CALS Council of Graduate Advisors

The mission of the CALS Council of Graduate Advisors (CCOGA) is to sustain and develop a network of graduate advising staff by sharing knowledge, best practices and resources to foster the success of graduate students and programs.


The council hosts six business meetings a year with guest speakers, social and outreach events, and ongoing networking. Business meetings are at rotating locations held on the second Wednesday of the month from 9-10:30 a.m. A video link to view the meetings is provided.

Council members are staff within a CALS academic unit who possess job duties related to graduate students, including advising and the academic processes. Members serve on a CCOGA Committee and attend at least 25% of CCOGA meetings and activities. Members provide information to students and faculty regarding graduate programs and certificates both in person and online. Affiliate members are faculty within CALS or staff from UF/IFAS Research and Education Centers or other UF colleges. Affiliate member job duties include assisting graduate students or the academic processes and advising.

To receive email updates for business meetings and announcements, contact CCOGA’s recording secretary, Cynthia Hight, at Gain access to the council’s SharePoint site, which includes resources, presentations from guest speakers and more.


President, Karen Bray (School of Natural Resources and Environment)
President Elect, Greg Henderschiedt (Family, Youth and Community Sciences)
Recording Secretary and Past President, Cynthia Hight (Agronomy)
Recording Secretary Elect, Eliana Kampf (Plant Molecular Cellular Biology)
Best Practices Committee Chair, Nicole Sloan (Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Distance Education)
Mentors Committee Chair, Jessi Ulloa (Plant Pathology)
Social/Outreach Committee, Elena Alyanaya (Plant Medicine)
Ex-Officio Advisor, Joel Brendemuhl (CALS Associate Dean)


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Mike Sisk, the Soil and Water Science Academic Adviser, at a CALS Event

CCOGA organized and sponsored a spring Financial Planning professional development activity for all UF graduate students with Dr. Marti Gillen. Each student discovered one’s spending "style" and set financial goals.


CCOGA members hosted exhibits to recruit graduate students at UF’s Graduate Information Day in the fall.