Meet the Academic Coaches

Nora Devlin

Nora DevlinMy whole life so far has prepared me for academic coaching. For years I did not understand anything about school, academics, studying, or teaching. I thought I was just bad at school and there was nothing that could help me get better. One day, I had an epiphany; I realized that studying is a skill that can be learned. I realized school was a game, but I knew none of the rules. This was about 10 years ago, and for the past ten years I have been studying the rules of the game of school so that I can help others master them as well. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University (St. Davids, PA) with a double major in Spanish and Sociology. In 2014 I earned a 4.0 in my graduate certificate program in Coaching through Fielding Graduate University. I am now working towards my M.Ed. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at the Rutgers GSE. I have worked in Universities, pre-K-12 public schools, and non-profits with a focus on (child and adult) education (especially with regards to language learning). I am also an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) as recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

As a coach I have worked with people from ages 14-57. My approach to coaching is that purposeful conversation leads to purposeful action, and with purposeful action we can reach our goals. My goal is to be the best coach I can be, and in doing so help the students I work with meet the goals they set for themselves.


Michael Chue

 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.


Kimberly Kosinski

Picture of Kimberly Kosinski Hello! My name is Kimberly, and I am a graduate student studying College Student Affairs with the Graduate School of Education. I currently intern for the Office of the Dean of Students at Rutgers University, where I work with students to promote academic success, retention, and graduation through a holistic approach. I truly enjoy serving as an advocate for my students and it is so fulfilling to see them succeed. After graduation, I hope to work in a position that allows me to continue to foster growth and development in college students.

In 2015, I graduated from Georgian Court University with a B.A. in History and Political Science. At Georgian Court, I served as a peer tutor, helping my fellow students to strengthen their reading and writing skills, as well as their study skills, time management, and organization skills. Serving as a peer tutor was one of my favorite experiences as an undergraduate, so I knew that I would enjoy serving as an Academic Coach with the Rutgers Learning Center. I truly believe that Rutgers students are among the best and the brightest in the country, and I want to help all students to reach their full potential both inside and outside the classroom.

As a graduate student at Rutgers, I have been fortunate enough to serve undergraduate students in many capacities, and I am so excited to continue to do so through my role as an Academic Coach. All my life, I have loved to learn and I look forward to sharing this love with others!


Jacob Dick

Picture of academic coach Jacob Dick My name is Jacob Dick. I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. I received my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace in the spring of 2016 from Rutgers University. In my last year of school as an undergraduate, I earned the award of James J Slade Scholar after performing a research project on new ways of sensing strain.

My passion has always been to learn new things, and pass on my skills to other students. As an undergraduate I was a Learning Assistant. In this role, I helped students learn physics concepts while also passing on valuable academic lessons I learned when I took physics. My role as a learning assistant has allowed me to grow as person, and it has prepared me to pass my academic skills and abilities on to future students.

I am an academic coach because I have faced many challenges in my career that allowed me to gain new skills and abilities. I had to study for seemingly impossible exams, read through tough passages, and listen to lectures filled with tough concepts and a lot of jargon. Through these experiences I learned to enhance study habits, reading abilities, and decipher the teachings of experts. I hope to share these skills and more as an academic coach.


Zahra Khan

 Hi! My name is Zahra. I'm a recent graduate of Rutgers University, where I majored in Exercise Science & Sport Studies. While I was at Rutgers, I worked as an orientation leader and campus tour guide, played soccer, and volunteered at a local nursing home. One of my fondest experiences as a student was serving as a physics Learning Assistant, where I had the opportunity to guide and work with students in a classroom setting. This role had a profound effect on me, and has since helped me recognize the value of learning, and of harnessing our potential.

In school, I often struggled with time management. It was challenging for me to juggle multiple commitments at a time, and sometimes I felt cornered by my responsibilities. I drew inspiration from workshops I attended and material I read throughout my time as a Learning Assistant, and feel compelled to share with current students what I've learned. I believe that with the right resources, energy, and time, students can shift from first rate performance to excellence. As an Academic Coach this semester, I look forward to aiding students in identifying their strengths, performing at the best of their ability, and achieving their academic goals! 


Mike Cate

 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.


Xiqiao Tong

 My name is Xiqiao Tong (first name pronounced like C-Ciao), I am currently studying for the Master’s of Information Technology and working as a Teaching Assistant at the School of Communication and Information. My undergraduate background is International Education, and I have instructional experience with both college and high school students.

I am a goal-orientated and self-motivated person, which I assume is critical when it comes to time management and active learning. I am always willing to share and give advice on studying strategies to help and motivate people around. What appeals me the most for being an academic coach is that we will come up with specific plans and solve problems for students to facilitate their study. My aim is not only promoting the students to have better academic performance at university, but also equip them with the techniques that will facilitate their future career and encourage them to be lifelong learners. Besides,I have various studying and living experience in Asia, Europe, and North America. I bring to the table a set of global perspectives and International insights, which qualifies me to serve a significantly diverse community as Rutgers.


Joe Olsen

 Hello everyone! My name is Joe and I’m a recent graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in Mathematics. At Rutgers, I was a resident assistant, a learning assistant for physics, and a tutor for mathematics. Currently, I work with the Physics department as a TA for Extended Analytical Physics for Engineers and with Career Services as a program coordinator for the FIGS program. Through my work as a learning assistant and as an academic coach, I was able to discover a real passion for education and have since committed myself to helping students from all backgrounds find their success at Rutgers.

Though I may have been a star student in community college, transferring to Rutgers as a junior was an intense challenge that put all of my academic skills to the test. This experience has made me particularly sensitive to the needs and struggles of those transitioning to Rutgers, and so it is my hope that I can make the transition as easy as possible for others who find themselves in the same situation as I did.

I’m excited to work with all of the undergraduate students at Rutgers to make sure that no potential is left untapped. I’m looking forward to being a part of your future and continued success.