HomeAcademic AdvisingMeet Our Academic Advisors


Rashidah Andrews

Academic Advisor

B.A., Haverford College, Psychology & Education
Ed.M., Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Higher Education

A Philly native, Rashidah grew up primarily in West and North Philadelphia. In an unlikely turn of events, Rashidah went from North Philadelphia to Beirut, Lebanon, where she spent five weeks improving her Arabic skills and learning about the rich history and culture of the region.  Throughout her life, Rashidah has always fancied herself a bit of a novice linguist and enjoys playing with various styles of speech, local and regional dialects, and culture-specific slang.  Living in England for the last three years gave her the opportunity to explore some of the nuances of the English language, including the fascinating differences between the way southerners (folks from London etc.) and northerners (people hailing from Liverpool etc.) speak.  A former Director of College Retention at a local non-profit and Admissions counsellor at her alma mater, Rashidah joined the CLA advising team here at Temple in the hopes of continuing her passion for helping young people successfully navigate the higher education system.

Favorite books: Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell;The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; 1984 andAnimal Farm by George Orwell; Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun by Geoffrey Canada; and Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit.

Advising interests: Access, retention and persistence; low-income, first-generation issues; strategic education/life planning.


Catherine Hence

Academic Advisor

A.A.S., Community College of Philadelphia, General Studies
M.H.S., Lincoln University, Human Services

Ed.D., Fielding Graduate University, Educational Leadership and Change

Dr. Hence has been with Temple University since 1970. For the past five years, she has served as an academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts, where she is the advisor liaison for the Dual-Degree Program in Education (5-Yr Combined B.A. or B.S./Ed.M.) and the Russell Conwell Center. From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Hence was the Director of the Undergraduate Mentoring Program in the College of Liberal Arts, a program that she designed and implemented to serve freshmen and transfer students. She strongly believes that many of our society’s problems can be reduced when its members are offered meaningful learning opportunities. When she’s not working with students, Dr. Hence enjoys line-dancing, going to the movies and the theatre, watching TV, weight training, and playing the piano.

Favorite books: Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard; The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John C. Maxwell; Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell; and The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge.

Advising interests: Appreciative advising, mentoring, student retention and persistence initiatives.

Elizabeth Reynard

Academic Advisor

B.A., Cornell University, Psychology
M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University, Developmental Psychology

Prior to joining the CLA advising center in 1999, Libby worked in education, counseling, and administration.  She enjoys academic advising because it provides her with an opportunity to work with a tremendous variety of students, and to explore their individual interests, needs, and abilities.  She loves hearing about the courses her students are taking and what they are learning, and she often imagines herself learning right along with them—without all the work!  Libby is a lifelong reader of The New Yorker and an ardent fan of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  She also loves to travel and play bridge, and has recently taken up soul line dancing.

Favorite booksThe Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky; Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris; Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy; and The Maneaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett.

Advising interests: Pre-law advising, developmental advising, and major exploration.

Erin Spiotta

Erin Spiotta

Academic Advisor

B.A, State University of New York at Cortland, History
M.A, Long Island University, School Counseling

Erin grew up on Long Island, New York.  As an undergraduate student, she took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in London and travel throughout Europe.  The experience of living and learning abroad sparked an interest in culture and travel that has remained with Erin ever since, and she now has many big travel plans in her future.  After completing her Master’s degree, she married her high school sweetheart, and the newlyweds moved to Philadelphia in 2005.  After working initially as a financial aid counselor at Drexel University, Erin joined the Temple family as an academic advisor in June 2008.

Favorite books: Beach House by James Patterson; Twilight by Stephanie Meyer; Jemima J by Jane Green; Where There’s Smoke by Sandra Brown.

Advising interests: Student-athletes, study abroad, and pre-law advising.

Jocelyn Tutrani

Academic Advisor

B.A., Lock Haven University, Journalism and Mass Communications
M.Ed., Widener University, Student Personnel Services & Counseling in Higher Education

Jocelyn was born and raised in Royersford PA, a suburb about forty-five minutes outside of Philadelphia. Jocelyn attended Lock Haven University where she studied Journalism and Mass Communications and received a four year Athletic Scholarship as a member of the universities’ Division II Softball team. While attending graduate school at Widener University, Jocelyn also worked in Student Leadership & Activities at Saint Joseph’s University and completed a graduate internship at West Chester University in the Career Development Center. She then moved on to Cabrini College in Radnor, PA where she was an Academic Advisor and Career Counselor. After experiencing multiple facets of higher education, Jocelyn came to Temple to join the CLA Advising team. Jocelyn is excited to work with Temple’s diverse student population and finds great reward in assisting students with their career exploration and journey to graduation. In Jocelyn’s free time, she enjoys participating in intramural sports, spending time with friends and family, reading, and attending sporting events.

Favorite books: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls; When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Advising interests: Career Exploration and student athletes


Melissa Valdes

Academic Advisor

B.A., Flagler College, Spanish
M.A., Florida State University, Spanish (Literature)
M.Ed., Florida Atlantic University, Higher Education Administration

Melissa was raised in Sarasota, Florida.  Her whole life including her undergraduate and graduate education,  as well as her career,  had been spent in the Sunshine State.  However, she recently left the glow of the sun and flew north to start a new chapter of her life here in Philadelphia.  Melissa is extremely well traveled. She has studied abroad in Costa Rica, Argentina and Chile, where she devoted her time to learning about Spanish literature and South American wines.  In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading, hiking, seeing live music, and hanging with her dogs, Thoreau and Belle.  She is also one of the eight diehard Tampa Bay Rays’ fans.  Melissa is happy to be an Owl and is looking forward to working with Temple’s diverse and challenging student population.

Favorite books: Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. El árbol de la ciencia by Pio Baroja. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov