Group photo of the student services team

Your first point of contact with Continuing Studies at UVic is the Student Services Team. From their friendly voices to their welcoming smiles, they're here to help you every step of the way. Don't hesitate to stop by and say hi!


Photo of Alesha Akouri


Admissions Assistant and Student Services

Alesha has been with the division since 2005 with a couple of breaks to have kiddos. She enjoys the people the most in her role—the longevity within the team says something.

Who or what inspires her:
My 16-year-old daughter inspires me. She just came back from a two-week European trip abroad with her class. At 16, I would have never had the courage to do this. Her bravery makes me reach for more in my own life.

What she's passionate about:
I'm a baker at heart. I love being in my kitchen. I meditate, journal and a good cup of tea is my break from the world. Audio books while I walk are my new obsession.

Three words that describe Alesha:
Organized, reliable and creative.

Her advice to new students?
Be open and try everything.

Favourite quote:
"Great people do things before they're ready, and they do things before they know they can do it."

Photo of Ashley Lutz

ASHLEY LUTZ (she/her)

Program Advisor

Ashley is a dog mom of one, and a plant mom to many. She's been working at a green and leafy desk in UVic's Continuing Studies for two years, enjoying every moment.

Who or what inspires her:
Meeting goals and having the drive to be the best at my job is what motivates me every day. Completing tasks and helping others to the best of my ability makes being a program advisor a very fulfilling role.

What she's passionate about:
I enjoy exercising, going to movies, gaming, getting coffee with friends and going on spontaneous adventures with the dog—our favourite place is the beach.

Three words that describe Ashley:
Reliable, patient and dedicated.

Her advice to new students?
If you're not sure about something, always ask questions. There are people and resources in place to support you; it's okay to ask for direction or how to get to them.

Favourite quote:
"Time flies when you're having fun!"

Headshot of Julianna Wells


Finance and Admissions Assistant

Julianna moved to Victoria in 2015 from her hometown in the Comox Valley and has worked at the Division of Continuing Studies since then too. She enjoys working with her team to help students reach their learning goals and contributing to the growth of DCS.

Who or what inspires her:
The determination and passion demonstrated by students who are pursuing their education despite various challenges is inspiring. Their commitment to personal growth and development motivates me to support them in their educational journey and to embrace new challenges and push my own boundaries.

What she's passionate about:
I'm happiest when backpacking in the mountains of Strathcona Park or along the coastal regions of Vancouver Island with friends and family. I also enjoy travelling to new countries to explore and learn about different places and cultures.

Three words that describe Julianna:
Detail-oriented, organized and supportive.

Her advice to new students?
Take advantage of the resources and support available to you, stay organized and manage your time effectively, and engage with your peers and instructors. Building connections will enhance your learning experience and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Favourite quote:
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right." - Henry Ford

Headshot of Katie McDonald


Program Advisor

Katie is an aries and has worked at Continuing Studies for 14 years. She enjoys helping students understand immigration policies and knows how confusing it can be and how their immigration steps are connected to their future life plans and goals.

Who or what inspires her:
I'm inspired by my coworkers everyday as I see how hard they work and how much they care about our students.

What she's passionate about:
Disneyland is my happy place, my second home. I also love to travel, and I enjoy photography. I really like finding interesting angles and lighting in new and old cities and beautiful landscapes.

Three words that describe Katie:
Curious, passionate and logical.

Favourite quote:
"There'll be no one to stop us this time!" - Darth Vader

Photo of Larissa Fielding


Student & Financial Services

Larissa has worked at UVic for 15 years and enjoys working alongside her colleagues with helping students navigate a new learning environment.

Who or what inspires her:
I am inspired by my sister's olive grove in Italy: the view, the smell of the ripe cherry tomatoes in her garden and the ambience. My family here in Victoria brings me a lot of excitement and joy as well!

What she's passionate about:
I love sketching, painting and reading, but drinking a good cup of cappuccino in the sunshine always makes my day!

Three words that describe Larissa:
Dependable, perceptive and cheerful.

Her advice to new students?
Other than the obvious (stay on top of your assignments!) take time to enjoy the beautiful campus and explore Cadboro Bay.

Favourite quote:
"Don't wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full. It's refillable! And it can be overflowing!"

Photo of Laurel MacLean


Admissions Assistant

Laurel has been with Continuing Studies since June 2023. When she moved to Victoria five years ago, she was determined to work for UVic after her studies and is over the moon that she's reached her goal. She enjoys that there is never a dull moment and loves assisting students with the help of an incredibly supportive team.

Who or what inspires her:
My time overseas inspires me as I can understand how students feel when they have questions and concerns. It can all be a little intimidating for them, but a smile and some warmth goes a long way!

What she's passionate about:
Travel: gazing out of the window on a bus or train while listening to music, learning about cultures and traditions, and trying new foods. I love laughing with friends. My guilty pleasures are home re-decorating shows and reality TV.

Three words that describe Laurel:
Enthusiastic, warm and empathetic.

Her advice to new students?
Try not to compare. Living away from home is not better or worse, it's just different. Embracing those differences and new experiences is what is going to become a very special part of your character that you will carry with you forever.

Favourite quote:
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." - Rumi

Photo of Sheila Taylor


Student and Financial Services, Supervisor Financial Services

Sheila has been with division for 24 years. She most enjoys working with the international students and finds it very rewarding to help them with their educational journey here in Canada. As she reaches her final working years, Sheila says, "I can only say that I have truly enjoyed the ride."

Who or what inspires her:
The students inspire me every day. They work so hard to achieve their goals and seeing them succeed is also my inspiration.

What she's passionate about:
I enjoy spending time with my three grandchildren and going to their sports activities. I also enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest with my husband as he pilots his small private plane. We have explored Long Beach, Courtenay, Squamish, Abbotsford, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Orcas Island and many other places in the area.

Three words that describe Sheila:
Fun, dedicated and hard-working

Her advice to new students?
Enjoy the journey and be open to new opportunities. Your time at UVic is short and you should learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. It will all be valuable to you in your future.

Favourite quote:
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney

Photo of Christa Kutzner


Supervisor, Student Services Admissions

Christa has been part of the team for 26 years. She enjoys being part of the student experience (supporting students on their educational journey—in their personal and professional growth). She also enjoys helping them overcome hurdles so they can reach their goals.

Who or what inspires her:
Our team! How we support each other in the best interest of the students and the Division of Continuing Studies. We go above and beyond when helping students and are committed to ensuring all students, domestic, international and community learners, are supported in achieving their educational goals and success!

What she's passionate about:
My family! Embracing any opportunity to be with family and watching our children achieve their goals. Proud of all they have accomplished and excited of what their future will bring.

Three words that describe Christa:
Patient, detail-oriented and helpful.

Her advice to new students?
"The Student Services Team, are here to support you—we care!"

Favourite quote:
"Check . . . check . . . double check."
"Tomorrow ‘will' be a NEW day!"

Photo of Annette Stofner

Annette Stofer

Admissions Assistant and Student Services

Annette has been working with Continuing Studies for three months.


Photo of Dana Clavette

Dana Clavette (she/her)

Student Support Coordinator

Dana has volunteered and then worked at Continuing Studies for about 15 years in many different roles. She enjoys being available to talk to the students about anything that comes up in their lives and to help them through it as best as possible.

Who or what inspires her:
The students inspire me! I am always very impressed when someone makes a new change in their life, especially if it also involves moving to a new country and learning a new language.

What she's passionate about:
I love travel, hiking, yoga and dancing.

Three words that describe Dana:
Kind, creative and adventurous.

Her advice to new students?
To make sure that they stay on top of their self-care while they are here. It's easy to fall behind with it while in school or in a new place, but the more on top of healthy habits they are, the more space they will have for meeting new people and trying new things.

Favourite quote:
"Life is too short to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde


  • Posted August 16, 2023