hMrs. Grace Derda presently assists the associate dean in Academic Advising within the College of Arts & Sciences on several matters related to student records, service and intervention. From 1985 to 2000, she served the College as academic advisor and senior academic advisor. She began working at the University in 1982 as a clerk in the College of Education, Office of Graduate Education. 

Grace's degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, and a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  In 1996, she was recognized as Most Accommodating Staff Member for outstanding efforts in providing access to students with disabilities, and was honored in 1999 with the Chancellor's Award for Staff Excellence to an Administrative/Professional Employee.

Grace finds it very rewarding to help students move ahead in their degree programs, and welcomes opportunities toward that goal to assist students, faculty and staff when the actions of the College are needed and beneficial.