Enrich your education with academic success coaching

student and faculty talking

Coming to college raises so many questions! Like you've changed your mind about your major as you've learned about other fields and are now unsure what to do.

Or maybe you're curious about student clubs or community organizations related to your major, or you're ready to set goals for your time at FLC but aren't sure where to start. 

Our Academic Success Coaches are faculty who help you:

  • Discover your interests, passions, and motivations
  • Explore academic and career paths that match your unique skill sets
  • Acquire academic study, organization, and time-management skills
  • Connect to campus and community resources, opportunities, and communities
  • Practice self-advocacy, empowerment, and accountability
  • Cultivate healthy mind, body, and spirit habits that foster resilience and emotional intelligence
  • Set and attain academic and personal goals

Students: How to get a coach

If a Success Coach hasn't contacted you yet and you want to learn more about partnering with a Coach, please reach out to: 

Michelle Bonanno

Staff & Faculty: How to refer students to a coach

When you submit a referral form, we will connect the student you refer with an Academic Success Coach or with a more appropriate service to support them.

Refer a student for Success Coaching

Meet our coaches

First-year and first-generation students

Michelle BonannoMichelle Bonanno, Director of Peer Education & First-Year Experience

Michelle Bonanno is a Senior Lecturer of English and Director of First-Year Experience and Peer Education. She started working at FLC in 2005, but she was a student here before that! Michelle is a first-generation college student and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Communications in 2001. She then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, earning a Master of Arts in Communication in 2004. 

As a student at FLC, Michelle met her future husband, Anthony, and they are now raising their two children, AJ and Mia. As a family, they love to camp (especially in San Diego), boat (especially at Lake Powell), and cross-country ski (especially at Vallecito).

Health Sciences

Jaymee CarozzaJaymee Carozza, Lecturer

Jaymee graduated from California State University, Chico, with her undergraduate (1993) degree in Exercise Physiology with a minor in Health. After taking a year off of school to figure out her next step, she returned to Chico State to complete her master's degree in Exercise Physiology (1996). 

Jaymee has lived in Durango for 23 years. She came to Fort Lewis College as the Head Women's Soccer Coach and Exercise Science Instructor in August of 1997. After 10 years of coaching and teaching, Jaymee decided to stay home for a few years to raise her children. She continued to teach a few classes a year as an adjunct until all 3 of her kids were in school. She has been in her role as a full-time instructor for the last 4 years. 

Jaymee has been married for 19 years and has 3 children. She has 2 boys: Sam, who is 17 years old, and Owen, who is 14 years old. Her daughter Mia is 13 years old. 

Jaymee feels fortunate to be in a career that she loves. One of her favorite parts of the job is watching students grow from unconfident and unsure about who they are and their path into successful young adults.

School of Business Administration

Elizabeth CartierElizabeth Cartier, Assistant Professor

Elizabeth A. Cartier, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Management in the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College. She joined the college in the 2018-2019 academic year. Before joining Fort Lewis, Dr. Cartier was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico and a Lecturer at Arizona State University Colleges at Lake Havasu City. Dr. Cartier's teaching focuses on organizational behavior, human resources, and decision-making.

While pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she received the Isenberg Doctoral Teaching Award in 2015. Dr. Cartier's research concentrates on tourism impacts, the critical aspects of power and control, gender and social inequality, and the relationship between discourse and power. Dr. Cartier's practical focused on her experience in the hospitality industry, where she worked in restaurants in Massachusetts, New York, and Colorado.

When Dr. Cartier is not at the Fort, you can find her enjoying the north country of Durango, skiing, fishing, or hiking.

Society, Inquiry and Justice & Communication, Creativity and Aesthetics

Ryan DubasRyan Dubas, Lead Academic Coach

Ryan was born in Colorado Springs and grew up in Central Nebraska and Northeast Kansas during his 10s and 20s. He earned a B.A. in English Composition at Hastings College and an M.A. in English/Cultural Studies at Kansas State University. He is interested in historical, cultural, and ecological influences on literature and composition. For the first half of his 30s, Ryan left teaching to work in vineyards, orchards, and farms. His time in nature led him to consider the role of silence and simplicity in communication. 

As a professor and success coach, he is especially interested in balancing and integrating left and right-brained methods of inquiry and ways of knowing. In the writing classroom, he emphasizes place-based inquiry and works to incorporate indigenous research methodologies. His current studies explore the effects of written literacy on the psyche, mythologies, and cultures. 

Science, Engineering, and Math

Daisy MatthewsDaisy Matthews, Lead Success Coach

Daisy moved to Durango in August of 2014 to take a position as a full-time visiting instructor in the math department at FLC. She taught 100 and 200-level classes for 4 years before joining Durango High School, teaching sophomore and junior-level math classes in addition to SAT Prep (a college-preparation course) and Calculus III. Daisy earned her master's degree in Algebra from the University of Montana-Missoula in 2014 and a bachelor's of science in mathematics and secondary education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. She is currently a part-time lecturer in the math department at the Fort and a Lead Academic Success Coach.

She has been teaching on and off for the last 16 years and loves helping students find ways to feel successful in their academic pursuits! She also enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and swimming.


Maggie ShieldsMaggie Shields, Academic Success Coach

Dr. Maggie Shields is the Academic Success Coach focusing on student-athletes. She loves working with the student population and helping to navigate the challenges of course mapping, time management, and stress reduction.

When not working with students, you will find her teaching nutrition classes or demonstrating how to make delicious food. Outside of Fort Lewis College, Dr. Shields has a small farm with her husband and daughter and loves spending time building and creating.

School of Education

Mike WagnerMike Wagner, Lead Success Coach

Mike came to Fort Lewis in 2017 as an assistant field instructor for the Adventure Education Block Semester. In 2020, he transitioned to the Teacher Education department as an Adjunct Instructor. In addition to Mike's roles at Fort Lewis, Mike has served as the Staff Manager at Deer Hill Expeditions in Mancos, CO, since 2018. He loves teaching and is incredibly passionate about human and community development.

When Mike is not planning lessons and grading papers, he walks his 12-year-old Chihuahua, plays guitar and violin, is a competitive endurance athlete and avid river rat, and is a loving husband to his partner of 17 years.

Undergraduate Research

Christine SmithChristine Smith, Academic Success Coach

Christine Smith is FLC's Undergraduate Research Support Coordinator, and she teaches in the Biology Department. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University. Christine loves teaching, which she has been doing for close to 20 years now. She also loves working closely with students—whether assisting them with classes and life in general or helping them get involved in research projects with mentors.

Christine moved to Durango with her husband in 2008. After adopting a child from China, they moved to Albuquerque, where she taught at the University of New Mexico for a few years. They are delighted to be back in Durango, where they ski, hike and bike, and are thankful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place.


Renee BeetonRenee Beeton, Academic Success Coach

Renee Beeton joined Fort Lewis University in 2021 and has taught chemistry to undergraduate students for over 15 years. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from North Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She is passionate about teaching and helping students succeed in STEM. Her research interests include culturally responsive science teaching, faculty development, and exploring the effects of racial and gender biases in the sciences.

Off-campus, Renee enjoys all the outdoor activities that Durango offers (hiking, biking, skiing, paddle boarding), trying new foods, and traveling with her family. She has one son; her husband is also a professor at Fort Lewis.