Contact Our Advisor


Current KU students are welcome to meet with our department's academic advisor (Zac Shields) regardless of their year in school or admission status to the Department of Design.

Students who are not yet admitted to KU who have an interest in Design should contact April Czarnetzki, the Outreach Coordinator for the School of Architecture & Design, at!


Zac's Finals Week and Winter Break availability is as follows:

12/16: Available on a drop-in basis from 9a-12p and 1-4p

12/17-12/20: Available on a drop-in basis from 8:30-11:30a, available by appointment from 1:30-5:00p

12/21-1/5: Out of the office

1/6-1/17: Available by appointment 8a-5p Monday-Friday

1/20: Office closed


What's the best way for me to contact Zac?

The best way to reach out depends on what you need! An in-person or phone appointment is required to discuss any of the following:

  • Next-Semester Enrollment (See information below about Enrollment Advising)
  • Your Graduation Plan (See information below about Graduation Plans)
  • Prospective Interest in Studying Design (30-minute appointment)
  • Probation Action Plans (30-minute appointment)
  • Financial Aid (SAP) Appeals (60-minute appointment)

For other questions, including follow-up questions after an initial enrollment advising meeting, Zac is available by appointment or during his drop-in hours for in-person meetings. Zac is also available via email and by phone, though his response time may be delayed during certain times of each semester. See the information below about enrollment advising!

Please note that Zac is generally available to meet in person and over-the phone between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Zac's Office: Marvin Hall Room 200

Zac's Email:

Zac's Phone: 785-864-2959


How can I set up an appointment?

Current Design students should make an appointment through Zac's online calendar! This is often the fastest and most convenient way to make an appointment. Instructions on how to make an appointment online are outlined here. Contact Zac by email or phone if you have trouble making an appointment online!

Zac is available for appointments Monday through Friday each week.

Prospective Design students should email or call Zac and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your current academic status (at KU, transferring from another college, incoming freshman, etc.)
  • What you'd like to discuss
  • A few days and general times in the next two weeks during which you will be available to meet


When are Zac's drop-in hours?

During the fall and spring semesters, Zac is available on a drop-in basis on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Students can drop in to discuss any of the following:

  • Current-semester issues
  • Policies and procedures for the Department of Design and the University of Kansas
  • Studying Abroad
  • Internships
  • Approval for study abroad credit
  • Enrollment follow-up questions (after an initial Enrollment Advising appointment)
  • Miscellaneous questions that aren't listed above as requiring an appointment

Due to his various responsibilities, Zac may need to temporarily cancel a portion of his drop-in hours. He will send out an email to all Design students in advance of such a cancellation, and will post a notice in bold red font on this page!


Enrollment Advising

Each Design student is required to meet with Zac or a faculty advisor at least once per semester to ensure that they are on track to graduate and are properly enrolled for the next semester. Most students will meet with an advisor after the next semester's Schedule of Classes is published at, which generally coincides with the beginning of October in each fall semester and the beginning of March in each spring semester.

During this busy time, referred to as "Main Enrollment" by advisors and lasting approximately two months, students needing to make a plan for next semester enrollment are welcome to schedule a meeting with Zac through his online calendar and/or meet with a faculty advisor in their area of study. Zac's response time to emails and phone calls may be delayed during Main Enrollment.

The vast majority of enrollment advising is done through appointments with Zac. That said, faculty advising remains available to students on an ad hoc basis if they would prefer to advise with a faculty member. If you would like to arrange an advising meeting with a faculty member, please contact the Area Coordinator for your concentration in Design:

Illustration & Animation: Barry Fitzgerald

Industrial Design: Betsy Barnhart

Photography: Elise Kirk

Visual Communication: Andrea Herstowski



Graduation Plans

Each student in the third year of the Design program will automatically recieve a graduation plan from Zac that outlines all of the requirements remaining for their degree. This graduation plan is flexible in consultation with Zac, and serves as a guide for enrollment conversations in the student's final two years.

Each Transfer Student and Change of School Student admitted to Design will automatically recieve a graduation plan shortly after their admission to Design. This plan is flexible in consulation with Zac, and gives students a clear intuition of their track to graduation.

Each student who declares a second major in addition to Design will automatically recieve a graduation plan prior to the beginning of their next semester that outlines the remaining requirements of their Design degree as well as the remaining requirements of their second major.

If you would like to request a graduation plan, please email Zac and include the following information:

  • Any additional majors you are considering
  • Any minors and/or certifications you are considering
  • Any specific restrictions that apply to you
    • For instance, minimum hour requirements for scholarships and other financial aid
  • Any special requests regarding your enrollment plan
    • For instance, whether or not you'd like to take summer classes and if you would prefer to maintain a reduced courseload each semester

Please note that it will likely take Zac a while to get back to you with a graduation plan!