• Meet CCAC's Student Success Coaches

    Student Success Coaches Are Here to Help You!

    • Develop an educational plan and set goals
    • Provide individual and group coaching that supports academic success
    • Facilitate workshops on time management, note-taking, test prep, and study skills
    • Refer students to on- and off-campus resources for additional support services


    Ashley Clark Image  

    Ashley Clark, Boyce Campus has over 8 years of experience in higher education, and has been a Student Success Coach at Boyce Campus since 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication at Slippery Rock University where she served as a student leader in many capacities which began her interest in working in higher education. She has worked in several areas of education including academic advising, career services and conflict resolution. While working in education, she earned her Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication from Duquesne University and her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Higher Education. Ashley’s approach to academic success is to build strong connections with students in efforts to guide them through their college experience. Her experience in student advising along with coaching allows students a unique experience in navigating college and challenges during their educational career. When Ashley is not helping students, you can find her enjoying outdoor activities and spending time with her rescue dog.
     Farkas_Kathryn   Kathryn Farkas, South Campus received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint and her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in enrollment management from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, she gained experience in the office of Inclusion Initiatives & Cultural Competence, advising diverse student organizations and developing a series of trainings on issues of inclusion, identity, and social justice. Kathryn’s passion for working with students stems from her roots as a student activist in Flint and her fundamental belief in educational access for all. She is thrilled to be starting her career in higher education at CCAC South.
     Mark Ellison   Marshall (Mark) Ellison began his career in 2002 at Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus as a Perkins Career Support Specialist. In that role Mark developed his passion for mentoring and counseling students and assisting them with their academic success. In 2010 Mark accepted his current position of Student Success Coach and continues to be a student advocate. One of his most notable achievements was developing one of the strongest Men of Merit Programs at the Boyce Campus. Prior to coming to CCAC, Mark worked in Real Estate Management and also for the Pittsburgh Job Corps’ College Program as a residential advisor. He was instrumental in bridging the gap for Pittsburgh Job Corps students transitioning to the CCAC college program. He continues to be a student advocate in developing strong relationships resulting in numerous success stories of retention and graduation.

    Mark’s formal education was at the University of Dayton with a concentration on secondary education in urban studies. In January 1971 Mark was drafted by the NFL from the University of Dayton to play for the New York Giants. Mark’s community service includes the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsburgh, Board of Directors for the YMCA, and is a current member of the Churchill-Wilkins Rotary which sponsors the interact club at the Woodland Hills High School.
    Darren Image   Darren Lesher, South Campus  is a 2016 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. He now attends Pitt as a graduate student pursuing his Master of Education in Higher Education Management. Darren is married to his wife, Melissa, and the couple has a young daughter.  Darren believes that with the right support and motivation, any student can succeed. He also recognizes that students face a unique set of barriers that can limit opportunities. As such, Darren is motivated to help students of diverse backgrounds with various needs achieve success. Stop by and see him support today!
     Sean Thomas   Sean Thomas, North Campus has served as a Student Success Coach at CCAC North Campus since January 2016. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Education in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Slippery Rock University. Currently he is working on his PhD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Administration and Leadership.
     Taumi    Taumi Kalcich, North Campus has spent 13 years working with students in higher education and is passionate about helping students grow and develop. Taumi earned her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and a B.A. from Muskingum College in Art Education. She is currently a master’s student in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and is working toward becoming a licensed therapist. When not working with students, she enjoys arts and crafts, cooking, travel, her puppies, and spending time with family.
     Miles   Miles Hines, Allegheny Campus has been with Community College of Allegheny County since 2008. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hines has maintained a strong presence in supporting, inspiring, and uplifting the Pittsburgh community for over a decade via community outreach programs, faith-based initiative programs, youth development programs, and serving as an educational coach/facilitator. Also, during Hines' tenure, he has assumed several administrative positions related to financial aid, registration, advising, and Pittsburgh Promise.

    Additionally, Hines' career in higher education includes experience in working under grant-funded as well hard money positions. More, specially, throughout the years, Hines has both assisted and directed initiative programs for both male and females of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity, income status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and several other ideologies. Miles believes that it is the supportive and caring learning environment that sets the stage for student excellence and academic program completion. Guiding students includes regular monitoring of academic rigor, including live tutoring referrals, learning center referrals, and online computer tutorials referrals.

    Currently, as a student success coach and program liaison for Pittsburgh Promise, Miles applies and posts the Financial Promise Awards to all students' accounts campus wide that cover the total cost of attendance. Promise eligible students receive payment towards any remaining balance up to the students' maximum annual award amount for each of the four years of post-secondary education. He is honored to be able to mentor students along their academic journey to achieve their goals. He monitors students' success, makes recommendations to increase academic success.
    Joey Garcia   Joey Garcia, Allegheny Campus was born and raised in San Jose, CA. He attended De Anza Community College and earned two degrees (Behavioral Science and Justice Studies) before transferring to San Jose State University. There he earned both his Bachelors and Masters in Social Work. Joey has worked in education for over ten years, spending time at the high school level, community college and four year institutions. Most recently he has been supporting Division I collegiate student-athletes, assisting them with; academic advising, life skills preparation, leadership development and career development. Now here at CCAC Allegheny Campus, Joey will be working with Student Success and Pittsburgh Promise Extension. “I knew if I wanted to make a true impact on my community CCAC Allegheny Campus would be the best spot”, said Joey. “I want to help students get through their time at CCAC, and have fun doing it. College is a great experience, especially if you have the right support”! He welcomes any and all student to stop on by his office in the Library: Room 404D. Let’s welcome Joey to our CCAC Family!

    Ginger Underwood   Ginger Underwood-Herring, Allegheny Campus is a Student Success Coach, Adjunct Instructor, Program Manager of ACT 101 and Campus Liaison for Women on A Mission at Allegheny Campus. She has worked for the college for 17 years and wears many hats. She has served on numerous campus committees during this time. She is a graduate of Carlow University, where she obtained her Bachelors in Communications and her Masters in Professional Counseling respectively. She has developed great working relationships with students, staff, and faculty across the college. One of her favorite quotes is Margaret Meade’s “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has”.