Advising & Support


The IB Academic Advisors strive to provide undergraduate students with timely and informative advice regarding appropriate course selection, academic strategies, career planning, and professional/graduate school planning. We also endeavor to help guide students’ decision-making processes and foster in our students a sense of ownership of their undergraduate educations.

Our SIB community is exactly that—a community. We are here to support your educational and career path, especially as we all continue to learn and adapt. 

Academic Advising Resources

To get the most out of your advising experience, we ask that you

  1. Meet with your advisor at least once a semester.
  2. Keep appointments (or call to change or cancel them when necessary).
  3. Prepare for appointments by researching your concerns and writing down questions.
  4. Choose your own class schedule before meeting with your advisor to discuss it.
  5. If you are interested in creating a 4-year plan for yourself, bring a draft to the appointment.
  6. Utilize resources and read all newsletters and emails thoroughly.
  7. Be open in discussing your experience at Illinois, academic progress, and study habits.
  8. Keep track of important dates and deadlines for the academic year.

Academic Advising Staff


Jessica Fink

Coordinator for Recruitment & Student Engagement
Academic Advisor


• M.S in Educational Leadership - College Student Development: Oklahoma State University
• B.S. in Advertising: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Best Part of My Job

When I am working with a student, and they have that 'Ah Hah!' moment. I love helping students find their passion and what they want to do with their career.


Rock climbing, hiking, biking, baseball, being a mom.


Christina Swanson

Coordinator for Career & Alumni Engagement
Academic Advisor
Career Connections
SIB Alumni Mentoring Program


• M.A. in Education: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
• M.S. in Entomology: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
• B.S. in Biology: University of Michigan

Best Part of My Job

I love when someone walks (or clicks) out of my office with a tangible next step and a contact person who can provide more clarity about their future. It makes my day to help people find direction and to have that moment of relief knowing exactly how to move forward with their careers and goals. I also really like analyzing surveys...I enjoy the hunt for patterns and especially love when I can use that information to help make a positive change.


My twin toddler girls are the best and most time-consuming part of my life right now! I absolutely love hiking in natural areas: Allerton, Meadowbrook, the Arb, and Lake of the Woods are my favorite places around C-U. I also love board games, insects, and learning something new.


Nick Anderson

First-Year Academic Advisor


• Ph.D. in Entomology: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
• M.S. in Entomology: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
• B.S. in Biological Sciences: University of Notre Dame

Best Part of My Job

Seeing student belief and buy-in when they map out their educational and career goals and see that these things are attainable. I'm also passionate about undergraduate research opportunities and the empowerment that comes from an independent research project.


Playing the guitar poorly, being outside, insects (especially bees), spiders (especially jumping spiders), hanging out with my wife and daughter.