Advising Center Staff

Professional Staff

Faith ErhardtHi, I’m Faith Erhardt, director of undergraduate academic advising and support services. I graduated from UM with degrees in English and Secondary Education and spent several years teaching high school English. After some time, I went back to school and earned my M.Ed. in Counselor Education. After that, I worked as a counselor for 13 years with UMaine’s Upward Bound program. I fell in love with the smart, motivated UB high school students who would be the first in their families to graduate from college. Now at The Advising Center, I am lucky to support students in the College of Education and Human Development as they navigate the academic and experiential opportunities that are offered to create a happy, educated school professional. I live with my husband the nurse and two little boys in a house that always could be a bit more organized. We love living in Orono and being just steps away from hiking trails, Collins Center for the Arts and, of course, Pat’s Pizza.

Dominick VarneyDominick Varney is an award winning academic advisor recognized at the national level and at UMaine Orono. He is the assistant director of undergraduate academic advising and support Services for the College of Education and Human Development and received all of his degrees from UMaine: B.A. in Communication, M.Ed. in Higher Education, and a C.A.S. in Counselor Education, so he is a black bear through and through! He spent 12 years working with undecided students at UMaine in Explorations and Foundations; and created the University of Maine Academic Recovery Program for the entire campus. Dominick is also an adjunct faculty member for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Theatre; and also teaches at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Graduate Assistant Advisors

Caroline Davis standing on a beach.I am so excited to meet you!! My name is Caroline Davis, and I am excited to work in the Advising Center this year. I grew up on a dairy farm in Kenduskeag, Maine. I graduated from John Bapst Memorial High School in 2019, which led me to the University of Maine! In my free time, I love spending time with friends, hangin’ with my cat George, and going to my family camp on Pleasant Pond in Island Falls. Here at the University of Maine, I have completed a double major in Elementary Education and Child Development & Family Relations with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. I graduated in May 2023. I recently started my Higher Education journey! My plan is to graduate in 2025 with my M.Ed. in Higher Education to work for administration in a college one day. I am so excited for this next step!

An outdoor portrait of Julie Ireland.Hello! I’m Julie Ireland, and I am beyond excited to be a graduate assistant advisor. I graduated from UMaine with my B.S. in Elementary Education and spent the next 25 years teaching in a variety of elementary and early childhood education settings, while raising my two fabulous daughters and two special dogs with my amazing husband. For 7 of those years, I was an assistant instructor of early childhood education at Eastern Maine Community College, supervising student teachers during their field placement experiences. During that time, I discovered a new passion for guiding preservice educators. In 2021, I found my way back to UMaine to explore my passion even further, teaching as an adjunct faculty instructor in field experience and teacher preparation for the College of Education and Human Development. Since 2017, I have been just dipping my toes in, working toward my M.Ed. in Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction. Now, I am jumping in with both feet as a full-time graduate student. I feel blessed that my journey has come full circle, back to UMaine, and I have the opportunity to be a part of the Advising Center team to support and guide students in the College of Education and Human Development as they navigate a road I have already traveled. When I’m not teaching, learning and advising, I love spending time with my family and friends and volunteering as a therapy dog team in educational settings with Ellie, my black lab, and my “grand-dog” black lab, Layla. Come to my office and say hello…I’m here to help! 

Katelyn WalshHey there! My name is Katelyn Walsh, and I’m a second year graduate student here at UMaine. I’m so excited to be returning to the Advising Center for another year! I graduated from UMaine with my B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and am continuing my study of CSD in the master’s program here, with hopes of becoming a speech-language pathologist. When I’m not in class or working, I love to hike, sing, and bake! I can also be found cozying up with a cup of tea and a good book. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you navigate this season of your life!