L&S Staff Spotlight: L&S OUA Academic Progress Team

May 21, 2024

Meet the Academic Progress Team (APT) from the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising:

  • Monica Garcia, Supervisor

  • Ziva Armstrong, Senior College Advisor

  • Luís González, College Advisor

  • Joanna King, College Advisor

  • Daunte Marshall, College Advisor

  • Marisol Silva, College Advisor

New Members (joining summer 2024):

Brittany Kulusich, College Advisor
Kelsey Owyang, College Advisor
Scherane Kinney, College Advisor

The APT, formerly known as the Academic Difficulty Committee, is a team of college advisers who support and help guide students through the complexities of UC Berkeley. Below, the APT shares more information about how they work with students and other L&S staff, opportunities for collaboration, and the most rewarding aspects of advising. 

Can you share a bit about what your team does?

The goal of the Academic Progress Team (APT)  is to provide proactive holistic interventions to students experiencing academic difficulties in order to improve student retention, persistence and success rates. We hope to do so by providing students access to information; regular and individualized outreach and 1:1 meetings throughout each semester; and by challenging perspectives of what it means to be successful, tailoring the definition to each students’ needs and goals.

APT is designed to support students who are currently on Academic Probation and Continued on Probation. In addition to direct student support, APT members also support fellow staff in the Office of Undergraduate Advising (OUA) by helping clarify policies and procedures related to academic probation. APT members sit on various cross-functional and cross-organizational committees, such as the L&S Deans Conference. APT also organizes the L&S Dismissal Review Conference. This is a holistic review conducted by all of OUA, at the end of which students who do not clear academic probation will either be temporarily dismissed or continued on probation for another term. 

This team considers how students deal with the complexities of academic institutions while navigating their personal lives and we encourage students to bring their prior knowledge and passion to their educational experiences.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being Advisors?

Advising is an incredibly rewarding experience for many different reasons! Advising brings us a sense of satisfaction, knowing that our work helps students achieve their goals and dreams to become leaders in our communities and make change in the world. Advising can also be especially rewarding when we are able to support students who are going through difficulties and connect them with resources to overcome challenges. Finally, advising supports students’ progress toward successful graduation from the best public university in the world, UC Berkeley. There is nothing quite like watching our students cross the stage at graduation! Go Bears!

If you could describe your team's advising style in one word, what would it be?

We can narrow it down to three! Appreciative, Individualized, and Holistic. 

We take a strength-based and student-centered approach and focus on trust and relationship building in our interactions with students. Understanding and acknowledging individual student situations and experiences is key to our philosophy. We know that Berkeley students are capable, but various circumstances both academic and non-academic can impact their academics, and we are here to provide supportive guidance in achieving their goals and supporting their overall well-being.

How can other staff support your work or collaborate with you?

Reach out to us! Everyone on the team highly values collaboration and the majority of the advisors serving on APT are also satellite advisors who work with different affinity groups on campus. We’ve received some great ideas from our campus partners that resulted in positive action, and look forward to more thought partnership in the future.

If your advising team were a superhero squad (which it is!), what would be each member's superpower?

  • APT DJs: Daunte and Luís

  • Accessibility Superheroes: Joanna and Marisol

  • Policy Queen: Ziva

  • Fearless Leader: Monica

Advising brings us a sense of satisfaction, knowing that our work helps students achieve their goals and dreams to become leaders in our communities and make change in the world.
L&S Academic Progress Team
Headshot of Monica Garcia, woman with long dark hair, wearing a red blouse

Monica Garcia, L&S Supervisor

Headshot of Ziva Armstrong, Woman with red hair, wearing a red shirt and dark suit jacket

Ziva Armstrong, L&S College Adviser

Headshot of Luiz Gonzalez, Man wearing dark beanie with light sweater and a black puffy coat

Luís González, L&S College Adviser

Headshot of Joanna King, woman with brown hair

Joanna King, L&S College Adviser

Headshot of Daunte Marshall; Man with short dark hair, goatee and light mustache, wearning blue collared shirt and suit jacket

Daunte Marshall, L&S College Adviser

Headshot of Marisol Silva, Woman with curly dark hair, wearing a colorful shirt

Marisol Silva, L&S College Adviser