About the UAC

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Meet Your Advisor

 Ellen Richmond Headshot

Ellen Richmond

About Ellen:

Ellen Richmond is the Director of the University Advising Center.  After growing up abroad, Ellen attended Pitzer College in Claremont, CA and graduated with a double major in English and Psychology.  Her first job after college was as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Marymount College, Palos Verdes, CA where she was responsible for recruitment in Europe, Alaska, and several western states.  After 4 years in Admissions, Ellen moved to New York to attend Columbia University's Teachers College where she received an MA and an EdM in Counseling Psychology and switched gears from Admissions to Advising.   Ellen served as Assistant Dean of the Center for Student Advising (CSA) at Columbia University for several years, and spent her last two years in NY as the AVP for Student Services at a non-profit organization in lower Manhattan.  After 20 years in New York, Ellen made the break and moved to Dallas and SMU in the fall of 2011.  She has enjoyed exploring Texas, learning to drive again, and continues her futile-yet-determined quest to improve her pool game.



Prisna Virasin
Pre-Arts Advisor

About Prisna:

Prisna Virasin advises Meadows Scholars and Meadows dual admit students. She has worked in education since 2002 as a certified teacher, college instructor, and academic advisor. Prisna enjoys working at SMU because of the achievement and ambition demonstrated by the students, faculty, and staff each day.

Although she was born in New York, Prisna grew up in California and considers Los Angeles her hometown. She enjoys reading novels (especially in hammocks on various sunny beaches), travelling, and spending time with her family. She holds a BA in Advertising from SMU and a MA in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.


 Scott Bartlett Headshot

Scott Bartlett

Assistant Director

About Scott:

Scott grew up in Flowery Branch, Georgia.  He attended college at Baylor University, earning a bachelor of arts and masters of arts in philosophy.  He then earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Southern Illinois University in 2000.  He began teaching in the philosophy department at SMU that same year.  Scott has taught philosophy and advised students at SMU for the past 16 years.  As one of the assistant directors of the UAC Scott is responsible for ruling on all academic petitions and hiring decisions. 

Scott has two boys, Sevy and Reese.  He hopes they both choose to attend SMU and take his classes.





Josh Beaty
Director, Advisor Education, Media, and Technology

Pre-major Advisor

About Josh:

Born and raised in the DFW metroplex, Josh Beaty lived for 15 years in Austin, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Diego before returning to Dallas to start a family. At these stops, he studied English at the University of Texas, Humanities at the University of Chicago, and Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. He still teaches courses like Mass Communication and Media Criticism at Pitt, and he’s taught online Humanities courses for the City Colleges of Chicago for over ten years. Josh joined SMU’s University Advising Center at the end of 2014.




Maria Crouch
Pre-major Advisor

About Maria:

Maria Crouch, a native of Dallas, joined the University Advising Center in December 2014. She attended The University of Texas at Austin for her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies, and went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University. Maria enjoys to travel, and has a special fondness for New Mexico and Brazil, where she conducted research for her graduate degrees. On the weekends, she and her husband like to take their two boys to the park, and can often be found enjoying coffee shops, movie theaters, and bookstores.

 Sara Dammann Headshot



Sara Dammann

Pre-major Advisor

About Sara:

Sara grew up in west Texas, and completed her BA in English at the University of North Texas in Denton. After working in a couple of administrative positions at UNT, she went on to earn her MS in Counseling and Development at Texas Woman’s University in 2014. Sara is also a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, camping, movies and documentaries, gardening, binging on Netflix, travel, board games, and spending time with family and friends. Sara is also the proud pet parent of two dogs, Alice and Rosie, and a fancy-boy cat, Ted. On the weekends, she can usually be found walking with her dogs, wandering around Half-Price Books, and working on projects around the house. Sara joined the University Advising Center in January 2015.


 Janet Hopkins Headshot

Janet Hopkins

Senior Advisor
Pre-law Advisor

About Janet:

Janet grew up in Dallas, began her college career at SMU, left to get married & raise a family. She returned to SMU as both a student & employee. Finishing a BA degree in History & then a Masters’ in Counseling, Janet combined both her classroom and work experiences: 1) as Head Cashier in the SMU bookstore, when it was housed on campus; then 2) career counselor  and Assistant to the Recruiting Coordinator, subsequently an advisor/ prelaw specialist in the  University Advising Center, where she has worked for 10+ years.


Susan Harris


Susan Harris

Honors Advisor



About Susan:

Susan Harris joined the University Advising Center in August of 2013.  She has been teaching as an Adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology since 2003.  Prior to coming to Dallas, she was an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University, a visiting Professor at Trinity University in San Antonio and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.  Susan earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas (and remains a faithful Jayhawk to this day!) and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

During her time at SMU, Dr. Harris has been honored with the Extra Mile Award for excellence in teaching students with learning disabilities, as a HOPE honoree for professors who “have made a significant impact to student academic education both inside and outside of the classroom” and has received awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching in the Department of Psychology. 

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.  They are all avid runners and enjoy playing, or at least watching, soccer.  Susan loves to read, play tennis and follow Kansas Basketball. 



Beth McConville



Pre-Major Advisor


About Beth:

Beth McConville first began her career at SMU in 2012 as a Student Account Advisor in the Bursar’s Office and then joined the Academic Advising Center as an Academic Advisor in February 2016.

Beth graduated with her Master of Arts in Teaching from Texas Woman’s University and earned a place in “Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges”.

Originally from Cloquet, Minnesota, Beth earned her Undergraduate Degree from the University of Minnesota.  Her first career was as a Flight Attendant in Houston, Denver, and finally New York City, before making her way back to Texas to start her family.  While raising her four children, she taught Elementary School for several years and continued taking Graduate courses in Educational Leadership before starting her career at SMU. Three of her children have already graduated from SMU with majors in Business, Economics w/Financial Applications, and Sociology, with the 4th child graduating soon with a major in Physics. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, writing poetry, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.


 Sheumona Miller Headshot

Sheumona Miller

Senior Advisor

About Sheumona:

Sheumona Miller is a senior advisor in the University Advising Center. She is a native of Louisiana. She has an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University with a concentration in healthcare management and a BA in Psychology from SMU. She is the founder of a 501( c )3 non- profit organization . 

In 2011 she was the recipient of the Office of Leadership and Community Involvement’s Outstanding Faculty/Staff Volunteer Award. In her spare time she enjoys working in the community, spending time with her twin daughters, family ,and friends.

 Dee O'Banner Headshot  
Dee O'Banner
Pre-major Advisor

About Dee:

A graduate of Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women, with both Masters and Educational Specialist in Counseling. During her time at SMU, Dee worked in Residence Life and Student Housing as a Residential Community Director of both Morrision-McGinnis and Boaz. She also worked in Greek Life as the Multicultural Greek Advisor and assisted with Panhellenic and IFC council when needed. Currently, she is the staff advisor of the Prestigious Pi Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc.

In her free time, Dee enjoys being a first time mom to her daughter Zhane' and a wife to Marquis, Currently, she volunteers at the church and currently learning Sign Language for the deaf ministry at her church. She is also a proud active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

 Jeanene Renfro Headshot

Jeanene Renfro

Senior Advisor

About Jeanene:

Ms. Jeanene Renfro joined SMU in 1999.

She enjoys reading, writing and perusing catalogs.    

Her degree in History is from the University of Utah.







 Daphne Shipowitz Headshot

Daphne Shipowitz

Pre-major Advisor

About Daphne:

Daphne Shipowitz joined SMU as an Academic Advisor in 2012, after completing her Master’s in Counseling at the University of North Texas.  While at UNT, she concentrated her studies on the college and university student population.  Daphne is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern.  Daphne earned her B.S. in Business Management from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  Daphne’s first career included Vice President, Branch Manager and Operations Manager positions in retail banking at The Columbia Bank in Columbia, MD and Wachovia Bank in Greensboro, NC.

Prior to completing her Master’s, Daphne raised two children and volunteered in numerous philanthropic organizations primarily in Southlake, TX.  Her daughter is a graduate of Elon University and is working for one of the big four accounting firms in Dallas.  Her son is a junior at Colorado College and majoring in Philosophy.  Daphne’s hobbies include running, yoga and photography.  She spends her vacation time traveling with her husband and family and enjoying the outdoors in Colorado.