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. 


RPI HUB InstagramThe Hub FacebookThe Hub Twitter YouTube HUBSoE Hub Discord


See bottom of this webpage for resources and contact information that support students from second year until graduation!



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


Why do I have a Hub Advisor and a Faculty Advisor?

The Advising Hub will offer academic support to students through their first year. Our team helps support the transition into college learning, and understanding the responsibilities of joining Rensselaer as young, academic professionals.

At the start of their sophomore year, students will transition to a faculty advisor and connect to their major's department in the School of Engineering. The faculty advisor will then contribute to the student’s academic success by offering valuable perspective on internships, research, graduate school and job prospects, in addition to graduation requirements.


When can I connect with the First-Year Advising Hub?

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

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


All appointments will be hosted remotely until further notice through WebEx!

Please use the button below to make an appointment with your major-specific SoE Hub advisor.  When you book an appointment, you will receive meeting details in your confirmation email from OnceHub. This will include connection information for remote appointments through WebEx. 


Unsure who your advisor is, or which advisor you should meet with?

Keep scrolling down this page or read the descriptions under each name after you click the link!

Schedule a video chat meeting now!


School of Engineering Advising Resources


The Hidden Curriculum: Your Intro to RPI!

What's your Plan? 4-Year Plan of Study

Major-Specific Advising Handbooks

Industry Hour: Your connection to ENGR industry and alumni!

SoE Hub FAQ and Forms

Transferring Credits to Rensselaer


Meet the First-Year Advising Team!

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


Kristin Bergene

Kristin Bergene

Senior Student Services Administrator
Advises Class of 2025: Undeclared Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Systems 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 is now back in Central New York, close to family, and motivated by her advising career in higher education. At home with her two kittens, Axl and Gaia, Kristin relaxes with a pen in hand, writing and illustrating.

E-mail: bergek@rpi.edu

Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis

Senior Student Services Administrator
Advises Class of 2025: Civil, Environmental, and Mechanical 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.

E-mail: phelak@rpi.edu

Valerie Swenson

Valerie Swenson

Senior Student Services Administrator
Advises Class of 2025: Biomedical, Chemical, and Industrial and Management 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 of downtown Troy ever since. Her interests include traveling, riding her bike, and coffee.

E-mail: swensv@rpi.edu

Boulos Abdallah

Senior Student Services Administrator
Advises Class of 2026

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.

E-mail: abdalb@rpi.edu


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 bergek@rpi.edu bergek@rpi.edu - We will pass on your warmth and well-wishes!)




Aeronautical, Nuclear and Materials Engineers for the Class of 2025:

With Marie's retirement, you will have been sent information about advising in your Spring semester. Please, check your email from December 31st from Marie and please continue to look for additional support from the SoE Hub. 

  • Aeronautical Engineering Advising Support:
    • Check your email for your faculty advisor's name and contact information
    • Please, make use of MANE Student Services for your general questions and advising needs!
  • Nuclear Engineering Advising Support:
  • Materials Engineering Advising Support:



Advising Support for Upperclass Students!