Welcome to The SoE First-Year Advising Hub


The School of Engineering Advising Hub is the primary source of academic advising for first-year engineering students at Rensselaer.

The Hub is staffed by experienced advisors who will offer academic support for all engineering majors. Hub advisors assist students to determine their unique academic path through Rensselaer while fulfilling all their degree requirements. 


Connect with us on Social Media!

RPI HUB InstagramThe Hub FacebookThe Hub Twitter YouTube HUBSoE Hub Discord



Welcome Class of 2026! Click this button to get started with the School of Engineering!


Class of 2025, it's almost time to transition! Find your HC here!


Class of 2025, 2024, and 2023! Click here for support!


What kind of help can I find at the First-Year Advising Hub?

The Hub is a resource for all advising purposes, including:


We consider ourselves a one-stop shop! If you come to us for support, we will help you find the answers. Even if it is outside the above bullet points, or our expertise, we will help you to connect with the right office or person on campus. PS: check out the RPI Directory if you are looking for someone specific, or a particular office. You'll find everyone here: info.rpi.edu


Connect with the First-Year Advising Hub

Office Hours: Weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m.

Location, In-Person:   3306 Jonnson-Engineering Center (JEC), inside the Ansell Louge (look left when you walk into the lounge)

Location, Remote:   We use WebEx chat rooms, and video chat for remote communications (link shared when requested)


WebEx Chat Room!

  • Includes the SoE Hub Advising Team, and other students from the Class of 2026
  • Find updates and helpful information as you join our community
  • Class of 2026, check your RPI email for an private invitation to join us


Schedule a meeting with an Engineering Advisor!

  • Weekdays, during Hub office hours 
  • One-on-one conversations (video chat or in-person)
  • 20-minute conversations to dicuss curriculum 


WebEx Wednesdays!

  • No appointment needed, during Wednesday office hours
  • Ensures you have the chance to meet an advisor every week
  • Best for quick questions, 5 to 10 minute conversations
  • Reach out to your SoE Advisor for more information



School of Engineering Advising Resources


The Hidden Curriculum: Your Introduction to Rensselaer's School of Engineering!

4-Year Plan Major/Cohort-Specific Templates: find steps and an Excel sheet template

Major-Specific Advising Handbooks: department outlines and information

Industry Hour: Your connection to industry and alumni!

SoE Hub FAQ and Forms

Transferring Credits to Rensselaer

Quick Links: Registrar's office, Forms, Catalog, Academic Calendar, etc.



Meet the First-Year Advising Team!

Karen, Kristin, Valerie, and Boulos


Have you completed your first two semesters?
Scroll to the bottom of this page to find your advisor information. 


Karen Lewis

SoE Hub Manager, Academic Advisor

Advisor for Aeronautical, Civil, and Environmental Engineering

Karen Lewis joined the SoE Hub in its inaugural year after advising the undergraduate students in the MANE department for three years. Previous to her ambitions in academia, she worked across the street at Samaritan Hospital as their pharmaceutical purchasing agent for over a decade. Originally from Long Island, Karen decided to switch things up by moving to rural Rensselaer county, where she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, and skiing with her husband and young daughter.


Kristin Bergene

Academic Advisor

Advisor for Computer and Systems, Electrical, and Undeclared Engineering

With a background in career counseling, Kristin brings the importance of professional development into her academic advising conversations. She earned an Master’s degree in London, where she lived and worked for nearly two years. After traveling to 13 countries, Kristin settled in Troy, NY in the winter of 2017 when she became a Career Counselor at RPI. In 2018, she joined the SoE Hub family as an Academic Advisor! At home with her three kittens (Axl, Gaia, and Leo) and husband, Kristin relaxes with a pen in hand, writing and illustrating. Life is grand! 


Valerie Swenson

Academic Advisor

Advisor for Biomedical, Chemical, Industrial and Management, and Materials Engineering

Valerie has been with Rensselaer since April 2016, and worked with the Core Engineering office before joining The Hub when it first opened in Fall 2017. A student herself, Valerie is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership at SUNY Albany, where she also received her Master’s degree. Originally from the Syracuse, New York area, she moved to the Capital District after college and has been a proud resident ever since. Her interests include traveling, riding her bike, and coffee.


Boulos Abdallah

Academic Advisor

Advisor for Mechanical, and Nuclear Engineering

A Troy local, Boulos originally joined RPI as a Career Counselor at the Center for Career & Professional Development prior to joining the Engineering Hub in December 2021. He is currently earning a Master's Degree in Higher Education at SUNY Albany. If you can't find him on campus, Boulos is most likely lost somewhere in the woods where he was camping or hiking. Or you might find him sailing the Sea of Thieves or working on a never-ending project in Minecraft.




Congratulations on your Retirement, Marie! 

After 20 years of being a friend and mentor to thousands in the School of Engineering, Marie Dieffenbach has officially retired! We wish her all the best, and know she will have an excellent time traveling, exploring art galleries, and listening to live music with her husband, Mark. Of course, we will miss her loads. We will miss her professionally, but more importantly, we will miss her as a source of warmth and compassion in The SoE Hub.

Congratulations, Marie!

Thank you for being our fearless leader! 

(If you have any message for Marie, please email Kristin bergek@rpi.edu - Kristin will pass on your warmth and well-wishes!)






Advising Support for Upperclass Students! Classes of 2025, 2024, and 2023: 


RPInfo (Rensselaer's Directory): log in to find all RPI community members - faculty, staff, etc.