Academic Programs Advising Philosophy and Team

Academic Advisors serve a supporting yet vital role to the student’s success at Villanova and thereafter. We seek to cultivate students who are advancing their educational pursuits to be changemakers in their communities. We understand the demands on our student population and first seek to meet them where they are in their journey. By doing so, our goal is to develop and nurture the total person to help students achieve their academic, personal, and professional aspirations. 

In line with the mission of the University and College, we adhere to the following enduring commitments:

  • Establish and maintain a positive and constructive working relationship between the student and advisor 

  • Consider students as the driver of their educational experience and promote ownership by equipping them with the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed decisions regarding their education

  • Provide the groundwork for facilitating student-success through our CPS 1001: College and Professional Success Strategies course

  • Eliminate issues of access by creating purposeful and convenient means of communication and procedures  

  • Respect the diversity of our students and encourage them to pursue their own path

  • Challenge students to achieve the educational, personal, and professional goals they once thought impossible 

  • With the professional in mind, create a formidable foundation in liberal arts and sciences with student success and graduation at the root of course selection

  • Provide targeted programming that supplements students’ educational experiences and fosters the holistic development of our students with different methods of participation

  • Create and bolster college partnerships in varying capacities to enable the success of our students by:

    1) Educating campus alliances on the unique needs of our student population

    2) Promoting the creation of online services to ease student access, and 

    3) Looking for avenues of collaboration and programming with various entities across campus

Meet the Advisors

Robyn Dooley

Robyn Dooley joined the College of Professional Studies as an academic advisor in 2018. A graduate of Immaculata University, she brings over 13 years of experience working in higher education. Robyn’s passion for academic advising originated, after she returned to school to complete her Bachelor’s degree in 2006. Drawing on her personal and professional experience, she has a clear understanding of the unique demands that adult learners face when balancing multiple responsibilities. With a holistic approach to advising, Robyn believes in meeting each student where they are. She is dedicated to helping students navigate the path to self-discovery and professional success.


Kirstin Defusco Houtz

Kirstin DeFusco Houtz joined the College of Professional Studies in 2019 where she manages the Advising Team for students enrolled in credit-bearing courses and degrees. Kirstin previously worked in the field of athletic academic advising for eight years, most recently at Louisiana State University where she was responsible for all support services as the primary advisor for five teams. She also worked at The University of Southern Mississippi, University of South Carolina, and St. Joe’s University. She has an individualized approach to every student and pushes them to strive for achievements beyond their perceived potential by teaching the importance of self-advocacy and strategies for academic and personal growth. A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, she earned her Bachelor's degree from Drew University and Master’s degree from Temple University.

Olivia D'Aiutolo Mendenall

Olivia D'Aiutolo Mendenall joined the College of Professional Studies as an Academic Advisor in 2020. Inspired by an advisor at her alma mater, Temple University, Olivia decided to pursue a graduate degree in higher education administration from William & Mary. During graduate school, she served as the Graduate Assistant for Student Engagement at Christopher Newport University, advising the Student Diversity and Equality Council, as well as working with transfer and commuting students. Olivia then went on to a position in advancement at William & Mary, spending most of her time with students and recent graduates. She has always had a "students first" mentality, and she believes in empowering each student to navigate their path to personal and professional success while she sits in the passenger seat, helping along the way.


Vasey Hall 102

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm (Extended hours available during the advisement and registration period) VASEY LOUNGE HOURS Mon-Fri 8am-8pm with Wildcard access