Undergraduate Advising

Communication Advising and the Communication Commons

Department of Communication academic advisers are the main resource for current and prospective students to learn about the Department’s majors and programs. They can assist students with academic planning, internships, research, study abroad, graduation, graduate school, and career development. Our advisers are also available to provide referrals to resources both on and off campus.

Students are also welcome to use the Communication Advising Office/Commons space for individual and group study. No reservations are needed and students are welcome to come in if our office is open. To set up an advising appointment, please see our contact and advising appointment information below.

Contact Information:
Communications 118
Email: comadv@uw.edu
Call: (206) 543-8860

Advising appointments

At this time, all advising appointments are offered either in-person or virtually via Zoom. If you would like to set up an appointment outside of the offered slots, please contact comadv@uw.edu.

If you are a student who is currently located in a time zone different than the one in Seattle (Pacific Daylight Time or Pacific Standard Time), please email comadv@uw.edu to set up an appointment outside of the offered times if you are wanting one that better accommodates your schedule.

Drop-in advising

Drop-in advising is on an as-available basis. If you have time-sensitive questions, please either schedule an appointment or email comadv@uw.edu.

For more information on what constitutes an advising appointment versus a drop-in, please see our FAQ page.

Appointment etiquette

When signing up for your advising appointment, please keep in mind that this is a professional meeting and we request that you arrive on-time to respect your adviser’s and fellow students’ schedules. If you know that you will be late, please inform your adviser in case you need to reschedule.

Late appointment policy

If you are more than 15 minutes late to your scheduled advising appointment, you will be asked to reschedule. This policy serves as a reminder to be respectful of fellow students’ time. Advising appointments are in high demand and can be difficult to schedule. A “no-show” deprives another student the opportunity to meet with their adviser and takes away from advisers’ time to assist students.

Canceling appointments

If you need to cancel a scheduled appointment, please give 24 hours advance notice.

Meet the staff

Erika Justine Samson, M.Ed., (she/her)
Director of Academic Services

E-Mail: samsonej@uw.edu
Office: Communications (CMU) 121


Academic Adviser, Department of Communication, University of Washington, 2015-2017
Coordinator of Student Relations, Department of Communication, University of Washington, 2013-2015
M.Ed., Leadership in Higher Education, University of Washington, 2017
B.A., Communication with dual minors in Education, Learning, and Society (ELS) and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS), University of Washington, 2013
Study Abroad in Rome, Italy, Department of Communication, University of Washington, 2013
Mentor, Dream Project, University of Washington, 2011-2012

About Erika

I first discovered my passion for academic advising when I was a Mentor for the Dream Project at the University of Washington. I loved that work and knew I always wanted a career that helped and mentored others, but didn’t realize I could do it in an educational setting, let alone at the University of Washington!

In my role as Director of Academic Services I manage curriculum planning for our undergraduate majors, Communication and Journalism and Public Interest Communication (JPIC), as well as advise prospective, returning, and current students within these programs. I enjoy working with students to help find and strengthen their interests and goals within communication and figuring out how to mold those into fulfilling careers. I am truly passionate about education and serving communities around me, especially with the development and advancement in higher education. With my experiences I am able to use my skills and knowledge of working with diverse groups of students at different academic levels to ensure that higher education is fully accessible – focusing on access, retention, and completion of students’ degrees.

In my spare time I love to explore the outdoors and get as much sun as I can. You can also find me trying out new recipes, playing pinball, or boxing!

Virgel Paule, M.Ed., (he/him)
Senior Academic Adviser

E-Mail: virgelp3@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 543-8860
Office: Communications (CMU) 118-A


Academic Adviser, South Seattle Community College, 2013-2017
Education & Volunteer Manager, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, 2012-2013
Fulbright-Hays Scholarship 2009
Teacher, Oceana High School, 2004-2011

About Virgel

I have served in education for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Communication Team, I was an Academic Adviser at South Seattle College assisting transfer, Adult Basic Education and ESL students. However, my first love was teaching! I taught Social Science in high school for 10 years in Florida and California and it helped me appreciate the journey that all of our students endure. From their shared stories of how they have persevered through lifeʼs challenges, to finding inspiration to achieve their academic and personal goals, I feel that I am a small part of their incredible journey. My lifework remains the same in my role as Academic Adviser and I look forward to continuing to assist Communication students achieve their potential.

If you don’t see me on the UW Campus, you can catch me outdoors running and biking, particularly riding STP every year and chasing my two boys around the Emerald City.

Troy William Bonnes (he/him)
Senior Academic Adviser

E-Mail: tbonnes@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 543-8860
Office: Communications (CMU) 118-B


B.A., Communication with minor in Political Science, 2014
Fred Baker Ethics Award, Department of Communication, 2014
Robert Patterson Scholarship, Department of Communication, 2013
A.A., Seattle Central, 2011

About Troy

Hello! I’ve had the fortune to be an educator for almost two decades — nearly my entire adult life. I’ve spent time as an outdoor educator helping connect teenagers to the natural world, from the forested mountains of Colorado to the breathtaking San Juan Islands here in Washington. I’ve been a preschool teacher, focusing on healthy neurological development for four- and five-year-olds. Since 2015 I’ve been working in the Department of Communication’s advising office, helping undergraduates with anything they need — from academic advising, to career and professional development, to hugs and high-fives (sometimes virtually!). My work here is incredibly fulfilling — I love helping students figure out their best path, and helping them make the most of their time at UW.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Communication from this very same department after transferring to UW from Seattle Central with an Associate’s degree, and it’s been a real privilege to give back to a community that was such a critical part of my own personal and professional development. I’m thrilled to be a part of the UW COMMunity!

For students, our librarians can:

  • Recommend the best databases to search for your research topic, many are listed on the Communication research guide.
  • Track down tricky citations.
  • Help you to cite your sources.
  • Answer your questions via email, Zoom, phone or in-person.
  • Meet with you individually to hash out your research topic or discuss research strategies.
  • Tell you about library services.

Headshot of Jessica Albano

Jessica Albano (she/her)
Research Librarian

E-mail: jalbano@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 685-1637

Sign up for an appointment with Jessica

About Jessica
Jessica is the Communication Research Librarian for the UW Department of Communication, the campus News Librarian, and the head of Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers in Suzzallo Library. She is available to help students and faculty with their research, teaching, purchasing items for the Libraries’ communication-related collections and more.

Madeline Mundt (she/her)
Research Librarian

E-mail: mundtm@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 543-5956

Sign up for an appointment with Madeline

About Madeline
Madeline is a Communication librarian and the Head of the Research Commons in Allen Library, where she offers programs and services for student researchers across the university. She is available to help students and faculty with all things related to communication research, the Research Commons, and more.

Other advising resources