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Advising Center Staff

Advisors

Derek Furukawa

Derek T Furukawa, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Furukawa joined the Advising Center staff in December 2012 as the Director of the Advising Center as well as Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising for the university.  He has been in advising for over a decade, having worked in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Education at the University of Maryland.  Dr. Furukawa earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in August of 2011.  His dissertation research explored the factors influencing college choice among high achieving students.  Dr. Furukawa holds a master's degree in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland and bachelors degrees in English and Spanish from the University of Northern Colorado.  He is active in the  National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and has presented regionally and nationally on topics ranging from social media integration to masculinity in advising to transfer student transition from 2-year to 4-year institutions.  At Nevada, Dr. Furukawa also serves as President of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Faculty Advisor for Circle K International and Kharisma.  He takes great pride in his work with developing student success programs and student leaders.  When he's not on the campus, you may find Dr. Furukawa on the golf course or mountain bike trails in the area or volunteering in the community.

Dawn Aeschlimann

Dawn M. Aeschlimann, M.A.

Academic Advisor

Dawn has been working at the University of Nevada, Reno since 2007.  She has worked primarily at the Advising Center with a short period with Financial Aid. Dawn graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing in 2003. After working for a few years in management and production Dawn decided that it was time to complete her goal of attaining a master's degree. In 2008, Dawn completed a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with an internship in teaching an Academic and Career Exploration course. She currently works closely with Residential Life and Housing and the Living Learning Community and serves as a member on the campus Food Committee. Dawn has been involved in workshops across campus which included topics on Major Exploration, Utilizing Your Advisor, and the Path to Academic Preparation and Exploration. She enjoys working with students in pursuit of academic success and really takes pride in understanding the different degrees offered at the University. Outside of work Dawn enjoy spending time with her family and traveling when she can.

Brandis Bernard

Brandis (Brandi) Bernard, M.A., NCC

Academic Advisor, Coordinator-Academic & Career  Exploration

Brandi has been an Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Academic and Career Exploration with the Advising Center since July 2009. Prior to joining the Advising Center, she was a Career Counselor for ten years and also worked in the Admissions and Records office at the University of Nevada Reno for fourteen years. Brandi's career in higher education has been rewarding and fulfilling and has always included helping students navigate their way through college from the point of gaining admission to graduating and everything in between. The students Brandi assists employ a variety of different ways to find answers to the many questions that arise when sifting through the multitude of what, where, when, how and whys related to academic and career choice. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to career counseling and academic advising. Each student experiences their own unique journey as they begin exploring and learning about life's many options, including their education and career choices. Brandi is a native Nevadan and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Counseling Educational Psychology from the University of Nevada Reno. She is currently studying Gerontology at the university. When Brandi is off the college campus, she can be found spending time with family and enjoying the great outdoors by hiking the Sierras and kayaking the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe.

Aqueelah LaGrone

Aqueelah Thompson, M.A.

Academic Advisor

Aqueelah Thompson has been a part of the Advising Center staff since July of 2007. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno where she was a member of the women's basketball team. She began her advising career in 2004 as a graduate assistant Athletic Advisor, and officially became a professional advisor in athletics in August of 2005. Being an alumni of the University of Nevada, Reno, she takes pride in her alma mater and knowing about the different degrees offered. She enjoys working the undecided student population and helping them achieve their educational and career goals.  Aqueelah enjoys spending time with family, baking, working out, and planning events.

Vacant

Academic Advisor

n/a

Vacant

Academic Advisor, Coordinator, Pre-Professional Advising

n/a

Office Staff

Vicki Bell

Vicki Bell

Administrative Assistant

Vicki is the newest member of the Advising Center as of May 2013.  She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  Vicki moved to the Tahoe area in 1988 and resided in Truckee, CA for 21 years.  She has worked with students in many capacities which include: Science Docent at Glenshire Elementary, Site Council, Men's Tennis Coach - Truckee High School, as well as working with music students.  She comes from a large non-profit background which most recently includes the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation as well as the Reno Philharmonic Association, where she served as the Office Manager and Executive Assistant at both locations.  Vicki has a son who is attending the University of Nevada, Reno and pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

Natasha Montabello 

Natasha Montabello

Graduate Assistant Academic Advisor

Natasha graduated from TMCC High School in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2013. She is pursuing graduate studies in the Department of Educational Leadership Master's program, as her career aspiration is to become an academic advisor. She enjoys helping students and providing detailed instruction on how to utilize helpful resources. She like to bike on the weekends, sing karaoke with friends, and go to Tahoe during the summer.

 

Jan Chris "JC" Orolfo

Student Assistant

Jan Chris, or JC as his friends typically call him, graduated Valedictorian from Churchill County High School in 2011 and is currently a junior pursuing a major in Computer Science and Engineering, with minors in Math, Japanese, and Digital Interactive Games. He is also a Honors student and the current treasurer for Circle K International. His hobbies include cooking, drawing, dancing, and video games. If you ever come down to the office for an appointment or just want someone to chat with you can find him working the front desk.

Aldrin Santamaria

Student Assistant

Aldrin graduated from Del Sol High School in Las Vegas in 2012. A member of the Honors Program, he is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biology and hopes to one day attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He is heavily involved with Circle K International as well as Alpha Kappa Psi and the American Medical Student Association.

McXine Salva

Student Assistant

McXine, pronounced "Mac-xine", graduated with an Honors and Advanced Diploma from North Valleys High School in 2013.  She is currently pursuing a dual major in International Business and Economics.  She spends most of her free time volunteering with Circle K International and at a local elementary school near campus.  She likes exploring unknown places, so if there's ever a chance for her to travel, she most likely says yes to it.

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University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno,  NV  89557-

(775) 784-1110
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