First Year Advising Center


Who Is My Advisor?

Your advisor will guide you in your academic career by assisting you in registering for classes and helping you develop an educational plan. 

To find the name of your academic advisor, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into your STARS account at
  2. Choose the “Academic” menu 
  3. Click on “Major/Advisor Information”

First-Year Advisors

Anna James

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Responsibilities: Anna advises first year and Reach students.

Biography: Anna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, and her MBA at Western. She advised major students in the College of Business and Technology prior to coming to the First Year Advising Center.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.“

-Winston Churchill

Tim Johnson

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Responsibilities : Tim advises first year and Reach students. 

Biography : After growing up in Oklahoma, Tim was a student-athlete at Augustana College (S.D.) where he received a B.A. in Social Work. He earned his M.S. in College Student Personnel at Western Illinois University.  His career in higher education includes admissions, financial aid, student services, and academic advising.

Tammie Leigh Brown-Edwards

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Responsibilities : Tammie Leigh advises first year students and Hope Chicago Scholars.

Biography : Tammie Leigh  received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at Eastern Illinois University. She is a graduate student in College Student Personnel at Western Illinois University.

  We need to live in a world that is ego-free and humble ourselves to talent, wisdom, and courage, when it reveals itself.“

- Zindziswa 'Zindzi' Mandela

Dakota Middendorf

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Responsibilities : Dakota advises First Year and Reach students.  She is also the Media and Publications Coordinator that assists with updates to the FYAC advising website, develops content & manages the New Student Registration Prep courses for First Year students in Western Online.

Biography : Dakota has been an Academic Advisor since 2015 and is a WIU Alumna who obtained her Bachelor's degree in Communication in 2013.  Prior to becoming a First Year Advisor at WIU, Dakota has prior experience as an Academic Advisor at Southeast Missouri State University and University of Missouri.  

You never fail until you stop trying.

-Albert Einstein

Kelly Morris

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Responsibilities : Kelly assists incoming freshmen (Reach, Regular, Honors) with navigating higher education, developing study skills, connecting to campus resources and getting involved in University/major activities. Kelly compiles Student performance statistics and coordinates the Reach Program.

Biography : Kelly has been an Academic Advisor since 1991 and has been at WIU since 2002. She earned her BA in Elementary Education (1988) and MA in Math Education (1994) from the University of Northern Iowa.

-Kelly is gratified to witness students have an 'aha' moment and realize particular strategies work for them. She loves to empower students to set and reach their goals.

Tough semesters never last...but tough students do .”

-Robert Schuller

Beth Wilson

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Responsibilities : Beth advises first year and reach students that are student-athletes, and is the Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Academic Advising.

Biography : Beth graduated from the University of Kansas in 2015 with a degree in Sports Management, and was a member of the softball team. She earned her Master of Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2016 

Dr. Miguel Huerta

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Resonsibilities: Miguel is the director of the First Year Advising Center. He oversees the operation of the Center and coordinates new freshmen registration programs. Miguel serves on the Retention Initiatives Leadership Team.

Miguel also helps HIGH SCHOOL students register for DUAL ENROLLMENT classes.

Biography: Miguel has work to provide students academic and wellness support. Miguel has previously overseen academic support programs such as academic coaching and tutoring in addition to facilitating college success courses. Miguel has earned his Ed.D in Educational Leadership and M.S in Higher Educatoin from CSU Fullerton, his B.A. in Spanish from UCLA, and his A.A. in Language Arts and A.A. in Social Sciences from Citrus College.