Meet the Academic Coaches

Meet the Academic Coaches

Michael Chue

Michael Chu - Academic Coach

Hey there, my name is Michael, and I am currently a graduate student here at Rutgers studying school counseling and counseling psychology. I attended Rutgers for my B.S. in psychology and graduated in 2014. During my undergraduate studies, I had my moments where I struggled to be successful but I powered through those struggles and now I want to be able to help students that may be in the same situation that I was.

The reason why I have a passion for working with students is because I can always see the potential of success in students. Even when I struggled, my coaches, professors, and counselors always saw the potential in me and that always kept me going. Sometimes all it takes is one person to see the potential in you, for you to be able to find success and I want to be able to provide that for any of the students that I work with.

As of right now, I am also working at a high school as an intern school counselor and coaching part time for a high school basketball team. I am always trying to help people overcome their struggles and also help people realize the potential in themselves so that they can become the best that they can be.

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine Henry - Academic Coach

My name is Jasmine Henry, and I am an engaging educator and musician with 6+ years of experience working with youth and adults. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology at Rutgers University and serve as Vice-President of the Rutgers Musicological Society. Additionally, I teach and advise students in music business, music technology, and popular music at a wide array of institutions including; Rutgers University, Felician University, Brookdale Community College, and Newark School of the Arts. 

Since high school, I've participated in many time-consuming activities and jobs. I was an active member of my high school's marching band, jazz band, wind ensemble, and stage crew. I managed my time well in high school, but when I got to college, I realized what worked for me in high school did not work for me in college. During my undergrad, I worked over 20 hours a week and consistently took 19 credits a semester. I encountered many difficulties achieving academic success while managing my demanding schedule. Over time, I learned to identify my strengths and weaknesses with the help of several workshops, tutors, and advisors. As an academic coach, I hope to help students reflect on their academic performance, learn from their strengths and difficulties, and set goals to perform to the best of their abilities. 

One of the most important things I have learned over time is that we have everything we need to succeed and reach our goals. It's just a matter of discovering what learning strategies and tools work best for us as individuals. I am proud to be a member of the Rutgers Learning Center family and look forward to helping students of all backgrounds learn more about themselves and how they can best achieve success. 


Mike Cate

Mike Cate - Academic Coach

My name is Michael Cate.  I am a Rutgers graduate.  First I earned a BA with high honors in philosophy, and recently I earned an Ed.M. in school counseling from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.  I have been a carpenter, an English language teacher in Japan, and I have helped develop progressive juvenile detention facilities for Native American communities.  I am a member of two classical schools of Japanese martial arts.  I cook, I bake…I probably have way too many hobbies.

Learning is at the heart of all the things I do.  Whatever I do, I ask myself questions like: “What do I know?”  “What don’t I know?”  “What does it look like to do this well?” and “How do I get there from here?”  I enjoy the process.  Of course, this has not always been the case…I am after all a high school drop out.

I left high school and I struggled for years at a community college.  I failed many classes and I constantly doubted myself.  However, at some point my outlook changed.  I stopped viewing academic success as a result of intrinsic talent and brute hard work, but skillful engaged work.  I took control of my own development and learning.  I thought about what I was doing, and how I could do it better.  The key was knowing and trusting that everything is a skill that can be developed and refined.  Also, it helps that this kind of learning is more interesting and sometimes even fun.

I am very proud to be a member of the Rutgers Learning Centers’ Academic Coaching team.   Our goal is to empower any and all students to be active skillful learners who can take control of their academic destinies.  I look forward to working with you.


Marina Shimarova

Marina Shimarova - Academic Coach

Hi, my name is Marina. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Economics in the spring of 2017 from Rutgers University. I graduated magna cum laude after writing a research thesis analyzing the benefits of educational attainment on labor outcomes for individuals with a criminal record. I'm fortunate to have studied abroad twice (Utrecht, Netherlands and Paris, France) during my time at Rutgers. These trips have greatly enhanced my college experience, at the cost of developing a habit for Dutch stroopwafel and international cinema.

I have interests in advocacy, policy reform, and education, which I have found in both my academic experience and my role as a GED tutor at a NJ prison. 

I look forward to utilizing any resources I know to aid you in reaching your academic and personal goals, and taking advantage of all that Rutgers has to offer.  

Megan Osika

Megan Osika - Academic Coach

My name is Megan Osika, and I am a Master of Education candidate in the College Student Affairs program at Rutgers University.  I earned my B.A. in English Secondary Education and Women's and Gender Studies at The College of New Jersey and received the Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon LGBT Activist Award while building community and addressing injustice as an undergraduate student.  My background in social justice and education has guided me towards the field of student affairs and has greatly informed my work with students.

When I was an undergraduate student, I struggled to balance my course work and student activities.  Once, I asked for an extension for a particularly difficult course and my professors told me that she was denying my request because she did not think I "had my priorities straight."  She was right.  My time management needed improvement and was a major cause of stress for me as a second-year student.  In my role as an Academic Coach, I hope to bring my own experiences to the table and to help alleviate some academic-related stress for others.

Joyce Macaraeg

Joyce Macaraeg - Academic Coach

My name is Joyce Macaraeg. I graduated with the Rutgers University Class of 2017 with a BA in Spanish and psychology. Currently, I am in the Rutgers GSE pursuing ESL education. I decided to pursue ESL education after my various study abroad opportunities (e.g., Spain, Mexico, and South Africa) and realizing how important it is to understand English within and beyond our country’s borders as this is a global language. Overall, I learned that our culturally diverse funds of knowledge each of us bring to the potluck are resources we are completely unaware of. 

As an AVID tutor, I realize how important it is to practice and maintain study skills. I guide my middle and high school students in understanding that the skills they practice in school (e.g., time management, prioritization, organized note-taking, etc.) are resources in helping them become accomplished and successful in the work field and at the university level. 

As an academic coach, I strive to help light the way for students towards success with academic skills at Rutgers. It is my duty to ensure that every student that walks through my door becomes aware of the resources they have buried within themselves and understand how to use this power to their advantage. I am thankful to become a part of the RLC family and I look forward to collaborating with you. 

Francesca Falzon

Francesca Falzon - Academic Coach

My name is Francesca Falzon and I graduated in May 2017 with a B.A. in mathematics from Rutgers University. In the past, I have been a Learning Assistant for Math 300 and a Peer Mentor for Math 152. Upon switching majors, it took me a few semesters to get the hang of studying effectively for my upper level math classes; I came to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to succeeding in college and that, sometimes, we need try different methods before figuring out what works best for us. 

In recent years, I have also taken on a greater number of responsibilities, which has pushed me to refine my time-management and organization. With this in mind, I am excited to share my own strategies and methods, to help others succeed in their college endeavors too.

In the future, I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in computer science and continue my life-long goal of mentoring students and helping them to achieve their goals. 

Syde Orange (Workshop Coach)

Syde Orange - Academic Coach

My name is Syde (pronounced shy-day) and I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology with a minor in Environmental Policies, Institutions and Behavior in the spring of 2016 from Rutgers University. During the past two years, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work with younger children at various preschools and tutor math at a local Mathnasium center. Due to my passion of helping others, I intend on furthering my education by pursuing a Master’s degree in School Counseling. 

Throughout my undergraduate career, I had the opportunity to be involved in Greek Life, Academic and Student Organizations and On-Campus jobs. It was because of being heavily involved in everything, I struggled with time management, being organized and prioritizing my studies. It wasn't until my junior year that I really started to get the hang of things figure out what worked best for certain classes. I also found it very useful to rely on Rutgers resources i.e. coaches, deans, and academic counselors, Rutgers professional staff in order to receive guidance and to graduate with a degree. I hope to utilize my past  and current experiences to further help students in various workshops that the learning centers has to offer.