Starting your higher education journey can be daunting, but we’re here to help make that transition easier. FPF advisors mentor and coach you through your transition to Berkeley and beyond.

Jonathan Phillips

Academic Advisor

Originally from Orange County, Jon moved to Northern California for UC Berkeley and fell in love with the Bay Area. He started as an FPF student and graduated with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and German. He recently finished a master's program at Harvard, but will always bleed blue and gold! A nerd at heart, Jon loves video games, anime, and all things sci-fi or fantasy.

E-mail Jon

Office Phone: (510) 529-1915

Kimberly Cattarusa

Program & Curriculum Coordinator

Kimberly is a Bay Area native who left to complete her undergraduate work at UCLA and then returned home to work for Berkeley. Kimberly loves coffee, brunch, road-tripping and podcasts—let her know if you have any favorite podcasts that she should check out!

E-mail Kimberly

Office Phone: (510) 542-0323

Meaghan DeRespini

Academic Advisor

Meaghan fled to the East Coast for college but always knew she'd return to the Bay Area. She loves to read, teach, dance, watch Giants baseball and lace up her running shoes. She's not quite crazy enough to try the "50 Marathons in 50 States" challenge, but she has started working her way around the country, 26.2 miles at a time!

E-mail Meaghan

Office Phone: (510) 643-0375

Ariana Lee

Academic Advisor

A native of Seattle and a proud Cal alumna, Ariana has never lived more than an hour from the Pacific Ocean. She loves to write, sing, cook Korean food and be out in nature. She’s also an amateur “foodie,” so ask her about good, cheap eats in Berkeley!

E-mail Ariana

Office Phone: (510) 642-5996

Emma Strong

Academic Advisor & Operations Coordinator

Emma grew up on a small island near Seattle, and now lives in Oakland near Lake Merritt. Her Northwest roots contribute to her love of hiking, good coffee, and spending time near the water. Emma is always looking for new outdoor spots to explore, and new plants to add to her garden. Her favorite plant is her lemon tree, because lemons don't grow outdoors in Washington state!

E-mail Emma

Office Phone: (510) 643-0388

Ramu Nagappan, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Division of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and Center for Instructional Excellence

Ramu has been with the Fall Program for Freshmen many years, and he also oversees Extension’s Department of Humanities, Education, and the Center for Instructional Excellence. Ramu enjoys the outdoors, gardening, good books, and time with family.

E-mail Ramu

Office Phone: (510) 643-1283

Before You Start in the Fall

In mid-May, you will receive an email introducing your assigned FPF advisor. This is your point person for all questions related to FPF, campus, being a successful undergrad and much more!

During the spring FPF advisors attend new student receptions around California and across the country, including UC Berkeley’s massive open house, Cal Day. We also have online general information sessions to share more information about the program and to answer your questions. We’ll also host unique online information sessions specifically for students interested in applying to the Haas School of Business, or in preparing for medical school or other health-related programs. Dates for all online sessions are below.

In early June, you will have access to your online orientation program, Golden Bear Advising, on bCourses. Through Golden Bear Advising, you will learn about the College of Letters and Science, FPF, choosing a major, enrichment opportunities, and lots more. Once you complete Golden Bear Advising, including creating a sample first-semester schedule, you will be able to make a 1-on-1 appointment with your FPF advisor to discuss your schedule, and any other questions you have about getting started in FPF and at Berkeley.  And of course if you have additional questions after your 1-on-1 appointment, you can always email us or give us a call!

You can also reach out to our FPF Ambassadors, who are former FPF students and who can give you the inside scoop on about being in the program and being a Bear.

The FPF Advising Offices are closed to the public during the spring and summer months, and visitors are allowed by appointment only. For appointments, please allow one business day's notice and call (510) 643-0379 or email

Student Advising, by the Numbers


77% in 2014

received 1-on-1 advising

between Spring-Fall 2017

During the Fall Semester

We encourage you to talk with your advisor if you have any questions about your fall courses, your academic plan, adjusting to college life, study strategies, campus resources, or anything else you might want to chat about in your first semester at Berkeley! We’re here to help you as often as you need. Our offices are generally open 11 am–4 pm on Wednesdays, and Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 9 am–4 pm, though your advisor's hours may vary slightly. Of course, if your advisor is not available, you are welcome to connect with any FPF Advisor you'd like! You can reach out to us in person, by phone or email. Our offices are located right where you take classes—so drop on by and say hello or chat!

Depending on the time of the semester, it may be easier to drop in or make an appointment with your advisor through CalCentral, and you can always ask your advisor which is best. Regardless of the time of the semester, if you have something more in depth or personal that you’d like to discuss with your advisor, making an appointment is your best bet. If you just want to reach any member of the FPF staff, you can call 510-643-0379 or email

FPF Campus Location:

2515 Hillegass Ave.

3rd Floor

Berkeley, CA 94704-7040


Spring Semester Advising

Enrollment for the spring semester seems to come along almost as quickly as you begin the fall! Your FPF advisor will invite you to make an appointment to plan for spring. Additionally, the FPF advising staff may provide other planning resources, such as drop-in advising with major advisors or spring planning workshops. Stay tuned for event schedules!You may also choose to contact your L&S College Advisor for spring semester or longer-term planning if you’d like.

We also encourage you to research the academic departments that offer the majors that interest you. The best way to get information on how to choose major-specific courses for the spring is to talk directly with a major advisor. A great way to start is by visiting