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Academic Success Center (ASC)

ASC Director

Savannah Garcia, MA

 Savannah Garcia (pronouns she/her/hers) has served as the Director of the   Academic   Success Center at University of La Verne since 2020, formerly serving as   an Assistant   Director of Writing, where she emphasized writing across the   disciplines, assignment   design consultation, and developing robust writing and   research support for graduate   students. Under her leadership as Director, she   inaugurated classroom support via   Student Learning Assistants, typically supporting   30 classes per semester, as well as   an Academic Coaching program that has been   built into university processes such as   early alerts, academic warning, and   academic probation; a peer mentoring program   for first generation students; Black   and Latinx Living Learning Communities; and   academic reinstatement contracts.   Savannah’s teaching experience includes research and writing courses as well as a sophomore experience class centered on values such as Ethical Reasoning, Diversity and Inclusivity, Lifelong Learning, and Civic and Community Engagement. Savannah holds a Masters degree in English Literature from University of Toledo, and her research interests include holistic student growth and development; intersects among race, sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status, and culture; power, privilege, and dismantling systemic forms of oppression; and theoretical analysis related to equity, social justice, and diversity within higher education. Savannah’s work is driven by the belief that students should be met where they are, nurtured and supported holistically, and that given the appropriate tools, all individuals have the capacity to be successful and to make their deepest desires a reality. | 909.448.4381 | WL 168

ASC Associate Director

Briana Smith, MS

 Briana currently serves as the Associate Director of the Academic Success Center at   the University of La Verne. With her educational background in Animal Science and       professional experience in teaching and recruitment/pipeline programs, Briana brings   diverse experiences that enable her to consider various aspects of the student   experience   and perspective before making decisions. Her passion lies in holistic   student success,   motivating her efforts in her work, such as co-creating the Black   Brilliance Initiative, which   focuses on fostering community among first-year students at   the institution. Briana firmly   believes that by prioritizing the human aspect of our   students, we can gain deeper insights   into their needs, ultimately knowing how to   effectively support them both within our i   institution and beyond. Transitioning from   teaching at the college level to academic   support, Briana now reaches students   outside of the classroom, allowing for a more profound impact. Briana values equity, social justice, inclusivity, and diversity, driving her commitment to student success. | 909.448.4611 | WL 167

ASC Coordinator / LLC Student Employment Coordinator

Donna Williams


With twenty years of experience in higher education, Donna holds the roles of Libraries & Learning Commons Student Employment Coordinator and Academic Success Center Coordinator. In these capacities, Donna is dedicated to offering support and resources that enable students to reach their academic and professional aspirations.

Passionate about her roles, she will often say, "If I can help you succeed, then I'm succeeding!" This guiding principle underscores her commitment to student success and helps cultivate a nurturing atmosphere within the university. | 909.448.4721 | WL 163