Academic Success Center Staff

Amanda Knapp
Amanda M. Knapp, Ph.D.

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Dean
Sherman Hall-B Rm 346
Phone: 410-455-3874

Dr. Amanda M. 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 Garcia





Rachel Garcia
Coordinator, Academic Success Center
Sherman Hall-B Rm 347
Phone: 410-455-3257

Rachel Garcia 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

Portrait of Sharpe

Amanda Sharp
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall–B Rm 357
Phone: 410-455-8190
Schedule an Appointment

Amanda Sharp joined the UMBC community in August 2019 and currently serves as an Academic Advocate for students in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). 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. in General Studies at Indiana University Southeast and her M.Ed. in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at 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 with her pup, Maebe, or discovering local restaurants around Baltimore.

Portrait of Saul

Clifton Saul
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 358
Phone: 410-455-8805
Schedule an Appointment

Cliff Saul joined the UMBC community in 2016 and currently serves as an 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 an 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.

Portrait of Williams

Carlos Williams
Academic Advocate
Sherman Hall-B Rm 359
Phone: 410-455-8682
Schedule an Appointment

Carlos Williams joined the UMBC community in August 2019 and currently serves as an Academic Advocate for students in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS), the Erickson School, the School of Social Work and for students who have not yet declared a major. Prior to joining the Academic Success Center team, Carlos supported students at the University of Arizona as an Academic Advisor within the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science and Student Service Coordinator with the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center (SALT). Carlos earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona. He is passionate about improving academic performance of students and assisting students with navigating barriers toward graduation through student advocacy, defining policy and utilizing a strengths-based approach for helping students complete their degree program. When he is not impacting the lives of students, you can find Carlos partaking in various community service activities around the city.

Academic Learning Resources

Delana Gregg

Delana Gregg, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Learning Resources, Assessment and Analysis
Sherman Hall-B Rm 341
Phone: 410-455-1875

Dr. Delana 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 Fabri





Ira Fabri
Associate Director, Tutoring Services
Sherman Hall-B Rm 342
Phone: 410-455-3905

Ira Fabri 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 Gurrera
Coordinator, Tutoring Services
Albin O’Kuhn Library
Phone: 410-455-1285

Courtney Gurrera 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 MacDougall





Elaine MacDougall
Assistant Director, Writing Center
PAHB Rm 425
Phone: 410-455-2816

Elaine MacDougall 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.





Deborah Webb
Assistant Director, Supplemental Instruction
Sherman Hall-B Rm 343
Phone: 410-455-2467

Deborah Webb 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.

picture of Victoria Skinner
Victoria Skinner
Coordinator, Academic Learning Resources
Sherman Hall-B Rm 340
Phone: 410-455-2448

Victoria Skinner 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.