Katie Cross has been named director of advising for the Department of Population Health Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. This is a new position that will lead the advising team for the undergraduate public health program. 

“We are happy that Katie is joining us as the director of academic advising. Katie has a strong background in all aspects of academic advising both here at Virginia Tech and other colleges, and she brings lots of new ideas to make our Bachelor of Science in Public Health academic advising more efficient and effective. She understands the world of the undergraduate and will move us to high quality/high impact academic advising,” said Kerry Redican, director of undergraduate programs in public health. 

Launched in 2018, the program offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Health as well as a minor in public health. The program prepares students to tackle big problems in the public health field, like infectious and chronic diseases, high-risk lifestyles, and health disparities. Like other programs within the veterinary college, the undergraduate public health program places emphasis on One Health, a framework that reinforces that human, environmental, and animal health are interconnected. 

The program has grown over the years, which means its advising efforts need to grow as well. All undergraduates across the university receive guidance from an academic advisor, who helps students navigate the university. 

"Part of my role will be joining our existing advising team and exploring ways we can continue our growth as a student-focused advising team by examining our processes and procedures through a student-focused lens. Ultimately, our goal is to help our students successfully navigate the university and department while advising them towards their academic and professional goals,” said Cross. 

Cross will work alongside Angela Mathias, who has served as an advisor since the inception of the program, and she will collaborate with the Department of Population Health Sciences to create a comprehensive advising model to take the program to the next level. In addition to reviewing and updating the program’s current advising structure, Cross will also implement a “First Year Experience” course for freshmen entering the public health major.  

Cross graduated with her bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Virginia Tech in 1997 and earned her master’s in physical education (athletic administration) from Ohio University. She worked for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services at Virginia Tech for 15 years, serving as senior associate director. Before her position at the veterinary school, she served as director of advising for the College of the Albemarle in North Carolina. 

"I'm interested in getting back involved in the university community. Not only do I really enjoy interacting with students and the university community as a whole, but now as the director of advising, I have the opportunity to join with our existing outreach efforts and continue to get the word out about public health to the university as a whole,” said Cross.

Written by Sarah Boudreau M.F.A. '21, a writer with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine