compass and map

Academic Navigators work alongside academic advisors and other student support staff. They help connect students to appropriate resources and help them identify plans for achieving academic, personal and career goals. To refer a student to the Academic Navigator team, please complete the referral form.

Learn more about the Academic Navigators team or contact Joey Lynch, director, for additional information.

Sara Troupe

Sara Troupe

Colleges of Fine and Performing Arts, Journalism and Mass Communications, and Architecture

I’m Sara Troupe. I am the Academic Navigator for the colleges of Journalism & Mass Communications, Fine & Performing Arts, and Architecture. I was born in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in Fremont, Nebraska. I graduated from UNL in 2018 with a B.S. in Secondary English Education. Prior to joining the Academic Navigators, I taught 7th grade English at School Middle School for four years. In my time working with students, my favorite part has been getting to know them. It always fascinates me how much you can learn from someone, or how much you might have in common. I’m looking forward to getting to know students in this new role, and am excited to help them achieve their goals.

Schedule an Appointment with Sara

Stephanie Cerrato-Rodriguez

Stephanie Cerrato-Rodriguez

College of Arts and Sciences

Hi I'm Stephanie, and I am an Academic Navigator for the College of Arts and Sciences. My family is from Honduras and I grew up here in Lincoln. I attended the University of Nebraska as a first-generation student. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology. Throughout my professional career, I have always tried to work with individuals from where they are and really enjoyed collaborating on their goals. I have worked as a case manager at a non-profit and as a student advocate for Latinx/Hispanic student through the public school system. I also have always tried support my community through group organizations such as Las Voces Nebraska and Latinas in Lincoln and through volunteering. I look forward to meeting students and helping them feel connected to our campus and the Lincoln community!

Schedule an Appointment with Stephanie

Cal Koch

Cal Koch

College of Business

I’m Cal, and I’m an Academic Navigator in the College of Business! My main role on campus is to support students through the inevitable challenges of college. My favorite part of my job is being on a campus where so many students are writing small (and sometimes, not so small) parts of their stories every single day. I grew up in Omaha, a lifelong Husker fan. I then attended UNL and got my bachelor's degree in psychology in 2019. After graduating, I moved to San Jose, California and began my professional career as a high school chemistry teacher. I also earned my master's degree in education from Creighton University in 2021. Outside of work, you’d probably find me hanging out with my younger siblings back in Omaha, walking my enormous Old English Sheepdog, Finn, or at literally any Husker sporting event. GBR!

Schedule an Appointment with Cal

Maria Moreno

Maria Moreno

College of Business

My name is Maria; I am one of UNL Academic Navigator’s team members, a group of very enthusiastic college leaders whose primary role is to help you succeed in your UNL academic and personal life.

I was born and raised in Venezuela, where I graduated as a mechanical engineer. I then moved to Texas, where I completed my MBA with a concentration in Finance at UTA. My desire to learn the French language brought me to Montreal, Canada, where I became an academic advisor at McGill University’s Faculty of Management in Montreal. I enjoyed this position for ten years before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska. Helping students grow and overcome challenges to succeed academically was an enriching experience, and I cannot wait to continue at UNL.

Schedule an Appointment with Maria

Maika Tuala

Maika Tuala

College of Education and Human Sciences

I’m Maika, and I’m the Academic Navigator in the College of Education and Human Sciences. I was born in California but raised in Kansas City Missouri. I did my bachelor's degree in psychology at Brigham Young University in Hawaii where I climbed coconut trees and played with fire to pay for my tuition. I moved to Chuuk Micronesia and worked at the College of Micronesia as a student services coordinator until I went to Utah to do my master’s degree in Sociology at Brigham Young University. After I graduated with my master’s degree, I worked at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix Arizona where I worked as the ACE program coordinator. I moved to Nebraska in 2016 to work on at PhD in Sociology where I am ABD (All But Dissertation). Over my years I have worked with many students from all backgrounds, and I hope to engage with many more students here at UNL. I look forward to helping students navigate through their educational pursuits and dreams.

Schedule an Appointment with Maika

Nicole Binderup

Nicole Binderup

College of Engineering

I’m Nicole Binderup and I am originally from northeast Nebraska. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from UNL in 2013 and graduated with a Master of Arts of Science Teaching from UNL in 2014. After teaching science with Lincoln Public Schools for 5 years I am now here as an Academic Navigator for UNL. I enjoy traveling and camping. I am also happy at home with my dogs and a good book or television show. I look forward to helping students navigate their academic success in the College of Engineering!

Schedule an Appointment with Nicole

Lincoln Students Omaha Students

Laura Britten

Laura Britten

Explore Center

I’m Laura Britten, and I am an Academic Navigator in the Explore Center. I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and was born and raised a Chicago Cubs fan. I am alum of UNL, graduating with a B.A. in Psychology. After undergrad, I went back to Chicago to earn a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling. Prior to working at UNL I spent 3 years working for a nonprofit agency. I love being back in Lincoln, and especially being back on campus working with students. I have so much fun working with undeclared students, helping explore their interests, skills, and passions! I am a huge advocate for the destigmatization of mental health, and I believe in the power of community. The transition to college can be difficult and scary; it’s important to remember that you are not the only one feeling that way. I truly believe that you belong here, but I acknowledge that sometimes it takes a while to finally feel it. You are not alone on this journey, and I encourage you to come talk with me if you ever need someone to lean on.

Schedule an Appointment with Laura

Selma De Anda Gallegos

Selma De Anda Gallegos

Explore Center

Hi my name is Selma De Anda Gallegos, and I am an Academic Navigator in the Explore Center! I grew up in South Sioux City, Nebraska. I am a first-generation college student and a Snoopy and coffee fanatic. I received my bachelor’s degree in Education and Human Sciences majoring in Nutrition Exercise and Health Science from UNL. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Child Youth and Family Studies specializing in Youth Development. Prior to joining the Explore Center, I served as an Education Specialist with one of the UNL TRIO pre-college programs. In my free time I enjoy working out, drawing, and going to coffee shops with friends. I am also bilingual in Spanish. I look forward to helping students feel connected to all the great opportunities campus has to offer! Feel free to message me or make an appointment if you would like to meet with me!

Schedule an Appointment with Selma