University of California, Riverside

Health Professions Advising Center

Who We Are


As the primary pre-health advising office on campus, our dedicated, professional staff has a diverse set of experiences and access to many resources to help students prepare to apply for admission to a health professions school/program.

Charles Scruggs, M.A.
Director and Advisor

Welcome to the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC) at UCR.  As the director, I work closely with the campus community to identify needs and to serve as an advocate for students on the road to pursuing a career in the health professions.  In addition, I work closely with the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (WAAHP) and the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) to stay up to date on best practices and changes within the health professions field. 

Since 2004, I’ve worked in higher education with experiences in admissions, academic and pre-professional advising, student conduct, and residence life. I enjoy working on a college campus and it’s a privilege to be here at UCR. A native of Ohio, I hold a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts both from the University of Cincinnati.

In my free time, I enjoy—biking, hiking, sky-diving, and domestic/international travel

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.


Amber Nicholson, M.Ed.
Assistant Director and Advisor

Welcome to UCR and HPAC! We look forward to working with you on your journey toward becoming a healthcare professional.  We assist students in determining appropriate pre-health courses, defining their interests, engaging in meaningful extracurricular activities, and overall creating a competitive application for a health professions program.

Since 2008, I have worked in various student affairs positions, all with the overarching mission of assisting students in identifying and achieving their goals. As an Inland Empire native and UCR alumni, having completed both a B.S. in Biology and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Policy at UCR, I understand and support the unique needs of our students.  I have worked hard to build strong relationships with students and make a positive impact on student success, persistence, and professional opportunities beyond college.  I really enjoy working with students one-on-one and advising provides me with the opportunity to serve as a resource to students while developing relationships throughout their college journey. 

In my free time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family – including my dog Lily!


 Student Worker Staff

Nick Colonna
Edgar Gastelum
Vivian Kim 




Major: Psychology/Pre-Occupational Therapy

Year: 3rd year

Hometown: Hesperia, CA 







Major: Pre-Business

Year: 2nd year 

Hometown: San Bernardino, CA







Major: Environmental Science

Year: 2nd year

Hometown: Hacienda Heights, CA


Where are we located?


HPAC and HPAC Resource Room

Rivera Library B03
(951) 827-6233
Open M-F 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

CLOSED for lunch 12 P.M. - 1 P.M.

To make an appointment, check out study material from the front desk, meet with a peer mentor, an advisor, or ask general questions about the program, please come into our main office located in Rivera Library B03. 

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Health Professions Advising Center
Rivera Library B03

Tel: (951) 827-6233

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