College Success Instructors 2013-2014
Liane O'Banion, M.S.; Shoshana Zeisman, Ed.D.; Courtney Sandler, M.Ed.; Billie Puyear, M.S.W. (deree in progress); Virginia Martin, Raymond Facundo, M.S.W.; Carolina Gonzalez-Prats, M.S.
Liane Kehaulani O'Banion , M.S., Assistant Director, Learning Center (1999-present)
Roads to Success, College Success Instructor
M.S. Postsecondary, Adult & Continuing Education, Portland State University, 2000
B.S. Psychology, Minor: Special Education, University of Oregon, 1997
Liane began working at PSU in 1999 as Graduate Assistant in Undergraduate Advising & Support Center (UASC), working with the Academic Support Program (ASP). In 2010, she was appointed Assistant Director of the Learning Center where she is responsible for coordinating the campus-wide peer tutoring program, College Success courses, co-creation of the academic coaching program, and many campus leadership positions. She came to PSU after working at the University of Oregon for two years. Liane's interests include assisting under-prepared and struggling students in achieving their goals of a baccalaurette degree and in managing the various barriers that can occur along the way. She created the College Success curriculum in 2002 when she saw a need that wasn't being fulfilled by the University and felt that it was our job to TEACH students HOW to be students. She has attended numerous national and international conferences on teaching and curriculum development and the result is that today there are several sections of the course taught by different advisers via the Academic Support Program. In 2007, she presented at the International Conference on the First-Year Experience about the success the ASP has had in increasing retention and graduation of this at-risk population of students. In 2012, she was invited back to the International FYE Conference to present on the Learning Center's newly formed academic coaching program along with the coaching program from University Housing and Residence Life and the positive impact peer coaching can have on students transitioning to higher education. Liane gets her energy from students and loves to help solve complex problems. Her favorite time of year is Commencement, when she gets to personally witness the culmination of a students' hard work when they walk across the stage to receive their degree. Being a small part of that accomplishment in students lives is truly an honor. When she is not at the office, Liane is busy at home with her two young sons, Connor and Beckett or playing with her kitty, Bella. You'll see Liane at as many football and basketball games as possible as she is a die-hard sports fan. Go Viks (and Ducks, too)!
Shoshana Zeisman, Ed.D., Coordinator of Services for Probationary Students, (2005- present)
Roads to Success, College Success Instructor
Ed.D. Postsecondary, Adult & Continuing Education, Portland State University, 2012
M.A. Organizational Management, University of Phoenix, 2005
B.B.A. Finance, University of Texas, 1998
Shoshana began working at PSU in 2005 as Graduate Assistant in the Academic Support Program and then was hired in March 2007 as a permanent full-time Academic Adviser. She teaches College Success courses that focus on helping at risk students with study, time management and other skills that will lead to their success at PSU. Shoshana also works closely with students on academic warning and academic probation. Shoshana has a total of eight years of experience working in higher education including, experience working in Financial Aid and Career Services. She is currently working on completing an Ed.D. in post-secondary, adult and continuing education from PSU. In her spare time Shoshana enjoys playing with her dog, seeing live music, exploring Portland and the surrounding area, and watching college football. Of course she loves the Vikings, but the top spot in her football heart will always be reserved for her alma mater, the Texas Longhorns.
Gena Senarighi, M.S., M.A., Assistant Dean of Student Life (2011-2013)
College Success, College Success for LGBTIQQA Students Instructor
M.A. in Counseling Psychology, Saybrook University, San Francisco, CA, 2010
M.S. in Student Affairs Administration, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2004
B.A. in Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI, 2002
B.S.E. in Secondary Education, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI, 2002
B.S. in Social Studies: Geography, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI, 2002
Gina Senarighi currently is the Assistant Dean of Student Life and CARE Team Case Manager in the Dean of Student Life Office. Gina provides professional, clinical and ethical consultation, guidance, and coordination of resources and services for students experiencing barriers that are preventing them from thriving and succeeding at PSU. She also works with P.S.U. staff, faculty and community members to create a campus atmosphere that promotes help-seeking behavior and fosters an ethos of care in our educational community. Gina also works in private practice as a Couples Counselor and Individual Psychotherapist in northwest Portland. Her background as a professional Mediator, certified Life Coach, Nonviolent Communication Trainer, Leadership Development Consultant and Myers Briggs Type Indicator Facilitator influence her work in therapy and in the classroom. She spent years as a Sexuality Educator and Social Justice Trainer and continues to work with LGBTQ community organizations in the Pacific Northwest (Bent Writing Institute and Camp Ten Trees) as a Board Member and leader when she is away from campus. Gina joined our community in the spring of 2011. Though her true home is in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin she lived the last seven years in Seattle, Washington. Gina has previously held leadership positions in Student Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Indiana University, Oxford University, and as part of the Semester at Sea program. She has traveled to over 50 other countries, but no mater where she finds herself she always makes time to watch Green Bay Packers play!
Virgina Martin, Assistant Director, Women's Resource Center
Virginia is new the Assistant Director for the Women's Resource Center at PSU. She has worked as an educator, activist and advocate for women and sexual and gender minorities for 15 years. She has a special place in her heart for non-profits and her background includes working for The Sexual Assault Resource Center, The Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, Basic Rights Oregon, and Human Dignity Coalition. Her work with universities includes the Pride Center, Women's Center and Team Liberation at Oregon State University and Program Coordinator for the LGBT Center & Women’s Center at Ohio University. She is finishing up her MA in Women's Studies and Counselor Education at OSU. Virginia closely follows Paulo Freire's teaching philosophies and methods, believing that students need to be active participants in their education, not merely empty receptacles in which teachers deposit information that students rarely retain. "Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other."-Paulo Freire. She currently lives in Portland with her partner, sister-in-law and 7 year old niece. Virginia loves choreographed dancing, anything coated in glitter, fostering cats from the Human Society, and reading feminist and social justice blogs.
Gabriel Feit (2010-present), Roads to Success
Major: Social Science, Minor: Creative Writing
Gabe graduated with an Associates degree in Culinary Arts from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont in 2007. He enrolled at PSU in 2011 with the goal of getting his Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Science with a minor in Creative Writing. His interest include social anthropology, philosophy, language and communication. He has taught cooking classes to grade and high schoolers and written for a national culinary magazine. Gabe has a plethora of outlets for energy. Originally from Boston, Ma., he is an avid ice hockey fan and still plays when he finds the time. Go Bruins! When he's not on the ice, Gabe enjoys rock climbing, and biking, and of course, getting creative in the kitchen. "It's one of the best ways to unwind."
Courtney Sandler, M. Ed., Academic Success & Retention Coordinator- UHRL (2010-present)
Roads to Success Instructor
M. Ed., College Student Personnel, Western Carolina University, 2006
B. S., Communications, Western Carolina University, 2004
B.S., Marketing, Western Carolina University, 2004
Courtney started her journey at Portland State in Fall 2010. She came to PSU from North Carolina where she was born, raised and educated. Courtney has worked full-time in higher education for almost seven years focusing on a wide array or areas including residence life, student activities, Greek life, multicultural affairs, academic coaching, academic success and retention. Currently Courtney is the Academic Success and Retention Coordinator for University Housing and Residence Life. She works directly with University Success, an in-all academic support center, Academic Coaching, as well as academic support and retention initiatives. Courtney’s passion is to help students achieve success inside and outside the classroom. She also loves to help students seek their own passions and ways in life so they can reach their ultimate goals and happiness. When Courtney is away from the office she spends her time outdoors, camping, biking, hiking, hanging out with her dog and gardening. Being new to the area she loves to venture around and find new places in Portland. You may catch Courtney at PSU’s Saturday Market because she is a vegan/gluten free foodie!
*( ) Indicates tenure at PSU, not necessarily in current job title.