Sanger Learning Center

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Meet Our Staff

Paige Schilt Paige Schilt
Interim Director

Paige is responsible for advancing Sanger Learning Center’s mission to be the university-wide learning resource dedicated to students’ mastery of course content and development of transferable academic and professional skills. She oversees the center’s three service areas, tutoring, academic counseling, and course support as well as taking learning specialist appointments and delivering oral communication workshops. She manages day-to-day center operations and leads the assessment and pedagogical efforts for the center. Paige earned a Ph.D in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and she has more than fifteen years of college teaching experience in disciplines as diverse as English, rhetoric, communication, film studies, and women and gender studies.

Nisha Abraham Nisha Abraham
Learning Specialist III, Course Support & Instruction

Nisha coordinates Supplemental Instruction for STEM courses. She received her B.S. in cell and molecular biology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and her M.S. in biology from Texas A&M University in 2012. During her time at Texas A&M, she was a teaching assistant for several undergraduate biology classes, worked for the Center for Teaching Excellence, and conducted research on improving student motivation and performance in science education. Additionally, Nisha has over five years of combined industry and science research experience, has worked recently as a senior bioscience associate at UT’s Austin Technology Incubator, and has served as an adjunct faculty member in biology for South University.

Darcy Barrick
Instructional Designer, Discovery Scholars

Darcy Barrick is an Instructional Designer currently working with the Discovery Scholars Program success initiative. She creates programming for study effectiveness interventions, supervises and trains learning specialists, leads classes and workshops, and takes private appointments with students. In the past fifteen years, she has overseen developmental reading/writing services, trained Signature Course and Supplemental Instruction teaching assistants, and created the center’s Peer Academic Coaching program. Her areas of specialization include general study effectiveness, academic/test anxiety, and ESL/foreign language issues. Prior to joining the SLC staff, she supervised student teachers and teaching interns in area public schools for UT and taught at the secondary level in the U.S. and Japan. She holds a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in the Plan II Honors Program, both from The University of Texas at Austin.

Shiloh Booker Shiloh Booker
Learning Specialist, Discovery Scholars

Shiloh is a learning specialist with the Discovery Scholars Program. She works one-on-one with students to develop study skills and learning strategies. Before joining the Sanger Learning Center, she taught world literature, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, developmental writing, and grammar courses at Texas State University, where she also received her MFA in poetry.

Ed Fernandez Edward Fernandez
Program Coordinator, Academic Counseling & Tutorial Services

Ed oversees the Academic Counseling and Tutorial Services team at the Sanger Learning Center, which includes tutorial services, peer academic coaching, learning specialist student appointments, and outreach services. He has held a number of positions at the Center and in 2005 was the recipient of the Eyes of Texas Excellence Award. Additionally, he has served as Managing Editor for the Journal of College Reading and Learning and as a member of the Executive Board of the College Reading and Learning Association. The depth of his knowledge of—and passion for—learning assistance in all its forms has increased with each succeeding experience. And the time he spends with student educators, their students, and the students he teaches and advises is, by far, the most fulfilling and engaging part of his job.

Claire Gaylord Claire Gaylord
Administrative Associate

As Administrative Associate for the Sanger Learning Center, Claire manages student employees, maintains communication across programs, and supports the day-to-day needs of the Sanger office. A Jane of all trades originally from Upstate New York, Claire has worked in the arts, human resources, and office management. Most recently she acted as assistant rooms manager at Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ before relocating to Austin. She received a B.A. in studio art specializing in ceramics from Hunter College in New York City.

Rachel Jenkins Rachel Jenkins
Learning Specialist III, Academic Counseling and Tutorial Services

Rachel coordinates drop-in tutoring at the Sanger Learning Center and provides academic support to students through one-on-one counseling. Prior to joining the SLC staff, Rachel managed the Supplemental Instruction program and taught freshman seminar courses at Southern Arkansas University. Rachel also taught English at the secondary level in Little Rock, Arkansas, before transitioning into higher education. She received her B.S.E in secondary English education from the University of Central Arkansas and her M.S.E. in educational psychology with an emphasis in gifted and talented from Baylor University.

Leta Moser Leta Moser
Learning Specialist III, PLUS

Leta coordinates the Peer Led Undergraduate Studying program which offers organized, efficient study groups to more than 6,000 students each year in a variety of disciplines. She also provides individualized academic support to students through academic counseling, and supports the development of graduate students through facilitating Signature Course cohort classes. Prior to joining the Sanger Learning Center, she taught in an Austin area high school for three years. Leta earned her master’s degree in cancer biology from Vanderbilt University and created her own major in bio-social nutrition as an undergraduate at Beloit College.

Graciela Pratt Graciela Pratt
Learning Specialist IV, Discovery Scholars

Grace is a learning specialist with the Discovery Scholars Program. As a learning specialist, she takes private appointments with students to discuss such topics as study strategies, math and test anxiety, and time management. Over the past 16 years Grace has worked with the Supplemental Instruction program as a supervisor and instructor; the Tutorial Service program overseeing the Drop-In Tutoring Center, tutor certification, evaluation and hiring; and with the Texas Success Initiative as a developmental math instructor. She received her B.S. in mathematics, B.A, in English from The University of Texas at Austin and a M.S. in developmental and adult education from Texas State University.

Sarah Pylant Sarah Pylant
Office Assistant

Sarah supports the Sanger Learning Center as their office assistant. She helps mentor student employees, assists with the center’s assessment and measurement, and supports the daily needs of the center’s many programs. Prior to joining the Sanger Learning Center team, Sarah worked as an advertising account manager at a local agency in Austin, and in operations for a local nonprofit. She received her Bachelor of Science in advertising and a Business Foundations certificate from the Moody College of Communications here at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bryan Russell Bryan Russell
Learning Specialist III, Discovery Scholars

Bryan is a learning specialist for the Discovery Scholars Program. He provides individual academic counseling and helps students develop essential learning skills. Prior to joining the Sanger Learning Center/Discovery Scholars staff, Bryan worked as an assistant instructor for UT, where he taught courses in Native American and Mexican American literature as well as in rhetoric and writing. He also worked as a newspaper reporter in West Texas and worked in media relations for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Bryan studied journalism and English at Angelo State University, where he earned his B.A and M.A. He earned a Ph.D from UT in English with a focus on indigenous studies.

Pamela Way Pamela Way
Learning Specialist IV, Peer Academic Coaching

Pam supervises and coordinates the Peer Academic Coaching (PAC) and the Graduate Student Writing Services (GSWS) program, and assists with tutor coordination and training. Additionally, Pam provides academic counseling to students, specializing in motivation, time management, and test anxiety and provides assessment support for the Sanger Learning Center. In fall semesters, Pam teaches a signature course for the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP) scholars. Pam earned a BA in psychology, a MA in program evaluation, and a PhD in educational psychology, all from The University of Texas at Austin.

Jay Whitehead Jay Whitehead
Instructional Designer, Discovery Scholars

Jay develops content-support services for students in the Discovery Scholars Program, such as weekly quiz sessions for students in STEM courses. He also assists with the supervision of the mathematics portion of the Supplemental Instruction program. Jay develops the content for the SLC’s mathematics classes, selects mathematics graduate students for leading many of these classes, and teaches the algebra refresher and trigonometry refresher classes each semester. Jay also provides academic counseling, primarily for topics related to the study of mathematics. Jay received his master’s degree in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 2005.