Academic Success Center Staff

The team in the Academic Success Center is committed to adhering to the professional standards set forth by the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) in the areas of administration and management; program and curriculum design; and evaluation and research. To ensure that these standards are met and to foster professional growth and development, each team member in the Academic Success Center is required to earn and maintain Learning Center Leadership Certification, a nationally-recognized credential offered through NCLCA. This leadership certification provides validation of individuals’ expertise in the field of learning assistance through external and objective review.

Amanda standing outside on university Row

Amanda M. Knapp, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Dean
Sherman Hall-B Rm 346
Phone: 410-455-3874
Email: aknapp@umbc.edu Schedule an Appointment

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2024

Dr. Knapp joined the UMBC community in May 2011 and currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs. In this role, Dr. Knapp is responsible for the management of the Academic Success Center, providing centralized support services to all undergraduate students at UMBC across three broad areas: Academic Learning Resources, Academic Standards and Policy Administration and Academic Advocacy. Knapp works collaboratively with the Vice Provost and Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, providing leadership and vision in the areas of student retention, academic success, and graduation. Knapp also works closely with the University’s Undergraduate Student Success Committee (UgSSC) and its standing committees to communicate, facilitate, coordinate, and lead strategies that serve as a comprehensive approach to improve undergraduate student persistence, progression, and degree completion in support of key strategic University goals and measures by removing barriers to academic success. As a first generation college student with a Ph.D., Dr. Knapp has blended a career in higher education with off-road motorcycle racing, a sport she is passionate about, to help students, “stay on track.”

Rachel standing outside on university Row

Rachel Garcia
Coordinator, Academic Success Center
Sherman Hall-B Rm 347
Phone: 410-455-3257
Email: garcia5@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 1 Certified through December 2024

Rachel joined the UMBC community in 2011 as a new student and now serves as the Academic Program Specialist for the Academic Success Center. Prior to this, she worked as a Writing Fellow in the English department and as a Writing Center Tutor and part-time associate in the Learning Resources Center (now the Academic Success Center). A proud UMBC alumna, Rachel holds a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Professional Writing. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education from UMGC. Rachel believes student services can help bridge gaps in access and learning through a student-centered approach. Just as she helped students discover their confidence as writers, Rachel now helps students realize their potential as contributors to the scholarly conversation and as active participants in the education process. When Rachel is not helping students in the office, she enjoys gardening and going for nature walks with her dog Ziggy.

Academic Advocacy

Cari standing outside on university Row

Cari Coleman Godin
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 355
Phone: 410-455-8081
Email: ccgodin@umbc.edu
Schedule an Appointment

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2024

Cari joined the UMBC community in 2021 and currently serves as an Academic Advocate for students in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to joining the team, Cari worked with TRIO/Student Support Services and taught in the English Department at Howard Community College, just down the road in Columbia, MD. Cari earned her B.A. in English from Spelman College, her Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Chicago and her Masters in Teaching from the American University. Cari is exuberant about truly connecting with students, assessing their needs, and working closely with them to create the best plan for their success. Cari was born and raised in Michigan and loves the water, so traveling to any location with water is one of her favorite things, along with running–especially if water is nearby!

Hope standing outside on university Row

Hope Weisman
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 359
Phone: 410-455-8097
Email: arbhope1@umbc.edu
Schedule an Appointment

NCLCA Certification in Progress

Hope joined the UMBC community in 2018 and currently serves as the Transfer Academic Advocate. In this role, Hope supports the success of transfer students. Prior to this position, Hope worked in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at UMBC. Hope is also an alumna of UMBC earning her B.A. in Psychology/Sociology and M.A. in Applied Sociology. As a previous transfer student herself, Hope understands the importance of campus support, advocacy, and building a sense of community while attending UMBC. This background allows Hope to successfully navigate the unique needs of the transfer student population. When Hope isn’t in the office, you can find her grabbing a coffee/tea at Dunkin’, exercising, or listening to true crime podcasts.

Amanda standing outside on university Row

Amanda Sharp
Assistant Director, First and Second Year Academic Advocacy
Sherman Hall–B Rm 357
Phone: 410-455-8190
Email: asharp@umbc.edu
Schedule an Appointment

NCLCA Level 1 Certified through December 2024

Amanda joined the UMBC community in August 2019 and currently serves as the Assistant Director, First and Second Year Academic Advocacy and manages the Academic Peer Advocate Program. Prior to joining the Academic Success Center team, Amanda worked in Housing and Residence Life in Louisville, KY, and New Student Programs in Champaign, IL. In both roles, she supported students in a multitude of ways striving to create an inclusive environment on campus. She received her B.A. at Indiana University Southeast and her M.Ed. in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a first-generation college graduate, Amanda understands that navigating policies and curriculum can be confusing for students and hopes to serve as a useful resource. Outside of the office, you can find Amanda working on her Ed.D. in Education Leadership at Frostburg State University or spending time with her husband and pup.

Clifton standing outside on university Row

Clifton Saul
Senior Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 358
Phone: 410-455-8805
Email: saulc@umbc.edu
Schedule an Appointment

NCLCA Certification in Progress

Cliff joined the UMBC community in 2016 and currently serves as a Senior Academic Advocate. In this role, Cliff works closely with students in the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT), providing support and encouragement from point of admission through graduation. Prior to his current role as a Senior Academic Advocate, Cliff worked in Residential Life at UMBC and at Wittenberg University in Ohio. Cliff earned his B.A. in Communications from Mount St. Mary’s University and his M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron. Cliff is passionate about holistically developing students, working with them to successfully navigate and overcome any challenge they face to graduation, leveraging their strengths along the way. Born and raised in Baltimore, when Cliff isn’t in the office, you can find him hiking local trails, supporting his favorite sports teams, and exploring Baltimore’s many fun events and delicious restaurants.

Alison Larsen
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 353
Phone: 410-455-8682
Email: alarsen1@umbc.edu

NCLCA Certification in Progress

Alison joined the UMBC community in 2021 and currently serves as an Academic Advocate for students who are in the Social Work Department, the Erickson School of Aging Studies, the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and Exploratory students who are discovering the majors that UMBC has to offer. Prior to joining the team, Alison worked in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at UMBC as a Senior Financial Aid Counselor. Alison is also an alumna of UMBC, earning her B.S. in Biological Sciences with a Minor in Management of Aging Services, B.A. in Psychology, and M.A. in Management of Aging Services. Alison is passionate about student success and helping students achieve their goals both in and outside of the classroom. She believes that the best way to empower students is through knowledge. When Alison is not helping students at UMBC, you can find her outside, hiking with friends and family, reading, or trying out a new recipe.

Tanay AdamsTanay Adams
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 356
Phone: 410-455-2981
Email: tmadams@umbc.eduNCLCA Certification in Progress

Tanay joined the UMBC community in 2022 and currently serves as a First- and Second-Year Academic Advocate. Prior to joining the team, Tanay worked in the Office of Multicultural Affairs as an Academic Advisor, and in Libraries as the Dean’s Office Administrative Associate at The University of Kansas. Originally from South Carolina, Tanay earned her B.S. in Political Science with the concentration in International Relations from Lander University, and then her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at The University of Kansas. Tanay is truly dedicated to connecting with students and centering them fully in their academic experience as they begin their journeys. She is passionate about making sure students feel confident in establishing, and in achieving their own personal definitions of success during their time here at UMBC, and beyond. When Tanay isn’t in office, you can find her strolling through the aisles of used bookstores, putting together interesting tea blends, and baking the stress away to curated playlists.

Academic Learning Resources

Delana standing outside on university RowDelana Gregg, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Learning Resources, Assessment and Analysis
Sherman Hall-B Rm 341
Phone: 410-455-1875
Email: delana1@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2024

Dr. Gregg joined the UMBC community in 2004 and currently serves as the Director of Academic Learning Resources, Assessment, and Analysis. Prior to this, she has worked in other departments at UMBC, including the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, the Honors College, the Learning Resources Center and the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Dr. Gregg earned her Ph.D in Language, Literacy and Culture from UMBC. Her research focuses on which high-impact practices help UMBC first generation college students succeed. Dr. Gregg believes that all students can succeed and she aims to empower students to become active, responsible partners in their education so that they can achieve greater success in college and in life. Dr. Gregg loves meeting with students to help them find resources which will help them accomplish their goals. Outside of her work at UMBC, you may find Dr. Gregg swimming water ballet with Fluid Movement, a Baltimore City based arts organization.

Ira standing outside on university Row

Ira Fabri
Associate Director, Tutoring Services
Sherman Hall-B Rm 342
Phone: 410-455-3905
Email: fabri@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2024

Ira joined UMBC in September 2017. She currently is the Associate Director of Tutoring with the Academic Success Center. Prior to coming to UMBC, Ira worked at American University (Washington, DC) as the Supplemental Instruction Coordinator and then the Assistant Director of Learning Resources. Ira moved to the US in 2006 from Italy, where she taught English at middle-school level and Cinema History at the University of Turin. Ira has an M.A. in English from the University of Turin in Italy, and an M.A. in International Communications, which she earned from American University. Ira believes that education provides all students the opportunity to discover and realize their potential, and she supports them through modeling positive behaviors and kindness. Outside of the office, Ira has various hobbies, but her favorite ones are definitely to make music and go swing-dancing with her husband Tom.

Courtney standing outside on university Row

Courtney Gurrera
Coordinator, Tutoring Services
Albin O’Kuhn Library
Phone: 410-455-1285
Email: cgurrera@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2027

Courtney joined the UMBC community in 2019 and currently serves as the Coordinator of Tutoring Services. Prior to this, she was a Student Success Specialist in a Higher Ed learning center. She holds a B.A. in English, a B.A. in Spanish and a M.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania. She believes in offering support to students in a variety of formats and modalities in order to help them be successful and achieve their goals. To this end, she seeks to develop and nurture positive relationships with students, tutors, and colleagues. When she’s not working to support student success, you can find her painting her own art and appreciating other artists in galleries and museums.

Elaine standing outside on university Row

Elaine MacDougall
Assistant Director, Writing Center
PAHB Rm 425
Phone: 410-455-2816
Email: efick1@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 2 Certified through December 2024

Elaine began her career at UMBC in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of the Writing Center. Prior to this, she taught English Composition at many higher learning institutions, including CCBC, McDaniel College, Carroll Community College, and Stevenson University. Elaine is a proud alumna of UMBC and she earned M.A. in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program at UMBC. Students are the center of Elaine’s job and she loves to hear their stories, their experiences, and their needs. She wants students to know that we are co-creators of knowledge and we are all here to learn from each other. Teaching and practicing yoga is a big part of Elaine’s life—it influences how she teaches in higher education and it helps her to be more appreciative of and empathetic to everyone.

Deb standing outside on university Row

Deborah Webb

Assistant Director, Supplemental Instruction
Sherman Hall-B Rm 343
Phone: 410-455-2467
Email: debwebb@umbc.edu

NCLCA Certification in Progress

Deb joined UMBC in March 2011 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Supplemental Instruction (SI PASS). She has worked in higher education in administrative and teaching roles, most recently as the Coordinator of Tutoring at Anne Arundel Community College and the Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction at UMBC. Deb has also taught a variety of Math courses, ranging from developmental Math through Pre-Calculus. Deb has earned an A.S in Industrial and Digital Electronics from CCBC, a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from UMUC, and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from UMUC. Deb is very passionate about providing resources and opportunities that inspire students to build confidence in their abilities, accomplish their personal goals, and continue to grow as citizens who make a difference in the lives of others. When she is not in the classroom or the office, Deb finds joy in spending time with her grandchildren, painting, reading, and making jewelry.

Victoria standing outside on university Row

Victoria Skinner

Coordinator, Academic Learning Resources
Sherman Hall-B Rm 340
Phone: 410-455-2448
Email: victor6@umbc.edu

NCLCA Level 1 Certified through December 2024

Victoria joined the UMBC community as a new student in 2007 and now serves as a Coordinator of Academic Learning Resources in the Academic Success Center. Prior to this, she worked for the UMBC Bookstore as a student cashier and for the Learning Resources Center in various roles, including as a student foreign language tutor, an office assistant, and the Coordinator for First Year Intervention and Placement Testing. Victoria holds a B.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics, a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Non-Profit Management, and an M.A. in Applied Sociology—all from UMBC. She is currently pursuing a J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law. Victoria believes that all students have the potential to achieve their goals and that with the right resources, motivation, and discipline, anyone can do it! She aims to educate students about the resources available to them while empowering them to claim their own futures. When Victoria is not working or reading for class, she’s probably playing video games or reading manga.