Mark Gotvald

College Adviser


Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in:
July 1994


What is your approach to advising?
As a first generation college student, I'm especially concerned about Cal students who are also among the first in their families to pursue higher education. I try to help students think of what questions to ask, as college is so different from K-12 education. My goal is to help students map out a holistic plan for their college years.


Education:
MA, Education Administration, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
, 1994
MDivinity, Aquinas Institute, St. Louis, MO, 1988
MA, Systematic Theology, Aquinas Institute, St. Louis, MO, 1987
BS, Psychology, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN, 1981


How did you get here?
I discovered a love of working with college students while in graduate school and worked in campus ministry and young adult ministry for five years. A campus ministry position at Santa Clara University brought me out to California from the Midwest and I transitioned into student services as a Residence Dean at Stanford University from 1993-94. That led to this position in academic advising here at Cal, while my wife was attending law school on campus.


What's your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy seeing a student's face light up from an epiphany as he or she creates an understandable plan to graduate.


About me:
I grew up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota near fabled Lake Wobegon and came to California in 1991, leaving the snow, frigid temperatures and mosquitoes behind. If you ever come to my office in 295 Evans Hall, you will encounter my small tribute to Star Trek. I love science fiction, especially all the Star Treks, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I am actively involved in political, religious and social justice issues on various levels. My goal is always to address the core reasons why something occurs and make a change, rather than deal with symptoms.


What advice do you have for L&S students in general?
Once you have your class schedule set for a semester, you may want to start thinking about how you'll make the most of your time at Cal. How will you "think outside the book?"