Modesto A. Maidique Campus


Elizabeth Carrillo
Program Director

Elizabeth has worked in academic advising at FIU since 2006 where she has led several projects to assist special students populations be successful in the university and beyond. Student athletes, international students, and those who need special accommodations are among the groups she has served. Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Social Communication; and she continues her academic endeavors as a graduate student in the FIU Global Sociocultural Studies program. Before joining FIU, she worked at Miami Dade College as an Academic Advisor and a Vocational coordinator for the Refugee Program. Her interest in outreach initiatives grew at FIU as she joined the Golden Scholar Bridge Program committee and was part of the Fostering Panther Pride founding team. During her years in advising leadership roles since 2009, she has served in several university committees and presented at regional and national conferences (NACADA, HACU and First Year Experience). Elizabeth enjoys being a mentor and is engaged with diverse students groups on campus activities.

April Lewis
Program Director

April has lived in Miami her entire life. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Miami: A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. Upon graduation, April worked at UM in the office of Student Employment and the School of Education. She took a brief break from Higher Education and taught first grade for two years at Kelsey Pharr Elementary. April enjoyed working with children, but missed the college atmosphere and the college students; She is happy to be back in Higher Education.


Rafael Meneses
Academic Advisor

Rafael was born in Cuba and came to Miami just before his 4th birthday. He is an FIU alumnus who earned his Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012, and later pursued his Master’s degree in clinical psychology. Prior to working at FIU, Rafael provided therapeutic services, disability and neurocognitive/intelligence testing, and case management to the low income and homeless population before finding his passion working with students. Rafael prides himself in assuring that students gain the college experience they are looking for at FIU. He is currently pursuing his MBA at FIU.

Ruth Montero
Academic Advisor

Ruth completed a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Business Administration at NOVA Southeastern University. She transferred from Miami Dade College where she worked as an Intervention , retention and transfer specialist. She joined FIU in 2016 and her area of interest in with the transfer student population. Ruth has an incredible unique passion to work for higher education as students develop and reach their academic goals.

Alison Piatt
Academic Advisor

Alison originally hails from northeastern Pennsylvania and moved to Miami to join the FIU Exploratory Advising team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Misericordia University and a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. Alison brings over fifteen years of higher education experience to FIU including work in admissions, research, advising, and classroom teaching. She has taught history, government, political science, and first year experience courses as an adjunct professor for over ten years and was named Best Professor by The Dallas Post in 2012. Alison enjoys working with first year and exploratory students because she understands that figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life can be extremely challenging. She believes advisors and advisees should work together as a team to develop a plan to meet educational and career goals. When she’s not in the office, you can find this Whovian and curling enthusiast hanging out with her cat, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers, doing improv comedy, or watching something British on Netflix.

Michael Ward
Academic Advisor

Michael is a transplant to Miami from New York City. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY and Master’s Degree in Counseling from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Currently, Michael is pursuing a Ph.D in Higher Education at FIU. He has been part of the team in the Exploratory Advising Center at FIU since late 2014. Prior to working at FIU, Michael worked as an advising intern in the Office of Academic Success and Student Retention at Montclair State University and in various K-12 positions outside of the field of Higher Education. In his spare time Michael enjoys watching NBA basketball, cooking, reading, and playing board games.

Biscayne Bay Campus

Valerie Morgan
Assistant Dean

Valerie has over 19 years of experience in academic advising. Originally from Massachusetts, she attended FlU for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and received her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration in 2005. Valerie loves working at FlU and being part of the Undergraduate Education team. When not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Samantha, reading and playing soccer.

Jamie Perez
N. Stud. Exchange

Jamie started her career in higher education in 2002 as an Academic Advisor at Miami Dade College. She joined FIU in 2006 as an Academic Advisor for the College of Business. Since 2007 she has been with Undergraduate Education and grown to become the Program Manager for the National Student Exchange Office. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Mathematics Education, and a Master’s degree in International and Cross-cultural Development in Education, from FIU. Jamie serves as the advisor for the National Student Exchange Club at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. She enjoys interacting with a diverse student population and promotes an international student experience.

Giovanna Tello
Academic Advisor

Giovanna is originally from New Jersey and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University, where she majored in English and minored in Leadership Development through Civic Engagement and Psychology. In 2013, she moved to Miami and pursued her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from FIU. After graduating in 2015, she decided to stay at FIU and now advises exploratory students as well as oversees the Peer Mentor Program at the Biscayne Bay Campus.