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ASC: About Academic Success Centre


Our Programs and Services

Picture of student around a table studying
Welcome to the Academic Success Centre (ASC) at Red River College!

The ASC supports students in becoming independent and confident life-long learners. ASC services include: individual and group tutoring, EAL support, academic coaching, academic skills training, diversity training, and weekly reviews of targeted courses.

ASC supports are created in collaboration with faculty and are delivered in safe, supportive environments that accommodate a diversity of learning and cultural backgrounds. 

Admin Team

Lauren Phillips – Manager

Picture of Lauren PhillipsHi! My name is Lauren Phillips, and I am the Manager of the Academic Success Centre and Assessment Services. My focus at the ASC is ensuring our services respond to both the current and evolving needs of RRC students and staff.

I’m passionate about evidence-based practices that enhance students success and persistence at RRC, and am thrilled to work with all the other educators you see on this page. Our ASC team is student-focused and highly engaged in creating a learning environment that supports the diversity of talents and backgrounds of our students.

Please drop by to meet any one of us in person – we exist to connect with and support the RRC community.

Chris Harder – Tutoring Supervisor

Picture of Chris HarderSee Chris at NDC for Coaching, Tutoring, and Workshop Requests.

Hi! I have been with the Academic Success Center since June 2015 where I tutored students in EAL and facilitated workshops on a variety of topics related to English language and academic skills. Prior to joining Red River College I worked as an EAL instructor, program coordinator and Business English coach in South Korea for over ten years.

I am passionate about teaching and will always do my best to help my students achieve their personal language goals. If you are feeling that your language skills are holding you back from academic success, I would be happy to work with you to develop the strategies and skills required to overcome these challenges!

Dayna Graham – Adult Learning Facilitator

Picture of Dayna GrahamSee Dayna at EDC for Coaching, Tutoring, and Workshop Requests.

Dayna Graham is an Adult Learning Facilitator primarily at the Exchange District campus. Dayna’s education degree. EAL certificate, and 15 years in the field of education, combined with a lifetime commitment to sport, has driven her to seek out practices which elevate students’ learning and academic performance. Dayna has a hand in administering several student supports at the ASC, including academic coaching, tutoring, student success workshops, group review workshops, support for incoming students, and partnerships with various programs across RRC.

Nora Sobel – Diversity Initiatives Coordinator

Picture of Nora SobelHi! My name is Nora Sobel and I am the Diversity Initiatives Coordinator with the Academic Success Centre.

I am originally from Argentina and have been living Canada since 2001, and I am passionate about recognizing and celebrating our cultural identities and how we all contribute to our very diverse community!

I work with students, instructors and staff to provide educational opportunities to all students to support the development of their intercultural competence – necessary in today’s global work environment – and enhancing their understanding and respect for gender and sexual diversity. Looking forward to meeting you!

Kaleigh Quinn – EAL Specialist

Picture of Kaleigh QuinnContact Kaleigh if you need language support in these programs/schools: School of Community Services, Educational Assistant, Electrical/Electronic/Instrumentation Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Power Engineering.

Hello! My name is Kaleigh, and I joined the Academic Success Centre in January 2016 as an EAL Specialist. I work with students, tutors, and program staff, to assist students to develop the language skills they need to be successful in their academic programs and in the workplace; we provide supports through individualized and small group tutoring, workshops, and classroom embedded supports.

I have a B. Ed, M. Ed, and a TESL Certification, and have experience supporting EAL learners in K-12, university, college, language training, and government capacities. I value the opportunity to support EAL students in their RRC academic programs, and am passionate about finding creative ways to support students’ language needs. Please stop by the ASC if you’d like to learn more about our EAL supports!

Stephen Sawchyn – EAL Specialist

Picture of Stephen SawchynContact Stephen if you need language support in any of the programs in the schools of Transportation Technology, Skilled Trades, or Health Sciences..

Hi everyone!  My name is Stephen Sawchyn and in June, 2017 I  joined the team at the Academic Success Centre as an EAL Specialist. I work with students, instructors and programs to provide the language supports needed for students to be successful in their college courses and in their field after graduation.

Send me an email or stop by the ASC to learn more about the supports we offer and how we can help.

Lisa Vogt – EAL Specialist

Picture of Lisa VogtContact Lisa if you need language support in these programs: Civil Engineering Technology, Architectural Technology, and Construction Management.

Hi! My name is Lisa Vogt and I’m an EAL Specialist with the Academic Success Centre. I’ve taught EAL since 2000, working in Tokyo, Vancouver and Winnipeg. At RRC I work with a team of EAL Specialists and EAL Tutors to support students and instructors. We look at the language demands for program areas and develop workshops, study groups and individualized tutoring to meet the needs of EAL students. Our goal is to help students develop their English language skills so they can be successful in College programs. Contact us if you need further information!

Carleigh Friesen – EAL Specialist

Picture of Carleigh Friesen​Carleigh has worked with the college in the Language Training Centre since 2015, first as an instructor, and more recently as a Special Projects Coordinator launching and developing international projects.

Prior to her work at the college, Carleigh worked at the University of Manitoba as an EAL Instructor to international students. She has also worked as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) instructor in Mexico and Costa Rica, where she also developed some fluency in Spanish.

Carleigh has completed her CTESL and Bachelor of Education through the University of Manitoba and is passionate about continuing lifelong learning through ENGAGE sessions and her weekly Spanish class!

Kyle Schewe – Peer Tutor Facilitator/Staff Tutor

Picture of Kyle ScheweSee Kyle if you want to become a Peer Tutor at EDC or NDC.

Working primarily at the Exchange District Campus, Kyle has made the campus his home and can be found in P210 or in the Massey building tutoring students, leading workshops, or working on projects that seek to improve the delivery of services by the ASC to improve the success of the students at RRC.

Kyle has experience teaching business related courses for over 10 years and has expanded his knowledge in such programs as Business Administration, Applied Accounting, and Commerce Industry Sales & Marketing. His ability to not only teach, but allow the learner the space to learn at their own pace and provide foundational skills applicable to all their courses, is what each student takes away from a meeting with Kyle. He models successful learning to students, and expects them to also put in the energy with their time together, as each student has control over their own progress and should feel pride in their achievements as they move from a new student to graduation. If there was only one piece of advice Kyle would give a student, it would be about reading questions from textbooks or on exams; “Read it again. Read it again! READ IT AGAIN!” He really believes that students do not allow themselves enough forgiveness in their own abilities, and cannot stress how important it is to read a question more than once. Kyle will be the first one to say he reads a question three times before he really understands it!

Tutors and Coaches

Lena Bender

Picture of Lena BenderLena Bender joined the Academic Success Centre as a Nursing/Science tutor and Academic Coach in 2018 and is thrilled to be here!

With a BA and a background in Kinesiology, Lena has over 13 years of experience in Medical Education and private tutoring, in both French and English. She supports students in Nursing and Applied Health/ Sciences programs. Her special interest is Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Lena loves teaching, and enjoys watching her students succeed. She recognizes that each student has their own unique learning style, and works to create an environment tailored to each student’s strengths and interests.

Sharon Erazo

Picture of Sharon ErazoHi! My name is Sharon Erazo and I am an ESL Tutor in the Academic Success Centre. I have experience teaching ESL in both South America and Canada and have my Masters in English Language Teaching. In addition to teaching, I have worked as a Career Coach with new immigrants here in Winnipeg.

I love meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds and am passionate about helping students improve their communication skills.

Chelsey Finney

Picture of Chelsey FinneyHi! My name is Chelsey Finney. I am in my fourth year of Booth University College (BUC)’s Applied Psychology program. Last September, I claimed a minor in English Literature. Upon graduating with my bachelors, I hope to continue on to complete a Master’s degree in either Marriage and Family Therapy or Behavioural Analysis.

I have background knowledge in the following areas:

  • Assignment outlining
  • Formatting and citations
  • Strategies for locating research
  • Strategies for mastering time management/scheduling
  • Strategies for note-taking and proficient reading
  • Strategies in how to study for assessments effectively

As one of Red River’s Academic Coaches, I hope to pass forward the tools and skill-kits I’ve learned as a student myself, coupled with research to enhance your own learning experience(s). I am a big believer in the potential of SMART and GROW goals. They can help you overcome almost every academic obstacle! If you are not familiar with these acronyms, they stand for:

G = Goal-Oriented                                            S = Specific

R = One’s Current Reality                                 M = Measurable

O = One’s Options                                            A = Achievable

W = One’s Way Forward                                   R = Realistic

                                                                          T = Timely

If you would like to sit down and discuss how these goals can help you as a student personally, let’s!

Dolores Haggarty

I joined the ASC in March 2016 and am delighted for the opportunity to work with students at RRC. I obtained the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) in 1996 in Montreal. Since then I have taught ESL extensively in Montreal, Prague, Istanbul and Winnipeg. In addition, I hold a BA in Theatre and English from the University of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Social Work from McGill. Before entering the world of ESL/EAL, I was a full-time journalist with CBC Radio, which included five years as a morning show co-host in Saskatchewan and several years as a host/producer with Radio Canada International (RCI) in Montreal.

In my recent work with ESL students, I have concentrated on helping to polish writing and reading skills. I have found that my main task as a tutor is to help students realize that they know far more than they think they do, and with careful planning, each and every student can produce work that far exceeds their own expectations.

Rebecca Hiebert

Picture of Rebecca HiebertHello! My name is Rebecca Hiebert and I am an EAL tutor in the Academic Success Centre.

After receiving my BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, I moved to California and completed my Masters of Education. Following this, I taught in Orange County, California to mixed classes of native English speakers and English language learners. Since moving back to Canada, I have taught English for Employment as well as newcomer cooking and baking classes. In 2019 I completed my EAL certificate from the University of Winnipeg.

I am passionate about developing student specific activities and programs so students can gain independence with their learning. I am a lifelong learner and am currently learning to play the fiddle and guitar.

Michael Kozakewich

Picture of Michael KozakewichSince 2011, Michael has been tutoring the Business IT program and other computer-related areas at the Exchange District Campus. He graduated from RRC in 2007 as a Computer Programmer and Analyst.

He’s passionate about how information systems work: “I spend a lot of time exploring computers and their software. The ways in which we design user experiences in modern operating systems are finally making computing accessible to everyone. Thinking carefully about these systems is the key to making them relatable and easy to work with.” He likes to promote humane coding and thoughtful design when he engages students with their coursework.

Michael’s favourite thing about tutoring is that he can explore the beauty and expressiveness of all the different programming languages. Even though they look similar on the surface, each language has its own inner workings and they each excel at different tasks. There are often too many details to distinguish in a single semester, so the deeper complexity is glossed over during regular study. When needed, he’ll draw up sample material to explain weird concepts found in students’ courses.

Karen Loeb

Picture of Karen LoebI have been part of the Academic Success Centre since September 2014. My role so far has mainly consisted of delivering workshops on English language usage and academic skills. I also work as an English instructor at the Université de Saint-Boniface and I have worked in other community-based ESL programs since 2010 (Entry Program, Mosaic, Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre, English at Work). In addition to teaching, I am a professional translator and interpreter (English and French). Learning my second language at university gave me invaluable insight into the challenges that students face when they are studying in a non-native language. I enjoy working with people from different backgrounds and from all walks of life.

Lynne Martin

Picture of Lynne MartinLynne is passionate about equipping people to be their best selves by discovering and building on their strengths. With over 35 years’ experience in people-related careers, Lynne enjoys interacting with students from various cultures and backgrounds.

At Red River College, she offers expertise in ESL, study skills, writing and oral communication, through tutoring and workshops as well as academic coaching. Lynne secretly yearns to get a dragon tattoo.

Barbara McCandless

Picture of Barbara McCandlessMy name is Barbara McCandless, and I am an EAL tutor at the  Academic Success Centre. I have experience working as a classroom instructor at the Language Training Centre where my focus became English for Special Purposes (ESP) programs. My primary focus was health related as I worked with nurses and dentists in bridging programs. 

Before EAL, I was a dental hygienist and have experience as a clinical instructor in the dental assisting program.  

Crystal Miles

Picture of Crystal MilesI was born Deaf and have been using ASL. I started ASL tutoring at RRC in 2019; however the actual start date was in 2018 when a student interpreter from RRC asked me to help her with her ASL skills, which led me to this position and fell in love with it.

Since I started working as ASL tutor, I loved every minute of it. Seeing students graduating with confidence brings joy in this job!

Suzanne Mouflier

Picture of Suzanne MouflierSuzanne has been with us since 2010. She is proficient in several RRC programs and academic content areas such as ECE, ESL, Social Sciences, Writing & Biology.

“I truly enjoy working one on one with adult students and getting to know them. I am very interested in different cultures and love learning about them. I also appreciate learning about how difficulties affect people and how I can facilitate their moving forward in their chosen area of work. When I tutor, I always encourage ESL students in particular to listen to English as often as possible and to read to improve their communication and writing skills. Degrees that have helped me are: Special Education & TESL I’m interested in art, especially pottery & I really like learning Spanish.

Mike Okrainec

Picture of Mike OkrainecI have taught for over 20 years throughout the province (and even a stint in Balmy Rankin Inlet). My specialty is in foundation math for the trades.

Over the last several years, I delivered many programs in this area around the province for a couple of government organizations. One of my favourite things to experience is when a learner has that “Light-Bulb” moment, when they go from uncertainty to confidence in their abilities.


Michael Reimer

Picture of Mike ReimerI have been a staff tutor at Red River College since 1998. Recently I have expanded into making tutoring videos for the Wiseguys series.

My specialties are Business Math, Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II and Statistics.

Good luck with your studies!


Cody Rogers

Picture of Cody RogersHi, my name is Cody, and I’m a new academic coach at the academic success center. My background is in applied psychology and am currently working towards a Master’s in Sports psychology.

I have a passion for health and well-being and like to keep that in mind when coaching. It’s my goal to get you engaged in learning, and from studying psychology, I have learned that students who take charge of their own learning will show a lot of growth and improvement from where they started. I’m always happy to discover shared interests with students, some of mine include sports, movies, music and games to name a few. I like to help students find a way to apply something their interested in, towards their school work. Any way to bring something familiar to the college setting is a doorway to taking charge of their learning.

Scott Shabaga

Picture of Scott ShabagaHello, I have been a tutor at RRC since 2013 and have loved (almost) every minute of it. I typically tutor students in math for trades and technology programs.

One of my favourite aspects of tutoring is seeing the confidence grow within the students as they realize more of their their abilities and potential. I very much enjoy working with the students at RRC and hope to do so for many more years to come!

Ariy Shilshtut

Picture of Ariy ShilshtutI have a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Education.

I have over 30 years of experience in teaching and tutoring different math and statistics courses.

Since 2010 I have been working as a tutor of Academic Success Centre.

I am a tutor for all math and statistics courses.

Charanjit Singh

Picture of Charanjit SinghThe one thing I enjoy more than Accounting and Stats is helping others understand the course material more fully. I am a recent grad from the Business Administration program and moved right into being a staff tutor. I primarily tutor in Business Admin, Applied Accounting and BIT.

My favorite thing about tutoring occurs in my Math and Accounting workshops – when I see a student or a group of students work together to find their own way to the solution. Being a recent graduate, I try to relate with the difficulties students face, and provide them with the guidance needed to move forward and succeed in achieving their goals. I encourage our students to study in small groups when it comes to solving complex problems because through team-work students find different ways in finding the solution.

My interests are varied and include travelling, sports and language learning.

Claire Thomas

Hello! I joined the Academic Success Centre in March 2019 as a writing tutor and academic coach.

I have enjoyed a varied career that includes teaching, technical writing and editing, and running a program where I taught basic job skills to at-risk youth.

I love words and I love to help people. If you need assistance with essay writing or study skills, I would love to help you.


Ming Hua Xu

Picture of Ming Hua XuMing is the voice and face of many Wise Guys Videos and a ASC Math and Science Blog.

She has helped hundreds of students in all the Technology Programs of Red River College. She’s also tutored in over 20 different courses. Students can’t speak highly enough of Ming and her expertise in the math and sciences. She is approachable, patient and learner-centred.

View Ming’s math videos. If you’d like further tips and practice in math and science, visit Wise Guys Series

Naomi Warkentin

Picture of Naomi WarkentinHello! I am thrilled to join the staff at the Academic Success Centre as an academic coach and staff tutor. I began my teaching career as a high school math teacher, followed by years of learning about people through running a home day care. Through all these years, I was privileged to tutor a number of students, mainly in math. In all of my experiences with schools and academics, I have come to realize that my favourite and most fulfilling moments have come in my tutoring roles. I love to be able to provide an alternate way of looking at concepts and to be able to truly listen to a student’s struggles and questions. I look forward to helping students make studying, math, and school work manageable and rewarding. This job could only get better done on a picnic table by a campfire!

Assessment Services Staff

Colin Beveridge – Assessment Facilitator

Picture of Colin BeveridgeI would like to welcome you here as the Assessment Facilitator of Assessment Services at the Notre Dame Campus of Red River College! Often as a first point of contact for those planning to attend Red River College at this campus, I look forward to scheduling entrance assessments with many of the students. We provide assessments to a wide variety of student prospects, including International and Canadian applicants. Diagnostic testing is also conducted for students in certain programs to provide individualized feedback regarding academic growth in their program; particularly in math and reading comprehension.

Information sessions and workshops for other assessments with our office are also a highlight of my job. Team leading a reading workshop, as a preparation piece for students who write the reading comprehension test called the DRP, is most rewarding when a student attends the workshop and is successful in their DRP writing! Amongst many other administrative duties in our classroom and office, the outdoor surroundings of the campus are a welcome site and walking space. I look forward to the changes and challenges of the role I am in and providing quality service from Assessment Services at Red River College!

Angela Tessier – Assessment Program Analyst

Picture of Angela TessierAngela, whose background is in Science, immigrated to Canada from Ireland. She worked for many years as a workplace educator researching, developing, delivering and evaluating the impact of customized training in various industries. She also taught internationally trained professionals as an ESL instructor.

Currently, at Red River, she is an Assessment Program Analyst where she conducts research and then implements customized solutions to enable students to succeed in their courses. In her spare time, she loves to be outdoors, read, travel and debate politics!

Kristina Maas – Assessment Clerk

My name is Kristina, and I am the Assessment Clerk in Assessment Services. I have worked at Red River College for a number of years in a variety of areas, including Student Services, Admissions, and Student Records, and moved into this new position in the spring. Most of my time is spent setting up and supervising entrance tests, along with marking and entering test scores. My favorite part of my job is having the chance to interact with the prospective students that come in for testing.

Mera Galapir - Assessment Clerk

Picture of Mera GalapirRed River College opened the door for my career journey last November 2018. I considered this as my first job in Canada. 

I am grateful to be part of this institution because RRC values work, family, and health of each employee. People are very accommodating and friendly ---it’s a great experience!