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Peer & Professional Academic Coaching

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Contact Us

Academic Resource Center
Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Rm 1313

Refer a Student to a PAC

Peer and professional academic coaches (PACs) are available to meet with students who want to improve their academic and self-management skills. Trained staff work collaboratively with students to identify unique learning strengths, develop individual plans for academic support, and promote self-confidence and independence in areas such as study skills, time management, test-taking strategies, and more.

What do Academic Coaches do?

  • Academic coaches meet one-on-one with students (in-person or online) to discuss strategies for reaching student goals. Get help with study strategies, note taking, motivation, organization, and much more.

  • Peer Academic Coaches design and coordinate resources to help build student academic skills. Resources are organized into CORE categories: communication, organization, reading & studying, and educational.

  • Peer Academic Coaches facilitate small group workshops designed to help students meet the demands of college-level academics.

Schedule PAC Apponintment

When scheduling a peer academic coaching appointment (PAC), the system works best with Google Chrome or FireFox.

Peer Academic Coaches

Keigan Thornton


I am a senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Conservation Leadership. My goal after completing my undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University is to continue my studies at graduate school in conducting field research in studying native wildlife species to help scientists as well as the public understand the importance of wildlife especially within the United States. I have always had a fascination with animals in their natural habitats as well as the impact people can have on them. My experiences include working with various animal species. From helping care for and treat horses on a farm to searching and collecting macroinvertebrate specimens in a local creek, my experiences with domesticated animals and wildlife range from big to small. Being an academic coach my goal is to help you, my fellow students in improving yourselves. From help with academics, learning certain skills to improving self-management, building confidence in your learning, and even working with small groups to coordinate and collaborate with fellow peers. Check out our online appointments today for insight and support for the skills you need!

Samantha Wagner


I'm Samantha Wagner and I am a sophomore here at ODU. My hometown is Chesapeake, Virginia, so I consider myself to be local. I am majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Health and Wellness. My plans after graduation include some sort of Doctorate-level education, whether that includes Optometry school or Medical school, I am still exploring my options. I am involved on campus with the Outdoor Adventure Program and I serve as a trip leader, rock wall attendant, rental center attendant, and challenge course facilitator! You can always find me in the outdoors someway or another! My hobbies include camping, hiking, and backpacking. Aside from the outdoors, I love being a Monarch! I am stoked to be a part of the Academic Coaching team and I can't wait to dive into this experience!

Peighton Corley, Graduate Student


Peighton is a first year Masters Student at ODU in the Clinical Mental Health program. They have their B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University where they focused on cognitive psychology and intercultural studies. When not working towards becoming a counselor or helping students in the Academic Resource Department, she is studying Japanese or drawing. She hopes this year is filled with opportunities to help students be successful as possible!

Josh Diaz


Hi my name is Joshua Diaz and I am a senior majoring in Exercise Science! I became an academic coach to support and work with students who may need assistance whether it be academics or other things in general. I want to help students achieve their goal and realize that every baby steps towards their goal count! Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. I look forward to meeting you and supporting you throughout your process!

Professional Academic Coaches

Diana Hernandez

Diana Hernandez, Assistant Director

I am the Assistant Director of Academic Resources in the Academic Resource Center. I provide resources and trainings to faculty and staff to help students achieve academic success. Besides providing academic resources and assistance to faculty, staff, and students, I have experience working with and advising first-generation college students. To help guide and inform my work, I earned a Master Advisor Certificate, which emphasized the philosophy of advising as teaching. I have a Doctor of Education in Educational Studies, specializing in Educational Leadership and Higher Education.

Taia Reid

Taia Reid, Assistant Director

I am the Assistant Director of Academic Readiness. I provide mentorship experiences for pre-college and first-generation college students. Through my role, students can connect with other students, faculty, and staff to help them achieve their personal and academic goals. This role is exciting to me because it closely aligns with my interest in assisting first-generation, students from low SES, and urban backgrounds. I earned my master's degree in Higher Education at ODU, and I am currently working on a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Through my role and educational experiences, I hope to create affordable and accessible pre-college educational experiences to all students who desire higher education.

Marissa Jimenez

Marissa Jimenez, Director

I am the Director of Academic Resources and Coordinator of Center Operations for the Office of Academic Success Initaitives and the Academic Resource Center. With a background in secondary education and fifteen years of experience in higher education, I have provided support and guidance to students as they transition to, through, and out of college. As a first-generation college student, I'm familiar with the unique experiences of other first-gen students and have dedicated my work to provide services and programs for them. I have an MA in English - Professional Writing and am currently working towards a PhD in Instructional Design & Technology.


Jessica Oszman, Graduate Assistant

I am the Graduate Assistant for the Academic Resource Center. I provide assistance with the Center's operations and services, including the academic readiness programs and academic support services. I have a BA double major in Psychology and Music and am now working towards my M.S.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am passionate about helping students work through challenges and supporting them in reaching their personal and academic goals.