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A time of transition: CHASS Advising guides students in a new, academic environment

The CHASS Advising staff helps first-years and transfer students by providing resources and services
By Alejandra Prado, Student Writer/CHASS Marketing and Communications |

First-year and transfer students may have difficulty navigating the new world of UCR. However, the advising staff at CHASS Student Academic Affairs are here to help provide resources, from advising appointments to course planning.

Located near their respective departments, CHASS Student Academic Affairs offers help and services from academic advisors, assigned to students based on their department, major, and last name, and in the last year, peer academic advisors, who are students that work on the Academic Affairs team.

“My goal is to facilitate students’ ability to graduate with a degree in CHASS in a normative amount of time,” said Ryan Lipinski, director of CHASS Majors Advising. “I do this by working to understand our students’ experience and by providing the necessary support to our team of academic advisors and enrollment managers that allows for the realization of that goal.”

Academic advisors assist with course planning, understanding degree requirements and academic policies, and offering advice and support. Students can meet with advisors one-on-one, in-person or virtually, by scheduling appointments online with the student advising appointment system. For quick questions, students can also meet with advisors during “drop-in” hours or reach out through email. 

“As advisors, we aim to be your go-to resource here at UCR,” said Sean Lee Davis, academic advisor for the Department of Economics. “Not only do we want to answer your questions and help you through your UCR journey, we are [also] here to celebrate your achievements.”

“Most importantly, we are here to listen,” Lee said. “Even if a student isn’t sure what to ask their advisor or doesn’t know how to, just come say ‘Hi!’ We’d love to chat and figure things out together.”

Peer advisors can help students by providing resources, assisting with registration and course planning and answering general questions. Recently, peer advisors have started working with all students in CHASS. Students can reach out to peer advisors through email ( or join their Zoom walk-in office hours.

“Being a first-year or transfer student can be stressful and overwhelming, so being able to provide them with my own student perspective and share resources at UCR hopefully helps them feel like they have a friend here that they can talk to and who will always point them in the right direction,” Natalie Jarabanda said, a CHASS peer academic advisor.

“The world of UCR is large and complex – advising is here to help students navigate this new, and often intimidating landscape,” Lipinski said. “Advisors can help students understand how to adapt to life at UCR, thus making advising an important resource for first-year and transfer students.”

To learn more about advising services and support for CHASS students, please visit

Connect with UCR CHASS Peer Advising on Instagram.

FEATURED PHOTO. (From left to right) Ryan Lipinksi, Natalie Jarabanda, and Sean Lee Davis.