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College Success Instructors 2015-2016

Liane O'Banion, M.S.; Dr. Óscar Fernández; Shoshana Zeisman, Ed.D.; Virginia Martin, M.A.; Craig Leets. 

Graduate Assistant:  Daniel Miller
Teaching Assistants/Peer Mentors: TBA

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 the Undergraduate Advising & Support Center (UASC), after working as an adviser at her alma-mater, the University of Oregon.   From 2001-2010, she was an academic adviser, program coordinator and instructor at PSU.  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.  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.  Liane first created the College Success program in 2002, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences on the success of the program including the International Conference for the First-Year Experience and National College Learning Center Association, most recently.  Liane's 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 who are active in sports and martial arts. As a die hard sports fan, you will see Liane at as many football and basketball games as possible.  Go Viks (and Ducks, too)!

Dr. Óscar Fernández, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Comparative Literature Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University;
Born in San José, Costa Rica, Dr. Fernández specializes in inter-American studies, literary theory, and the intersection of culture, sexuality, and representations of disease in literature. With more than 15 years of university teaching experience in private and public institutions (in Oregon, he has taught at Reed College and Portland State University) and community advocacy work here in the Portland area, his teaching trajectory, in both English and Spanish, has been delineated along three main paths: (1) Latin American literature studies, (2) literary theory and Comparative Literature studies, and (3) Spanish language, Heritage-language pedagogy, and advanced rhetoric and composition. His teaching philosophy challenges students to see the world differently and to question at-face-value approaches; in this pedagogical “contact zone” of alternative and taken-for-granted worlds, he positions his teaching, his PSU students, and himself. PSU students have honored him with M.E.Ch.A.'s Community Service Award (2006). He is currently a translation and interpretation volunteer for BRAVO Youth Orchestras (an afterschool music program at Rosa Parks School, in North Portland).  During the 2014-2015 academic year, he taught one of the yearlong "Race and Social Justice" Freshman Inquiry courses for the University Studies Department.  His published work appears in Comparative Literature Studies, Oregon Literary Review, and PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association).  Dr. Fernández is a holder of a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Practicum Grant, and a Folger Institute Faculty Weekend Grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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.

Virgina Martin, Assistant Director, Women's Resource Center, 503.725.2790
Virginia  is 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. 

Craig Leets, Coordinator, Queer Student Services, Queer Resource Center, 503.725.5681
M.A. College Student Personnel, University of Maryland, 2011
B.A. Communication Studies, Chapman University, 2009
Craig began working at PSU in October 2013 as the Coordinator of Queer Student Services and the Queer Resource Center. Prior to coming to PSU, he worked for a year as the Assistant Director of the LGBTA Student Resource Center at Penn State University. Before Penn State, Craig was at the University of Maryland getting his graduate degree and working as a Resident Director for a residence hall that housed 600 first-year students. Craig has been engaging in campus activism for the queer community since 2006 and continues to advocate for LGBTQQIAA students in his current role. He has taught courses in LGBT studies, intergroup dialogue, leadership, and student personnel. Craig is originally from Las Vegas, NV, and is excited to teach the College Success course for LGBTQIA students!