University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Academic Advisors

Team-Based Advising Model

Academic Advisors are a team of professional staff who support undergraduate students through academic planning, connection, and resources that help build a path to graduation. We are here to celebrate and strategize for your success as well as provide options when you are struggling academically or personally.

Our team consists of three Senior Academic Advisors and one Director of Undergraduate Advising (DUA). Using Navigate, you may schedule an appointment with any of us at any time. Choose a different advisor each time or stay with one or two of us you prefer. As a team, we will communicate and collaborate in your best interest. Our aim is for you to get the most out of your college experience through reflection, goal setting, and utilizing the many opportunities and resources available at UMass.

Undergraduate Academic Advisors

Sujata Rege Konowitz

As a teacher for most of my life, I have always been passionate about education that empowers and inspires students to be the best version of themselves. Now as an academic advisor, I am committed to creating space where all students feel comfortable to ask questions, know their resources, and feel the benefits of support and inclusion. I truly enjoy demystifying complex information to make it feel manageable and helping students both dream and set attainable goals. My family immigrated from India, and I was born and raised in New England. Because of this, I am familiar with the balancing act between two cultures which can provide both challenge and celebration. On a personal note, I am avid singer and parent of two who loves to spend time with friends and family.

Shawn Samuels

The main thing I love about being an advisor is being on the frontlines to help students shape their academic and professional futures. To that end, I enjoy talking to students about their dreams and aspirations, and I also enjoy learning more about their challenges and passions. As a first-generation college student, born and raised in Jamaica, I understand the hardships that may come with trying to figure things out while acclimating to a new environment. As such, I believe that my experiences have shaped me into becoming a very relatable and understanding advisor, qualities that I believe are essential to effectively connect with students. With a background in Social Work, I enjoy volunteering and giving back to communities in my spare time. Some of my spare time also includes gaming online with the fellas, focusing on my health and fitness and traveling with friends & family.

Amy Grieger

Although I wrote my final grad school paper on academic advising, I spent most of my career working with high school and college students on the college admission process before I finally found my way to UMass in 2017. It just took me awhile to figure out where I was supposed to be! I love working with the PoliSci and Legal advising team to help students understand how to navigate UMass and explore the many opportunities available to them here. We work with a wide range of students from a diverse set of circumstances, which means our days are always interesting. Outside of work, I love to read, listen to live music, and hang with my pets.

Services provided by Academic Advisors

  • General Advising for Legal Studies Major, Political Science Major, and Political Science Minor
  • Major/Minor requirements review
  • Study Abroad & Domestic Exchange planning
  • Internship planning
  • Post-graduation planning
  • Advisor signature for relevant forms
  • Removal of advising holds
  • Graduation clearance
  • Any questions 

Director of Undergraduate Advising

Adrian Grace

I love academic advising because I talk to undergraduate students every day. I hear about their interests and dreams and learn about concerns and challenges. In Political Science and Legal Studies Advising, I also work with an amazing team of advising specialists. Together, we provide broad and rich supports for our students that help them pursue those interests and dreams and support them to voice their concerns or navigate challenges. My first job after getting my BA combined academics and team-based work in a similar way. I worked with a civic education organization in the D.C. area and we used the city to teach about political institutions, federalism, U.S. history, and more. An interesting personal detail about me, I love to run and I’m out most days, rain or shine.

Services provided by Director of Undergraduate Advising (DUA)

  • Study Abroad/ Domestic Exchange pre-approvals
  • Approval of transfer classes
  • Internship Advising
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Return from Suspension/Dismissal
  • GPA concerns

Additional Advising Services

Accelerated Master's Degree (4+1) in Political Science : Contact Paul Collins at to schedule an appointment. For 4+1 degree requirements info, check here

Commonwealth Honors College AdvisorsCHC Advising contacts

Departmental Honors Directors:   Paul Musgrave (Political Science) and Leah Wing (Legal Studies)

International Relations Certificate Advisors:  MJ  Peterson and Audrey Altstadt

Pre-Law Advising : ,Check out the Pre-Law Advising webpage and schedule an appointment with Diane Curtis 

SBS Academic Dean : For issues such as credit overload requests, late add/drop, academic probation, please see Jackie Brousseau-Pereira, SBS Academic Dean.

College-Level Requirements for UMass Students entering prior to Fall 2018 (Global Education) : SBS Advising Center