About Us

Meet the Staff

Lori Cortez-Regan Academic Advisor


Ann Johnson-Cruz Employer Relations Coordinator


I have an Associate’s in Liberal Arts from Lassen Community College and am a Cal Poly Humboldt graduate with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and emphasis in News/Editorial.  Aside from my work locally as a daily news reporter and editor, I am a serial entrepreneur and have extensive experience in economic development working with small businesses throughout Northern California. I am passionate about the Humboldt community and helping Humboldt students find employment success after graduation. By facilitating experiential learning and bringing recruiting opportunities and career-related programming to campus, I hope to make a positive impact in the lives of Humboldt students and graduates. 

Brian Bianucci Academic & Career Advisor - Student Athletes


Abby Grattidge Career Advisor for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences


As the Career Advisor for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, I am committed to supporting students from all backgrounds to help them achieve their career goals and live their best lives. I am passionate about community and breaking barriers in higher education and the professional workplace. I hold an AA in English from Cabrillo College, a BA in Communication from Cal Poly Humboldt, and am working towards an MA in Public Sociology. I am a first-generation four-year college graduate and began this journey by advising first-gen students in Humboldt County with TRIO Educational Talent Search. 

I look forward to connecting with students by helping them find resources and sharing a laugh. My interests include collecting plants, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying the beauty of Humboldt County.


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

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 (she | her) Academic Advisor - Environmental Studies and Psychology Students up to 60 Units; 1st Semester Transfer Students in Environmental Studies

It is a gift to get to know students as full, complex humans in the world and support them to grow and evolve during their chapter at Cal Poly Humboldt. Before joining the ACAC team, I supported efforts to dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism in area TK-12 schools. I also worked as a High School Spanish teacher in San Francisco and Sacramento where I discovered how rewarding it was to be an academic advisor. My MA in Spanish (2016) is from Middlebury College, and my two BS degrees (Spanish and Nutrition --1999) are from Penn State University where my academic advisor (still a dear friend) was integral to my success. In my free time, I like to buy backup pairs of gold metallic Converse, stock up on books at Northtown to support my ongoing learning, and spend time with my partner and tweenage son.

Sasha Wallace Career Advisor for the College of Natural Resources & Sciences


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 a Career Advisor. During those 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 am committed to helping students connect with their potential and achieve their career goals. 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.

J.d. Garza Career Advisor for the College of Professional Studies


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).

Alison Hodges Academic Advisor for students, up to 60 units, School of Engineering

As an Academic Advisor, I work with the philosophy that all students matter and I am dedicated to excellence in all dimensions of their success. I utilize a holistic, student-centered approach that supports students in making meaning through intentional connections and innovative academic experiences. Balancing compassion with accountability, I strive to empower students to advocate for themselves while offering support in navigating campus resources and systems. I feel it is also essential to my role to contribute to a campus culture where all students feel heard and develop a sense of belonging.
Before joining ACAC, I was fortunate enough to contribute to establishing Humboldt County’s first Early College High School, located on the College of the Redwoods campus. I have many years of experience in teaching, advising, and high school administration. I have an MS in Academic Advising in Higher Education from Kansas State University, a Single Subject Teaching Credential and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Cal Poly Humboldt (Formerly Humboldt State). In my free time, you can find me exploring our incredible natural environment, walking my dogs and enjoying time with family and friends. 

Sarah Peters Gonzalez Academic Advisor for students, up to 60 units, in Applied Health


My passion is building healthy communities where everyone can feel a sense of belonging. I come to the world of advising following a path as an arts educator and theatre artist. I was a quiet (some might say nerdy) young person. Always a little shy in big groups. I’ve come a long way since then, but on the inside, that’s still me. As a college student, with a change of major, it took five years to complete my undergraduate degree (1998). I then gathered some years of professional experience before pursuing my graduate degree (2008). I continue to adore the adventure of learning. I love and care for this place we get to share, and when I’m not on campus, my projects include creating theatre, building workshops, cooking, and being around my family which includes my husband James, my adult step-kids, a cat, a bunny, and tiny dinosaurs (aka chickens).

To me, academic advising is like gardening: What are the right tools and the right care so you can grow towards the life that is just right for you and your community?

I look forward to meeting you and learning what's important to you.

Isaac Torres Academic Advisor


Jana'ee Sykes Academic Advisor


Timothy Thomas Academic Advisor - Marine Biology


Amy Martin Associate Director, Academic Advising Center


I am the Associate Director for the Academic Advising Center. 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 students, up to 60 units, in Biology, Botany, and Zoology


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 students, up to 60 units, in Wildlife, Forestry, and Environmental Science and Management


Welcome! I am an advisor for majors in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences (CNRS). I focus on majors which can be broadly described as 'applied ecology'. My environmental interests stem from studying for a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology, a PHD in Freshwater Ecology and a year of volunteering in a Field Studies Center, trying to trap a river otter (unsuccessfully!). I also have a teaching credential and taught young children for many years, both in public school and in my own preschool. These experiences set the stage for my long term career as an educator. I now have the pleasure of teaching - both in a classroom (Introduction to Wildlife, WLDF 111) and in my office (WDFS 268) - as I assist my advisees with a wide variety of topics related to transitioning and making the most of their time in college. In my free time I love to spend time outside gardening, walking with my two Black Labradors, reading, yoga, cooking - and when possible  - visiting family and friends in England. I look forward to meeting you and learning about your interests.


Kelda Quintana Academic Advisor for students, in Criminology and Justice Studies, Sociology, and Undeclared


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.

Loren Collins Director of Advising


I am proud to be a graduate of Humboldt's History BA program and the Sociology MA program who has returned to assist future graduates of Humboldt with a building a future of their own. Since graduating I've gained 15 years in the field of career planning, advising and employment counseling.  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 Director of Advising.  Getting the needs of our students met and being able to work across departments to connect our efforts is my passion. 

Nora Montoya Academic Advisor for Reinstated Students


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 Academic Advisor for students, up to 60 units, in Art and Film


Originally from the Bay area, I moved to Humboldt for the beautiful coastline, vibrant small-town art scene, and a bachelor's degree in Art Education from Cal Poly Humboldt. 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 degreeI am very proud to be a first generation college student who now has the amazing opportunity to help new students navigate college. When I’m not on Humboldt’s beautiful campus, you can usually find me at one of our local beaches, taking photos and painting.

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


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.

Land and Labor Acknowledgement:

Cal Poly Humboldt is located on the present and ancestral Homeland and unceded territory of the Wiyot Tribe. Tribes and Nations in Humboldt County include Hupa, Karuk, Mattole, Tolowa, Wailaki, Wiyot, Yurok. We make this land acknowledgement in recognition that our words must be matched by action and approach. Please learn from Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy's lecture "What Good Is a Land Acknowledgment?"
Today we recognize and acknowledge the labor upon which our country, state, and institutions are built. Remember that our country is built on the labor of enslaved people who were kidnapped and brought to the US from the African Continent and recognize the continued contribution of their survivors. We acknowledge all immigrant labor, including voluntary, involuntary, and trafficked peoples who continue to serve within our labor force.

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:

ACAC JEDI Strategic Plan 2020-2024