Student working in Meldrum Website
START Center Peer Academic Advisors

Meet the START Center Staff

Earning a degree can be challenging. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the classes to select, majors to declare, and graduation requirements to complete. Our professional staff and peer academic advisors are equipped to answer the tough college questions that you may encounter in your pursuit of a degree (well, almost all of them; we still haven't figured out how to get roommates to do dishes).

Peer advisors strive to be excellent role models, boasting accomplishments both in and out of the classroom. You will find that they have encountered the same classes, professors and deadlines that you face and will provide you with applicable solutions to your questions. Their genuine enthusiasm for helping others makes the office a welcoming place. Come visit us! We'll cover more than the basics and keep you on the right path.


Peer Academic Advisors


Fathom Croteau

From:  Farmington, New Mexico
Major:  Communications  Minor:  Political Studies
Advises:  Humanities (Communiciations, English, History, etc.) 

My heart was with Westminster the first day that I stepped foot on campus, this place has been home all along. I got experience volunteering as a Victim’s Advocate when I served with AmeriCorps and I knew pretty quickly that, that was what I wanted to do.

I love being a resource for my fellow students, and friends. Being a Peer Advisor offers me the opportunity to be an asset for the students.

One piece of advice . . .
I wish that some one would have told me that life was never meant to be easy, and that you’re attitude and outlook is what is going to affect you and those around you more than any hardships that you might face. 

Favorite Quote . . .
Life is not about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.  ~ G. Bernard Shaw


Mark Russell

From: Boise, Idaho
Major: Marketing  Minor: Outdoor Leadership
Advises: Aviation, Business, Outdoor Leadership 
Activities: Skiing, mountain biking, badminton, frisbee, and being outdoors

I chose to come to Westminster based on the small class sizes.  The class size has allowed me to interact with my professors and to get more out of my classes than I would at a larger institution.  I knew that I wanted to major in some area in business because it teaches many real world skills that can easily be applied in a wide variety of settings.  After that I chose marketing; speciafically, because I found it to be very interesting.

I wanted to be a peer advisor so I can help other students worry less about which classes they need to take or if they'll graduate on time and focus more on enjoying all that college has to offer.


Alexandria (Allie) Hurtado

From:  Seattle, Washington
Major: Art Administration emphasis in Music
Advises: Arts (Art, Art Administration, Music, and Theatre)
Activities: Dance, arts bridge, traveling, music, skiing, hiking, I love it all!!!! 

Westminster is truly a dimond in the ruff.  I would never have imagined myself living in Salt Lake City, yet I am so glad that I chose to attend Westminster.  I love the small class sizes, proximity to the mountains, and the wondersul music program.  Throughout my schooling here I have met the most amazing friends and professors.  The passion that everyone at shool has for their individual major is inspiring and makes school worthwhile and exhilarating.

I love meeting new people and wanted to become a peer advisor for that reason!  I love helping others discover their potential and finding zeal in what they do.  I love what I'm studying and want to assist others in finding whatever it is that drives them toward success.  

Favorite Quote . . .
Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves.  It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel like the heat of a fire.  Happiness is something we are.  ~ John B Sheerin


Brianne Miller

From: Rock Springs, Wyoming
Major: Biology
Advises: Sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and Honors
Activities: PPHS, ACS, swing dancing, book club, Alphabet Soup, and volunteering everywhere

I chose Westminster for a lot of reasons.  First of  all, they made me feel extremely wanted considering they stuffed my mailbox almost weekly during my junior/senior years.  Secondly, it's only two and half hours away from home and family, which is very important to me.  Thirdly, when I finally had the chance to visit, I saw how beautiful the campus is.  Finally, talking to the science advisors reinforced that  Westminster cares and want to help you on your journey, not only in colege, but in life.

I wanted to be a peer advisor mainly because I wanted to ensure that I could make as many people feel the way I felt walking into Westminster.  I wanted to help clear up as many questions as I could and I wanted to make people fee welcome as they started their college journey.

One piece of advice . . .
I wish someone had informed me more about how much out of class time is needed for pre-med students.  However, it worked out fine because I love volunteering.

Favorite Quote . . .
One day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it's worth watching. ~ Anonymous


Lexi Almberg

From: Eagle, Idaho 
Major: Nursing 
Advises: Nursing & Public Health
Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, studying, shopping, hanging out with friends

The minute I set foot on campus I knew this was the place for me. I had a feeling that I could be truly successful here. The environment and lifestyle here also meshed well with my personality. I loved how friendly the campus felt along with its beauty.

I chose to come to Westminster for my Nursing degree (BSN) because I had read in reviews that it was one of the top programs around, as well as its high pass rate on the NCLEX.

I love interacting with people; each interaction is such a unique experience. We can learn so much on both ends. Being a Peer Advisor allows me to share my knowledge and experience with others as well as learning something myself from the student. I am so enthusiastic about my area of study I like to share it with others. 

One piece of advice . . . 
Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t.

Elizabeth Wintch 

From: Heriman, Utah 

Major: Psychology  Minor:  Music
Advises: Social Sciences (Environmental Studies (BA), Justice Studies, Political Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Gender Studies)
Activities: Playing the violin, reading, being active, and spending time with my friends and family.

I chose to come to Westminster because I wanted to go to a small school with an inviting environment where I could get to know my classmates and professors better.  I love going to a school that has a beautiful and diverse community that also serves as a variety of support systems to give me the tools I need to achieve my goals.  I am currently working towards my bachelors in psychology and one day I would like to work as a clincian and help other in their needs. 

I wanted to become a peer advisors so that I could gain experience helping others and also because it is something I genuinely find joy in.  I want to be that person who helps students with their academic concerns and assists them while they make decisions regarding their future. 

One piece of advice. . .

Go for it.  Don't hold back and don't let fear keep you from trying new things and gaining new experiences.

Favorite Quotes:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"! ~ Audrey Hepburn

Office Assistant

Kelsie Fortner

From: Midvale, Utah 

Major: Psychology emphasis Brain & Behavior
Activities: Yoga, hiking, research, crafts, reading, writing, learning, boating, skiing, four-wheeling, aerial silks, being involved in communities, exploring the outdoors, laughing & spending time with my friends and family.

The atmosphere of Westminster drew my interest when I was searching for which college to attend.  My academics are very important to me, thus I wanted to find the perfect school that could provide the mentoring and education I was looking for -- and that is exactly what I found. At Westminster, I have mentor, professors, and advisors that truly care about me and my success. I have learned and continue to learn the skills and qualities that will help me to be successful ingraduate school and my future career. What I love about the Westminter community is that it offers support to each student's unique learning needs. I must not leave out the part about how fun, full of laughter, and inslpirational my education at Westminster has been. 

Now, I am an office assistant here in the START Center. I hope to help answer any questions and/or concerns a student may have. 

One piece of advice . . .

If you think you can, you will. If you think you can't, you won't. As long as you have a good attitude and stay committed to your work, even when you feel like giving up -- you will succeed. You may even surprise yourself along the way. Pursue your passion. 

Favorite Quote . . .

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead:  his eyes are closed. ~ Albert Einstein