Advising Blog

Stamps Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs Joann McDaniel posts here with tips for student success. If you have questions, email or schedule an advising appointment.

News Flash: Sun in February

February 17, 2017

Hi Stampers, 

There's a lot here and it's all good. Right now it's sunny and beautiful and warm.  This never happens in February.  Enjoy it as much as you can, and look forward to a balmy 60 degrees Saturday.  And Spring Break is just around the corner. I'll be in Cancun. OK.  I lied.  Let's get serious.  


Your instructor may give you a  progress report if you're struggling in class.  The progress report will tell you what you need to do to improve. Please don't be shy or embarassed about talking to your instructor or to your advisor. We want you to do well, adn we want to help you. Every one messes up at some point (even if they deny it).


Will be announced at the Stamps Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor Tuesday,  Feb 21, at 5:30.


...I learned from upperclassmen. Seniros share their tips and wisdom with you, Wonderful Wednesday, 11:30-12:30, February 22, Room 2030.


Dean Guna will be in the Work Commons Wednesday, February 22 from 4-6 pm.  Come by and ask him questions,  tell him what you think,  point out something we need at Stamps.  He listens. Plus there will be cookies.

I FORGOT TO STUDY ABROAD (Spring Break in Cancun doesn't count)

Do you have questions about study abroad, but never have time for peer advising? Worried about meeting the deadline for your M-Compass application?
You’re in luck! This Sunday Feb. 19, from 12 - 6 pm, international peer advisor Beth Reeck will be on call to help you find answers. Take a break from studio work and stop by the couches outside the Stamps front office this weekend. Bring your queries about program applications, scholarships, passports, and more.
Maybe that’s not enough, though. Do you have questions that go deeper than peer advising? Do you also have free time on Mondays?
You’re in luck again! Sandy Wiley will hold open international workshop hours in Room 2147, from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, on Monday. 
Whether or not you stop by, the deadlines are coming. The March 1st deadline for DIS Copenhagen, SACI Florence, Burren Ireland and non-UM study abroad applications happens over Spring Break! So ask your questions now, before you have to figure it out on your own. 

And as always, regular peer advising hours are posted on the SWAPC double doors. 

ANIMATION CLUB  Friday,  the 17th, 6pm-8pm in the beautiful Design Lab 1 in the Dude on North campus. Contact Michelle Sheng.


The 2017 Social Justice Art Festival brings together community members, social work students, and other members of the University of Michigan family to explore art as a tool for social justice.  In keeping with this year’s theme, “In Our Space: Using Art to Name our Reality,” the community-created artwork highlights a myriad of social justice topics, from intersectionality to advocacy to body acceptance. The festival fosters community conversations about what it means to claim, move throughout, and inhabit space.

The Social Justice Art Festival is March 18 at Trotter Multicultural Center from 12 to 6 pm. Locally sourced and cultivated coffee and tea will be available to purchase. Contact for questions.

If you go to only one event…

February 12, 2017

... then go to the Stamps Undergraduate Juried Exhibition
Stamps Gallery, 201 S. Division Street (between Liberty and Washington)
Exhibition Dates: February 17 - February 24, 2017
Exhibition Reception: Tuesday, February 21 from 5 - 8 pm

First Year Stampers, look at the "Milking the System" checklist in the handbook and check this one off.  Then resolve to enter your own work next year.  

All Stampers: Stop by the Front Desk on Tuesday to pick up a chocolate heart from your Academic Advisng Team (Joann, Brian,  John, and  Romy)

And a Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Pass/Fail Option is Still Available

February 5, 2017

For those of you who are juniors or seniors and who want to take a class Pass/Fail, you can.  It's not too late. Go to Wolverine Acccess (backpack/regsitration)  and look for the Pass/Fail option. Remember : you can take any course Pass/Fail EXCEPT an ArtDes course.  The new deadline is March 15.  Plenty of time.


Nominate your instructor for the Golden Apple, the student-based award given to one professor every year for outstanding teaching and student engagement. Nominations are due Friday, February 24th.  Here's the nomination form:


New Flash: Disappearing Blog Haunts Elderly Dean

January 31, 2017

So, Friday I wrote up a lovely post but it wound up somewhere between print and oblivion.  

First things: Our incompletely documented students and out international students, staff and faculty are under a lot of stress (I realize how obvious this statement is).  To see the UM’s official policy statements on immigration matters, here’s the link

For those of you who missed Dean Guna’s message, check your UM mail for “Our Commitment to Each Other.”

And now for some very mundane advising matters...

Are you beginning to realize that maybe you should have taken that course pass/fail? Do you think it’s too late?  Recent changes to Stamps policy now allow you to make that change until March 15. After that, the grade is all yours.

Some of you juniors are looking forward to being in IP next year. Or maybe you just know it’s coming.  I can’t judge your enthusiasm. But your advisor (or a reasonable proxy) will soon let you know whether you are ready and eligible to enroll in IP. Remember, you need to have completed all your studio classes except for two and you have to have earned at least 96 credits. Before fall registration begins, advisors will send messages to their BFA students to let them know what they’re missing.

Wonderful Wednesday on Feb 8 will be a noon to 2 event at Pierpont.  It’s CAPS PlayDay! And we need it more than ever.  Mark your calendar to engage in play and reduce your stress and anxiety.

Finally, some of you read this, but I bet most don’t. So, if you’re reading and you want to win a crispy totally fungible $10 bill, be the first person to email me with the answer to this question: what is your dean’s full name? Not the ass’t dean and not the assoc. dean.  The DEAN!  And spelling counts.

Telegraphic Blogging

January 20, 2017

Four items, folks. Count 'em.

LAST DAY to drop a course without getting a "W." Tuesday. The 24th. At midnight.  

Cookies with the Dean.  Dean Guna.  Work Commons. Monday.  The 30th.  4-6 pm. 

A thousand bucks. Animation scholarship from Women in Animation.  Now rttaking applications.  To find out more visit

Can't find stuff in the libary? Wanna tell 'em what you think? Then do it here:

See Deans/Get Cookies

January 13, 2017


 I still sit around every Monday afternoon (4:30 or 5 until 5:30 or 6) waiting for someone to come in and ask me questions, tell me jokes, complain, weep, or engage in mockery -- mopery.  No appointment.  Come on in through the side door--it should be open. Stickers will be available.

I DO have competition.  Dean Guna is holding open sessions in the Work Commons several times this term.  First one is Monday,  30 January,  4-6 pm. COOKIES.  He's going to have COOKIES.  Drop in and talk. You'll be glad you did.  And then,  ask your friends in other schools when was the last time they got to speak truth to power with a mouth full of free chocolate chips.   I rest my case.

Here's an opportunity to see Stamps student work right across the street

In Honor of MLK, Jr. Day, Stamps in Color presents

Redefining Identity
January 9 - 21, 2017 
Duderstadt Gallery
Opening ​Reception: Monday, January 16, 2017 from 7 - 8 pm 
For more information, go to:

If you like animation, want to be an animator, are an animated person,  or if you just want to join a club, try the Animation Club.  They meet Fridays in the Dude. Contact Michelle Sheng for details.

And finally, a few whispered words from the Jamie the librarian ...

Future of the Library Town Hall 

What distinguishes the University of Michigan Library and how is that represented in the spaces and services offered in the Hatcher and Shapiro Library buildings? Through the 2016-2017 school year, brightspot strategy, in collaboration with library administrators, has been exploring the future of the Hatcher and Shapiro Library spaces and services.
Join us to hear about the current vision for these facilities and share your feedback at a town hall discussion. We'll share a draft presentation of the vision as well as storyboards to illustrate what the library could become. We welcome you to join us for the entire session or briefly drop in to share your input.
U-M Library Staff
Wednesday, February 15
2160 Shapiro
Please RSVP

Questions or comments? 
Please email:

Winter Term Round Up

January 7, 2017

Welcome back to school and Happy New Year, Stampers! I hope the short break allowed you at least a little respite from the hectic end of the term.  There 's a lot of stuff going on, so read on!

Here's an opportunity to perfect your figure drawing skills.  Check out figure drawing on Tuesday nights 6:30-9:00 sponsored by Ann Arbor Women Artsists at 4844 Jackson Road Suite 100. Contact Kathy Hiner at or text 989-751-3062 if interested. You'll need a car tog et there.

News from Mike Vitale, Mr. DIgital Fabrication:

Make your Online Reservations for the Digital Fabrication Studio!  

- Go to
- Click on “Current Students”, then “Undergraduate”
- Along the left side of the page, you will see "Digi-Fab Studio Signup", click on this.
- Supply the information needed in each step of the Google form
- Follow the link at the end of the google form to Web Checkout
- Choose "Stamps Digital Fabrication Studio” as your checkout center
- Hit the “+” on the “Future Reservations” bar
- Input the time you wish your appointment to be.
- Digital Fabrication Studio Monitors will then review your request for Approval

It will not be approved if…
-Your file isn’t ready
-The machine you’ve chosen isn’t capable of doing what you’re proposing
-Any other reason we will explain to you in email and ask you to re-reserve a time once changes have been made
We may edit your reservation time before approving if it is judged to be too short or too long for the process you are describing

Before everything gets crazy again, take a minute to check out the Wonderful Wednesday posters.  We've changed the start time (11:30) and focused the agenda on the things you told us you wanted more of. 

First year students: if you didn't meet with your advsior in December, go ahead and make an appointment now to spend some time reflecting on how that first semester went. For most of you it was great--at least your grades were! 

Before the end of the month, advisors will send sophomores copies of their progress toward degree (PTD)  forms.  PTDs  show how your courses count and make it clear what more you need to take during your junior and senior years so you can graduate on time.  Your advisors will want to meet with you in March to check on your prepartion for the soohpre reivew so, make those appointments early.

Juniors -- right now is a good time to think about your job prospects.  There's a great Wonderful Wednesday session this week that will get you jump-started.

Seniors--hang in there.

Registration Sanity: not an oxymoron

December 12, 2016

If working on your schedule has made you crazier than ever, please be sane and check your email.  Some time Tuesday I will send everyone a list of ArtDes courses that have sections with seats available.  Either snatch them up (if open) or add your name to the waitlist.   Questions?  Need an appointment, go to stamps.genbook.  And finally,  request overrides at

Panic attacks are time limited and that makes me happy

December 3, 2016

Stampers, you did a great job on Giving Tuesday. The Empty Bowls (thanks Ceramics Club) fundraiser sold out Tuesday and earned $2750 ($5500 with the match) for the  SOS Community Outreach of Washtenaw Co.  And Giving Blue Day brought in over $15,000!!!  Again this year, you decided the money raised should go toward Stamps student scholalrships. I know some people may tire of hearing it, but Stamps students really are the best.

Animators and re-animators. Join the club. Michigan Animation Club.  For details and meeting schedule conact the MAC Vice Monster Expert Sarah Ovresat at

ADC grant applications are OUT. Check your UM email. If you are a Stamps student, your student fees fund the ADC grants. So read the email and apply.

AND, if you'd like to be one of the ADC "deciders," then send a letter to ADC explaining why you'd be worthwhile member (2 semesters).

To those of you who took an incomplete winter, spring, or summer terms, you have until midnight Friday the 9th to turn in your work, have it graded, and hope your instructor actually posted your grade. If the I isn't changed by then, it becomes an E forever. In this case E also stands for eternity.

Finally, sad news. Mike Vitale reprots that a flex shaft has been kidnapped from its teaching cart in the storage hallway in metals. He went ot find it and somone had made off with it.  As of Saturday afternoon, no ransom note had been found. If you know anythign about this flex shaft, please let Mike know. He's heartbroken.

Registration continues this week, extending stress and anxiety into the last full week of classes, just in time for those final few minutes spent working on that project that will not end.As large mammals, we all experience the panic of flight or flight.  And as large mammals we can control it by breathing deeply and taking the time to remember that the symptoms of a panic attack rarely last longer than 30 minutes.  Please make sure that you get sleep and eat (good) food. 

Acting and Art Directing

November 28, 2016

Two opportunties for Stampers winter term: take an acting class or become an art director.  Check your email for details. The acting class (ThtreMus) counts as academic/experiential credit and the art direction classes (SAC) count as studio credit.

If you are a first or second year Stamper and you want to serve on the student advisory board known as ADC (Art/Design Collective), send your name  to  by the end of the week (Dec 2). Be sure to include some information on why you'd be a good fit to work on any or all of the 35 responsibilities of ADC:  award student grant monies, manage the lecture series dinner invitations, represent the student body to the administration, hold the Back to School Bash in September and serve on the Work Commons Comittee.

Sharp Pointy Stix

November 18, 2016

This is not a message about thanksgiving (noun). Or Thanksgiving (holiday).  It's about having a restful break and coming back with enough energy for the last couple of weeks of classes.  

And now for some  deadlines:

In case you've forgotten,  proposals for a self-directed international experience are due Thursday, Dec 1.  This is the only date.  It comes around one time a year.  Miss it and you have to wait for a whole year. 

If you took an incomplete last winter, spring, or summer, you are almost out of time.  The replacement grade needs to be posted to your transcript  by Friday Dec. 9.  If you have already turned in your work and you're waiting for your instructor to grade it, you need to nudge nudge nudge. No, you may not borrrow my sharp pointy stick. Get your own. Seriously, if you need help nudging, let me know.

Remember that I stick around late on most Mondays, waiting for you to drop in with whatever random questions you have.  I won't be here the Monday before Thanksgiving, but I will be the 28th and the 5th. 

And last of all, here are soem things you need to know about registration

Read the course description on our website. That's where you'll find the prerequisites for our classes.
We're serious about the course prereqs. If you register and haven't met them,  I'll have to ask you to drop the course. Unfortunately, I often don't get around to checking until after registration is over, so you could wind up with nothing. Yikes!
One exception : ArtDes 309,  Figure Painting.  
Only ArtDes 205,  Organizing Visual Space, is required to take Figure Painting. If you have taken 205 and want to paint,  grab this course and hang onto it!!!
Financial Hold?
If you have a financial hold on your record and you cannot pay it off before you are supposed to register, email me, Joann, immediately and directly.  I can help you reserve your classes if I know early enough that there's a problem.
Class Caps
Classes in Stamps are usually capped at 19 students but there are some exceptions. 1. ArtDes 220, Sophomore Studio is capped at 15.
2. ArtDes 225, Entanglement, is capped at 16.
3. Courses numbered 200-299 are capped at 3 and then filled from students on the waitlist.  We do this so sophomores and juniors will have a better chance to get the prerequisites they will need later on.

If the class is closed and you want to enroll,  get on the waitlist. Please. You will be so happy you did, and I will be, too.

Also known as "permissions to register." Read more about them in the student handbook.
During early registration (23 Nov - 9 Dec) I issue overrides twice a day: before noon and after noon.  Override issued before noon expire that day.  Overrides issued after noon expire the next day.  Check your UM email daily to see if you are the lucky winner of the override of your dreams. It's so sad to lose an override.

Taking a Class Twice
Yeah, we don't do that anymore. Unless you failed it the first time around. Then it's ok.

Oh, Whatever

October 30, 2016

 I'm writing this while I watch Goldfinger, 52 years after it came out and oh dear!  It really hasn't worn well, although the scenery is good and there's a very sweet 64 mustang convertible in it, white with a red interior.

So here's what's coming up for advising.

1. The deadlne to drop a course with a "W" on your transcript is coming up. You have until Friday, Nov. 11 at 11:59 pm. 

2. You have almost two weeks to enter your work in the Undergrad Juried Exhibition (18 November). Spruce up your best project from this term and show it off. You'll be better for it--healthier, more intelligent, and you have that aura of confidence and mystery that  others find so intriguing.  

3. Senior audits are history.  Done.  If you missed yours, there's always next year. 

4. Sophomores and juniors: if you need to see your advisor about registering for classes for winter term, make your appointment NOW. It'll  be harder to get one after Thanksgivng break.

5. First Years: schedule your end of term advising meeting after Dec 1.

Fortunes Told While Pumpkins Die

October 24, 2016


Joann's Open Office from 4:30-5:30 every Monday. Starts today. Drop in and ask, tell, complain, whine, weep, laugh or groan. No issue too small. Fortune telling today and Hallowe'en only.


  • Design and Cut a horrifying Hallowe’en vinyl stencil

  • Use it to carve the Jack-o’-lantern of your nightmares

  • Free pumpkins, free vinyl, free, free, free

  • 2-4 pm Sunday, October 30th. Meet in digital fabrication (1074)

  • Carve in the Courtyard en plein air



  • Senior Audits – if you requested an audit, you’ll get it by Tuesday, 1 November

  • Opt in for Grade and Credit Notifications  -- message dated 12 October from the RO has full information


A Message from the UM Libraries asking for your ideas:

You are invited to participate in a 10-15 minute Library survey about our services and spaces, with the purpose of better serving your needs and enhancing your academic experience, in the Hatcher and Shapiro libraries, in particular.

If you choose to provide us with your name and contact information you will be entered into a raffle with a chance to win a $50 Michigan Theater membership or $20 Zingerman’s gift card! Your response will be completely anonymous and will provide valuable feedback.

Please click here to begin:​​   The survey will expire on Monday, October 24 at 11:00 pm.

If you would like to help us dig even deeper into how our Shapiro and Hatcher services and spaces can better support you and the campus, please stop by our Library Experience Insight Exchange sessions on November 9th.  Session details:

UM Faculty and Staff: 3:00pm - 4:30pm at Hatcher Gallery Lab and Exhibit Space
Students: 5:00pm - 6:30pm at Shapiro Design Lab

Questions?  Contact:

Vinyl Pumpkin Patches and Zach’s Spicy Potato Salad

October 17, 2016

Dear Stampers,

I fell asleep during fall study break and when I woke up, Zach Kolodziej and Mike Vitale had hijacked this space for their own nefarious purposes. Mark your calendars for these two free and relaxing events. You'll need the distraction as we move into the last half of the term.

1. Create vinyl stencils so you can carve a perfectly horrifying jack-o'-lantern next Friday or Saturday (the 29th or the 30th). All materials furnished, including LIVE PUMPKINS for the first 10 or 20 Stampers. More details next week.

2. And from Zach, this open letter (sadly, without the excellent posters in his original message) inviting all Stamper to an as yet unnamed art critique group:

Dear Comrades,

Have you ever gazed into the eyes of your sandwich wondering why you are so attracted -- appetized -- by the look and feel of thinly sliced meats and vegetables between perfectly rectangular bread? Have you ever watched Lionel Messi dribble a soccer ball wondering why the sphere seems magnetically drawn to his foot, orbiting him like a planet? Welcome to an unnamed art critique group.  

If you have any better ideas, please come to the "MMass MMeeting" sponsors by M&M's -- yes that’s right, the famous Rapper! -- LIVE in the Design Lab UNO -- yes that’s right, the UNO AMERICAN GRILL ON NORTH CAMPUS -- in the Duderstadt Center!  We'll be meeting on Wednesday October 26th @ 8PM to discuss art, performance, media, and more. The basic format I have devised (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) is as follows:

1. people find something that interests them 

2. they bring in related materials 

3. they lead a discussion on that topic 

4. we move on to the next person feeling ecstatic primal love awakening in our souls

Our first meeting we'll just have a loose discussion, meet+greet with M&M, and potentially pizza. Feel free to bring in materials (photos, books, video links) though! I may show weird video clips to inspire contemplation!  Also feel free to bring your own artistic, scholarly work, or facebook rants in for discussion and critique for any/all meetings!

Drop-In/No Schedules Allowed

October 7, 2016

Drop in & get Joann to solve your problem

No appointments, no calls, no hassle -- just drop in

Starting October 24th, every Monday, 4:30 - 5:30 pm

Wander in through the side doors, I'll be there


Drop in and talk to Karen (counseling psychologist)

The past two weeks have been hard for a lot of us

No clients, no paperwork, no appointments -- just talk

Wednesday and Thursday, 12 & 13 October

11:30 -1:30,  Room 2030