Office of Student Success

Students seated outside in caps and gowns, turning the tassles on their hats to the other side at the end of a graduation ceremony. Students are smiling, laughing, and celebrating.

Location: Teel Hall, Suites 107, 108, 213A Telephone: See Meet the Staff Directory

Hours 8:30am – 5:00pm M-F, Evening hours by appointment.

Schedule an Appointment Event Calendar

The Office of Student Success provides proactive outreach, personalized academic support, and campus connections to help first-year students maximize their potential for success. We can help you with:

Time ManagementAcademic Exploration
Goal PlanningMotivational Strategies
Identifying Obstacles and Barriers to SuccessCollege Financial Planning and Literacy

Make an appointment with a Student Success Specialist today!

 

Michael Verno, Title III Activities Director

 

One of the qualities that defines a dedicated institution of higher education is the ability to seek out opportunities to support students throughout their collegiate journey. In 2018, Albright College was awarded a five year, multi-million dollar federal grant that reinforces the College’s institutional priority of supporting the success, degree completion, lives and careers of Albright’s 21st century students. This award, a Title III grant, is another way that Albright College has invested in programming and services focused on elevating students’ experiences on campus to new heights.

Broadly speaking, the very competitive Title III Strengthening Institutions Program enables eligible institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to serve students by providing funds to enhance student service programs, including the development of innovative, customized courses and instruction methods as well as student-centered efforts to enhance course-completion, retention and timely graduation.

Specifically, Albright College invested in six staff members, who now constitute the Office of Student Success, the largest initiative of the Title III grant. This new office provides services to both Albright’s students and Albright’s faculty and administration. Some of these services include additional programs for student advising and work with faculty on academic course re-designs. Specific efforts are directed at enhancing the guidance of students in a wide range of areas, including financial aid literacy, navigating college support services, exploring academic and career avenues, and various other issues students might encounter as they make the transition from high school graduate to first year college student. All these student support services are designed to improve academic success as well as help in the retention of students throughout the entirety of their undergraduate career.

Title III funding has also supported Albright in the implementation of the Lion’s Edge, our new academic advising system. This comprehensive student retention platform is designed to enhance the relationship between students and their advisors in articulating an academic pathway to success.

On a personal note, I am over the moon to have been asked to serve Albright College in the position of Title III Activities Director. My path to this position as well as the completion of my doctoral degree was circuitous and not without its share of personal and financial roadblocks, just like many of today’s incoming college students. My dedication to what higher education can contribute to not only a person’s future, but the future of the community at large, fuels my desire to be of service. I look forward to seeing the students when they first arrive on campus and when they leave, diploma in hand.

Office of Student Success Staf

From left to right, back row: Dominique Washington, Jason Dietz, Laura DePue, and Sharmon Bryant Front row: Robin Vacek and Michael Verno

 

Michael Verno, Ed.D, Title III Activities Director

Michael Verno, Ed.D, Title III Activities Director

Dr. Verno is very pleased to start his new position as the Title III Activities Director at Albright College. He recently concluded his doctoral degree at Immaculata University in 2019, successfully defending his dissertation on the topic of Student Validation Theory. During the last decade, Michael has experienced higher education from a variety of perspectives, serving as an English Instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College, working within higher education administration in Immaculata University’s Academic Assessment Office and College of Graduate Studies, conducting research for the Pennsylvania Department of Education and other education-centered entities, and being a student in the classroom. These experiences worked in concert to highlight the importance of collaboration across university strata as well as provided fantastic opportunities to better consider the needs and viewpoints of all those involved in creating an effective institution dedicated to serving students. On a personal note, Michael is an avid lover of film and literature and is always ready to discuss these topics. He is delighted to meet and work with the Albright College student body

 


 

Laura DePue, MTS, MLIS, Director of Teaching and Learning

Laura DePue, MTS, MLIS, Director of Teaching and Learning

Laura DePue joined Albright College as the Director of Teaching and Learning in July of 2019. Previously, she worked as an Instructional Designer at Arizona State University, Miami University of Ohio, and Ohio University. She also has worked as a Coordinator of Campus Ministry and a full-time faculty member, teaching courses in religious studies, general humanities, and college success. She currently holds a Master of Theological Studies from The Methodist Theological School in Ohio and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University. Additionally, she is working towards the completion of a doctorate degree in Educational Studies. Her professional and research interests include diversity and inclusion, service-learning, experiential learning, gamification, and religion and culture. Her personal interests include music, art, writing, films, and spending time in nature and with animals. Born and raised in Ohio, she lived in Arizona before moving to Pennsylvania and currently lives in Reading, PA with her husband, Mike, their 2 dogs, Kashi and Maya, their cat, Louie, and their corn snake named Snack.

 


 

Sharmon Bryant, MSW, Student Success Specialist

Sharmon Bryant, MSW, Student Success Specialist

Sharmon has provided retention research, advisement, and advocacy services for diverse student populations at both private and public institutions, including Penn State, Cabrini College, and Millersville University. At Millersville, she served as full-time faculty in the Department of Academic Advising and Student Development, with program coordination and professional development responsibilities related to the Exploratory Program for undeclared students. Sharmon was employed as a/the Regional Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Education Student Assistance Program facilitating technical assistance and training for County Administrators and School Personnel, which addressed barriers to student persistence and success. Her teaching background includes coursework related to First-year Experience, Career Development, Leadership, Diversity/Multiculturalism, and Student Success. She also taught for the National Youth Summer Leadership Forum at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sharmon earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. She is an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan and gospel musician.

 


 

Jason Dietz, MBA, Student Success Specialist

Jason Deitz, MBA, Student Success Specialist

Jason’s 15 year history in higher education includes admissions, marketing and recruitment, student success retention efforts, and financial aid literacy, counseling, planning, and support. Jason graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications and went on to earn a Master’s of Business Administration from Alvernia University. His experience working in small private school settings has provided the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with students and parents, while providing a successful, quality environment promoting informed educational and financial decisions. Jason looks forward to continuing his goal to help each student earn the degree of their choosing here at Albright College – his door is always open! Jason is an avid sports fan and loves to spend time with his family and at the beach.

 


 

Robin Vacek, Ed.M., Student Success Specialist

Robin Vacek, Ed.M., Student Success Specialist

Robin is originally from McAllen, TX (bordering Mexico). She is a 2011 Albright alumna, holding a degree in Theatre and a minor in Arts Administration and Art History. In addition to being active in theatre, her college engagements included work as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Office and studying abroad in Russia. After graduation, she pursued acting and explored various career options. Reflecting on her wonderful experience at Albright, Robin decided to pursue a career in higher education and received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University. Her studies included an internship at BU’s Center for Career Development and a graduate assistantship at MIT’s Public Service Center. Upon completion of her program, she accepted employment as a Career Counselor at Boston University. Robin is excited to be back at Albright (along with her husband, also an Albright alumnus and newly employed at the College). She enjoys soothing British gardening and travel shows, cooking new recipes, owls, and organizing.

 


 

Dominique Washington, M.S., Student Success Specialist

Dominique Washington, M.S., Student Success Specialist

Dominique is originally from North Philadelphia. He attended East Stroudsburg University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership, with a concentration in Sport Management. During the completion of his Master’s program, he was afforded the opportunity to work in the Department of Academic Enrichment and Learning, providing mentorship opportunities and engagements for diverse student populations. Recognizing his passion for higher education, Dominique accepted a position as an Academic Success Coach at East Stroudsburg, providing proactive interventions, leadership, and support that fostered student persistence and retention. Dominique has published three books of poetry, is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and broadcasts a bi-monthly podcast. He is looking forward to positive interactions with the student body and playing an integral role in their journey to become successful Albright Alumni.

 

 

One-on-One Consultations
Click here to learn more about one-on-one consultations, including how to schedule an appointment with one of our Student Success Specialists.

Success Workshops & Seminars
Click here for a list of our upcoming Success Workshops and Seminars. You can also find resources from past workshops, such as PowerPoints, handouts, and other files.

Alpha Program for Undeclared Students
Click here to learn more the Alpha Program for undeclared students.

Academic Exploration
Click here to learn more about our services for academic exploration.

College Financial Planning & Literacy
Click here to learn more about our financial planning and literacy services.

Questions or Comments? Contact us by email at SuccessSpecialists@albright.edu.