Undergraduate Academic Advising

All students are assigned an Academic Advisor, who is responsible for guiding students through their academic journey at Naropa, beginning with new student orientation and ending with graduation. Advisors assist students in navigating academic policies and procedures, tracking degree requirements and creating course schedules each semester. Advisors also monitor students’ academic performance and intervene when students are in academic difficulty. Advisors are student advocates who assist students in making well-informed decisions regarding their education. This process includes helping students to clarify their interests, strengths and goals, as well as assisting them in developing their decision-making skills.

Undergrad Academic Advising is located on the second floor of Wulsin Hall in The Learning Commons, an alliance of campus resources that actively collaborate to support a student's journey toward self-discovery, academic success, and engaged action in the world.


Retention Specialists 

headshot of sarah ambrose in black shirt, long blond hair

Sarah Ambrose

Teacher Licensure & Arts Academic Advisor

MS, Exceptional Student Education, University of West Florida
BA, Special Education, Illinois State University

Sarah graduated from Illinois State University with her BA in Special Education with a Learning and Behavioral Specialization. She has her teaching license in Illinois and in Colorado, and during her time as an educator, Sarah has taught grades K-12 in public, private, and alternative school settings. She has served as a supervising teacher for practicum and student teacher candidates in Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Elementary Education programs. Sarah went on to earn her Masters in Exceptional Student Education with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of West Florida. Sarah also has experience working with Yoga startups and event planning teams throughout the Boulder community. Sarah truly believes in meeting and honoring each student as an individual. Sarah is ready to meet each student where they are to help them navigate through their own unique educational journey. Sarah’s passions are her family, dogs, cooking, music, art, and learning. Outside of the office you can find her at the farmer’s market, the sidelines of her kid’s sporting events, or most likely around a mountainside campfire.

jessica del castillo headshot, in red hood

Jessica Del Castillo

Student Engagement Academic Advisor

MEd, Adult Learning, Training and Development, Regis University
BA, Contemplative Psychology, Naropa University

A graduate of Naropa’s Contemplative Psychology program, Jessica believes in the crazy wisdom and transformative power of a contemplative education. As a longtime educator with over ten years of experience in the field of higher education, Jessica encourages students to manifest their inherent brilliance through mindfulness-based and experiential practices including cultivating compassion, self-love and an ongoing investigation of mind and body. Having earned her Masters of Education in Adult Learning, Training and Development from Regis University, Jessica feels that the relationship between a student and their educational journey is unique, and she strives to meet each student where they are, supporting them in their developmental process while fostering intellectual clarity and an awakened heart. A lover of life and a voracious reader, Jessica’s passions include her family, rescuing animals and running marathons.

julie rada headshot

Julie Rada

Enrollment & Degree Completion Academic Advisor

MFA, Theatre, Arizona State University
BA, Contemplative Psychology, Naropa University

Julie Rada is an educator, scholar, and interdisciplinary performance artist. A graduate of Naropa’s BA Contemplative Psychology program, Julie is infinitely curious about people. Julie has facilitated educational and creative work with a number of populations including with youth experiencing homelessness, elders in hospice programs, folks with disabilities, and young people at schools, afterschool programs and community sites such as rec. centers and LGBT drop-in centers. She has also facilitated work in prisons for the past five years. Julie received her MFA from Arizona State University and went on to a faculty fellowship at the University of Utah. She has since taught undergraduates at a number of institutions, and serves as adjunct faculty for Naropa’s BA Core Seminars. As a first-generation college student, Julie believes deeply in the power of education to provide us with language to connect our individual experiences to our world. Julie is excited to engage in the Naropa community’s ongoing exploration of the ways that the intersection of the humanities, embodied experience, civic participation, and contemplation can serve as the gateway for interrogating power relations and working toward sustainable social justice.

Advising Office

 

Austin PickAustin Pick headshot, in checkered shirt

Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising & Student Retention

Academic Coaching Program Supervisor 

BA, Religious Studies, James Madison University
MA, Religious Studies, Naropa University

As a writer, teacher, outdoorsman, and longtime contemplative practitioner, Austin believes that education is ultimately about learning to adapt and respond to our ever-changing world with cultivated awareness and authenticity. Austin's diverse experience is grounded in a commitment to interdisciplinary perspectives and multicultural understanding. His studies in Contemplative Religions, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, and Anthropology reflect a deep interest in the narratives with which we script our lives, both collectively and individually. Austin has traveled and lived abroad, published short works of fiction and non-fiction, and attended retreats in the Dzogchen, Vipassana, and Zen traditions. In all of his work, Austin is dedicated to developing an ever more conscious engagement with our ongoing composition of the world – one that is expansive, inclusive, and compassionate.