCCARTY, Intake Advisor

Brenna graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology and gained a background in student affairs in her work as a New Student Advisor before returning to her hometown of San Diego. She has pursued her interest in education and community engagement through work at several local nonprofits. She enjoys helping students navigate the ins and outs of the university and supporting them achieve their personal goals. She is passionate about health and wellness, and she loves cooking, spending time outdoors, hiking, and camping.


JOANNA PERALTA, Front Desk Student Worker

Joanna is in her final year at UC San Diego in Revelle College.  She is currently pursuing a double major major in Biological Anthropology and Human Development, as well as a minor in Psychology.  She is a sorority sister actively involved in Sigma Pi Alpha Sorority Inc.  Originally from Orange County, Joanna loves to to cook, bake, and dance!  She enjoys the outdoors and hopes to travel soon!