Meet our advisers! To find out who your adviser is, schedule an appointment here or call the front desk.
Director of Advising Initiatives and Partnerships
I began my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara completely undecided about what I wanted to study. Eventually I settled on Sociology and later, after work and volunteer experience, I went on to pursue my Master’s in Public Administration here at the UW. I have been working to support students’ educational aspirations and dreams since 2006. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be an adviser, but through my education and experiences I found a love for supporting people as they navigate college and make meaning of their education. I look forward to working with you as you explore your own interests and curiosities and gain important experiences that will help you achieve your goals and become the person you want to be.
I was born and raised in Seattle and attended the University of Washington for my undergraduate degree. When I began at the University, my mind had been completely set on attaining a degree in Construction Management. Though I thought I had my mind made up, as I completed more courses to prep for my major, I began realizing that I simply did not have a passion for that type of work. This, in combination with simultaneous life-altering events, led me to the realization that what I was passionate about was helping others.
I decided to pursue Psychology as a first step on my newly declared path, with no strong career interest in mind. Soon enough, I found work as a Peer Adviser within this very office. After being able to experience how advising works, I found that I loved the balance of being able to support students with situations of any magnitude and give them a friendly resource to depend on within this huge University. I am looking forward to being able to support you in uncovering your interests, chasing your goals and everything in between!
Executive Director of Advising Curriculum and Policy
I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Economics and a minor in Geography. Both were disciplines I settled on shortly after taking introductory courses in each area and finding the subjects fascinating. I was also fortunate enough to participate in a CHID focus group entitled Rethinking the University which examined higher education through the eyes of the undergraduate participants. It was this experience that changed how I viewed higher education and started me on the path toward advising.
Despite thoroughly enjoying my work as an undergraduate I ran off and got a law degree after graduation seeking a steady paycheck. The legal profession didn’t stick and after bouncing around various jobs I had the good fortune of working at the University of Pennsylvania in their College House System. This rekindled my desire to work with students helping them find meaning in their undergraduate studies—something I have the good fortune of doing on a daily basis back at UW.
Lead Academic Adviser
I began my time at the University of Washington unsure of what I wanted to study so I explored engineering and health sciences, but quickly realized that I wasn’t interested in physical sciences. Math had always made sense to me, so I pursued math education. Then senior year I was exposed to economics, and was thrilled by the possibility of using math as a tool to solve complex social problems. I graduated with degrees in math, economics, and a minor in education. I later attended the University of British Columbia for graduate school where I focused on economics of public goods and policy evaluation. While working in litigation consulting, I was consistently reflecting on my involvement across campus and was drawn back to support students navigate and define their own undergraduate experiences. Through meaningful connections, I strive to empower students with the tools and resources to maximize their potential at the University of Washington, given various constraints that they face (time, policies, finances, etc.). I am thrilled to work with you as you craft your own Husky Experience and can’t wait to meet you!
Lead Academic Adviser
As an undergraduate I studied at the University of Vermont and discovered that I really enjoyed a few of the political science I took in my sophmore year. I enjoyed looking at different perspectives on local and world events and developing my own informed understanding along with writing research papers. I eventually decide on that for my major and as you can see, I now have a career that is largely unrelated to the study of politics. However, the skills I learned in college still translate and helped me along the way to a job I love.
Lead Academic Adviser
When I was a first year undergraduate at the UW, I thought I was going to triple major in Psychology, Journalism, and Theater and that I would become a reporter at The Seattle Times. Only problem was, once I started taking classes toward my intended major, I felt miserable because what I thought was going to be a great fit turned out not to be right for me. After reflecting and chatting with trusted advisers, I realized I had all these reasons why I was avoiding internships related to my original major and career ideas, and that I chose over and over to take positions volunteering and working with college students. I chose to read, write, and think about higher education, and I loved it.
I earned a B.A. in Communication and discovered along the way how my education was leading me to study how schools like the UW work and serve students. Fast forward, and after earning my Master’s in Education at the University of Texas at Austin, I am back at the UW doing what I love- helping students navigate higher education, be successful, and forge their path toward meaningful learning, work, and fulfillment. I look forward to working with you as you explore your own interests, and discover your direction and potential.
I first arrived at Oregon State University unsure of what I wanted to major in, but confident that I enjoyed learning about people, human rights issues, and education. Knowing that I needed to explore before settling on a major, I registered for classes my first few quarters that would help me explore these interest areas from different angles and expose me to new ways of thinking. It was through this exploration that I discovered my major, Human Development and Family Sciences, and my minors, Sociology and Business. Throughout the rest of my time at OSU, I make an effort to engage in learning, both in and out of the classroom, that would challenge my thinking, prompt reflection, and allow me to connect with my community. My campus engagement led to a passion working with college students and eventually a Master’s Degree in Education. I am excited to work with you as you make choices about your educational career and navigate your Husky Experience.
Lead Academic Adviser
Having thoroughly enjoyed my two anthropology courses at Whatcom Community College, I chose to major in anthropology when I transferred to Iowa State University. Still interested in Anthropology, I earned a Master of Arts degree in anthropology at Western Washington University, focusing on Ethnohistory and Native American Studies. That there are so many ways of life and types of knowledge, experience and perspective are insights I draw upon every day as an academic adviser. After several years I returned to school. My doctoral dissertation, in the UW College of Education, focused on how staff, from a variety of educational institutions, approach this multifaceted business of undergraduate academic advising.
Being a first-generation college student, things did not come easy for me. I took advantage of the resources available to me and worked hard to become a good student. I still struggle with asking for help. I challenge you to be better at that than I am!
I encourage you to be patient with yourself. Learning who we are and what we want is a process. Along with other advisers, faculty and staff, I'm here to help you get settled, figure out the system and get the most out of your experience at the University of Washington!
I started my college life as an international and first-generation college student at a small community college in Idaho. Despite tons of excited preparation, I still found myself sitting in the wrong classroom on my very first day. My undergraduate experience continued at Western Washington University and was a series of mistakes, lessons learned, friends, adventures, explorations and challenges. At Western, I focused on Special Education, Elementary Education and Psychology, but it was through my work as an RA in the residence halls, that I found my passion for working with college students. I spent several years as a special education teacher and got my Master’s degree in Education, but was ultimately drawn back to college students through professional advising. I have been working in advising since 2002 and have never looked back!
Having recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in psychology and a minor in education, I find myself reflecting on my time as an undergrad and the experiences that I have valued. I remember being a freshman and feeling small, trying to figure out where to spend my time and energy at a university that felt so big. At the same time, I remember being completely undecided about my major and life path in general, convinced that my passion for writing would mean I was destined for the English department.
Near the end of my first year, I realized that this did not have to be the case. While writing was something that I had always enjoyed, I felt more fulfilled being a listening ear for those around me as compared to writing an essay. So, after taking a few psychology courses, I recognized that my writing and impact could fall under other disciplines and did not need to be restricted to the English major.
During my second year, I found a home in this office as a peer adviser, helping students navigate the many resources and opportunities that I had once felt lost in. This led me to where I am now, striving to support students in whatever capacity I can provide and drawing from my own experiences as both a recent graduate and an adviser. While I understand that everyone’s pathway is different, I hope to provide you with support and encouragement as you continue along your educational pathway!
Academic Adviser/Path to UW Adviser
I grew up in the Seattle area and did my undergraduate studies here at UW. When I first started college, I thought I wanted a future in lab work and disease research. However, the experiences of getting to take exploratory social science classes as part of my degree, along with getting involved with incredible communities and work opportunities at UW, led me to discover a passion for student support, diversity and equity advocacy, and higher education. I eventually graduated with degrees in Education and Global Health.
I didn’t always know I wanted to be an adviser, but my own identities and background led me to care deeply about access to and support through higher education for all students. This passion for education equity brought me first to a general advising role with UAA, and now to my current role as the Seattle Promise Path to UW Adviser in partnership with the Seattle Colleges. I know support for everyone looks different, and whether you are a freshmen or a prospective transfer student from a Seattle College just starting your UW journey, or are anywhere else along your college path, I am excited to walk alongside you as you make meaning of your undergraduate experience, discover your passions, and step into your potential.
Please use the information that applies to you below to contact me:
Danny Ayala Robles
I began my college journey largely unsure of what I wanted to do and how to go about it. I knew I wanted to do something in education, as I was always passionate about supporting students, but did not know where in the education system I would fit best. I attempted community college after high school, but after getting burnt out from working and going to school full time, I joined the military to get my schooling paid for.
Upon returning to college, I met with an advisor who was extremely caring and motivating. Their support had such a strong impact on my journey, that this was when that I knew I wanted to be an advisor and support students in reaching their own education goals. Eventually, I transferred to the University of Washington and graduated with a B.A. in Education, Communities, and Organizations with a minor in Diversity while serving as a Peer Advisor and a College and Career Readiness Assistant.
Through my story, and many others like mine, I understand that finding the right path for you can take many twists and turns. Many times, you may find your calling through experiences you didn’t think would be of much value, and that is part of the reason why it is vital to explore fields you may not be too familiar with. I acknowledge that support may look different for every student based on their own identities, experiences, and background, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you throughout your undergraduate experience!
Lead Academic Adviser
I studied Zoology and Genetics as an undergraduate student at Oregon State University. I went immediately into a graduate program and earned a Master’s degree in Radiation Biology. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life at this point, but thought it might be worthwhile to actually be employed, so I took a year-long program through the Veteran’s Hospital in Portland, OR and received my certification as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I worked in that capacity for a bit, and when my wife returned to school, I took a position as a research assistant in a biochemistry lab investigating the circular-dichroism properties of proteins (no nuclear medicine jobs were open in the area). Based upon my background, I took the next logical step, went back to school, and earned a PhD in Horticulture. I taught introductory chemistry, biology and biochemistry at two colleges in western New York State, did a one year stint as a high school biology teacher in Buffalo, NY, and taught at a few colleges in the Seattle area. I have been an academic adviser for almost 15 years.
Danielle Greiner Shenk
Lead Academic Adviser
I went to Simpson College in Indianola, IA determined to double major in English and Music. I was soon overwhelmed by the time commitments of course work, ensembles, and lessons and eventually chose to earn a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance and to only minor in English. My long-term goal was to work with college students as a music professor, so I continued my education at Louisiana State University and earned a Master’s in Vocal Performance. While at LSU, I had the chance to work as a tutor in the Academic Center for Student Athletes. I was all set to start my doctorate and then received an offer for a yearlong singing gig with an opera company. I was burnt out with academia, so I packed my bags. After finishing the gig, I floundered wondering if I should return to school, continue to pursue a full-time singing career, or what else I should do with my life. My experience as a tutor helped me discover that there were other ways to work with college students beyond being a professor. I applied for a job at Colorado Mesa University as an Academic Advisor and haven’t looked back! I am excited to help you navigate your Husky Experience and to support you as you discover your strengths and interests!
My undergraduate experience at the University of New Mexico was similar to the experience of most students at UW. I tried lots of things and changed my intended major a few times - from architecture to business to philosophy. Turns out I liked the idea of architecture more than the study of it (still do), I found business boring, and the ancient Greeks are fascinating. Who knew? After college I came to Seattle and did my graduate work in the UW College of Education emphasizing philosophy of education. My current teaching and research deals with questions of meaning, purpose, and value in undergraduate education.
Just completed orientation? This is for you.
I was born and raised right in West Seattle and it was only natural that I ended up at UW for my undergraduate education. I recently graduated with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Diversity. I was a first-generation college student and my experiences getting into and through college are what led me to continue my work in higher education. I was introduced to this work through my job as a Student Associate for both the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) and Undergraduate Academic Affairs Advising. I then moved on to become the Lead Student Associate and the Program Management Assistant for Academic Counseling Services with OMA&D. During my time as an undergraduate, through my personal experiences and hardships, I came to the conclusion that my original plan to go into Occupational Therapy was not a good fit. I instead found that I was passionate about studying and understanding policy and systematic barriers which has fueled my interest in education and in studying public administration.
Our student staff are junior and senior UW students who receive extensive, ongoing training from professional advisers and generally have one to two years of experience working with students as an orientation leader, resident adviser, or peer adviser.
If you have questions, please contact Danielle Greiner Shenk at email@example.com.