FPF Staff

The FPF staff smiles warmly front of a brick wall on a sunny Berkeley day

Being new to campus can be challenging, but we’re here to help our students feel at home. FPF Advisors mentor and coach students through their immersion to Berkeley and beyond!

Tara Young, M.A.

Director, Fall Program for Freshmen

B.A. Sociology, New York University

M.A. Higher Education, University of Michigan

Undocu-Ally and Trained in Gender Inclusion

As a first-gen college graduate and former L&S College Adviser, Tara is passionate about teaching students to ask the right questions and find resources. She is always mindful of the challenge that transitions can be, and her goal is to assist students with their own transition to Berkeley by offering them options and showing them how to successfully engage in their studies. Two fun facts about Tara are that she loves Star Trek and is a trained genealogist!

E-mail Tara

Office Phone: (510) 643-0379

Gina Garcia

Academic Advisor

B.A. Psychology, Sonoma State University

M.Ed. Higher Education, Oregon State University

Gina is from Sonoma County and moved to the Bay Area to begin working with students in FPF. As a first-generation graduate, she is passionate about helping students navigate their college experience and to have a positive impact on their journey. In her free time, she enjoys fitness, hiking, swimming, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

E-mail Gina

Office Phone: (510) 642-5996

Jonathan Phillips

Academic Advisor

B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies and German, University of California, Berkeley

M.Ed. Higher Education, Harvard University


Originally from Orange County, Jon moved to Northern California for UC Berkeley and fell in love with the Bay Area. Jon started his Berkeley career as an FPF student, so he has first-hand experience that he could share with you. A nerd at heart, Jon loves video games, anime, and all things sci-fi or fantasy. Jon is the FPF liaison for Yield Task Force, the cross-departmental team that organizes new student outreach.

E-mail Jon

Office Phone: (510) 643-0375

Emma Strong

Academic Advisor

B.A. Anthropology, Dance, and Education minor, University of Washington

Emma is a former L&S Intake Adviser and 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

Francesca Rivera

Program and Curriculum Coordinator

B.A. Music, Sarah Lawrence College

M.A. Ethnomusicology, University of California, Berkeley

Francesca provides support to the FPF faculty and advisors so that they have the resources they need to support FPF students. Before joining FPF, she has worked a variety of jobs including: chorus manager, concert producer, equity and diversity analyst, candy vendor, and ethnomusicologist. When she's not in the office, she's either refilling her coffee mug, playing music, streaming shows, or working towards a new powerlifting personal record.

E-mail Francesca

Office Phone: (510) 642-5001

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 has seen it evolve during that time. He enjoys the outdoors, gardening, good books, and time with family. As part of his role, Ramu oversees instructor hiring and curriculum planning for FPF. 

E-mail Ramu

Office Phone: (510) 643-1283

Office Location and Hours

FPF Building at 2515 Hillegass Ave, 3rd Floor; Berkeley, CA 94704-7040

Fall Semester Advising Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9:00 AM-4:00 PM; Wed 11:00 AM-4:00 PM

Our office 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 fpf@berkeley.edu.


The Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) was established in 1983 at the request of Chancellor Michael Heyman as a way to better accommodate students admitted to Berkeley for the spring semester and to serve more California residents in the freshman class. As of 2015, UC Berkeley no longer offers spring admission for freshmen. Since then, FPF has evolved from a program for "spring admits" to a thriving learning community that gives Berkeley freshmen an edge in their first year by starting small.  After 2017, FPF served only in the city of Berkeley and no longer in San Francisco.  

FPF is sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension in conjunction with the College of Letters and Science and is open to all incoming freshmen admitted to the College of Letters & Science at Berkeley, including out-of-state and international students. All Berkeley freshmen admitted to the College of Letters & Science for the fall semester are eligible to choose FPF as a unique academic opportunity for their first term.

FPF students are full-time matriculated​ UC Berkeley students, who enjoy all of the same benefits as their classmates on the main campus, with the added privilege of starting their academic career in a small community within the larger university.

Student Advising, by the Numbers


97% in 2017

received 1-on-1 advising

between Spring-Fall 2018