About Us

Meet the Staff

Daniel Gallardo Academic & Career Advisor - 1st & 2nd Year Student Athletes

daniel.gallardo@humboldt.edu
I am an Humboldt Alumni and got my degree in Social Work. I have worked locally for the U.S. Forest Service and various non-profits that help our local community with child abuse prevention and helping small businesses. I have a strong passion for working with students and also coaching local youth sports. I love living in Humboldt County and exploring its beautiful landscapes. 
 

Meridith Oram Academic & Career Advisor - 1st & 2nd Year Environmental Studies, Psychology

meridith.oram@humboldt.edu

I am grateful for the privilege to be a member of the dynamic and committed team of academic and career advisors supporting students to realize their unique educational and professional goals and aspirations. Cultivating and sustaining authentic relationships with students is essential to their success in college and beyond, and it is a gift that I get to support students in this role during their time at Humboldt. Before joining ACAC, I was fortunate to contribute to racial equity efforts in area TK-12 schools and in the community while based in Humboldt’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI). Learnings from that work transfer well to the advisor role where maintaining an awareness of how systems of advantage and disadvantage impact each student’s experience and striving to embody cultural humility inform how I engage with students. I have an MA (2016) in Spanish from Middlebury College as well as a BS (1999) in Spanish and a BS (1999) in Nutrition from Penn State University. My undergraduate advisor was integral to my success and, 20+ years later, is still a beloved friend! When I am not working in ACAC with students, I like to read, thrift shop, ride my bike, and play tennis with my ten-year-old son.

 

Sasha Wallace Academic & Career Advisor - 1st & 2nd Year Transfers & Biology

sasha.wallace@humboldt.edu

I started working at the university in 2013 and have served in various student support roles including, housing, the Educational Opportunity Program, and now as an Academic & Career Advisor. During those support roles, I managed an apartment-style community on campus, mentored and trained student leaders, and served as an advisor to first-year students and new transfers. I received a BA in English and a MA in Counselor Education from San Jose State University. I enjoy listening to music, writing, reading, yoga, and meditation. I appreciate the hippy and holistic things Humboldt has to offer.

JD Garza Career Advisor for the College of Professional Studies

jdg61@humboldt.edu

I am excited to serve students as a Career Advisor in the Academic and Career Advising Center. I transferred to Humboldt in 2011 and I graduated from the university in 2014 with my BA in Communication. My passion for student support sparked at Humboldt when I served as a Community Advocate in Housing and Residence Life from 2011 to 2014. After graduation, I returned to my Junior College-alma mater, and worked in various departments including First-Year Experience, Orientation, and CTE Career Services. I completed my MA in Leadership and Organizational Studies at Fresno Pacific University in 2019. In my spare time, you will likely catch me at a music venue supporting local/touring acts (or performing).

Amy Martin Job Location and Development Coordinator

amy.martin@humboldt.edu

I am the Job Development Coordinator for the Humboldt Academic and Career Advising Center. I work closely with the local business community, chamber of commerce’s and national recruiters to bring career related opportunities to Humboldt students. I am a alumni with a degree in Biology and Zoology. In my free time I love to travel (especially to Disneyland!), watch my daughter swim and compete with our local swim team and attend community events.  

Anna Thaler Academic Advisor for 1st and 2nd year students in Biology, Botany, and Zoology

aet10@humboldt.edu

I am proud to be the academic advisor for students majoring in the Biological Sciences. I studied biology at Sarah Lawrence College, pursuing my passionate interest in ornithology through independent projects in all my classes, and by taking a year off of school to gain experience in the field through internships. I graduated in 2002, and then spent a year working for the Redwood Sciences Lab in Arcata, doing mist-netting and bird banding around northern California. I earned my biology teaching credential in 2006, and then taught Integrated Science for three years at a local high school. I completed a Master’s Degree in Education in 2011 at Humboldt, focusing my research on the experience of being bullied in childhood, and how that influences adults’ approach to confronting bullying behavior in children. I then worked for four years in the School of Education, coordinating the Secondary Education Credential Program. I love working with students as they make progress toward their academic and career goals. When I’m not working, I enjoy goofing around with my young son, Ira, playing steel drum in the Pan Dulce Steel Orchestra, birdwatching, and going for walks with my dog, June.

Gilly Black Academic Advisor for 1st and 2nd year students in Wildlife, Forestry, and Environmental Science and Management

gcb4@humboldt.edu

Kathy Thornhill Director

kathy.thornhill@humboldt.edu

As an Humboldt alum, it is my privilege to work on campus to help develop and implement programs to help students achieve their goals. Throughout my career, I have created numerous workshops and programs aimed at developing leadership skills, increasing awareness and commitment to diversity and social justice issues, and fostering academic success. I am fortunate to work with an amazing group of people committed to helping students make the most of their college experience.  I recently returned to the area after living and working across the country, most recently in Colorado where I earned my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. I love sports, and am an avid baseball fan. My bucket list includes going to all the Major League Baseball stadiums (I am about half way there). I have two wonderful dogs, Hannah and Jake. Like me, they loved the mountains of Colorado but have fallen in love with the beaches of Humboldt County.

Kelda Quintana Academic Advisor for 1st and 2nd year students in Criminology and Justice Studies, Sociology, and Psychology

kelda.quintana@humboldt.edu

As an Humboldt alum, I attended both the Bachelors and Master Programs of Social Work, and graduated May 2010. My background is seeped with a deep regard for social justice, and a desire to connect with people in a liberating and meaningful way. In particular, I'm interested in collaborating with students to connect to personal passions, goals, and to reflect upon personal strengths. Often, students arrive without a clear vision for their future, or without realizing the varied and diverse opportunities possible while working towards a degree. Internships and life changing experiences like studying abroad are endless and the very reason why it can be so exciting on a college campus. Personally, being an academic advisor is a win-win for me. In my view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. My goal is to help students experience success. I am energized when I notice a glimpse of excellence or of "flow" where previously there were only halting steps.

Kristina Hunt Career Advisor for the College of Natural Resources and Sciences

kristina.hunt@humboldt.edu

Kristina Hunt brings 10 years of Human Resources experience to the Career Advisor position in the Academic & Career Advising Center.  She discovered her talent for building relationships with young adults, inspiring them to reach their full potential through her time as a counselor (6 years) and coach (8 years).   As a counselor, she worked to cultivate an appreciation for the outdoors among youth of all ages by leading them through weeklong outdoor experiences in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. 

Kristina is an alumnus of , earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies Elementary Education with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language.  She earned all-academic honors during her participation on the intercollegiate volleyball team.  Kristina likes spending time with her family, hiking, playing volleyball and relaxing at the family ranch.  She enjoys learning about all the pieces that come together to make a ranch successful, including the care of large animals and the role timber management, environmental stewardship and watershed protection have in the ongoing sustainability of resources.

Loren Collins Faculty Support Coordinator for Service Learning and Career Education

loren.collins@humboldt.edu

I am proud to be a graduate of Humboldt's history program who has returned to assist future graduates of Humboldt with a building a future of their own. Since graduating I've gained 7 years in the field of career planning and employment counseling with three separate certifications.  I started my career working with non profits working with teens and at risk youth, then worked as an employment counselor for the County of Humboldt and then came to work with the Humboldt Academic and Career Advising Center.  I am excited to have just become the Faculty Support Coordinator for Service Learning and Career Education.  Getting the needs of our students and the community met through classroom experiences has become a passion.  I am working on the last third of my Master's Degree in Sociology, love watching my two daughters grow into strong young girls, love literature and theory, and am the only one in our department who prefers the Lord of the Rings just slightly more than Harry Potter.

Nora Montoya Career Advisor for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

nam95@humboldt.edu

I am a proud first generation high school and college graduate. Coming from a single-parent, immigrant, and working class family taught me many beautiful life-lessons including the value of higher education. In 2005, I graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. (Quick note: Shortly, thereinafter, my three youngest siblings also obtained their college degrees). Upon graduation, I worked in universities and found that my love for education extended beyond my personal experience. I served as an Employment Services Counselor for the Welfare-to-Work program and really connected with the part of my job that helped clients develop educational/career plans to become independent from the Welfare system. In 2016, my husband and I moved from Southern California to Humboldt County and I worked as a Social Worker for a several years. In January 2018, I was very fortunate and was offered the position of Career Advisor for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Every day is a great day! I absolutely love my job! I get to work with students with the development of their passions and dreams. Every day, I get to witness how education opens opportunities and helps our wonderful students’ achieve amazing things- professionally and academically.

Hobbies: Spending time with my husband David; photography; cooking; writing; listening to music; traveling.

Shannon Berge Administrative Support Coordinator

shannon.berge@humboldt.edu

After earning a bachelor's degree in Art and a CA teaching credential from Cal Poly Humboldt, I spent time working with youth and travelling. I returned to Humboldt to work full time for CenterArts, then the Career Center, the Learning Center, and now my current role as Administrative Support Coordinator for both the Academic & Career Advising Center and the Center for Community Based Learning. In 2019, I earned a Master’s Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies. Thesis: Working Toward Graduation: How working an on-campus, part-time job can affect retention rates among racially minoritized students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. I love to utilize my skills and creativity for special event coordination, advertising, and finding ways to help our centers run more efficiently. When I’m not on Humboldt’s beautiful campus, you can usually find me at one of our local beaches or forests, taking photos and getting exercise, or at home gardening, cooking, and doing craft projects.

Statements of Purpose and Vision

Statement of Purpose:

Our purpose is to honor students’ identities and lived experience as we guide them to:

  • EXPLORE and choose academic majors and career options
  • Obtain and reflect upon academic and career-related EXPERIENCE
  • Develop, pursue, and ACHIEVE meaningful educational plans in pursuit of life goals

Vision:

The Academic and Career Advising Center will be recognized university-wide as an integral resource for actively engaging students in exploring and achieving their academic and career aspirations. We are preparing students to make meaningful contributions to our global society upon their graduation from Humboldt.

Our Staff:

Our staff is committed, both personally and professionally, to infusing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into our work. We continue to build upon the efforts our Center has made through bi-annual strategic planning and reflection. Below is a link to ACAC's JEDI Strategic Plan and a sampling of ACAC infographics:

ACAC JEDI Strategic Plan 2020-2024

Career & Volunteer Expo 2021

Humboldt Cares - Fall 2020

Transfer Week/Internship Week Collaboration 2020

Advising for Undecided and Exploring Students - Spring 2021