Gregory Cera

College Adviser


Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in:
Sept 2015


What is your approach to advising?
My approach to advising is threefold. First, I believe it is very important to be warm and welcoming. I want you to know that I'm here for you, interested in your academic plans and career aspirations, and that I care about how you're doing. Second, I strive to be a great resource for information. You're coming in to get questions answered about your academics, and I want to provide you with comprehensive, accurate information. Finally, I hope to assist students to make good decisions for themselves about their courses of study and future plans. Talking about the process of making decisions can lead to reflecting upon all of the steps involved in deciding on a course of action, and result in you making great decisions for yourself about how you'll take advantage of all the opportunities available during your time at Cal.


Education:
M.A., American Studies, Northwestern University, 2010
M.S.Ed., Higher Education Administration, Northwestern University, 1999
B.A., History and Political Science, Northwestern University, 1996


How did you get here?
Toward the end of my undergraduate career, I reflected upon the types of things that I liked to do as part of a job. I'm a "people person" who likes talking with, and helping, people. I also recognized that I loved the open, dynamic nature of university campuses and college towns. Because of these realizations, I enrolled in a master of science in education program with a specialization in higher education administration. Upon completion of my master's degree, I began work as the assistant director of the Northwestern University Academic Advising Center. I held that position for a little over 12 years until my spouse and I joined the Peace Corps in 2012. After my 2 years of Peace Corps service was complete, I was searching for opportunities to continue my career in academic advising. My spouse and I also hoped to relocate from the Midwest to the Bay Area. I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to do what I love, with such great students and colleagues, in a place that's so spectacular.


Most unusual job you've ever had:
While not necessarily an unusual job in and of itself, working as the night cashier at a convenience store in Chicago for a few years during undergraduate school provided a wealth of interesting experiences. Everyone from naked ukulele players to gangsters to police officers came through the store in the middle of the night. Reflecting on that job reminds me of the scene from the movie Clerks in which the main characters describe the different types of customer behaviors in their convenience store.


What's the best class you've ever taken?
During my master's program in American studies, I was fortunate to take a great number of courses that I enjoyed thoroughly. Three classes in particular that stand out were a religion course about Buddhism and Hinduism in Western film and literature, an American literature course that focused on the Beat Generation, and a history course called "The Sixties in America: from Imagination to Reality."


About me:
I have been married to my spouse, Lauren, since 2008. We live in Berkeley. I am a scuba diver who goes underwater every chance I get. I love to travel and experience different places and cultures. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia from 2012 through 2014. While there, I worked as a community health educator. I enjoy going to concerts, plays, art openings, and other cultural events. I like playing billiards, darts, and tennis. I also enjoy camping and hiking, and one of the coolest things I've done was going on a 21-day trek through the Khumbu region of the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp, the Gokyo Lakes, and over Cho La Pass.


What's your favorite part of your job?
Meeting with students and having the opportunity to assist undergraduates develop well thought out plans for their academics during college, and post-graduation plans that will allow them to pursue their passions.


What advice do you have for L&S students in general?
Choose a major in which you enjoy the classes. Wonderful opportunities present themselves when students are interested in their program of study and engaged with their coursework and professors.
Take advantage of the amazing academic opportunities and great student support resources that exist on campus. The most successful students are the ones who couple their hard work with interesting academic opportunities and the assistance of available resources.


Note: Trained in Undocu-Ally about current policies, laws, historical context, challenges for undocumented students.