Crown College

Meet your College Advising Team


Photo of Crown Preceptor Dan

Dan Barnhart

Crown/Merrill Academic Preceptor

Greetings! My name is Dan and I’m the Lead Academic Preceptor for Crown & Merrill Colleges. I began my career in Higher Education working in Residential Life and have held positions in Admissions, Re-Entry, Financial Aid and Academic Advising, bringing me from California to Colorado and back to California again! When I’m not on campus working with our fabulous students and advisers, I enjoy playing Disc Golf, Rock Climbing, watching and discussing all things soccer/football and hiking with my partner and dog through the many trails and forests in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area. Come by and say hello!

Beth Truax Armstrong

Academic Advisor

I have my B.A. and M.A.Ed. from Western Kentucky University. and I loved my university experience so much I never wanted to leave! I want students to embrace every opportunity they have during their time as an undergraduate student; whether that’s attending campus events, participating in a club, learning all they can in their classes, studying abroad, or even just enjoying the beauty of campus. My job as an advisor is to assist students in realizing these moments and resources. I want to equip students with the knowledge and excitement to take charge of their education and future. When I’m not helping students, I am likely hanging out in downtown Campbell, or trying all the new Taco Bell menu items. Oh and it’s pronounced “True-Ax.” 🙂

Currently on maternity leave! See ya in June! 🫶


Renee Russo

Academic Advisor

Hi, my name is Renee and I am a Crown College Academic Advisor. I grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to Santa Cruz to attend college at UCSC. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and received my Master’s Degree in Counseling from San Jose State University. As an alumna, I am excited for the opportunity to support you in navigating your own higher education journey, and empowering you during this transformative time of your life. When I’m not working, you can find me at a local concert, at the beach, cooking a meal for a friend, or hiking around in the forest. I look forward to meeting you!

Kristyn Crouse

Academic Advisor

Hi Friends! I’m Kristyn. I’m a college academic advisor at Crown and Porter Colleges. I grew up in Florida and have been on the West Coast since 2008. I loved college; I was the managing editor of the student newspaper and a resident assistant in the dorms. I earned my BA from Portland State University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Civic Leadership and I just completed my MS in Academic Advising. I’m dedicated to helping students bravely dream about their future and take intentional steps to reach their goals.
I’ve been an academic advisor at UCSC since 2017. I love my job and its a privilege getting to see students from orientation day through to graduation day. College brings lots of exciting (and terrifying) challenges. But, that’s what your college advisors are here for – to cheer you on when things go well, and help pick you up with things get tough.
When I’m not helping students, you can find me in a yoga class, organizing my life in my hobonichi planner, or getting tacos from my favorite taco truck.

Did you you know that EOP has a STEM/Crown specific counselor? EOP’s holistic counseling focuses on:

  • Academic Support
  • Time management strategies
  • Balancing between academics, work, and family obligations
  • Financial budgeting and planning
  • Campus navigation and resources
  • Advocacy and referrals

Anum Qadir

Title & Role: Assistant Director of EOP | Counseling & EOP STEM Programs RiSE Scholars Program Coordinator, EOP STEM Peer Success Coaching

B.A., Environmental Studies, Sociology @ UC Santa Cruz pronouns: (She/Hers)

Hi! I’m Anum – I was a first generation, transfer student at UC Santa Cruz with a double major in Sociology and Environmental Studies, having started my work in EOP as a peer coach. Now, a decade later in higher education after various roles in academic advising and coaching, I’m honored to have a role serving as an Assistant Director of Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), at UC Santa Cruz! I believe in helping students build their agency throughout their journey at UC Santa Cruz through meaningful dialogue, counsel on campus navigation, and first-gen student engagement. Advocacy for students is the ‘why’ of my work! Outside of work, I love reading, hiking, community engagement, and art! Independent films, bookstores, and a solid coffee shop are some of my favorite things. I look forward to working with Merrill College & Crown College affiliates once again!

How to reach me: Schedule via Slug Success, email, or call our EOP front desk to schedule directly (831) 459-2296!

photo of Anum