September 2021 – Student Academic Hub Newsletter

Hello from The Hub!

Happy fall 2021 semester, everyone!

I hope the start of the semester has been glorious. My son, Xavier (we call him “X”), came to campus with me the other day, and had quite a reaction to our new grassy area in front of the main house – he thought it was awesome. He also loves our new Hub tutoring space in Rowley 1008, and he was able to meet some of our peer tutors and new peer academic coaches. He’s now in 8th grade, and although he tells me that school is “boring,” he leaves for school with a smile (and perfectly coiffed hair – that’s important; brushing teeth isn’t as important, apparently). X is well-equipped with academic strategies at this point (which happens when your mom is an academic coach), and I mentally high-five myself every time he tells me a strategy he’s using to stay on track – 2 mental high-fives thus far, for those of you keeping score at home… He’s thrilled to be back in person after a fully remote 7th grade year, and I am thrilled to see so many of us back in action on campus.

Quick notes about The Hub:

  • Our unit is called the Student Academic Hub – we are no longer the CTL. This has been a tough transition for some, but please do change your verbiage where you may have written an association between tutoring, coaching, academic advising, Student Access Services (SAS), and the name CTL.
  • We are located on the main floor of Rowley – we are no longer in G105. Our main front desk can be found in Rowley 1005, and that is where students can drop in with any questions about our services or how to make an appointment and/or check in for scheduled appointments. For scheduled peer tutoring or writing consultation appointments, students may also go directly to Rowley 1008, where their tutoring appointment will take place.
  • If you need me specifically, I am hiding (I’m not really hiding) in Rowley 1008, which is where our new tutoring space is located. Come visit me! Bring food.

As always, we appreciate working with you to support our students in the best ways possible. Our services are used more readily when you talk to students about us, so please do discuss the Hub with our student community. They should be using our services before there’s an issue – we’re trying to help them build good academic habits, so that they are prepared to navigate their semester with confidence and success. How do you get them to us? Raise a referral in Starfish, direct them to our website, have them call (703.284.1538) or email (, or have them stop by Rowley 1005 for a tour and to learn about who we are and what we do.

Below you will find updates and other exciting information from each of the services that the Hub offers.

Wishing you every good thing as the semester ramps up,

Michelle Steiner

AVP for Student Success


Academic Coaching

Academic Coach, Graduate Assistant: Chanelle Sears

Chanelle Sears is our new GA Academic Coach for fall 2021 semester. Chanelle appears in Starfish on every student’s Success Network page (which is the first page students see when they log in to Starfish). She is available to coach both graduate and undergraduate students on time management, organization, prioritization, goal-setting, study skills, etc.

New this semester: Undergraduate peer academic coaches

Huge thanks to Anne Aichele from Student Affairs for providing this peer-coaching opportunity to student leaders and providing the Hub with an opportunity to connect freshmen with successful students for meaningful conversations about good academic habits!

Eight student leaders were trained this summer to work with freshmen in an academic coaching capacity. Faculty who teach CNCT 100 sections will be sharing information about these peer coaches with their students. If you want to connect a freshman student in one of your courses to these peer coaches, please let them know that they can find the peer coaches in Starfish:

  • When students log in to Starfish, they will automatically be brought to their Success Network page, where they can find “Peer Academic Coaching” listed under the section called “Your Services.”
  • When students click on “Peer Academic Coaching,” they will be able to see all of the peer coaches and make an appointment with any of them.
  • Below is a screenshot of what this service looks like in Starfish.









Student Access Services (SAS)

Director: Sven Jones

Learning Specialist: Maureen Dour

Proctoring Services Announcement

Student Access Services is excited to share the new test proctoring service available to students who are registered with SAS and have been approved specifically for testing accommodations (this will be listed on the Faculty Contact Sheet that students share with you). The proctoring service is available 3 days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm in Marymount’s Reinsch Library, room 212. Our proctors are Graduate Assistants who are assigned to work with SAS.

This semester you and your student(s) will arrange details/logistics together, to include when the student should take the exam and how the student should return their exam back to you. Students can reserve a spot in advance, or they can drop in during proctoring hours and will be accommodated if space allows. Students should arrive with test in-hand and ready to take their exam (i.e., having the access codes, test instructions, approved materials to use during exam). Please be aware that SAS will not hold (store) exams before they are administered or after they are completed for instructor pick-up.

You are not required to use SAS as an exam proctoring service, and are welcome to arrange accommodated testing in whatever way works for you and your students.  More information can be found on the SAS website, and please email SAS at with any questions or concerns.



AVP for Student Success: Michelle Steiner

Starfish continues to be a robust tool that allows faculty and staff the ability to comment on student performance and helps nudge students to appropriate resources. Below are some reminders of Starfish functionality; contact Michelle Steiner if you would like to learn more about Starfish.

Attendance in Starfish

Please consider tracking attendance in Starfish. If you do so, and a student receives 3 unexcused absences in a class, an automatic flag is raised that alerts the Hub, and we outreach immediately. It’s not too late to start tracking!

Putting office hour appointments in Starfish

Students are proficient at using Starfish to make appointments with their academic advisor, an academic coach, Student Access Services, and their faculty. Please consider putting office hours into Starfish so that students can make appointments with you through the system. You automatically appear on the Success Network page of each student enrolled in your classes, so why not add some office hour appointments for them to access?


Sending a referral for a student via Starfish results in the referred service reaching out to the student within 24-48 hours to set up an appointment.

  • New referral added this fall: Referral to a Librarian – Refer a student to a Librarian for basic research instruction (ex: narrowing topic, developing keywords, selecting best database), locating appropriate resources for an upcoming assignment, and/or locating additional sources for a research assignment.
  • Reactivated referral: Referral to English as an Additional Language (EAL) Specialist – Refer a student for EAL assistance at the Student Academic Hub when a student may be struggling to read, learn, or write in English.


Flags can be raised to simply document a situation, “[Documenting Only],” or to request additional assistance in navigating a situation, “[Requesting Outreach].” If you choose a [Requesting Outreach] flag, either an automatic email gets sent to the student that is applicable to the type of flag raised or Michelle Steiner reviews the flag and determines whether to reach out directly or assign the flag to someone who can best address the situation.


Students love receiving kudos; raise one that tells them they’re exhibiting great academic performance, or that you see improvement. You can even send a kudo for stellar attendance or if you see a student helping their fellow peers.

Starfish is only as robust as the effort we put into using it – please consider helping the community track and outreach to students in a proactive way!


Peer Tutoring & Writing Assistance

Assistant Director, Learning Resources: Dr. Lygie Hinkle

Writing/EAL Specialist: Dr. John Gilbert

Academic Integrity Coordinator: Dr. Wayne Schroeder

This semester, we have 17 undergraduate content tutors and 1 graduate content tutor, as well as 8 undergraduate writing consultants and 4 graduate writing consultants available to support students in the learning process. Students make appointments for tutoring or writing assistance through TutorTrac. We offer content tutoring for many courses, and writing assistance for all courses. Students can make appointments with Dr. Gilbert -“Dr. G”- through Starfish.

New initiatives:

  • Write Now is a new learning resource that we are launching this academic year that provides students with a Marymount online writing lab (OWL), designed with our students in mind. We are putting the finishing touches on these web pages and hope to publish them on the Hub’s website within the next week.
    • Embedded in Write Now is Grammar 911: Marymount students will be able to seek answers to grammar questions either by searching through a menu of quick tips and guides (S.O.S. topics) or by submitting a question directly to Grammar 911. Questions submitted to Grammar 911 will be answered via email by our Writing Specialist and/or designated writing tutors within 24 hours.
  • The Conversation Corner is a new learning resource we are piloting this academic year that provides students who are learning English with a supportive space for practice and the opportunity to use academic vocabulary through guided discussion. The Conversation Corner will use ‘fun’ source materials (songs, short essays, TedTalks, etc.) to encourage students to use their comprehension skills to share their point of view through reflection exercises.


Academic Advising

Senior Academic Advisor: Alexandra Fee

Academic Advisors: Linda Walton, Abby Miller, Megha Patel, one additional new advisor TBA

Academic Advising is welcoming new advisors to the team! Megha Patel starts at the Hub on September 13th, and a second new advisor will join us a week later, on September 20th. We are excited to continue building a solid advising team and provide students with guidance as they navigate their academic journeys. More information forthcoming about advisor student rosters as we onboard new staff.

A special heartfelt thank you to the Associate Deans and the Office of the Registrar staff – you were integral in our ability to serve students well during a time of advisor transition. We appreciate your partnership.


The Student Academic Hub looks forward to partnering with you this semester to support Marymount students’ success!

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