Meet your ESS advisers

The ESS advisers are here to help you succeed.  Get to know them better!

Kathy Barrett

Kathy Barrett
kbarrett@berkeley.edu
Materials Science & Engineering; Mechanical Engineering last name U-Z; Joint majors (except BioE/MSE)

 

Where did you go to college?
I graduated from UC Berkeley for undergrad and San Francisco State for my Master’s. I also graduated from the California Culinary Academy — apparently I like to go to school.
 
How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
Since November 2012.
 
What advice do you have for students?
Do something (as long as it’s legal) that you are afraid to do.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
I taught English conversational skills at Yonsei University in Korea for a summer.
 
What are your favorite TV Shows?
Game of Thrones, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Full Frontal with Samantha BeeLast Week Tonight with John Oliver and way too many political talk shows.
 
What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I mostly listen to modern rock, but also happy to listen to The Who or some awful 70s music — I grew up in the 70s and there was some pretty awful stuff.

Kathy's pronouns are she/her/hers, be sure to share yours with her.

Catherine Bouvier Dang

Catherine Bouvier DangCatherine Bouvier Dang
catherinedang@berkeley.edu
Civil Engineering; Mechanical Engineering last name S-T
 

 

Where did you go to college?
I am a Cal bear through and through! Go Bears!

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
I re-joined the College of Engineering in October 2018. I have been on campus as a student and then a staff member since 2007.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Meeting with students is definitely my favorite part. I like to get to know my students beyond their academics and support them as they navigate college. Whether it's a quick question about a requirement, finding the best cheap place to eat, having a more in depth conversation about what's going on in their life, or introducing them to a new resource/community on campus, I am always happy to make time to meet with my students.

What advice do you have for students?
College is filled with opportunities for both personal and academic growth that shape the trajectory of your life. I encourage you to make meaningful connections, take advantage of the resources at your disposal, stay curious, ask questions, and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You belong here and there are plenty of people (including me) who are here for you and want you to have a successful college experience. 

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
In college, I was a test subject for the Optometry clinic on campus. This one time, I was paid $60 to wear contacts and sleep in Minor Hall overnight.

What are your favorite TV Shows?
There are so many! Game of Thrones, Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary, The West Wing, New Girl, Dear White People, Firefly, Ballers, Empire, Suits, HIMYM, Happy Endings, and of course, This is Us. 

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
As a French Canadian, it would be wrong to not include Celine Dion (I have seen her Vegas show twice!). I also like a variety of other music such as: Alicia Keys, Gavin Degraw, 90s and 00s pop, Aloe Blacc, Eric Hutchinson, Whitney Houston, Charlie Puth, Bruno Mars, Mariah Carey, and most things on 97.3.

Catherine's pronouns are she/her/hers, be sure to share yours with her.

Chaniqua Butscher

Chaniqua ButscherChaniqua Butscher
chaniqua@berkeley.edu
Mechanical Engineering last name A-R; Nuclear Engineering
 

 

Where did you go to college?
I have remained in the bear family, as a Bruin (UCLA) undergrad and having earned a Master’s in Education from Cal.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing students develop in confidence.

What is your approach to advising?
Similar to a travel agent, I see myself as a dream agent. I ask questions, provide information and promote resources that support students in arriving at their dreams and goals.

What are your interests?
I enjoy trying out new flavors in food, playing golf, wine tasting, and spending time with my kids.

What advice do you have for students?
Students should make the most of their time at Cal by taking advantage of the multiple forms of education available to them (academic, social, culinary, regional, etc.).

What are your favorite TV shows?
Game of Thrones & a shameful variety of reality TV

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I love all types of music. Currently, I’m in to Jidenna, Kendrick Lamar, & John Mayer

Olivia Chan

Olivia ChanOlivia Chan
oychan@berkeley.edu
EECS last name Si-Z; Energy Engineering; Engineering Math & Stat; Environmental Engineering Science

 

 

Where did you go to College?
I went to UC Santa Cruz. Go Slugs!

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
Since November 2012.

What is your favorite part of your job?
The students! Going beyond the academics to really learn who my students are.

What advice do you have for students?
Always take that crucial step back to acknowledge what you have accomplished especially during times when you feel all you see are speed bumps in front of you. ESS is here for you!

What are your interests?
I enjoy volunteering, Yelping as an excuse for eating tons of yummy food, hanging out with family and friends.

What are your favorite TV shows?
I like Friends, Big Bang Theory, Rosewood, Bones and Modern Family.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Despite my youthful appearance, I have been advising students for over 10 years!

Bryan Jones

Bryan JonesBryan Jones
bkjones@berkeley.edu
EECS last name A-Ha; Engineering Physics

 

 

Where did you go to college?
I went to UC Berkeley.

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
I’ve been here for 23 years.

What are your interests?
Music and food.

What advice do you have for students?
Utilize all of your resources and get help immediately if you need it. Make use of professors’ and graduate student instructors’ office hours. If any issues or problems come up please make an appointment to see your ESS adviser right away. We are here to give you guidance and support.

What are your favorite TV shows?
I love to watch sports, travel channel and Food Network.

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I like jazz and R&B.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Go Bears!

Bryan's pronouns are he/him/his, be sure to share yours with him.

Sharon Mueller

Sharon MuellerSharon Mueller
smueller@berkeley.edu
Director of Advising & Policy, Engineering Student Services

 

 

Where did you go to college?
After taking some time off to work and then touring California via several community colleges, I was a transfer student to UC Berkeley.

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
I've been in Engineering Student Services since 2013. Before that I was an adviser in the College of Chemistry for 20 years.

What advice do you have for students?
Every once in a while re-evaluate how you're spending your time. Make sure your time and energy are aligned with your values and goals.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
I was a bartender in a pub in a small village in the English countryside. The actual job wasn't that unusual, but the regulars kept me on my toes.

What are your favorite TV Shows?
The Wire was my favorite. Now I like Shameless, Survivor, and many of the Netflix series.

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
Eighties new wave brings fond memories, but I'll listen to anything from hip hop to country.

Shareena Samson

Shareena SamsonShareena Samson
shareena@berkeley.edu
Bioengineering last name T-Z; EECS last name Hb-Ma

 

 

Where did you go to college?
UC Berkeley & the University of Chicago

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
Since 2005. I began working with Engineering Student Services in October 2018.

What advice do you have for students?
I think many students either become too focused on a single goal or have too many interests and become overwhelmed with making the right decisions.  I would recommend that students take more of a design thinking approach to their studies, which is more flexible and experimental rather than focused on a specific end-result.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
My first job in high school was with Hot Dog on a Stick.

What are your favorite TV Shows?
I love fantasy shows like Supernatural, iZombie, and Stranger Things and all sorts of procedurals (Criminal Minds, Midsomer Murders, etc.).

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I really love all sorts of music except opera and I tend to collect it. I have about 10,000 songs on my iPod classic.  I am currently listening to a lot of Brian Fallon and Hem.

Shareena's pronouns are she/her/hers, be sure to share yours with her.

Dawn Strough

Kathy BarrettDawn Strough
dstrough@berkeley.edu
Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences last name Mba-Shz; Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

 

Where did you go to college?
You mean there are other colleges besides Cal? Go Bears!

How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
About 5 minutes.  However, I was a college and major adviser in L&S for a long, long time (17 years, plus 2 years at UC Riverside, but that whole "Go Scotties!" thing? Nope.)

What advice do you have for students?
Don't let your grades define you, good or bad. I know you have spent YEARS worrying about grades and academic performance because that's a pretty big part of what got you here.  But, know this, you are so much more than your grades. And what better time to figure out all the things you are outside of college than while you are in college?

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
My first job was with a company that assembled surgical kits.  My (excruciatingly long) day was spent counting surgical implements, like scalpels and syringes and a lot of other plastic things that confounded me.  And given my terrible math skills, I am fairly sure there was a surgery or two that may have had missing critical implements.

What are your favorite TV Shows?
I love classic TV, like the The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show. But I also love Killing Eve and pretty much any good espionage thriller (like Counterpart, which was stupidly cancelled). But I also watch some pretty embarrassing reality TV, too.

What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I came of age in the 80s, so I love New Wave/Power Pop music (The Romantics, the Cars, the Police, Eurythmics) and funk/soul (Stevie Wonder, Prince, Rufus/Chaka Khan, Earth Wind & Fire).

Dawn's pronouns are she/her/hers, be sure to share yours with her.

Joey Wong

Joey WongJoey Wong
joeywong@berkeley.edu
Bioengineering last name A-S; BioE/MSE joint major; BioE & EECS double major; Engineering Undeclared

 
 
 
Where did you go to College?
I went to UC Berkeley for undergrad and University of San Francisco for graduate school.
 
How long have you been with the College of Engineering?
I started here in December 2015. Before COE I was an academic adviser in the College of Chemistry.
 
What is your favorite part of your job?
Helping students achieve their academic and personal development goals. Being able to interact with and learn from students on a daily basis.
 
What is your approach to advising?
I take a student-centered approach to advising. I try to provide students with all the necessary tools and available resources to empower them to succeed while understanding each student is unique.
 
What are your interests?
Some of my interests and hobbies include board games, reading SciFi literature, running, real estate, Netflix binge watching, bike riding, etc.
 
What advice do you have for students?
College is much more than a place to earn a degree. Be sure to give attention to your personal growth outside of the classroom. Try to take advantage of the multiple resources UC Berkeley has to offer. Understand that your time here is a journey and there are many roads you can take.
 
What are your favorite TV Shows?
I watch a variety of random TV shows! Some recent TV shows I have been watching include MasterChef Junior, Big Bang Theory, Sherlock BBC, Master of None, Sense8, 3%, American Gods, The 100, Shark Tank, etc.
 
What are your favorite books or authors?
I like SciFi literature. One of my favorites is the Codex of Alera series by Jim Butcher. It's a super fun read and if you are interested in SciFi books I recommend it!
 
What is your favorite song, band or type of music?
I like all sorts of music and it really depends on what I'm doing. I tend to listen to classical and jazz the most. When I am doing chores around the house the background music is usually today's top hits. Classy, I know...