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Meet Your Advising Team

Kristi Weddige

Director of Advising and Academic and Pre-Health Professions Advisor 

Head shot of advisor Kristi Weddige in front of plants StrengthQuest Themes

Achiever, Empathy, Focus, Harmony, and Developer

Advising Philosophy

My goal as an academic advisor is to approach our time together from a holistic and solution-focused framework. I will  intentionally ask you questions that I hope will appropriately challenge, support and empower you as a student to grow as an individual and to set goals to achieve what you desire from your educational path. I strive to actively listen to you and your questions and concerns, and to provide you with timely and relevant information that will help you to identify relevant and appropriate opportunities, resources, options and services needed to maximize your educational experience.

In my role as an academic coach, my goal is to help you to take stock of your strengths, to discover hidden talents and resources, and to learn how to capitalize on your strengths most effectively in the academic setting. We will discuss specific learning strategies that you can employ to help you perform better academically. I am here, as needed to hold you accountable and to support you as you put into action new techniques to improve your academics and become a successful college student. 
 
I strongly believe that you have the ability to be a capable, competent and resilient individual who possess the skills to be successful in earning your college degree, and I look forward to partnering with you over the next four years in your personal, educational journey!

 

Meghan Farrier-Nolan

Academic and Pre-Health Professions Advisor

StrengthsQuest Themes

Learner, Individualization, Consistency, Harmony, Relator

Advising Philosophy

Meghan’s Advising Philosophy: “Be a lamp, a lifeboat, or a ladder.” -Rumi

My primary goal in advising students is to develop an authentic relationship, where they feel supported in their educational, professional, and personal pursuits. Therefore, I will always be my sincere, honest and genuine self with you as my student. I will never sugarcoat reality, but I will remain supportive. I will not only support you, but also serve as an advocate if barriers arise. When there is a system in place that works against you or a group of students, I will not only assist you in overcoming the barrier, but also advocate to remove it.

I will always work with each of you as an individual supporting your goals and recognizing your unique interests and traits. As your advisor I will show an interest in you not only by actively listening and supporting you individually, but also by being an active member of the campus community by being involved various extracurricular activities such as sporting events, cultural pursuits and club activities.

As an advisor, I will strive to be the most knowledgeable resource I can. Even when I do not have all the answers, I will challenge you to seek the answers yourself and help guide your way. I believe in assisting you in your personal development and reaching your goals in order to empower each of you to become more independent, self-reliant and successful.

 

Anya Bergman

Academic and Pre-Health Professions Advisor 

StrengthsQuest Themes

Developer, Empathy, Harmony, Restorative, and Connectedness

Advising Philosophy

I view my academic advisor role as that of an educator, a coach, a mentor and as a supporter. The framework of my partnership with students is built upon respect, honesty, genuine friendliness, being nonjudgmental and informed about the students, the college and the university that I serve. My approach is holistically supportive with unconditional positive regard and is action-oriented. I work to support the entire student, not just what I can see or hear them saying. I anticipate the needs and assistance that a student might not know to ask for or is hesitant to mention. I also employ a challenge and support style - challenging students to take control of and be accountable for their educational, personal and career decisions and supporting them along the way, through information, providing appropriate tools, check-ins and praise.

I treat each student as a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances and needs. Taking the time to connect with each student helps me better understand them as a person and their academic and professional goals – which in turn, gives me information to better support them. I see the potential and progress in each of my students. Through challenging them to evaluate whether their current actions are in sync with their aspirations, we work to set goals to help them experience personal, educational and/or professional success. Each time we meet, I look for and acknowledge growth that has taken place and goals that have been met. Then encouraging the student to look for new goals to be set. I believe this method encourages students to be empowered by their mini-successes en route to achieving their bigger life goals, while regularly reevaluating where they want to “go” and what they can do to “get there”.

 

Laura Wilson

Academic and Pre-Health Professions Advisor 

StrengthsQuest Themes

Relator, Strategic, Futuristic, Achiever, Maximizer

Advising Philosophy

My goal as an advisor is to create a relationship with a foundation built on trust and safety, one where students feel comfortable being open, honest, and accountable. I believe in a holistic approach that honors and respects all areas of a person’s life. We are individuals with unique views, perspectives, and beliefs. I will challenge you to understand yourself completely, to set attainable educational, personal, and career goals, and encourage you to celebrate your accomplishments.

My approach is positive and solution focused. It is important to assess and evaluate areas of the past that have been difficult, but it is also important to bring the information we have gained through our experiences and apply our knowledge to future situations. When we engage in a process together, I will openly bring awareness to areas that need attention, and areas of existing strength. I ask questions such as, “What do you think was different about this situation,” to find opportunities. When looking toward the future with understanding, hope, inspiration, and vision, anything is possible.  

As a resource, I keep myself informed of campus policies and procedures. I am honest, and will provide and seek accurate answers, and I will encourage you to do the same. I will make the best recommendations I can with your goals in mind. I am your student advocate. When trusted with information regarding an area that needs attention or improvement, I will work to escalate your concerns and advocate for change.

I believe in being mindful of how our actions, words, and behaviors impact others. I use my ability to be objective to help others see situations more clearly. I will help you be responsible for your actions, your future, and for meeting your goals. I strive to be at my best, and to help others reach their best, knowing that the definition of our best will grow as we grow together. I will celebrate your achievements with you along the way. I am inspired and hope to be inspiring.

 

Tiffany Kwapnoski

Academic and Pre-Health Professions Advisor 

StrengthsQuest Themes

Empathy, Learner, Adaptability, Relator, Positivity

Advising Philosophy

The guiding principle of my philosophy is the concept of "sonder"—that every individual I interact with is living “a life as complex and vivid as my own.” I recognize that you are multifaceted and have unique thoughts, feelings, experiences, and goals.

Though the bulk of our conversation might be about your educational pathway, I hope our advisor-advisee relationship will go beyond planning classes or discussing health professions. As your advisor, I want you to feel comfortable and safe sharing anything you need to express, because it is my job to support you and be your advocate when needed. I attempt to make my presence and my office as welcoming as possible, but my approach is fairly direct. I often jump straight to business—but please don’t think that means I don’t care about you! I promise to listen to you, respect you, and work with you to find the best outcome for your circumstances.

I am beyond happy to help people, but I believe that your success is your own reward. I cannot do the work for you, so I expect you to be an equal contributor to our partnership. If you feel that we are heading down the wrong path or that I do not understand your situation, please make sure you correct me. I am not too proud to admit when I make mistakes and I will always work to fix them. If I don’t know what to do, I will ask for help and use my resources, but you have to do the same.

I use my own experiences to understand yours, even if I can never truly see things as you do. Although I am no longer a student, every day teaches me something new. I try to pass that knowledge on to you, and it is my hope that you will learn as much from our interactions as I do.

 

Alex Jensen

Graduate Student, Advising Intern

StrengthsQuest Themes

Harmony, Includer, Woo, Responsibility, Discipline

Advising Philosophy

I am the graduate intern in the COSAM Academic Advising Center for the 2017-2018 academic year. I am in the process of getting my masters in biology at Cal Poly. Since I have a background in biology, I will primarily be working with undergraduates studying some aspect of biology (i.e. Biology, Microbiology, and Marine Science). My goal is to have a solid foundation of knowledge about Cal Poly, the College of Science and Math, and majors/minors related to biology, to provide accurate and pertinent information to you, the student. I will always be honest with you, and there will be times when I don’t know the answer to your questions. We can either find out together, or I will refer you to someone who can help you further. I am here to answer questions about academics, but I also believe in holistic advising — I want to know what you enjoy outside of academics. I believe that success in college is not solely measured by grades; I think a great college experience comes from working hard, getting involved, and making healthy decisions.

I hope to empower you to make informed decisions about your academics and beyond. I am interested in guiding students toward a career that is fulfilling for you. A poignant question that has stuck with me is: “Without mentioning job titles or career paths, what are your goals in life?” (The New Advisor Guidebook 2015). I will encourage you to take classes and participate in activities that are fulfilling for self and resume.

I support you on your journey. My office is a safe space for you to ask questions, voice concerns, and talk about your college experience. I am personally committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in the sciences (and biology in particular). I am aware that some students face or have faced educational, social, and/or economic barriers to their education and career goals. I am committed to listening and advocating for you when you think something at Cal Poly should change. Looking forward to meeting you!

 

Amber Vogt

Office Manager

StrengthsQuest Themes

Connectedness, Empathy, Developer, Discipline, Positivity

Philosophy for Student Interaction

I work at the front desk of the Advising Center, and as the first person that you interact with, it is my goal to make you feel welcomed. My focus is to be kind to every person that enters our office, because I agree with Aesop's statement that “no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” I want the Advising Center to be a place that students feel at ease, and I attempt to provide that experience every time I interact with anyone visiting our office. It is my hope that you will feel comfortable coming to see us, and that you come in as often as you need to receive assistance during your time here at Cal Poly.

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