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Meet the Peer Advisors

For the 2014-2015 academic year, we have 10 peer advisors.  Each advisor has his or her own interests, specializations, and experiences.  To find the one that will be the most beneficial to meet with, please read the brief bios they have provided.  Then contact us, and we'll take care of the logistics!

Mary Gilles-Peer AdvisorDec2014 Mary Gillis

  Academic Standing: Senior
  Major:Comprehensive English Education

  I came to UW-Eau Claire as a Creative Writing major, 
but I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. 
  I spent my first two years here taking general education 
  courses and volunteering. By mentoring at one of the 
  local middle schools, I discovered that I was meant to 
  teach. Over the last few years I joined many volunteer 
  opportunities and organizations including Sigma Tau 
  Delta and Blugold Beginnings, and I'm currently the 
  Co-President of CWAMLE. What I'm looking forward 
  to the most this year is a Winterim Women's Studies course I'm taking in India! 
  After graduation, I plan on teaching English abroad for a few years; I'm thinking 
  Japan sounds amazing. My advisors have always been a great help in getting me 
  where I want to go and planning my future, and that's why I'm excited to be a peer 
  advisor and help other students reach their goals.

  Areas of Expertise: Creative Writing, Literature, Academic Writing, Film and 
  Literary Theory, Education Studies

Emily Moothart, Peer AdvisorEmily Moothart

Academic Standing: Junior
Major: Environmental Geography

Hello!  I'm Emily, one of your peer advisors.  I enjoy being outside and traveling, so last fall I spent the semester abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland.  While I was over there, I discovered my love for geography when taking a field course and switched majors from Organizational Communications to Environmental Geography the second semester of my sophomore year.  I realized that I might want to change my major when I started at UW-Eau Claire, so I took my generals right away; when I did switch, I didn't have to do any academic backtracking!  I was also able to take an international trip with Women's Concert Chorale to Ireland, which was really a rewarding experience.  I will be doing research this fall, and I am awaiting news for an EPA internship for the following summer.  I know one of the most frustrating parts of school can be the academic planning; that being said, I will do my best to make it an easier and less stressful process for you!

Areas of Expertise: Geography, GIS Certificate, Geology, Organizational Communications

Drake Bortomeolli, Peer AdvisorDrake Bortolameolli

Academic Standing: Junior
Major: Geography

I am currently a junior geography major.  I declared geography as my major after my first semester freshman year, after taking Physical Geography (Geog 104).  I greatly enjoyed the class and wanted to continue to pursue a geography career and learning about Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Before declaring as a geography major, I was a computer science major.  I did not like the programming side of computer science, but I was introduced to GIS, and since then, I have enjoyed every minute of it.  Currently, I am a member of the Men's Lacrosse Team, Vice President of the Eau Claire Dodgeball Club, a Lab Assistant for a Geography 104 Lab Section, and a participant in the Ronald McNair Program.  My plan is to graduate from UW-Eau Claire in two years and then go to graduate school to further pursue my geography education.

Areas of Expertise: Geography, Math, Geology

Joshua Day, Peer AdvisorJosh Day

Academic Standing: Senior
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology

Hey there,

I'm a senior psychology major with a minor in sociology.  I'm from Spooner, WI, and I am a non-traditional student with some real world experience that I hope will help me relate and communicate with students seeking some advising.  I'm 27 years old and a new father.  My son, Lincoln, was born in February, so I understand the difficult of balancing life in and out of school.  After my freshman year, I took some time off; I traveled and worked a few different jobs.  Eventually, I figured out that I wanted/needed to get back to school.  I knew that my previous academic history would prevent me from being admitted to the university right away.  So, I started taking courses part-time at CVTC to get my GPA up.  After a few semesters and one application denial, I eventually got accepted. Fall 2014 will be my fourth semester here.  In that time, I've become familiar with the degree audit and the academic planner as I've been preparing myself for a career in school counseling or school psychology.  So, if you need help with classes or just to chat about life stress, come on over and see me!

Areas of Expertise: psychology, sociology, interest and experience in biology and neuroscience

Mackenzie DeWaard, Peer AdvisorMackenzie DeWaard

Academic Standing: Junior
Major: Psychology
Minor: Family Studies

I spent my freshman and sophomore years of college trying to figure out what I wanted to major in.  I came to UW-Eau Claire as a Nursing major.  I then changed to Social Work, then finally to Psychology.  I know I want to major in Psychology because I love working with people and understanding human behaviors.  After I graduate with my Bachelor's degree, I am thinking about going to graduate school for Student Affairs and hopefully becoming n academic advisor at a college campus.  I believe my journey through several different majors will assist with my ability as a peer academic advisor.  The advisors I have had in the past have helped my extensively, and I am glad I am now able to provide the same help to other students on campus.

Areas of Expertise: Psychology, Family Studies, Nursing, Social Work

Sarah Doege, Peer AdvisorSarah Doege

Academic Standing: Senior
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Environmental Science
Additional: Certificate of Fluency in French

Coming in to UW-Eau Claire, the Communication and Journalism department quickly became like a second home; however, I also am taking a wide range of classes outside of my major department.  This has allowed me amazing opportunities, such as a study abroad Winterim trip to Belize with the Biology department.  I am also an active member of the UW-Eau Claire Forensics team, which has afforded me incredible opportunities throughout my years here.  Currently, I have a Communications and Research internship with Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, where I research and write articles to appear on their website.  After graduation, I plan on attending law school with a focus on Public Interest or Environmental Law

Areas of Expertise: Communication Studies and Environmental Science.  With my major, I do work mainly within the Communication and Journalism department.  However, my minor encompasses a number of study areas such as Biology, Geography, and Geology.  Additionally, I am working towards a Certificate of Fluency in French, so I have worked a great deal with the Foreign Languages department as well.

Alex Padalino, Peer AdvisorAlex Padalino

Academic Standing: Junior
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry

This past year, I did a lot of planning in terms of my academic career here at UW-Eau Claire, and it made me realize that there are a lot of different things to take into consideration when planning future classes.  Therefore, I want to take what I have learned from personal experiences and help other students overcome the challenges they may be facing while trying to plan out their path here at UW-Eau Claire.  In terms of my own academic path, I am a pre-dental student working on a Biology major and a Chemistry minor.  Also, I am the current treasurer of the Pre-professional Healthcare Club.

Areas of Expertise: Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish

Monica Weltzien, Peer AdvisorMonica Weltzien

Academic Standing: Junior
Major: Social Work
Minor: Women's Studies

I chose my major and minor because I wanted a career that would allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of others as well as explore my passions.  After graduation, I have no idea what exactly I am going to do.  I would like someday acquire my master's degree, practice either military or law enforcement social work, and hopefully travel/live abroad.  I recently traveled to Haiti and fell in love with the island, culture, and people...So maybe one day I will be able to call it home!  I am originally from Winona, MN, but Eau Claire has become my home.  I am a proud Blugold involved in several activities, including: President of the UW-Eau Claire women's lacrosse team, CASE Peer Educator, Northwoods Battalion ROTC cadet, Cru Band Member, and Student Researcher.  When I'm not working or doing one of the above endeavors, you can find me playing a variety of musical instruments, napping in the UW-Eau Claire library basement, rollerblading, completing jigsaw puzzles, or hanging out at The Goat Coffee House on Water Street.

Areas of Expertise: Nursing, Sociology, Social Work, Women's Studies

Shelby Heinemann, Peer AdvisorShelby Heinemann

Academic Standing: Senior
Major: Actuarial Science
Minor: Information Systems

I came to Eau Claire very much undecided on my major.  At the end of freshman year, I met a girl and she told me of her major-- Actuarial Science (it's a type of math major that focuses on risk assessment).  After learning about the program, the job, and the industry, I declared a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science my last week of freshman year, and I haven't regretted it since.  Last year, after seeing how closely computer knowledge went with my major, I declared a minor in Information Systems.  I was a peer advisor for the Actuarial program last year as well, so I have seen how well peer advising works; I am excited to help others with their college career.  This past summer, I had an I.S. internship at Expera Specialty Solutions, but I am hoping to become an actuary after college and become an FSA (highest accreditation for an actuary after taking several very hard exams).  In my free time, I like to golf, run, travel, read, or do outdoor activities.  I am looking forward to my last year of school and can't wait to help fellow students finds their way, as I have found mine, at Eau Claire.

Areas of Expertise: Math, Information Systems, Finance, Accounting, and some Economics and Physics

Ali Rose Konz, Peer AdvisorAli Rose Konz

Academic Standing: Sophomore
Major: Social Justice (Liberal Studies Program)

I am a third generation Blugold.  I grew up in Eau Claire, five minutes away from campus.  I found my major while on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage over my first winter break here at UWEC.  Deciding to create a Social Justice Major through the Liberal Studies program seemed very clear to me after that trip.  This decision led me to co-create the Selma Eau Claire Exchange, an alternative spring break trip to Alabama, during my second semester.  After graduation, I plan to attend law school.

Areas of Expertise: During my freshman year, I was a part of the Blugold Beginnings Freshman Learning Community, and I grew within the organization.  I earned a summer internship after my first year.  I also worked in the Communication and Journalism department for a year and with Women's and LGBTQ Resource Center for a semester.