Joe Murray (More about Joe) 
Director, University Advising Services

I would like to welcome all the first year students to FAU and all the upper class students back and for the warm welcome to campus you have extended to me. I am also brand new to FAU this September and am learning about the campus and resources.

I join you from Cincinnati Ohio and Miami University (of Ohio). I have 23 years of advising and retention experience working with students of all majors and backgrounds. First and foremost, I am a student advocate. In an effort to DISCOVER the campus and you, the students, I am living in a first year residence hall, Heritage Park Towers for this year.

Students often struggle with choosing a major when attending college. While the decision is important, it is not nearly as limiting as many students believe. Students fall into the trap of believing the myth that a major = a career in certain areas. For the majority of majors and careers, that = sign is not the case. In an effort to get to know you and to have an opportunity to talk with you about your DREAMS for your future and how best to DESIGN a path to reach it, I am extending a challenge. Stop by and introduce yourself and if you can guess my undergraduate degree and major, I will give the first student to get it correct a $50 gift card to the FAU bookstore. Good luck!


Mr. Murray,

It has come to my attention that there is a contest of sorts affiliated with your mysterious past. I have done the research and discovered that you once matriculated at Purdue University and obtained both and bachelors of science in engineering and a master’s of science in human resource management.

Matthew Elfenbein



Liz Kennedy (More about Liz) 
Associate Director, First Year Programs

Liz was born and raised in western Pennsylvania and came to FAU via northern New York. She has 21 years of experience in higher education and six years of experience in community mental health. She holds two master degrees: Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Counseling Psychology from Slippery Rock University. In her spare time, Liz enjoys photography, traveling, and cooking. Liz the coordinator of the SLS 1503-Learning Strategies & Human Development class.

Kirk Hammond, Associate Director (More about Kirk) 
IFP/AA Completion Specialist/Technology

Kirk started working part-time for Freshman Academic Advising Services (now known as University Advising Services) in 1989 while pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Master's Degree in Business Administration at FAU. Kirk is currently an Associate Director of Foundation & Associate Completion Specialist & Technology for University Advising Services. He is commonly known as the "office computer guru" for any software and hardware issues. His hobbies include traveling, computers, web designing, and involvement within the community through local non-profit organizations, and especially spending time with his wife and family of four daughters and one son. Kirk is the liaison to the Schmidt College of Science.

Angel Nevin, M.Ed. (More about Angel) 
Assistant Director, Get Wise

Angel is a proud owl! She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. She enjoyed her time at FAU so much she is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from FAU. Angel’s specialty is in academic support services and programs. She teaches in a freshman learning community every year and enjoys watching students adjust to and excel in college. Personally, Angel loves to cook for her friends and family. She has two beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband. She enjoys spending time with her family and is even happier if that time is at the beach!

Natasha is a Coordinator of Academic Programs with University Advising Services. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and earned her Masters of Education in Higher Education Leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Some of her previous experiences include Career Development and Housing and Residential Life. She also interned with University Advising Services. During her graduate studies, she discovered her passion for helping students obtain their educational goals. During her free time, Natasha enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and exercising.

Christian Decle (More about Chris)
Coordinator, Academic Programs


Christian is a Graduate Support Specialist, who serves as the liaison to the College of Business, Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence, and Veterans Affairs. Christian graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in both Finance and Real Estate, and a Master of Science in Higher Education. Prior to joining UAS, he worked as a Graduate Assistant with Student-Athlete Academic Services at Florida State University. Christian is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education here at Florida Atlantic University. In his spare time, you can find Christian keeping active as he enjoys playing a variety of sports.

Mary Downing is a Coordinator of Academic Programs and works with retention and academic intervention programs and liaison to the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Before joining the University Advising Services team, she worked in higher education serving students in a variety of areas, such as: student accounts, student jobs, residence life and housing, and was an Adjunct Instructor. Mary Downing earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Belhaven University and received her Master of Arts in Higher Education from Geneva College. In her free time, Mary Downing enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and finding great local places to eat.

Naria Martinez (More about Naria)
Coordinator, Academic Programs


Naria is a Coordinator of Academic Programs with University Advising Services. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Arts and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University. She then went on to the University of South Florida to pursue a Master of Education in College Student Affairs. While studying for her Masters degree she worked in the Office of Orientation where she gained experience in student leadership development. There she discovered her passion for the one on one interaction with students to help them succeed during their time in college. Naria is excited to be returning to her alma mater to share her own experience as an OWL and encourage students to engage and immerse themselves into Owl Nation. Outside of work Naria enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, cycling and outdoor adventures.

Andrea Morlini (More about Andrea)
Coordinator, Academic Programs

Andrea is a Coordinator of Academic Programs with University Advising Services. She attended the University of Central Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and her Master of Arts degree in Counselor Education with a School Counseling focus. Prior to joining UAS, Andrea worked in the areas of multicultural student services and undergraduate academic advising at both the state college and state university level. Andrea grew up in the Boca Raton area and is excited to return to South Florida and be a part of the UAS team at FAU! In her spare time, Andrea enjoys traveling, reading a good book, shopping, watching sports, and spending time at the beach.


Jess E. Tuck, Ph.D. (More about Jess)
Director, ACCESS & Title III Project Director

Dr. Jess E. Tuck was appointed Director of the AcCESS Program & Project Director of FAU's U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant in October 2010. He is also an Adjunct Instructor with University Advising Services. Dr. Tuck’s experience began at FAU in 2003 advising freshmen and sophomores with undeclared majors, providing guidance to students through developmental advising strategies. Dr. Tuck received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership: Higher Education from FAU, where his dissertation topic was Students' preference for online versus face-to-face academic advising based on individual learning styles. He received a M.Ed. in Counselor Education, also from FAU. Dr. Tuck attended SUNY Plattsburgh and holds a B.A. in Sociology.

Abdula Newman (More about Abdula) 
Assistant Director, 
Academic Advising & IT Support
ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor 

Abdula is originally from The Bahamas and holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting from Florida Metropolitan University and Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. Additionally, Abdula holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Abdula has been working at FAU since 2001 in academic advising and previously worked as a Coordinator of Academic Programs in the office of Freshman Academic Advising Services. While Abdula enjoys assisting students with course selections and adjusting to college life his hobbies/interests include traveling, technology, reading, theater, and music.

Jasmine joined the UAS team as a Coordinator of Academic Programs for ACCESS. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology and her Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership. She has worked in a variety of organizations in higher education, including Leadership & Student Involvement, Residence Life, First Year Programs, and Student Activities Council. Jasmine is passionate about working with students to help them succeed, and she is excited to be a part of the OWL family. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and relaxing by the beach.

Jordan came to Florida Atlantic University in her third year of undergrad as a transfer student, from where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and New Media Studies. After receiving her degree, she worked in Television post-production for three years and realized that it was not her life's passion, so she returned to Florida Atlantic University to pursue her Master of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership. While working towards her Masters degree she gained experience working with New Student Orientation, Student Leadership programs, Greek Life, Student Conduct Board and Academic Advising. Helping students is where her passion truly lies, and she is now a Coordinator of Academic Programs for University Advising Services. She is excited to work with students on a daily basis, and assist them in discovering their dreams and goals while in college and beyond. Outside of higher education she enjoys traveling, yoga, cheering for the FAU Owls and the Miami Heat.

Brooke is a Florida Native who came to Florida Atlantic University in 2012 to pursue a Master of Business Administration. Prior to attending FAU, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Miami. Brooke worked in the FAU Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence while pursuing her Master’s Degree, which is where she discovered her passion for helping students reach academic success. She is now a Coordinator of Academic Programs in University Advising Services. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and doing Crossfit.

Lindsay has been at FAU since August 2013 and recently joined the UAS team. She previously worked in the Student Athlete Center for Academic Excellence as an Athletic Academic Counselor for a variety of teams. Lindsay earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from Purdue University and her Master of Education in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education from the University of Virginia. Her Master’s program allowed her to pursue careers in which she can help students succeed in college. She is passionate about helping others and is excited to begin her work as an Academic Coach in the ACCESS program. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing Crossfit, going to country concerts and spending time with her family and friends.

 Last Modified 8/8/16