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The NYS Student Success Center, hosted by SUNY, would like to announce the following 15 coaches completed the 2022 Spring Coaching Academy Cohort 3 program.

Coaching Academy Cohort 3 Coaches include:

  • Dr. Tameka Battle, Professor, CUNY LaGuardia Community College
  • Marquis L. Bennett, Associate Vice-President/Dean of Students, SUNY Broome
  • Dr. David Clickner, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Planning, SUNY Schenectady
  • Malkiel Choseed, Professor of English/Title III Project Director, Onondaga Community College
  • Dr. Luana Ferreira, Director of Student Affairs, SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center
  • Donnita Firnstein, Assistant Director, Student Success Center and Bridges Programming Coordinator, SUNY Potsdam
  • Justin Johnson, Student Support Advisor, Mohawk Valley Community College
  • Beth Lisi, Learning Center Coordinator, Jamestown Community College
  • Charles “Chip” Matthews, Director, Student Life, SUNY Geneseo
  • Michael Polcari, Enrollment and Success Counselor, SUNY Ulster
  • Jessica Gonzales Purcell, EOP Advisor, Student Initiative Coordinator, LGBTQ Liaison and Adjunct Faculty Member, SUNY New Paltz
  • Amanda Rampe-Eggleston, Coordinator, Pathways & Academic Technologies, Monroe Community College
  • Sharisse Smith, Professor and EOP Success Coach/Advisor, SUNY Orange
  • Denise Zieske, Director of Workforce Development, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration

The coaches completed a rigorous semester professional learning program and developed expertise to support SUNY Guided Pathways, Strong Start to Finish programs and other student success projects focused on equity and transformational change.

Special thanks to the Coaching Academy Leadership Team who were instrumental in the design, development and ongoing planning for the program. Members include: Dr. Michael Baston, Former President, Rockland Community College & Coaching Academy Leadership Team Chair; Wendy Beesley, Assistant Dean for Student Success, SUNY Ulster County Community College; Jennifer Miller, Executive Director, NYS Student Success Center; Carol Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY Broome Community College; Andrea Wade, Former Provost & Vice President for Academic Services, Monroe Community College and Dr. Lia Wetzstein, Executive Director, Community College Research Initiatives (CCRI) at the University of Washington and also served as our JFF Coaching Grant partner and advisor for the program.

Additionally, thanks to our peer mentor coaches including: Renee Dimino, Associate Professor and SUNY Guided Pathways Project Director, Monroe Community College; Michele Forte, Manager, Student Support, SUNY Online, SUNY System Administration and professor, SUNY Empire State; Patty Munsch, College Associate Dean for Student Engagement Assessment, Suffolk County Community College and Brenda White, Professor, Mathematics, SUNY Morrisville.

Coaches provide facilitation of change management principles, content expertise around specific coaching topics, and strategic support to guided pathways colleges, as well as other colleges focused on student success reforms. Colleges can engage coaches in short or long-term support of student success projects. If a college is interested in working with a coach, they should reach out to Jennifer Miller, Executive Director, at jennifer(dot)miller(at)suny(dot)edu for more information.

Support for the program was provided by support from the Jobs for the Future (JFF) Coaching Implementation Grant.

About the NYS Student Success Center Coaching Academy:

In 2019, the New York State Student Success Center (NYSSSC) launched the New York State Student Success Coaching Academy to provide a professional development & training program for college leaders to support student success reforms at campuses across the state.

By using effective coaching practices and project management strategies within a student success and guided pathways context, the Coaching Academy seeks to:

  • Develop confident, skilled, thought leader peer mentor and institute coaches;
  • Build substantive student success reform capacity, innovation and leadership across the state;
  • Support evidence-based strategies to support student success reforms at scale for all students;
  • Identify structural and cultural practices and policies that positively impact campus-based student success and support closing equity gaps.

For more information on the program, visit:


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