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K-State Today

August 8, 2019

New team members join Academic Achievement Center

Submitted by RJ Youngblood

The Academic Achievement Center welcomes three new academic coaches, Mo Li, Kris Bailey and Kaylie Towels, and new managing director of tutoring services, Luke Matulewicz.

Li first came to K-State as an international student pursuing a Master of Arts in English. After graduating from K-State, she earned her doctorate in English at Middle Tennessee State University. She credits her success at K-State and beyond to the unwavering support of the faculty members and the campus community, and so she dedicates her professional life to fostering student self-efficacy and achievement. Her most recent role at California State University, Dominguez Hills, allowed her to serve students from disadvantaged communities by modeling study habits, sharing strategies of meeting academic expectations, and coaching students on their research and writing assignments. As a new academic coach, she is excited to continue seeing students gain self-efficacy, and she finds it tremendously rewarding to witness students pursue something wholeheartedly and then succeed.

Bailey is a first-generation college student who graduated from Kansas State University in 2015 with a bachelor's in secondary education, social studies emphasis, and again in 2017 with a master's in school counseling. His previous work as program coordinator of the College of Education's Call Me MISTER program included working to recruit and retain underrepresented future male teachers. He also spent a year as a school counselor at St. George Elementary School.

"To me, there's no greater feeling than helping someone succeed and reach their goals, especially if they're students," Bailey said. "I'm excited to join K-State's effort to foster student success and help students learn and grow, whether that’s personally or academically."

Towels is a proud first-generation college graduate whose passion lies in building positive relationships with students and fostering academic success. She earned her bachelor's degree in organizational leadership at Fort Hays State University. While there, she was highly involved in peer mentorship and orientation programs. She is a recent graduate of the student affairs administration in higher education program at Texas A&M University. Her graduate work focused on creating community and a sense of belonging for first-year, first-generation college students in a scholarship-based learning community. She is excited to be an academic coach to continue empowering students to feel confident in their abilities to achieve academically and personally.

Jess Kerr, managing director of academic coaching, looks forward to their collaborations together and across the campus community.

"The various backgrounds and experiences of our new academic coaches will be extremely valuable in supporting the coaching program's mission to provide K-State students in the development of goals, dispositions, and skills needed to achieve academic and personal success! We are fortunate to have them as a part of the coaching team," Kerr said. 

Additionally, Matulewicz will serve as the new managing director of the center's tutoring services. He found his passion for higher education and student success while a student and student body president at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana. With that passion, Matulewicz went on to the University of Dayton and recently received his Master of Science in education with a focus on higher education administration. While at Dayton, Matulewicz was one of two graduate student managers of the tutoring department and focused academically on student success, student development theory, and assessment. Matulewicz is thrilled to be at K-State leading a strong tutoring program and working to help more students achieve their academic goals.

The Academic Achievement Center is excited to see how our new team members' contributions will support students and their success at K-State.

For more information about the Academic Achievement Center, visit k-state.edu/aac or 101 Holton Hall.