Department ofAfrican American Studies




Kristie Kalvin is the academic advisor for African American Studies. If you would like to know more about the opportunities available for graduates of the African American Studies majors and the curriculum, you can schedule an appointment or inquire about walk-in hours by calling her at 814-865-5588. For an online appointment please visit the Liberal Arts Advising Appointment Scheduling System.

E-mail Kristie Kalvin at: 

Our advising goal is to provide information and assistance to students as they navigate the complex environment of a large university like Penn State, and to provide guidance for students exploring the field of African American and Diaspora Studies. We hope to equip the students with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to make responsible decisions on their own.

How can an Adviser help me?

  • Help you understand requirements for the major
  • Help you plan a long-range course of study
  • Help you understand the relationships among the course & course combinations
  • Help you understand your audit
  • Advise you in planning an internship
  • Provide information about support services available at the university
  • Connect you with alumni who can provide additional guidance


Scheduling an appointment gives both the advisor and the student a chance to prepare, and to set aside a block of time to focus on the students specific concern. The following concerns may require an appointment because they will require time to be resolved:

  • Declaring or Change of major
  • Going over and understanding an audit
  • Concurrent major paperwork (Review of requirements/signing of paperwork)
  • Discussion of multiple course substitutions
  • Reviewing possible courses for Study abroad
  • Discussion of change of location
  • Discussion of transfer credits
  • Recommendation letters for work/Grad school/Law school
  • Transfer students from other institutions


Walk-ins are intended for quick trips to see an advisor. Concerns for  which neither the adviser nor the advisee needs to do any significant preparations are ideal opportunities for a walk-in. Some of these concerns are:

  • Discussion of course Add/Drop
  • Graduation checks
  • Discussion of single course substitutions
  • Information on Petitioning faculty senate
  • Information on Administrative course registration cancellation
  • Discussion of applying for a minor

You can help yourself get the best advising by:

  • Going to e-lion and printing your real audit and bringing it to the advising appointment
  • Reviewing your audit and listing your questions
  • Thinking of courses you would like to take and when and bring in a draft schedule
  • Keeping your long-range plan up-to-date by meeting with the adviser at least once a semester.
  • Review the accuracy of the audit, check progress towards graduation with the adviser once a semester
  • Keep an advising folder


Some concerns can be handled without seeing an adviser. Concerns such as:

  • Dropping off signed ADD/DROP forms
  • Picking up of most forms
  • Please stop by 345 Willard Building. The staff there will assist you even schedule an appointment with the adviser.