The University Academic Advising Center Staff is here to help you prepare for a health-related career. We can answer questions related to application requirements, admission procedures, and available opportunities. We look forward to working with you! For general questions, please contact our main line.
Susan Fox | Director
Susan grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Education and minored in Rehabilitation Psychology. After graduation, she packed up her Karmann Ghia to head to Texas, where she worked with the Texas State Commission for the Blind and earned her master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of North Texas. She lived a few years in New Mexico before deciding that she missed thunderstorms, fall colors, and jazz clubs, and moved to Chicago. After stints at Northwestern as the Assistant Director of the Cooperative Engineering program and as the SESP Social Policy Adviser & Practicum Director, Susan became the director of the newly established UAAC and has overseen its development for the last 14 years. In her spare time, she loves hopping on the el for a concert at Millennium Park, walking and roller blading along the lake, and more recently dancing and singing in an annual benefit show, where the ticket proceeds go to Evanston and surrounding community organizations and youth projects.
Nancy Tapko | Senior Assistant Director & Health Professions Advisor
Nancy earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before coming to Northwestern, her work experiences involved advising pharmacy students as well as conducting clinical research. She enjoys drawing, exploring different neighborhoods, seeing plays, and trying new restaurants. From living in Chicago for over 20 years, she’s happy to pass along to students all her tips for navigating the CTA and Metra. Her favorite advice for students: keep an open mind about the many different pathways and timelines you can follow to pursue your goals.
Melissa (Mel) Pollay | Assistant Director & Health Professions Advisor
Mel earned her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine, in 2008. After graduating, she worked at UC Irvine for two years in housing/visitor services. She then moved halfway across the country with her cat to pursue a master's degree in Higher Education, which she received from Loyola University Chicago in 2012. During graduate school, Mel worked in both student conduct and academic advising, and while doing so realized how much she enjoys helping students succeed in college and work toward pursuing their goals. In case you were wondering, her favorite animal is a hippopotamus. She's not sure why. Most of the things Mel does in her spare time are related to food; she writes a food blog, cooks and bakes regularly, and enjoys exploring the food options in Chicago's many unique neighborhoods.
Kevin McCarthy | Health Professions Advisor
Kevin joined the UAAC in July 2014. With a background in academic advising, teaching, and higher education administration, Kevin is eager to work with Northwestern students as they construct and navigate their unique paths to careers in the health professions and beyond. Kevin grew up in the Kansas City area and attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied history and American Culture Studies. (He will happily discuss his love for his alma mater.) After working in the non-profit sector and in consulting in real estate, economic, and community development, Kevin returned to his passions for higher education and working with college students and completed a master's degree in Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Outside of work, Kevin avidly exercises and enjoys music, the NY Times, history, cars, and trivia, along with conversations about social justice, identity development, psychology, politics, and communication.
Tyler Lockman | Program Assistant
Tyler received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State in 2010. He spent five years working as a sports writer, including three focused on ASU’s football team. A native of the Chicago area, Tyler moved back to Illinois in 2015 and eventually joined the UAAC, returning to the higher education setting he found so invigorating during his time at Arizona State. He previously worked in the Dean’s Office at the Cronkite School. Tyler’s favorite things include but are not limited to writing, college football, baseball, and helicopters. He also enjoys roughhousing with his corgi-shepherd mix, Greg Maddux, and visiting new places.
Melissa Hoppe | Recommendation File Service Coordinator
Melissa received her bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 2008. From there, she went on to earn her Master's Degree in Education from Caroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2010. Prior to joining the UAAC, Melissa worked in administration at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern, and before that in the Department of Humanities at Carroll. Melissa is an avid reader and reality-tv junkie. She is also a dog lover and the mother of a rambunctious toddler and newborn baby.