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Academic Resources

Academic Advising

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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

Executive Director- Academic Resources

Disability Services Program, Academic Advising, & Learning Effectiveness Program  

[email protected]

About Tonnett:

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

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
The Color Purple, 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. I spend a lot of time outside enjoying Colorado's natural beauty.

Katie Seymour

Katie Seymour, MSHA

Associate Director of Academic Advising

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

[email protected]

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

[email protected]

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 Thorstenson, M.Ed.

Staff Academic Advisor

Faculty Partnership and Liaison Areas: The Ritchie School | Natural Sciences and Mathematics | Lund 3+1+1 Program

[email protected]

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 love all of Emily Giffin's novels. My favorite movie is 10 Things I Hate About You and I love Grey's Anatomy.

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.

April Osborne

April Osborne, M.Ed.

Staff Academic Advisor, Pre-Law Advisor

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

Please visit the Pre-Law Portfolio Page for more information about Pre-Law!

[email protected]

 About April:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
My favorite spot (for now) is Sturm College of Law. I love that it is a LEED certified building and that the library is on 3 levels. This building embodies what I love about college campuses.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite book: Harry Potter Series
Movie: Star Wars Series
TV Show: I have many favorites, but the show I have watched the longest is Greys Anatomy.

What is one piece of advice you have for students? 
Seek out help and a mentor before you even think you need it. Four years goes by incredibly fast, and we want you to take full advantage of faculty and staff that are here to help you have a successful college experience.

Share a quote you really like.
"One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others." - Lewis Carroll

Biography

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas where I also attended college at The University of Texas with a BS degree in Kinesiology and Health. Before starting my master’s degree, I worked full time trying out a few different industries including a high school college access program, sport and consumer marketing, and state government. During that time, I knew something was missing, and decided that working with students was my passion. I attended Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and received my Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education. After graduation, I set my eyes on Colorado and joined the Academic Advising team in September 2017.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my partner, Pablo, and our two dogs MJ and Sam. I am so excited that Denver has so many parks that we can take them to! I am looking forward to trying new activities in Denver and going to explore the mountains. I like trying new things including foods and travel. I am excited to see what my Denver adventure awaits.

Zahra Khorasani

Zahra Khorasani, M.Ed.

Staff Academic Advisor

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

[email protected]

 About Zahra:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
For the coffee junkie in all of us, Beans Café provides a nice bohemian environment to settle down and study, read, or relax. The lavender chai latte is absolutely heavenly.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite books: 1) BIRD BY BIRD Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott and 2) anything written by Jane Austen
Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird and Children of Heaven (pretty much any movie directed by Majid Majidi)
TV Show: House of Cards

What is one piece of advice you have for students? 
Take advantage of this time to become the most amazing version of yourself. You can think of college as an incubation period, where you can develop your skills and character. You are likely never going to have as many resources, like-minded peers, free hours, and opportunities as you do in college again — so use them wisely.

Share a quote you really like.
"All of your scholarship, all your study of Shakespeare and Wordsworth would be vain if at the same time you did not build your character and attain mastery over your thoughts and your actions." --Mahatma Gandhi

Biography

I was born in Tehran, Iran but grew up in the Twin Cities and consider Minnesota my "home away from home." At the University of Minnesota, I graduated with a Masters in Education and taught English for a few years before switching hats and shifting into higher education in 2006. After moving to Denver, I worked at the University of Colorado Denver's College of Architecture and Planning prior to joining the advising team at DU.

My passion and devotion to higher education and academic advising led me to pursue a doctoral degree in Higher Education Policy and Administration. Each and every day, I am fascinated by the work that goes into making sure each and every student has a successful college career.

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends: cooking, reading, writing, exploring, and learning—always learning!

Courtney Dibble

Courtney Dibble

Academic Coach

Degree Seeking: Masters in Social Work

[email protected]

 About Courtney:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
All of the beautiful grassy areas where I can sit and study.

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
My favorite book: Inside of a Dog
Movie: Me Before You
TV Shows: Sinner and Bull

What is one piece of advice you have for students? 
Ask for what you need and know that you are not alone.

Share a quote you really like.
"I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion- and where it isn't, that's where my work lies." Ram Dass

Biography

I'm a recent Colorado transplant drawn to DU for the Masters in Social Work program. I moved here with my two dogs and guinea pig from California. My Bachelors is in Human Development, Counseling Services and a certificate in Animal and Human Health. Upon completion of my Masters I would like to work with Children who have experienced trauma utilizing animal assisted methods.

Prior to DU I was working as an advocate and crisis counselor for a countywide Sexual Assault Response Team as well as at a university police department as the Clery Coordinator. Outside of work, I love all things nature related and can be found spending the entire day at the Cherry Creek Off Leash Area with my dogs.

Bessie Nolan

Bessie Nolan

Academic Coach

Degree Seeking: Masters in Higher Education

[email protected]

About Bessie:

Where is your favorite spot on DU's campus?
Mountain View Room in Ruffatto Hall – sitting on the outside patio between interviews convinced me that I needed to move to Denver!

What is your favorite book/movie/TV show?
I love to read fiction, but can't choose a favorite – my most recent memorable reads are: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Gone Girl, and Life After Life. As a young adult I was enthralled with the Harry Potter series. I am a binge watcher of Broad City, Parks and Rec, Sherlock, 30 Rock and many others!

What is one piece of advice you have for students? 
Take your health (mental, physical & emotional) seriously! Practice self-care and make use of all the resources that DU has to offer you!

Share a quote you really like.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." –Anne Frank

Biography

I grew up in Chicago, IL with my parents and two younger brothers. I went to University of Miami and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English. I worked for a short time at University of Miami's Counseling Center doing outreach programming. I then went to Bangkok, Thailand to earn my TESOL certificate and teach English to first grade students for a year and a half. While living in Southeast Asia I was fortunate to travel to many surrounding countries, learn a new language, and eat so much delicious food. I then taught at an English summer camp program in Italy and spent time traveling throughout Central Europe. Finally, I went back to my hometown to save money for the next adventure – graduate school! I started my Master's degree in Higher Education Administration in Fall 2017. I have a fellowship with Gender Violence Prevention and Education and I feel honored to work on an issue that I am incredibly passionate about. I am so excited to work with students as an Academic Coach to build on their strengths and help them learn the skills they need to succeed!

In my free time I love to travel domestically and internationally (I presently have been to 22 countries!) I enjoy reading, watching Netflix, spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, playing with other people's pets, doing yoga, knitting, and trying out new craft projects. I'm excited to explore all that Colorado has to offer and of course the year-round sunshine!