Just before the start of the 2018-2019 academic year, Dr. Matthew Giordano, Villa Maria College’s interim president, announced significant news regarding two of the College’s student support services: the Student Success Center and the Achieve Program for Students with Learning Differences.
Effective August 1, 2018, Dr. Agnes Zak-Moskal will serve in a new position, Dean of Student Affairs. As Dean, Dr. Zak-Moskal will oversee the Student Success Center, including all current operations as well as the overall direction for Disability Services and Health Services, Counseling Services, including academic recovery, Student Life and student conduct. Dr. Zak-Moskal will continue to work on the Villa Success Roundtable Series, the Care Team, orientation, grant opportunities, and assessment and analysis of student needs and Villa support services.
“Dr. Zak-Moskal repeatedly has proven her acuity, intellect, creativity, and professionalism, while working on a range of projects, and is perfectly suited to assume this new role,” said Dr. Giordano. “She will bring her characteristic combination of deep theoretical knowledge about motivation and student success as well as her expertise and passion to this position.”
Secondly, Dr. Giordano announced the promotion of Elizabeth Kerr from Academic Coach and Student Success Coordinator to Director of Student Success. Kerr will report directly to Dr. Zak-Moskal and be responsible for first-year advising, Assisted Learning Lab sessions, tutoring services, Disability Services and Health Services.
“Ms. Kerr has been part of the Student Success Center from the beginning and knows both its daily operations and the needs of our student body intuitively,” said Dr. Giordano. “I have full confidence in her ability to work with Dr. Zak-Moskal to integrate Health Services and Disability Services into the Student Success Center’s purview as she takes on this well-deserved position.”
“These changes combine all of our student support services into a single unit,” continued Dr. Giordano. “They create an organized, coordinated approach to student support services, unified by a common vision and direction, for the foreseeable future.”
Lastly, the College has hired Jennifer Cornacchio as Director of the Achieve Program. Ms. Cornacchio has served as a tutor in the program for the last three years, and brings a rich background in working with students with a range of learning differences to the position. Outside of Villa, Cornacchio brings experience as a tutor with Orton-Gillingham Private Tutoring, an Access BSC Camp Facilitator at Buffalo State College, Interim Counselor for Student Access Center and Mentor at Erie Community College and a substitute teacher with the Buffalo Public Schools.
Combined, these changes improve Villa Maria’s ability to fulfill its mission and vision, to provide a range of supports to our students, to empower and transform the lives of its students.