Meet our Instructors

Judy Echeverria

Judy Echeverria

Judy believes education is a transformational experience, not only for increased job opportunities, but as a way to stretch boundaries and develop personal strength and integrity. As an advisor and instructor, she strives to share her enthusiasm for the limitless possibilities higher education offers. Judy is a full time Academic Advisor for the College of Business with a current focus on fully online students. She is also a co-instructor for the course, Marketing Yourself in Today’s Competitive Job Market. She has experience teaching Student Success and Career Planning courses along with years of academic advising at colleges and universities in Florida, Texas, and Maryland. She is happy to be home again in Miami after a 20 year hiatus.

Yanella Gilbert

Yanella Gilbert

Yanella believes in developing an image of the possible because it provides a picture of what can be. Her desire to serve others and work with students led her to a career in higher education. As a career and academic advisor she strived to help students succeed in their careers and academia. While teaching First Year Experience she assisted students in managing their college life and academic work. In her current role as FIU bridge advisor at Palm Beach State College she ensures that prospective students make a seamless transition to FIU once they complete their A.A degrees. Yanella is a proud double alumnus earning both her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Florida International University.

Laz Gordon

Laz Gordon

As an academic advisor for Criminal Justice and Public administration, Laz takes pride in providing student-centric academic support, guiding many first generation students and their families through admissions, enrollment, and success strategies. As a liberal arts instructor, a major area of focus is exploring students’ talents vis-à-vis future career applications. Prior to joining FIU she was the associate director of marketing and communications at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine where she cultivated liaisons with internal, external, and international units in the coordination of on-campus, domestic, and international educational programs. As a pre-medical advisor, she worked closely with applicants throughout the competitive application process. A longtime Miami resident, Laz is an avid runner who has trained many distance athletes—she coaches FIU employees in preparation for half-marathons and is the coach of the student lacrosse club. She holds a bachelor’s in economics from FIU and master’s degree in liberal studies from UM.

Linda Lara

Linda Lara

Linda believes that higher education leads to a world of endless possibilities. Born and raised in Miami, Florida she began her college career at Miami-Dade College, where she earned an Associate in Arts degree in Psychology. She later transferred to FIU and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Sciences of Higher Education, with a concentration in Student Affairs Administration. Linda is compassionate, energetic, and a highly-motivated educator who supervises and leads a team of advisors whose main focus is to assist students with achieving success through academic & career advising, mentoring, and creating effective programs that fosters student growth and development.

Aarti Mehta-Kroll

Aarti Mehta-Kroll

Aarti became interested in helping students get from college to career after experiencing a “what can I do with my major?” moment during her senior year. So inspired, she continued her Master's research exploring the global perspectives of college to career transitions. Then when she joined FIU, she implemented her career building knowledge establishing a networking group for fully online advisors and professional study group for exploring career processes. She now brings together this experience in the Capstone course. Aarti has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MSc in Social Research from the University of Edinburgh. Her prior experience includes working for the University of California, Berkeley; interning at the non-profit Partnership for Public Service and writing for the website Slow Travel Berlin.

Gali Milbauer Lefkowitz

Gali Milbauer Lefkowitz

Gali has been a Higher Education Professional since 1999. She has worked in various settings with students in a wide range of developmental stages as an educator, mentor and advisor. Her previous roles include being an International Education Consultant and Foreign Credentials Evaluator, as well as an adjunct instructor of Economics, Finance, and Management. As an Academic Advisor, she distinguished herself as a specialist in advising fully online students. She is currently a Senior Academic Advisor in the departments of Psychology and Chemistry at FIU and an instructor in the Department of Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies. Gali earned B.A. and M.A degrees in Economics at FIU and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Learning Technologies.

Michelle Perez

Michelle Perez

Michelle understands that college can be an exciting yet complicated stage in a person’s life. Facilitating students through this metamorphic stage is what Michelle loves most about working at FIU. She has researched and presented on student career transitions at advisor conferences and serves as Chair of the CASE Advisors’ Student Career Development and Engagement Committee. She applies this expertise when advising students and teaching the Capstone course. Like Emerson, Michelle believes that real learning requires deep understanding that can only be realized when students internalize and actively apply knowledge in meaningful ways. Michelle has years of experience teaching and advising students at FIU, MDC, and abroad. She received her BA and MA in history at FIU and is happiest when leading her fellow Panthers to academic and career success.

Camille Perkins

Camille Perkins

Camille is a transplant from the Caribbean to Miami. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University, and Master’s in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo. Presently, Camille works with Transfer & Transition Services as STEM Manager. Her past experience includes Academic Advising, Residence Life, Admissions, International Student and Scholar Services, and Multicultural Programs and Services. She views learning as a holistic and transformative process that includes both academics and student development. In other words, learning is not merely learning facts but also about personal development (learning to think critically and applying knowledge, as well as development of the person in all aspects both inside and outside of the classroom). She enjoys teaching the capstone as it gives her an opportunity to help students discover their strengths and get them focused on their career goals.

Tamarra Rousseau

Tamarra Rousseau

No stranger to the FIU community, Tamara earned both her undergraduate degree and graduate degree from Florida International University: a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration and Master's in Higher Education Administration. With a passion for student engagement and academic success, Tamara began her career as an Academic Advisor for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education in spring 2011. She expanded her role within the university as a Student Life Skills Instructor beginning fall 2012. Wanting to further develop her experience in career planning and post-graduate success, Tamara is now joining the Interdisciplinary Studies department in her role as a Capstone Instructor.

Adrienne Yuen

Adrienne Yuen

Adrienne is a Miami native and recently returned back to Miami after 10 years to be closer to her family. She graduated from the University of Florida with her BA in Sociology and continued at UF to complete her Master’s in Education and Specialization in School Counseling K-12. She is certified as a School Counselor and Exceptional Student Educator K-12. Adrienne has work experience ranging from an Autism classroom in Boston to a Staffing Specialist and School Counselor in Orlando. Adrienne enjoys the relationship she builds with her students and has a passion for helping other reach their goals.