First Year and Pre-Major Program (FYPP)

Meet your advisors

Within FYPP, you have access to both on-staff advisors that can give you personalized guidance via face-to-face appointments or email for navigating your academic options at UW Bothell, as well as peer advisors that are available to answer quick questions you may have on an ongoing basis.

Pre-Major Advisors


Arnelle Sambile
(Pre-Health Advising Only)

Hometown: San Diego, California

Education: B.A. in Communication and English, San Diego State University; M.Ed. in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration, University of Vermont

  • Why I like my job: I find great joy in supporting students as they take agency in writing their story--- both as a student and as a professional!
  • Advice for students: Careers are fluid and informational interviews are powerful learning opportunities. Explore and ask questions!
  • Favorite restaurant or food: Sushi, Japanese food
  • Favorite book: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  • Favorite movie: Your Name
  • Favorite sports team, sport you like to play, or hobby: NBA, Washington Wizard 
  • Most memorable experience in college: Working as a Diversity Peer Educator at SDSU’s Center for Intercultural Relations 
  • Favorite outdoor or indoor activity: Digital art and walking my Husky, Luna!
Lauren Berry

Lauren Berry

Hometown: Tinton Fall, NJ

Education: B.A Government and International Politics with a minor in African American Studies and M.Ed in Higher Education

  • Why I like my job: I love helping students see what are the possibilities. I also know that I’m where I’m today because people where invested in my learning and growth as a student. At the same time, I really love showing students how to navigate college and how to use the resources at their institution to help them obtain their goals.
  • Advice for students: F.A.I.L equals your first attempt in learning. Please know that in life, you can fail but it is how your pick yourself up and what lessons that you learned, that really matter. At the same time this is your experience but know that sometimes even the best laid plans can be enhanced by trying a different path or direction.
  • Favorite restaurant or food: I love Olive Garden. I’m a huge foodie, but OG is like comfort food for me.
  • Favorite book: Depend on my mood and if I’m trying to read fiction or nonfiction.
  • Favorite movie: Anything with Shah Rukh Khan. I have watched Dilwale at least 4 times in the last three months and countless others.
  • Favorite sports team, sport you like to play, or hobby: I love to play tennis, softball, volleyball and I love watching most sports. I’m trying to get into the Premier League and I have a personal goal to understand cricket and rugby. I’m a huge UFC fan.
  • Most memorable experience in college: When my school went to the NCAA Basketball tournament and we where known as the Cinderella team.  It was the first time a team from our conference made it to final four. However personally, I loved all the leadership positions that I had the opportunity to participate in. It was cool to be involved and active on my campus.
  • Favorite outdoor or indoor activity: You can catch me watching tv, going to a Zumba class or cooking.
Rachael Gilchrist

Rachael Gilchrist

Hometown: Martinez, California

Education: M.A. English with TESOL Certification, B.A. Hispanic Civilization, A.A. Liberal Arts

  • Why I like my job: I love helping students realize their dreams.
  • Advice for students: Take advantage of the activities and resources you have here: the support services, such as the Quantitative Skills Center, to give you an edge, clubs to get you connected and involved, Study abroad to change your life and perspective, Career Services to help prepare for after you graduate, etc.
  • Favorite restaurant: Café Turko in Fremont
  • Favorite book: I am an avid book reader- difficult to choose a favorite right now.
  • Favorite hobbies: I love to experiment with cooking, drink tea, and learn and share about nutrition and health, especially about microbes these days.
  • Most memorable experience in college: Living and teaching in Spain while I was in graduate school.
  • Favorite Washington activity: Exploring the Fremont neighborhood- visiting the Troll, the Rocket, taking the chocolate tour at Theos.
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Norm Wright

Hometown: Bremerton, Washington

Education: B.A. Geography at Central Washington University with minors in Mathematics and Environmental Studies; M.Ed in Student Affairs Administration at Western Washington University. I was the first person in my family to attend college.

  • Why I like my job: I get to meet new people every day and help students move closer to their goals.
  • Advice for students: The campus is full of people wanting you to succeed. It’s OK to ask for help. Some students believe they are supposed to solve their own problems because they are in college. You only need to ask…the sooner the better.
  • Favorite restaurant: Most buffets make my list. Pen Thai and Hana Sushi on Main Street Bothell are my local favorites.
  • Favorite book: Armor by John Steakley
  • Favorite movie: Toss-up between Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Fellowship of the Rings Trilogy
  • Favorite Hobby or Activity: I enjoy jogging with a personal goal to participate in a 5k event each month.
  • Favorite college activity: Working as a Resident Assistant and Manager in the Residence Halls. These jobs introduced me to the possibility of a career in higher education.
  • Favorite Washington activity: Taking in the sights at Pike Place Market
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Trang Nguyen

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

I'm a first-generation student and first-generation Vietnamese-American. Although I consider Atlanta, Georgia my hometown, I've also lived in the following places: Arkansas, Florida, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Utah, and Wyoming.

Education: I received a B.A. in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Science and Language Arts at University of North Georgia.

  • Why I like my job: I love being able to help students navigate different systems, breaking down barriers and validating their unique experiences and narratives. I love being present with students and helping them make sense of their academic journey.
  • Advice for students: In short, higher education is difficult to navigate. It is okay to not know what the exact path you may take will look like or what the next step may be. I highly challenge you to reflect openly and honestly about your interests and experiences. Connect with UWB staff such as Pre-Major Academic Advisors to help you make sense and plan towards your goals! Remember, we want to see you!
  • Favorite restaurant or food: I love Vietnamese pancakes and desserts. I can eat poke anytime. You may most often see me with my drink of choice around campus- iced earl grey tea with cream and boba!
  • Favorite book: I am currently engaging in works by UWB’s own faculty writers and artists. Check out their works at the UWB/Cascadia Library! There is so much to explore!
  • Favorite movie: Spirited Away or Mary and Max
  • Favorite sports team, sport you like to play, or hobby: Recently, I have picked up problem-solving as a hobby theme, particularly in the form of jigsaw puzzles and escape rooms! With jigsaw puzzling, I love the satisfaction of patiently contributing to a larger picture. With escape rooms, I love learning more about people’s communications styles while working towards one goal. The satisfactory feeling of completing a puzzle or winning a room is just the icing on top!
  • Most memorable experience in college: I will always remember making eye-contact with my mother and siblings in the crowd as I gave the commencement speech at university graduation. It was as if I was saying, “Look at what we did together! It can be done!” 
  • Favorite outdoor or indoor activity: I love the arts- rock shows, spoken word, and theater performances- I love it all! I also enjoy working with my hands and figuring out how things work. For outdoor activities, I like outdoor activities that tend to be leisurely completed such as kite flying, meanderings outside and sun-bathing.
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Felicity Abeyta

Hometown: Bothell, WA

My family's hometowns are rural areas in Arizona Pima and Miami working in copper mines and agricultural migrant work of cotton picking. My Mexican heritage is from San Luis Potosí, Mexico and indigenous Maya roots.

Education: B.A. IAS Society, Ethics and Human Behavior at UW Bothell and M.S.W. School of Social Work at UW Seattle

  • Why I like my job: Growing up, I remember how it feels to struggle and feel lost in school. Overtime, I learned to utilize my hardships to help others. I chose advising as my expertise to guide students.  I maximized college and chose a growth mindset; I gained critical thinking, self-reflection and leadership.  This grow, opened up opportunities like coordinating Diversity Conferences.  So therefore, I see myself turning around and helping students thrive in college.
  • Advice for students: Every time you fall back, it is your moment to LEAP forward. Know and love your strengths.
  • You are a life-long learner: Tell a faculty professor, I am motivated and determined to do better in class, then ask them, what can I do to improve? 
  • Business before play: Have weekly study goals and finish your homework then treat yourself.
  • You are not alone: Surround yourself with positive support.
  • Remember your motivation: I think of my family’s sacrifices, which, motivates me to never quit.
  • Favorite restaurant or food: I love making my mom’s spaghetti recipe and learning to cook Mexican authentic dishes. My favorite dishes to cook are enchiladas and tacos.
  • Favorite book: Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance, Joseph M. Marshall III 
  • Favorite movie: Life is Beautiful film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni
  • Favorite sports team, sport you like to play, or hobby: I like watching sports with my loved ones. I like competitive jump rope and boxing. I enjoy Mexican dancing and beading.
  • Most memorable experience in college: My lovely child was born when I was a sophomore at Shoreline Community College and transferred my junior to UW Bothell. When I received my diploma, my child was turning 3 years old, I am so proud of myself. While in school, I worked at the Environmental Protection Agency External Affairs office and involved in Latinx non-profit organizations. 
  • Favorite outdoor or indoor activity: You can catch me at the gym, movies, parks, and the beach. 
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Stephanie Lê​

Hometown: Everett, WA

Education: B.A. in Educational Studies at University of Washington, Bothell

First-generation Vietnamese-American

  • Why I like my job: I remember what it felt like to be a first-generation student trying to navigate the institution so I can recognize the challenges that students often experience. I’m grateful to be in a position that allows me to be who I needed when I was in college.
  • Advice for students: Take time to reflect and celebrate your progress. You’ve come a long way to be here, whether that be mentally, emotionally, or physically, don’t forget to value your growth along the way.
  • Favorite restaurant or food: Vietnamese food is definitely always a favorite and it’s really my comfort food. I’m a huge foodie though and love trying new things. Boba is also always a must! Specifically, honey black milk tea.
  • Favorite book: Currently: So You Want to Talk About Race? By: Ijeoma Oluo
  • Favorite movie: Any, and all, Hayao Miyazaki films
  • Favorite sports team, sport you like to play, or hobby: Kites, I love flying kites.
  • Most memorable experience in college: After commencement ended, I exited the stadium only to find my mom in tears. It made me realize that all my struggles in higher education were worth it, for that moment alone.
  • Favorite outdoor or indoor activity: I enjoy cooking and baking at times. I would say my specialty is cooking healthy food. I like being able to make something as tasty as it is healthy.

Student Peer Advisors

Student Peer Advisors are students in their last two years of college at UW Bothell who can help pre-major and first year students with drop-in questions. The Student Peer Advisors are all students who are in their majors, and they are trained to help you with anything from registering for classes to picking out a major. 

Drop-in peer advising will resume January 4th. 

Darren Duah

Hometown: Lynnwood WA

Major(s): Electrical Engineering

Minor: Mathematics

Hobbies/Interests: Reading & Sports

Why is Darren a peer advisor?
To guide students and offer a helping hand in their academic path. I feel satisfied knowing that I assisted students in deciding what majors and classes to take and also offering them the various resources on campus to help them along this journey.


Thao-Nguyen-(3).jpgThao Nguyen

Hometown: Bellevue, WA 

Major(s): Health Studies

Hobbies/Interests: Hiking & Traveling 

Why is Thao a peer advisor?
Being a peer advisor provides me with many opportunities to influence the learning environment and lives of students. I enjoy being able to use my own experiences throughout undergrad to help other students. There may be many obstacles that arise during academic planning and I look forward to helping students who feel stuck or have questions along the way. Academic planning can often feel overwhelming for some students and I want them to know that we are here to help.


Fatima Hussain

Hometown: Boston, MA

Major(s): Cultuer, Literature & the Arts; American Ethnic Studies

Hobbies/Interests: Reading, Poetry, Hiking, K-Pop & K-Dramas

Why is Fatima a peer advisor?
Even if a student comes with the simplest question, I want to be able to answer it for them. Being a student in university can feel overwhelming and sometimes you don’t even want to ask questions in fear of sounding incompetent. I hope to give students reassurance that their worries about academics are valid.