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Ellen Sunshine

Ellen Sunshine photo

Associate Director of Orientation and Student Engagement

360 Education Sciences Building
For appointments, call 612-625-3339 or schedule online.
Direct: 612-626-0627

Advises for undergraduate programs in:

About me

Hello students! I am really excited to be in CEHD working with students in the Family Social Science major, as well as students who are undecided. Before I came to CEHD, I worked in the College of Liberal Arts for almost 11 years with pre-FSOS students as well as students interested in almost every single other major offered here at the U.

My favorite part of the job is getting to know my students, their interests, and strengths. I feel that every part of a student’s life can affect their academics and choices, and I hope to know my students well enough to support them through whatever their lives may throw at them. Together, we can build a path forward towards graduation! I believe strongly in students becoming well-rounded citizens and strongly support study abroad, volunteering, and many other on and off campus opportunities.

My own path began at the University of Iowa where I received my BA in Communication Studies with a minor in Psychology. I went on to get my master's degree in Student Development in Post Secondary Education, also from the University of Iowa. My first job out of graduate school was here at the U of M in the Martin Luther King Jr. program, advising CLA students.

In my free time, I love live music, watching soccer, spending time with my friends, and drinking tea. My husband hails from Scotland, so we always have plenty of tea on hand!

We are committed to providing a comfortable, inclusive, and respectful environment for all members of our communities. If there is information you feel would be helpful for us to know, including disability or other accommodation needs, I invite you to share it with me directly or let the front desk know when you schedule an appointment.

Drop-in advising

Mondays, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Fridays, 1:15-2:15 p.m.

Note: At times during the semester these hours do fluctuate. It is always best to call ahead to ensure the drop-in hours are still available.

Drop-in hours will be different for every adviser.

Drop-in advising is usually limited to a 10 to 15 minute session. Students needing more time should schedule a 30 minute appointment by calling Student Services at 612-625-3339.

Example of issues for drop-in advising

  • Review of classes and class schedule
  • APAS review and updates
  • Petition discussions
  • Signatures for academic forms
  • Short Q&A
  • General discussion
  • Non-academic topics (such as time management, connecting on campus, etc.)

Professional development

Select highlights and interests

Equity and diversity related development:

  • In progress: University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Certificate
  • Participant, GLBTA Ally Training I and II, University of Minnesota, 2/09 and 11/11
  • Attendee, White Privilege Conference, Minneapolis, MN 4/11.
  • Participant, Internationalizing the Curriculum Conference, 3/12Participant, Unconscious Bias - CDN Diversity Brown Bag, 10/12


  • Minnesota Student Association's Gordon L. Starr Award for Outstanding Service to Students, 2006
  • University of Minnesota John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2009