Advisement Staff


JoAnne Malatesta, PH.D.- Director

The Advisement Services Center is an important resource for you during your years at UAlbany. The Center is staffed with professional advisors who are dedicated to helping you achieve your academic goals. You will have an assigned advisor in this office during the time you are charting your educational path. As you identify your interests, strengths and abilities, your advisor will help you to match these with the resources and opportunities at the University. Once you decide upon and gain entry to your major, your official advisor will become someone in that academic department. However, the advisors here will continue to be available to you to answer questions and help with any changes in your path. We look forward to getting to know you and participating in your future!


Photo of John Donoghue

John Donoghue - Assistant Director

Students come first! This is my personal philosophy as an academic advisor at the University at Albany. In working with students I hope to help them explore their academic options, help to make them aware of the various opportunities available at University at Albany, or just being there to listen. Hopefully in our time together, students will be working to develop both short term and long term goals in the classroom and in life. I encourage students to contact me at any time whether through phone, email or dropping by the office.

John received the Academic Advising Excellence award from the National Academic Advising Association, Region 1, 2006.


photo of Kristen Swaney

Kristen Swaney - Assistant Director, Pre-Law Advisor

College may be the first time in your life that you get to choose what you want to learn about, so take advantage of the opportunity! I am here to be a resource and advisor to you during your first few years at Albany, and I want to help you take ownership of your college education. I will not make decisions for you, but I will help you to set short term and long term goals for your educational career.

Everyone has their own strengths, interests and life perspectives – and I treat each of my students as unique individuals.  I am very student-centered and want to help you make the most of your time in college – academically, personally and professionally. I have a BA in Anthropology/Sociology, and a Master’s degree in College Student Affairs, and I love working with college students.

Kristen received the Academic Advising Excellence award from the National Academic Advising Association, Region 1, 2009.




Barbara Brown - Academic Advisor, Program Coordinator

I think advising is a series of moments: crafting a schedule of classes, discussing plans for academic success, exploring ideas as your future comes in to focus. I will serve as your guide, your mentor, and your advocate as you journey through your first years of college. My role is to work with you in shaping your educational plan and to point you in the direction of the many other university resources available here to enrich your academic experience and your life. I encourage you to participate in our community. Although my professional background is in journalism, public relations, and education, my interests are diverse. I enjoy sharing ideas and look forward to getting to know you. My door is always open.



Vanessa Borum - Academic Advisor

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Nicole Clause - Academic Advisor, Pre-Law Advisor

College is a time of excitement, independence, and a tremendous amount of growth. During your college career, you will find yourself making important decisions about majors, classes, activities, and life in general. As your academic advisor, my role is to support you as you navigate this new stage in your life. I will serve as mentor and guide, working with you to identify your passions and achieve your educational, professional, and personal goals.



Sabrina Eames - Academic Advisor

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Michael Geroux - Academic Advisor

College is a very exciting time in your life but it can be very overwhelming as well. This is the time when you get to start making the decisions that matter to you the most, decisions like what major you are interested in, which courses to take, how you can get involved in various campus clubs and activities and most importantly…how to handle the stresses of being a college student. You have the power to mold your life and future aspirations anyway you wish, so take control of your decisions and own them.
As an academic advisor, I am here to assist you in the various decisions you will need to make as you progress from year to year. Drawing from my education and own personal experiences, I can offer a wealth of guidance and support. My goal for each student is to have a successful college career at Albany. It is my job to help everyone realize and understand the path needed to achieve their goals.

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good!” – Minor Myers Jr. 


Anita Rua Hanson - Senior Academic Advisor

As your advisor at this University, I look forward to getting to know each of your "stories" and talking with you as often as you make decisions about your future.  I want you to realize that you are here for your own benefit and that you are sure to grow when you take on challenges, even small ones.  I hope that while you are in school you will take advantage of the innumerable opportunities that are out there for you to expand your learning.  I am here to answer your questions, help you clarify your academic goals, and to show you how to find those opportunities that will best suit you.



Kim Kerker - Pre-Health Advisor

I joined the Advisement Services Center in January 1999 as an academic advisor. I have worked at the University at Albany since 1993 as an Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. While at admissions, I enjoyed meeting and advising prospective Albany students, both freshmen and transfers. My move to the Advisement Services Center has been a natural and pleasant transition since I can combine my knowledge of the University's academic policies with my interest in helping students on a continuous basis.




Mary McCarthy - Academic Advisor


Samantha Miller - Academic Advisor

Rachel Moody - Academic Advisor

“All glory comes from daring to begin.” - Eugene Ware 

I believe that the college experience is a process of exploration, self-examination, and self-actualization.  You learn as much about yourself as you learn about the world.   As an advisor, my role is to support you though this amazing academic journey. Together, we will explore your personal and career goals. We will discuss different academic pathways and the university support services available to help you succeed. As you become an increasingly independent learner, you will not be alone.  I am here to encourage and mentor you along the way.


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Luis Paredes PH.D. - Academic Advisor

“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”- Oscar Wilde

My role as an academic advisor is to guide and help students achieve their goals, explore their potentials, interests, and talents and better develop their academic values. College is a once in a lifetime experience that will engage you in many accomplishments and changes. Those experiences will live forever through many friendships and relationships.

I believe in understanding the attitudes and perceptions of every student and analyzing their caliber. Individual prosperity and well-being will empower your academic path and success. My educational background is in history, literatures and cultural studies—though, I share many ideas and perspectives. I look forward to meeting you; my door is always open.


picture of Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker - Academic Advisor

“Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  -Herman Cain

As a student at the University at Albany, you have the perfect opportunity to do what you love.  My goal as your Academic Advisor is to help you do exactly that!  We will work together to discover what you are passionate about and plan how to make the most of your time here.  Feel free to call, email, or just drop by to see me anytime.



Mayra Raxon - Academic Advisor

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Emily Sutherland - Academic Advisor, Pre-Health Advisor

College is an exciting time of growth and exploration! As your academic advisor, I hope you will see me as a resource for information and source of support on your journey toward graduation. I enjoy working with students from a great variety of backgrounds and will help you explore your unique interests and goals. I strive to make my office a welcoming environment where you will feel comfortable discussing your challenges, accomplishments, and dreams. My own studies have focused on languages, which inform my approach to advising by giving me an appreciation for listening and communicating well. Please don’t hesitate to contact me whenever you have a question or concern.



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Danielle Vassi - Academic Advisor

My role as an academic advisor is to assist you in clarifying your short-term and long-term goals and discuss ways to achieve these goals.  I will work with you to enhance your academic development by making you aware of available resources and opportunities while fostering individual potential.  Together we will explore your interests, discover what you are passionate about and plan for your future.



Donna LaHue - Administrative Assistant