Meet the Staff

Please use our contact form to send us your questions, comments, and requests by email. You can also use the directory below to contact the appropriate staff member.


Stacey Blackwell - Senior Director

Image of Stacey Blackwell, Senior Director Stacey Blackwell earned her M.A in English from The College of New Jersey, her Ed.M. in the Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from Rutgers University, and her B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish and concentration in Education from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. After teaching English and composition courses at several PA and NJ colleges and universities, Stacey returned to Rutgers in 2011. She worked as the Director of Training, Outreach, and Academic Coaching before becoming the Senior Director of the Learning Centers. She also teaches a section of the pedagogy course (Peer Instruction Education) required for all first-semester learning assistants. Stacey serves on the editorial board of ​The Learning Assistance Review and the NCLCA Newsletter​, as well as on the NCLCA Conference Proposal Committee.

Stacey Blackwell's office is in Bishop House. Phone: 848-445-0984 Email:


Daniel Cruz - Assistant Director, Livingston Learning Center

Daniel Cruz earned his Ed.M in Administration and Supervision from the St. Peter’s University, B.S. from Coppin State University and A.A. from Bergen Community College. Daniel oversees all the Learning Centers at Rutgers University and works with the academic coaches, learning assistance programs, training & professional development, writing coaches and tutoring departments to provide a learning environment where all students can be successful. Prior to Rutgers University, Daniel served as a coaching consultant for a School Principal in Cleveland, OH and an Executive Director in Louisiana; as well as has taught Math the past 15 years at Passaic County Community College. In addition to his experience, Daniel was a teacher and school administrator in the K-12 setting within the state of New Jersey.

Daniel Cruz's office is in Tillett 111A. Phone: 848-445-0982 Email:

Dijon Marie Coss - Senior Administrative Assistant, Busch Learning Center

Dijon Marie Coss graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a BA in History. She is currently enrolled at Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy taking graduate courses in Public Policy. She previously worked at University College with nontraditional students and at the School of Social Work with graduate students. Her interests lie in education policy and its potential to promote economic growth. She sees her current position Administrative Coordinator with the Learning Centers as a continuation of her role as an advocate and facilitator of student success. She looks forward to providing a positive learning environment and promoting the programs at the Busch Learning Center to assist students in reaching their academic goals.

Dijon’s office is in SERC 106A within the Busch Learning Center. Phone: 848-932-1659 Email:

Samantha Feaser - Administrative Marketing Coordinator, College Avenue Learning Center

Samantha Jones Feaser earned her B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2011. While completing her undergraduate degree Samantha tutored privately and worked in Human Resources. She returned to Rutgers in May 2012 and became the Administrative Assistant/Supervisor of the Kreeger Learning Center for two years before being promoted to her present position as Coordinator of the Livingston Learning Center and Marketing/Outreach for the LCs. Through her position, Samantha is developing her Higher Education, Student Affairs, Student Development, and Marketing skills. She recently completed her master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision, specializing in Higher Education Leadership, through the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

Samantha Feaser's office is in Academic Building West Rm. 1125. Phone: 848-932-0566 Email:

Anna Sandberg - Administrative Coordinator, Cook/Douglass Learning Center

Image of Anna Sandberg, Administrative Coordinator for C/D Learning Center Anna Sandberg is currently an Ed.D. student at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education in the Education, Culture, & Society program. She earned her Ed.M. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education in 2017 and her B.A. in Italian and European Studies from Rutgers University in 2013. Prior to joining the Learning Centers, Anna worked at Rutgers in the Department of Germanic, Russian, and Eastern European Languages and Literatures and in the Office of Disability Services. She has taught sections of Honors Colloquium, a required course for SAS Honors Program students, and sections of the Students in Transition Seminar (STS) required for all SAS transfer students. Anna oversees the Cook/Douglass Learning Centers and provides administrative support to the Learning Assistant (LA) Program.

Anna Sandberg's office is in Loree 124. Phone: 848-445-0989 Email:


Lucille Leung - Developmental Specialist for Coaching Programs

Image of Lucille Leung, Developmental Specialist for Coaching Programs Lucille Leung is currently an Ed.D Candidate at the Graduate School of Education in Education, Culture & Society. She has earned her Ed.M in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, and her B.A. in Economics also at Rutgers University. Lucille oversees academic coaching and workshops at the Rutgers Learning Centers, and also works closely with the writing coaching program. In addition, she teaches a section of the pedagogy course (Peer Instruction Education) required for all first-semester learning assistants, Methods of Inquiry for School of Engineering, and the LSAMP STEM Research Preparation course.

Lucille Lu's office is in Bishop House. Phone: 848-932-0570 Email:


Dr. Corey Ptak - Director of Integrated Academic Support Programs

Image of Dr. Corey Ptak, Director of Integrated Academic Support Corey Ptak earned his Ph.D in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University. In his postdoctoral career, Dr. Ptak became interested in STEM education and served as a lecturer at Cornell University and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Ptak has extensive knowledge of education theory, practice and evaluation. In addition to his teaching in the biological and environmental sciences he has developed and coordinated programs focused on research based teaching practices in STEM classrooms. He also helped found the ACCESS network -- a national information sharing network for programs seeking to improve equity and inclusion in STEM.

Dr. Ptak's office is in SERC 103. Phone: 848-445-1662 Email:

Sari Katzen - Program Coordinator of Integrated Academic Support Programs

Sari Katzen earned her M.S. in Biology from the College of Staten Island and her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University. Sari coordinates the Learning Assistant (LA) Program at the Learning Centers and teaches a section of the pedagogy course (Peer Instructor Education) required for all first-semester LAs. She has also worked as an undergraduate Learning Assistant for Physics for the Sciences 193 & 194, Lead Academic Coach, Program Coordinator for the NSF-funded project: Preparation in STEM Leadership (PSL), and advisors for RU-FIT, a transition course for first-year international students, and the SAS First-Year Retention Program. Read more about Sari's research and academic history.

Sari Katzen's office is in SERC 105 B within the Busch Learning Center, SERC 106. Phone: 848-445-0981 Email:

Aslihan Yildiz-Odeh - Program Coordinator, Learning Assistant Program

Aslihan earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University and her B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. She also holds a certificate in Career and Life Coaching from Rider University. Aslihan has been either in the academia or an educator for most of the last 25 years. She worked as an adjunct professor at various colleges and as a consultant at the World Bank after graduate school. Later, she worked as a teacher, curriculum coordinator and department chair at a private high school in New Jersey for 10 years before transitioning back to higher education. She was an academic advisor at Middlesex County College before joining the Rutgers Learning Assistant Program as a coordinator. Aslihan teaches a section of the Peer Instruction Education pedagogy course at Rutgers. Her passion lies in working with college-age students and in mentoring and coaching them in an academic setting; to that end, she also serves as an advisor in the SAS First Year Retention Program.

Aslihan Yildiz-Odeh's office is in SERC 105 A within the Busch Learning Center, SERC 106. Phone: 848-932-0627 Email:


Developmental Specialist, Training & Professional Development Programs

This position is currently vacant and will be posted soon.


Mary Ann Cancio - Director of Operations and Direct Academic Support

Mary Ann Cancio earned her Ed.M. from Rutgers University and her B.A. from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. She holds a Certificate in Supervisory Management, NJ Certified Public Manager Program, Department of Personnel, State of NJ. Mary Ann has over 30 years experience in Higher Education in both Student Affairs and Academic Support. Before coming to Rutgers in 1996, Mary Ann worked at St. Peter's College from 1980 - 1982, and The College of NJ from 1982 - 1996. Mary Ann currently directs the Academic Peer Tutoring Program for the Rutgers Learning Centers.

Mary Ann Cancio's office is in Loree 124. Phone: 848-932-0567 Email:


Dr. Shawn Taylor - Director of Assessment and Writing Coaching

Shawn Taylor earned his D.Ed. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, and his M.A. in Labor Studies and Employment Relations from the School of Management and Labor Relations also at Rutgers University. Shawn directs the Writing Coaching Program and oversees assessment of learning center programs.

Dr. Taylor's office is in Academic Building West Wing 1247. Phone: 848-932-1662 Email: