Peer Support

Academic Success Coaches are peer advisors trained to assist with time management, study habits, social interaction, and more. Our coaches come from a variety of backgrounds and majors, but they all share the same goal: help their fellow students succeed at Michigan Tech.

Meet the Academic Success Coaches

Kaitlin Kogut

Kaitlin Kogut

Hometown: Lake Orion, Michigan
Year: Fourth
Major: Biological Sciences, Secondary Education
Interests: Exploring outdoors, Greek Life, Making/Creating things, Reading, Sports

I came to Michigan Tech not really knowing what to expect. After three years, I've experienced challenges and successes, made great friends, gained confidence, and discovered a close-knit community of hardworking and giving people. My goal is to give students the resources and knowledge they need to make their own positive experience. I hope to help fellow students achieve their goals and balance all aspects of college life so they can make the most of their time here at Tech. 

Erin Richie

Erin Richie

Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Year: Third
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Interests:  Spanish, Psychology, Travel, Leadership 

The first time I visited Tech, I was worried about it being far away from family. A trip through the Keweenaw and three years later, I'm so happy that I made this place my home. MTU keeps you on your toes; my time here has been filled with challenge, though those challenges have been balanced with amazing experiences and opportunities I know I wouldn't have had anywhere else. I'm so excited to be an Academic Success Coach and hope that my time in the office will lead to success and opportunities for those that I interact with.

Kristina Rushlau

Kristina Rushlau

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Year: Fourth
Major: Environmental Engineering
Interests: Mind Trekkers, biking, hiking, and reading

I love the outdoors and I love to explore. I also really enjoy helping others.   I’m eager to use my skills to help fellow students at Michigan Tech.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Hometown: Battle Creek, MI
Year: Third
Major: Sound Design
Interests: Music, Recording, Above the Bridge Records, WMTU, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition, Basketball, Billiards

If someone had told me I’d be going to college in the UP, I would have wondered with a blank stare, “There are colleges up there?” Despite my ignorance, studying at Michigan Tech has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Every day I get to learn alongside highly motivated and driven people who love to give back. After taking some time to understand the ins and outs of how to succeed up here, it’s finally my turn to share the knowledge. I’ve always enjoyed helping others to achieve their goals anyway, what better place to do it than Michigan Tech? 

Juan Felipe Chica Toro

Juan Felipe Chica Toro

Hometown: Manizales, Colombia
Year: Second
Major: Economics
Interests: Tennis, Music, Reading, Traveling, Cooking

As an international student, I was not sure what to expect of a different culture; however, Michigan Tech community inspired and supported me since my very beginning which made me feel like home. As a varsity athlete I have developed valuable skills which I would like to share with people in order to help them thrive and achieve their personal and professional goals

Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed

Hometown: Atlanta, Michigan
Year: Fourth
Major: Biological sciences - Pre-Vet
Interests: Outdoors, Wildlife, 90's Music, Cats, Watching Gilmore Girls Re-runs, Touring the Keweenaw, Coffee

After struggling during my first semester at college, I found the support system and resources to thrive and find my fit! I became involved with the Wildlife Society, Blue Key, and Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society. I also found my fit here at the Waino Wahtera Center! I absolutely love sharing time with my peers, and giving back to the campus that gives so much to me everyday. I learn new things all of the time, and I am so passionate about being a Husky!
Larissa Grundmanis

Larissa Grundmanis

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Year: Fourth
Major: Psychology
Interests:  Reading, Swimming, Watching Netflix, Playing with cats

Coming to Michigan Tech has been one of the best choices in my life and there are so many new things to try each day. I had difficulty adjusting to the fast-paced lifestyle in my first semester here, but through the help and support of those around me I have been able to succeed. Working with others is one of the things I enjoy most and being able to share positive experiences or tips to help others succeed always fills me with great joy.

Zachary Bedell

Zachary Bedell

Hometown: Brighton, MI
Year: Third
Major: Finance
Interests: Movies, Reading, Sports, Hiking/Exploring, Traveling, Learning new things

I transferred to Michigan Tech from another school to join the finance program. My first year I had a fantastic mentor who inspired me in turn to help others. I really enjoy helping other people succeed and making a difference in a person’s life.

Katherine Turner

Katherine Turner

Hometown: Livonia, Michigan
Year: Fourth
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Interests:  Cooking, Baking, Music, Crafts/Creating things, Camping, Reading, Swimming

At first, I was unsure about coming to Michigan Tech because of the distance from home and both of my parents attended here. But as soon as I toured the campus as a senior in high school, I was sold. Choosing to study here has been one of the best decisions of my life. I am constantly challenged academically and I have learned so much in my time here. I am excited to help other students through my experiences and make their time at Michigan Tech the best it can be.

Steven Buda

Steven Buda

Hometown: Freeland, MI
Year: Fifth
Major: Management Information Systems
Interests:  Traveling, Fitness, Reading, Music, Sports

After visiting Michigan Tech I fell in love with the university and the community.  Each year here I am finding more opportunities to challenge myself.  I want to teach students time management skills and how to get involved and make the most of their time here at Tech.

Nathan Shaiyen

Nathan Shaiyen

Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Year: Third
Major: Software engineering
Interests:  Music, Dancing, Photography, Coding/Programming, Soccer, Writing, Travelling

Being at Michigan these past few years has greatly impacted my life. The community here is amazing and the people are also really amazing. Since I have been up at Michigan Tech I have learned a lot about my major and about myself through working with people who are not only highly motivated but also genuinely care about you succeeding. Michigan Tech and the people at Tech have become my family, a family that keeps getting larger every single day.