Advising That’s More Engaging: Connecting to Meaningful Opportunities

two people talking on a bench

When I started at Pitt, I thought I wanted to go the pre-med route…but ask my first-year academic advisor, Theresa Fabrizio, and she’ll tell you that was far from set in stone.

I knew for certain that I wanted to do something in a science-related field, but I really had no idea what I actually wanted to do. I jumped around from pre-med to research to environmental science to environmental engineering and the list, believe it or not, continues on.

Theresa made me feel very comfortable and calm while I tried all of these areas out. She helped me through the very difficult process of deciding on my major. She laid out my options. She assured me that I had time to figure it out. She never let me doubt that it would work out.

Theresa helped me explore my interests and encouraged me to take classes, even if they didn’t seem to fit in with my major. She told me about the non-profit management certificate, which she thought I would be interested in. I am currently half way through the certificate program and I couldn’t be more grateful for her advice: those classes are some of my favorite I’ve taken at Pitt.

Theresa also connected me to the Browne Leadership Fellowship offered through the School of Social Work. The fellowship was amazing—not to mention an outstanding résumé booster—and I would have never applied for it if Theresa had not told me about it and written me a fantastic recommendation letter.

Over my time with Theresa as my advisor I probably emailed, or even called her, probably over 50 times. I always had questions and she always had an answer. College is a big deal and it is important to me that I get as much out of it as possible. My future was completely changed when Theresa became my first-year advisor. Academic advisors can truly lead the way down a unique and meaningful path. 

-Noah Puleo (biological sciences, chemistry, non-profit management)