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Academic Resources

Academic Advising

Meet Our Team

Academic Advising

Meet Our Team

Our team is made up of our director, assistant director, five full time staff academic advisors and two part time graduate student advisors. We are all trained to advise in general requirements and academic policies. The Academic Advising partnership between faculty and staff academic advisors creates a seamless experience for students.  Staff Academic Advisors with specific college liaison areas are outlined below.

Tonnett Luedtke

Tonnett Luedtke, MA

Director of Academic Advising

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: The Ritchie School/Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Tonnett.Luedtke@du.edu

About Tonnett:

Where is your favorite spot on DU’s campus?
Anderson Academic Commons

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
The Bible, The Color Purple, and Game of Thrones

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Ask lots of questions, take risks, build connections, communicate, and most of all, be yourself!

Share a quote you really like.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Biography

As a first-generation college student, I know firsthand the power of good advising in student retention and persistence. I am a strong believer in engaging students in meaningful conversation, which can connect them with resources, help them identify their strengths, and move them toward their goals.

I enjoy sharing my passion for holistic student development and often present on topics including having difficult conversations, developing resiliency, academic coaching, and inclusive excellence in academic advising. Most recently, my co-presentation "Helping Students Develop Bounce! Cultivating Resiliency" received the NACADA 2015 Best of Region award.

Originally from Texas, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Houston, followed by my Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Denver. In my life outside of DU, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two little boys. I am an avid runner and have completed one marathon and several half-marathons. As a volunteer ambassador for Black Girls Run! and a couch to 5k coach, I spend a lot of time outside enjoying Colorado's natural beauty.

Katie Seymour

Katie Seymour, MSHA

Assistant Director of Academic Advising

Faculty Partnership and Liaison areas: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Kathlene.Seymour@du.edu

About Katie:

Where is your favorite spot on DU’s campus?
I enjoy many spots on campus, but my favorite space is located in Margery Reed Hall, in the Reiman Theater. The theater was recently renovated and displays a beautiful Shakespearean mural framing the stage. The mural is magical.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite book is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This book really spoke to me and I have read it twice already. My favorite movie is the classic The Sound of Music. My current favorite TV show is House of Cards.

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your professors or academic advisors, or any additional resource, for that matter. We are here for you and I have found that a lot of college students sometimes hesitate to ask for help. That is the last thing you should do!

Share a quote you really like.
“The arts make vivid the fact that words do not, in their literal form or number, exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition." – Elliot W. Eisner

Biography

I am a current Doctoral Student in DU’s Curriculum and Instruction Program with an emphasis in Curriculum Studies, and serve as the Assistant Director of Academic Advising in the Academic Advising Office. I am very interested in research around working with students at risk and students with learning disabilities, including Twice-Exceptional and gifted. My interests also involve looking at blended learning within the K-12 arena and how that could potentially impact higher education. Within my academic advising role, I utilize my advising skills around academic coaching to help students make connections between cognitive and non-cognitive skill sets.

I have over eight years of experience in the field of Higher Education. Formerly working as an Academic Advisor within Daniels College of Business and prior to working at DU, I held a position with Regis University working in its College for Professional Studies. At Regis, I worked on retention strategies and academic advising for the non-traditional adult student population pursuing degrees in Counseling and Education. I have a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Political Science and Spanish and hold a Masters of Health Administration and Management (MSHA) degree from Regis University. My research has related to the health care industry, specifically on long-term care related issues, and am published on my work and research on dementia patients and pain assessment measurements.

My hobbies include running, backpacking, eating and cooking, all things exercise (because I like to eat and cook), and spending quality time with family and friends. As a true Colorado native, I love to enjoy the beautiful Rocky Mountains with my two-year-old daughter, husband, and chocolate lab.

Zawdie Ekundayo

Zawdie Ekundayo, MA

Senior Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison areas: The Ritchie School/Natural Sciences and Mathematics/ International Student and Scholar Services

Zawdie.Ekundayo@du.edu

About Zawdie:

Where is your favorite spot on DU’s campus?
My favorite spot on the DU campus is the Nelson Hall dining space. I love having so many choices of entrees and always having fresh fruit and vegetables available to me.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite book is the novel The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta by Mario Vargas Llosa about a failed Trotskyist revolutionary in Peru. My favorite film is Kiss of The Spider Woman with Raul Julia and William Hurt as prison cell mates in an unnamed South American country. My favorite TV show is, easily, House of Cards about a Washington, DC, power couple who will stop at nothing in their quest to rule the free world.

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Pay close attention to your heart and feed your passions—seek wisdom to inform your major life choices.

Share a quote you really like.
“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." – Fredrick Douglas

Biography

I majored in Philosophy at Morehouse College in Atlanta and earned my Master of Arts degree from DU's Korbel School of International Studies. I worked in the U.S. Congress and the African Development Bank in West Africa before returning to Denver to work for the U.S. Department of the Interior. I taught Africana Studies and Political Science full-time for several years at Metropolitan State University of Denver before returning to the University of Denver in 2001 as a professional academic advisor.

I love working with students on figuring out how DU systems work and how to graduate having had powerful, life-expanding experiences like study abroad and internships as well as exciting courses taught by dynamic faculty. I also love to encourage everyone in my orbit to think critically about all aspects of Western “civilization.” I see my work, principally, as that of an educator, just like my grandmother and my mother before me.

Sarah Gutierrez

Sarah Gutierrez, M.Ed.

Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: The Ritchie School/ Natural Sciences and Mathematics

sarah.gutierrez@du.edu

About Sarah:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
The gardens over by the Evans Chapel – they are beautiful!

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
I like all of Emily Giffin's novels. My favorite movie is Age of Adaline (currently) and I absolutely love The Mindy Project.

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are so many excellent resources for you at DU! If you don't know where to start, stop by any office and staff will help get you to the right place.

Share a quote you really like.
"No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself." – Virginia Woolf

Biography

I grew up in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. I hold a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy degree from the University of Utah. Colorado will always be home to me, so I returned to CU Boulder as a Hall Director before joining the excellent Academic Advising team here at DU. 

In my free time, I enjoy running 5ks, walking with my Miniature Poodle, Daisy, reading, and watching movies. I have been learning to cook the last few years, and always welcome new ideas! If I have a weekend in the mountains, I enjoy hiking the trails at home and visiting with family.

Victoria Hufschmidt

Victoria Hufschmidt

Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

victoria.hufschmidt@du.edu

 About Victoria:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
Mountain View Room in Ruffatto Hall. Nothing is better than sitting on the outside patio on a sunny Colorado day eating lunch/reading a book and enjoying the views of the Rocky Mountains and skyline of Denver.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite books are Me Before You, The Kite Runner, and The Prince. My favorite movies are Just Friends, Pride and Prejudice, The Notebook, and Finding Nemo. My favorite TV shows are The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy, and New Girl.

What is one piece of advice you have for students? 
Everything is going to be okay—seriously. No matter what difficult situation you are in or how stressed you are with classes, know that there are several resources on campus to take care of you. We will assist in finding solutions for your problems as well as ways to ease your stress. Remember to take deep breaths and live one day at a time.

Share a quote you really like.
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr

Biography

I joined the DU community in 2014 working in the Office of the Registrar as its Admission & Transfer Coordinator. Prior to becoming a Pioneer, I was a Colorado College Tiger for several years. I graduated from college in 2011 with a B.A in International Political Economy and a minor in Journalism. Upon graduation, I remained at my alma mater working as an Admission Officer and educating first-generation students (like myself) on the importance of going to college. I am currently a Master’s student in the Higher Education program at DU.

Outside of work, I have a strong love for community service and can be found volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission or serving as a coordinator for Filipino Heritage Camp. I also enjoy traveling to new countries to try different cuisines, cooking Filipino food, eating at new restaurants, laughing, photography, watching movies, and going to the dog park with my Shiba Inu named Angel and my Belgian Malinois named Kaiser. I love living in Colorado and thoroughly enjoy the “300 days of sunshine a year".

Kyle McEvilly

Kyle McEvilly, MA

Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences/Pre-Law

kyle.mcevilly@du.edu

About Kyle:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
The place I like most on DU's campus is the Renaissance Room in the Mary Reed Building.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My all-time favorite TV shows include LOST and Prison Break. For books, I really enjoy James Dashner's The Maze Runner and Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. I'm a huge fan of 1980s movies.

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Visit your instructors during office hours. If office hours are not an option given your schedule, contact instructors and set up appointments. Great things can come from these meetings!

Share a quote you really like.
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." – Anne Bradstreet

Biography

I earned my undergraduate degree from Bradley University, where I studied Sociology and Political Science. I continued with my interest in government to complete a Master of Arts in Political Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After serving as an intern with the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and working in Washington, DC’s nonprofit sector, I moved out west to begin a new, challenging career in higher education.

Outside of advising DU undergraduates, you’ll find me running around racquetball courts, buying a ticket at the movie theater, playing acoustic guitar, hiking one of Colorado’s many trails, or collecting presidential campaign buttons. I am an enthusiastic water-skier and skilled campfire marshmallow roaster, and enjoy spending time “Up North” in Michigan during the summertime.

Leah O'Grady

Leah O'Grady, MA

Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: Arts Humanities and Social Sciences/Daniels Fund & DSF Scholars

leah.ogrady@du.edu

About Leah:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
I love the Quinette Family Reading Room in the Anderson Academic Commons. It's quiet, serene, and has a great view overlooking campus (which is great for my people-watching hobby).

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
There are so many! My favorite book series is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I tend to get wrapped up in fiction with a bit of mystery! Current TV shows I'm really enjoying include Bloodline, House of Cards, Transparent, and Veep.

What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Embrace discomfort. The moments that you step outside your comfort zone are the moments that will stick with you and change you forever. You cannot truly grow without a little discomfort and a little (or a lot) of struggle. These are the moments that shape who you are and challenge what you're capable of. The struggle is the best part of any story.

Share a quote you really like. 
"You've always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself." – The Wizard of Oz

Biography

Originally from the metro Atlanta area, I graduated from the University of Georgia with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Child and Family Development. Throughout my collegiate career, I developed a large interest in civic engagement initiatives, which eventually relocated me to Colorado for an adventurous year with AmeriCorps NCCC. Throughout this and other experiences, I became very passionate about working with young adults in identifying and realizing their civic, academic, and professional goals. This passion ultimately led me to the Higher Education graduate program here at the University of Denver.

In working with undergraduate students, my advising philosophy centers on engaging in thoughtful dialogue to encourage students to develop autonomy, critically create and examine goals, and process new and challenging situations. Each of these aspects contributes to holistic student development and resilience, which are paramount for navigating life after college. My passion for assisting students in this capacity most recently led to my co-presentation titled "Cultivating Resiliency: Helping Students Develop Bounce!", which received the NACADA 2015 Best of Region award. My dedication to supporting students traverses many areas of my professional life in the hopes of continuing my growth as a higher education professional.

Outside academic advising, I can often be found enjoying the Colorado outdoors. I particularly enjoy skiing, hiking, catching concerts at Red Rocks, playing volleyball, camping, and basking in the 300+ days of Colorado sun with family and friends.