Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Academic Success Coaches

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

Peyton Bainbridge

Peyton Bainbridge

Hometown: Clinton Township, MI
Year: Second
Major: Chemistry
Interests: Video games, international foods, language studies (Spanish, Korean), reading, ACS

My experience at Michigan Tech thus far has been a rollercoaster ride, but I would not want to do it anywhere else.  Tech offers the best adventures and a fun and diverse learning environment.  My first year was growth, from switching majors before stepping onto campus, to being thrown into a new environment, and being 9 hours away from home.  It is the best crazy smart life!  Joining clubs like ACS has made an amazing community of friends and colleagues.  The Waino Wahtera Center has helped me grow into a successful student my first year and my love for helping people has brought me here to the Success Center to help all the Huskies I can!

Becca Bergstrom

Becca Bergstrom

Hometown: Chassell and Houghton, MI
Year: Fourth
Major:
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Interests: Baking, knitting, hiking, and general exploring with friends.

So far at Tech I have had the awesome opportunity to sing in the conScience chamber choir, participate in the 2017 orientation program as an OTL, work with several international students in my position as an English coach in the IGSC3, and help undergraduate students learn and grow academically as a Student Success coach in the Waino Wahtera Center.  I've also traveled to the UK on study abroad, spent 8 months on a co-op with Boss Snowplow, and got to help my brother move home for the summer after his first year at college!  It's been a wild ride so far and I'm excited for the future.

Ben Chizmar

Ben Chizmar

Hometown:  Comstock Park, MI
Year: Fifth
Major: Mathematical Sciences
Interests: YouTube, running, photography, music.

My Tech experience has been the Community!  Our campus is very open and welcoming, and everyone's attitude supports this.  This community we have gives you the power to change the world. 

Katie Kiser

Katie Kiser

Hometown:  Peoria, IL
Year: Third
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Interests:  Quilting, Flute, Photography, Horseback Riding, Reading

My experience at Tech has been great so far!  I've had the opportunity to switch majors, and discover what I'm really interested in.  When I am not busy with class work, You can either find me working on a quilt or visiting the humane society.

Kailee Kovach

Kailee Kovach

Hometown:  Scranton, PA (yes, just like "The Office")
Year: Fourth
Major: Medical Lab Science
Interests: Research (I love my fruit flies). music, television, being active, yoga, and spending time with my friends and family.

My Tech experience has been amazing, and I am so thankful for the friends I've made and the research I've been able to do.  Thanks to Tech, I want to pursue my master's degree in a field I would have never considered!

Erin Lau

Erin Lau

Hometown:  Owatonna, MN
Year: Grad Student
Major: Civil Engineering
Interests: Snowboarding, Hiking, Reading and Listening to Music.

My favorite Michigan Tech memory was during my O-Week on our trip to the Porcupine Mountains.

Stuart Liburd Jr.

Stuart Liburd Jr.

Hometown:  St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands
Year:  Fourth
Major:  Mechanical Engineering & Material Science Engineering
Interests/Organizations:  Listening to Music, Poetry, Hiking, Playing Piano, Watching Movies, Kayaking, and Volleyball.  President of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Being at Michigan Tech has been an interesting experience.  I've met outstanding people and Tech has an abundant of resources available to students to help them succeed. I have been inspired to help others make a positive impact on my community.  Through my degrees, I hope to create a sustainable future for the energy industry, to help improve the energy efficiency and produce a positive environmental impact.  I am looking forward to being a coach this year so I can help students achieve their goals.

Siddhesh Mahadeshwar

Siddhesh Mahadeshwar

Hometown: Mumbai, India
Year: Second
Major: Computer Science
Minor:  French
Interests:  Varsity Men's Tennis Team, watching movies, spending time with friends, working out, traveling, enjoying multicultural cuisines, visiting beaches.

My Tech experience, so far, has been unforgettable and priceless to say the least.  The atmosphere and the environment not only inspire me to work harder every day, but also motivate me to reach for more excellence all the time.  One of the most wonderful things about Tech, in my opinion, is the fact that you can find help for practically anything and people will always be willing to go out of their way to help you out.  Last, but not least, the students and faculty are extremely driven and being surrounded by such personalities has been a key factor in my personal and professional development and I am eager for things to continue this way.

Jessica Paling

Jessica Paling

Hometown:  Sandusky, MI
Year:  Third
Major:  Biological Sciences, Pre-Professional Concentration
InterestsHiking, Kayaking, Camping, Snowshoeing, Crocheting, Playing saxophone and spending time at St. Al's

Tech Experience:  At first thought, college really intimidated me but once I started making new friends and really dove into my coursework, I discovered a new home at Tech.  From my friends to the staff and faculty, I was able to look for help when I needed and become successful.  I love to learn about leadership, to practice my own leadership skills and I discovered a number of resources around campus that allow me to develop these skills.  I am also a super caring person which is why I love to volunteer and help others in anyway that I possibly can.  I hope to share my knowledge and experience to help other students become successful.

Max Pleyte

Max Pleyte

Hometown:  Williamston, MI
Year:  Second
Major:  Biomedical Engineering
InterestsSports, Exploring the Keweenaw, Reading, Listening to Music.

Being at Michigan Tech has been an amazing experience throughout my time here.  I still remember the moment I stepped on campus for the first time as a high school senior and I knew it was the place for me.  The community here has been welcoming every step of the way and finding my new friends in the U.P. has been easier that I could have hoped.  The transition to college-level academics worried me at first, but everyone here wants you to succeed, and you can find any form of help you need if you look for it.  And all that is on top of the fact that we live on the Keweenaw Peninsula, so there is adventure for everyone somewhere.

Jennifer Siffer

Jennifer Siffer

Hometown: Dundee, MI
Year: Third
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Interests:  Microbiology Club, Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, Society for Medical Laboratory Sciences, Alpha Delta Epsilon Pre-Professional Honor Society and I am becoming an EMT this year!  I am a total animal lover, my family has a lot of animals at home; cats, bunnies, a dog, and chickens!

I knew that I wanted to go to the UP for college, and once I toured Tech I was sold.  I love everything about it from the size of the campus to the beauty of the location.  I also love all of the professors in my department, they really care about the students and their learning and are so willing to help.  I love working with the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success and I am looking forward to another great year!