About the Purdue Global Academic Success Center Tutors

The Academic Success Center provides support to all students through discipline-specific, real-time tutoring, interactive webinars, accessible online resources, and personalized feedback so that students may successfully complete their studies and graduate. The ASC promotes a positive and supportive learning environment for all abilities and backgrounds. Together, we find learning success.  Purdue Global students can connect with tutors here: Cranium Cafe.


Business Tutors

Cheron Tolbert

Cheron Tolbert resides in Georgia and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has been a tutor with the Academic Success Center since 2019. Cheron’s favorite part of her work is helping students. Cheron has a sense of adventure and has skydived.

Cynthia Waddell

Cynthia Waddell has been with the Academic Success Center since 2012. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and holds a PhD in Management with an accounting specialization. Cynthia has worked for the Business Center since its inception. Cynthia enjoys tutoring moments when students have a noticeable breakthrough in understanding. Prior to tutoring at the Business Center, Cynthia worked as a federal law enforcement officer for over twenty years.

Kathryn Huff (front left)

Kathryn Huff lives in Louisiana and holds a Ph.D. in Financial Economics, as well as teaching certification in Social Sciences. In addition to interacting with students, Kathryn plays Jazz piano in the French Quarter (New Orleans.) She also enjoys cooking and gardening, and she is a long time blogger. 

Kristen Swisher

Kristen Swisher has been with the Business Center since 2008 and has taught or tutored since 2006. She lives in Arizona and holds a Doctorate in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management. Kristen enjoys personally interacting with students and helping them work through challenges. In her downtime, she enjoys cozy mysteries, the outdoors, and Hallmark movies.

Monica Hubler

Monica Hubler lives in New Jersey, and she has an MBA in accounting and a Master of Science degree in Forensic Accounting, as well as a DBA. She has been with the university since 2010 and has tutored for seven of those years. Monica enjoys helping students learn course concepts. She enjoys playing on her iPad. 

Math Center Tutors

Bahram Rajabifar

Bahram Rajabifar lives in Indiana and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Baham joined the Math Center team in early 2020, and he has tutored and taught since 2015. Bahram enjoys helping students become independent learners, as well as teaching and learning.

Brian Gillispie

Brian Gillispie has been with the Academic Success Center since 2009. He lives in Iowa and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Math. Brian enjoys explaining math concepts to students in a way that they can understand. Brian developed and sold a video game in 2019, and he also has written two editions of a mathematical modeling book.

Edwin Oltmanns

Edwin Oltmanns lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He has a Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s degree in Mathematics. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2008, and he has been in education since 2006. He enjoys helping students learn mathematics. Edwin attended a one-room school house where he was the only student in his grade for grades 1 to 7. He is a New York Yankees and Las Vegas Raiders fan.

Humberto Monsivais 

Humberto Monsivais lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019 and has taught or tutored since 2012. Humberto enjoys helping students move forward when they hit a stopping point. Since he was 15, Humberto has not lived in the same place for longer than four years. He is bilingual, and his favorite book genre is fantasy.

Jack Refling

Jack Refling resides in South Carolina and has a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and a Ph.D., all in nuclear engineering. Jack has attended the University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, and the University of Virginia. Jack has been with the Math Center since 2010 and has tutored or taught since 1990. He enjoys seeing and hearing a student understand a concept for the first time. Jack is a co-owner of a patent.

Michele Paulsen

Michele Paulsen has been with the Math Center since 2019 and has taught or tutored since 2000. She lives in Wisconsin and has a Master of Science degree in Mathematics Education. Michele enjoys helping students solve problems. She also enjoys kayaking in Lake Michigan and playing the Native American flute. 

Mita Tomerlin

Paromita “Mita” Tomerlin lives in Florida and has a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. She has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019 and has worked as an educator since 2007. Mita enjoys motivating students to learn by making the concepts easier for them to understand and therefore, helping them achieve their goals and dreams. She loves to play tennis, bake, and travel around the world. Mita was a finalist (top 100) in the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, and she has a Boston Terrier named Oreo.

Shefali Patel

Shefali Patel is a team lead in the Academic Success Center. She lives in New Jersey and has a Master of Science in Mathematics Education. She has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019 and has taught or tutored since 2005. Shefali enjoys being able to help students build their skills and overcome their fears of learning mathematics. She has two boys who happen to share the same birthday. Shefali loves to dance and is extremely terrified of spiders and snakes.

Jie Yang

Jie Yang lives in Indiana. She has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. She has been with the Math Center since early 2021, and she has taught or tutored for over four years. Jie enjoys the moments students realize that they can solve problems.

Erika Ergart

Erika Ergart lives in Indiana, and she has a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. She has tutored in the Math Center since early 2021, and she has over five years of tutoring experience. Erika enjoys seeing the spark in students’ eyes when they finally understand a topic that was not lucid to them before. She enjoys collecting fine porcelain and going to museums when possible. 

Science Tutors

Jenni Rygh

Jenni Rygh has been with the Academic Success Center since 2012, and she resides in Hawaii. She has a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and a Master of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology. Jenni has been a teacher or tutor since 2003. She loves building relationships with students and coworkers. She says it is a great feeling to know she is a part of helping her students and friends grow. Jeni has a cat named Meow Meow; her toddler doesn’t know the word “cat” yet, so everyone calls her Meow Meow. Jenni has lived in Japan, Norway, and  Mexico, but Hawaii is her favorite.

Lilliana Moreno

Lilliana Moreno lives in Virginia and has a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and Forensics, a Master of Science degree in Forensic Sciences and Biology, and a Master of Arts degree in Biomedical Sciences and Anatomy. She has been with the Science Center since 2011.  Lilliana loves empowering students and giving them the knowledge and extra boost of confidence that they need to succeed. Lilliana is an all-natural bodybuilding competitor and enjoys every second of the body transformation process. Lilliana also enjoys an occasional Snickers candy bar when her trainers are not watching.

 Melissa Derby

Melissa Derby resides in Florida and has a Master of Science degree in Instructional DesignTechnologies and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry. She has been with the Science Center since 2008. Melissa’s favorite part of tutoring is the moment a student understands the topic, and they get that look of “Oh Wow.” Melissa is a fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics. She also enjoys building Legos with her niece.

Shelly Johnsen

Shelly Johnsen has a Master of Business degree with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. She has tutored or taught since 2013. Shelly enjoys helping students succeed. She and her husband have four adult children (two boys and two girls). Shelly’s family loves sports, especially hockey games and Nascar races. Shelly lives on a small farm in rural Michigan along with her husband, two dogs, a cat, chickens, and ducks.

Roxanne Miller

Roxanne Miller lives in San Antonio, Texas. She has a Ph.D. in Physiology and Developmental Biology. She is currently in medical school pursuing a DO degree. She began working in the Academic Success Center in May 2020 and has taught or tutored since 2012. She enjoys seeing students have those “ah-ha!” moments when she helps them understand a scientific concept. Roxanne rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle and likes to cook, rock climb, and garden. Roxanne is currently an officer in the US Navy Reserves. 

Technology Center Tutors

Ibidayo Awosola

Ibidayo Awosola lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and he has a Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology degree. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019 and has taught or tutored since 2015. Ibidbayo enjoys making a difference in the lives of students. He has worked in five different countries and is the first person in his family to pursue a doctorate degree.

Imad Tabarani

Imad Tabarani lives in Kansas and has a Master’s degree. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2008 and has taught or tutored since 2003. Imad enjoys helping students understand the concept of how to troubleshoot. Imad loves the outdoors. 

Jennifer Merritt 

Jennifer Merritt resides in Illinois and has a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education. She has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019, and she has taught or tutored since 2000. Jennifer’s favorite part of working with students is seeing the “lightbulb” click on when a student grasps a concept. Jennifer loves softball, and she coaches and umpires softball games in her spare time. 

Maria Lehoczky

Maria Lehoczky lives in Florida and has a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Information Technology degree. Maria has been a teacher or tutor since 2006, and she has been with the Technology Center since 2018. Maria loves to travel and is working on her bucket list of 25 countries. She recently became a United States citizen. She also has a cat that acts like a dog. The cat follows her, comes when called, and begs for treats.

Olivia Pollard

Olivia Pollard has a Ph.D. In Management and Information Systems. She has been with the Technology Center since May 2020. She has 16 years of experience in corporate training and higher education.  She loves horror movies, photography, and her Cricut machine. 

Satish Wadwekar 

Satish Wadwekar lives in Richmond, Virginia. He has a Master’s of Science degree in Leadership and Management. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019. He enjoys helping students and learning in the process. Satish loves working on cars and completing home repairs. 

Steve Long

Steve Long lives in North Carolina. He has a Master of Science in Education degree. He has been with the Academic Success Center since 2005. Steven enjoys working with diverse students. He has a passion for American muscle cars (Camaros and Corvettes).

Writing Center Tutors

Ashley DiRienzo 

Ashley DiRienzo joined the Academic Success Center team in April 2020. She lives in the New Jersey/Greater Philadelphia area and has a Master’s degree in English. She has taught or tutored for three years. Ashley enjoys working with students and helping them learn new concepts and experience break-throughs on their assignments. In her spare time, Ashley coaches youth field hockey.

Elizabeth Thompson

Elizabeth is an associate tutor and has a Master of Arts in Communication degree. She has been with the Academic Success Center since April 2020. She has been a teacher or tutor for one (1) year. She loves when students get excited about their progress in writing skill development. Elizabeth is a current Ph.D. student at Purdue University studying digital platforms and innovation. She participates in sprint triathlons and has received a silver medal rating for amateur winemakers in the Indy International Wine Competition held at Purdue University.

Julie Freydlin

Bio not available.

Kurtis Clements

Kurtis Clements lives in Maine with his wife and three children. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, and his fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have appeared in a variety of publications including Kansas Quarterly, Nebraska Review, and Down East magazine. He has been teaching writing and literature courses for over twenty-five years and has been involved in online education and writing centers since 1998. He has been with the Academic Success Center since April 2020 and was a part of the Writing Center from 2005 until 2010 when he moved to an Assistant Chair position in Composition. Kurtis enjoys engaging with our learners and helping them with their writing struggles. Kurtis is an avid educational podcaster.

Melinda Linscott

Melinda Linscott lives in Chicago, Illinois, and has a Doctorate of Philosophy in English and the Teaching of English and a Master of Arts in English Literature. Melinda has been with the Academic Success Center since April 2020 and is the Team Lead of the Learning for Success Center. She has been teaching since 2005 and an online educator since 2014. Melinda enjoys working one-on-one with students. She is a preacher’s kid who has lived in 5 states: Maine, Vermont, Michigan, Idaho, and Illinois. Melinda is excited to be buying her first home in Illinois with her husband. She loves flowers and looks forward to starting a garden. 

Nancy Feraldi

Nancy Feraldi lives in New Mexico and has a Master of Arts degree in Writing-Technical Track. She has been with the Academic Success Center since 2005 and has been an educator since 1998. She enjoys collaborating and sharing resources and brainstorming writing “tricks of the trade” with diverse students from all departments and levels throughout the university, including students who speak multiple languages.  Nancy is a mother of five and a grandmother of six. She hopes to someday publish her memoirs which include being a Chicago social worker, environmental, peace, and justice activist, and other interesting jobs before she earned her master’s degree later in life.

Rick Kmetz

Rick Kmetz lives in Montana and has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. He has been with the Academic Success Center since April  2019, and he has been in education since 2003. Rick enjoys sharing what he loves with students who need and value his knowledge. He is an avid outdoorsman and fly fisherman.

Robley Hood

Robley Hood lives in the southern United States. She has a Ph.D., and she has been with the Academic Success Center since 2009. She has worked in education since 1990. Robley’s favorite part of tutoring is hearing a student say that something she suggested worked. Robley is an avid walker and photographer.

Terry Fletcher

Terry Fletcher lives in Oregon and has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing and a Master of Science degree in Legal Studies. She has been with the Academic Success Center since 2008 and has taught or tutored since 2000. Terry’s favorite part of tutoring is helping students explore their own thoughts. Terry plans to use her recently acquired Master’s degree in Legal Studies to support her passion for animal welfare in her state. She plans to lobby for better protection for pets.

Thomas Huston

Thomas Huston lives in Indiana and has a Master of Science degree and a Ph.D. Thomas has been with the Academic Success Center since 2019 and has worked in education since 2000. Thomas’s favorite part of tutoring is watching students learn. Thomas is a vegan.

Travis Murphy

Travis Murphy lives in Indiana and has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing. Travis has worked in the Academic Success Center since April 2020. He has been a teacher or tutor since 2002. Travis enjoys connecting with students. He loves to travel and has recently taken up bird watching.

Libby Turows

Libby Turows lives in Michigan and has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing and Master of Arts in Psychology. She has tutored in the Writing Center since early 2021 and has taught or tutored for over ten years. She loves to empower students and give them confidence to go further in their writing. Libby loves baking. She also enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her pets: a dog, Raleigh, and a cat, Haven.

Linda McAllister

Linda McAllister lives in New Jersey. She has a Master of Arts in English. She has worked in the Writing Center since early 2021 and has taught or tutored for over 12 years. Linda loves forming relationships with students, and she learns so much from each one of them. Linda enjoys  theater and has directed several high school plays in the past few years. 

Kyle Barton

Kyle Barton resides in Iowa. He has a Master of Education and a Master of Arts in English. Kyle has tutored in the Writing Center since early 2021, and he has worked in education for over ten years. Kyle loves the opportunities that tutoring provides to meet and collaborate with a wide variety of writers as they strengthen their voices. He also enjoys getting to learn about the different writing projects that student-writers are passionate about. Kyle enjoys reading and writing poetry, cooking, and watching movies with friends and his cat, Ella. 

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