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

Alissa Alexander

Alissa Alexander

Hometown: Imlay City, Michigan
Year: Senior
Major: English and Integrated Sciences, Secondary Education
Interests: Adventuring outdoors, Greek Life, Crafting (knitting, scrap-booking, wood burning), Reading, Sports

I arrived at Tech like most others:  excited for the changes but still stuck in High School studying.  I learned a lot that first year and about students in general, myself, and how to succeed.  Since then I have been pursuing Education, and not just because I want to teach some really awesome stuff!  I also want to help support students and guide them to be better prepared for college.

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. 

Stuart Liburd Jr.

Stuart Liburd Jr.

Hometown: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Year: Third
Major: Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Engineering
Interests:  Listening to music, Baking, Reading Poetry, Watching Movies, traveling and learning new things

When I first heard of Michigan Tech I was told it was a great place to study STEM related fields. However, after becoming a part of the tenacious community at Tech I see it is more than just an engineering school.  It is a place where one can discover who they are and find their place in life. I never experienced such positive attitudes and moral support from faculty, staff and students. Wherever you look you can always find a helping hand. That’s why I push myself every day to make great strides.

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!
Eleia Kozminski

Eleia Kozminski

Hometown: Rockford, MI
Year: Fourth
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Interests:  Ceramics/Metal working, Cooking, Volunteering, Health Sciences, Coffee, Animals, Netflix

When I first got to Michigan Tech, I had no idea what I wanted to major in.  I just knew that I was good at math and science in high school and that Michigan Tech offered mostly STEM majors.  I visited several schools and wasn't very excited about them, but when I arrived on Tech's campus, I knew I wanted to come here.  I'm not exactly sure why but I just felt at home and that I could be myself here.  Picking a major was a difficult one for me, but I took a class called Exploring Majors and it helped so much.  I could not be more happy with the major I chose.  I love the sense of community we have due to our small size.  Attending Michigan Tech has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I have grown and learned so much about myself since I have been here.  The second best decision I have ever made was becoming an Orientation Team Leader (and then doing it two more times).  Being an OTL is an amazing experience because you meet so many incredible people, learn about yourself, become a leader, and help new students.

 

Benjamin Joseph

Benjamin Joseph

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Year: Fourth
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Interests: Airsoft, BattleBots, Swordplay, Videogames, Being a general nerd

While having no idea what I wanted to study, I attended both Grand Rapids and Muskegon Community Colleges before I decided to shoot for the moon and take up Mechanical Engineering. My academic career has had successes and failures and I hope to use my experience in each to aid my peers in finding their own paths to success. I enjoy building meaningful relationships with those around me,and I also love Nerf wars on campus late at night.
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.

Kurt Kitti

Kurt Kitti

Hometown: Calumet, MI
Year: Second
Major: Sports and Fitness Management
Interests:  Family Activities, Mountain Biking, X-Country Skiing, Music, Reading

In 2015, I came back to the Copper Country after many years away pursuing careers in the military and federal government. Since I have always been interested in sports and physical fitness, I found MTU’s sports and fitness management degree to be a perfect fit. To be honest, returning to school after being away for a while was a little daunting at first, but everyone at Michigan Tech from the faculty and staff to fellow students has been great and helped make my transition very smooth. Experience in working with many diverse peoples and cultures around the world has taught me that ‘people’ are the lifeblood of any organization. My greatest professional satisfaction has been working with people and helping them achieve organizational goals and personal growth. I look forward to helping others pursue their passion and chart a path for success at MTU.

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.

Audri Mills

Audri Mills

Hometown: Grand Ledge, Michigan
Year: Fourth
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Interests:Baking, Music, Games, Volunteering, Traveling

The first time I had ever seen or visited Michigan Tech was during move-in weekend my freshman year.  I had no clue what to expect and it was pretty intimidating.  After a tough first year of not really knowing what I wanted to do, I finally found a major that was right for me and found organizations that really made me feel at home.  I want to help students learn to manage their time to find what works for them so they can be successful academically and find time to have fun and be involved!