Thoughts from Tutors

Getting to Know the TC Staff

By Stephanie Casey
Master Tutor

So you know your tutor and maybe a few counselors…what about everyone else? Here is a compiled list of all the counselors and master tutors academic background, strengths, personal interests, and other fun facts. Acquaint yourself with our wonderful staff and then feel free to come and say hi! Building relationships with others in any type of environment can increase one’s sense of belonging in a community. Establishing interpersonal connections at Tech will serve you well to create an environment conducive to success and personal development.

We would all love to know more about you!


Carol Scott – Program Director


Graduate: Counseling (M.Ed., University of North Texas), Business Administration (M.A., Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: Family Studies (B.S., Texas Tech University), Human Development (B.S., Texas Tech University)

Strengths – Input, Learner, Maximizer, Intellection, Strategic

Favorite resource at Tech – I haven’t tried it yet, but I want to check out the zero gravity chair in the Student Counseling Center

Favorite part of counseling – I love watching students succeed when they didn’t think they could.

Favorite subject to talk about – Family, friends, my dog, health

Other interests – I enjoy working out, healthy eating, church/faith, friends, family, reading, cooking


Brandi Schreiber – Assistant Director


Graduate: English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing (M.A., Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: English Language and Literature (B.A., Texas Tech University)

Strengths – Input, Context, Connectedness, Learner, Intellection

Favorite resource at Tech – I don’t think I have a “favorite” resource on campus as a staff member, but I would like to see more students take advantage of the MindSpa, as well as see how much diversity our university has to offer through the Texas Tech Museum, the Southwest Special Collections, the English Department, and the School of Art. The School of Music also offers free concerts every week. It’s an awesome resource to get out of your comfort zone, learn something new, and be more well-rounded!

Favorite part of counseling – There are two things that I love the most about my job: first, I love that I get to work with amazing tutors and help them develop as young professionals. For many, this is their first professional job, and I really enjoy helping them develop into the young professionals that they will be when they walk out our doors for the last time. Being around these high-achieving, dreaming, smart, energetic tutors keeps me young and pushing myself to grow, too! The second thing that I love about my job is influencing my students’ lives. I should have 7 students graduating in 2015. All of these students have either been with me since 2010 or since they started at Tech, so it’s been a literal and metaphorical journey. To know I have helped them is a really good feeling.

Favorite subject to talk about – Books and writing, obviously! And how people can be creative to be their best selves. I am a very spiritual person, but I find that I have to keep those conversations very limited at work.

That said, I’ve noticed a trend in our culture of people who feel quite comfortable doing all the talking all the time: talking about how much they know, what they know, who they know, etc. This becomes one-sided conversation in which people don’t spend enough time being quiet and really listening to others without injecting our own stories or opinions into those conversations or turning them around to be about themselves. While there are things that I like to talk about, I’ve found it’s just as valuable to be a listener, so some of the favorite things that I like to HEAR is mutual respect for others and kind and genuine words from those around me.

Other interests – Cooking, art, animals, travel, books, writing/poetry


Kyla Shannon – Unit Coordinator


Graduate: Special Education (M.A., Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: Human Development and Family Studies (B.S., Texas Tech University), Business (minor, Texas Tech University)

Additional Certification: Teaching certificate (Texas Tech University), Autism certificate (Texas Tech University)

Strengths – Restorative, Belief, Learner, Empathy, Achiever

Favorite resource at Tech – Starbucks in the SUB!!! Just kidding, kinda…the career center assessments!!! These things are golden! I love how they put into words strengths and characteristics of each and then lead to job possibilities and choices!

Favorite part of counseling – I love walking my students and tutors through the problem solving process! Whether it is to figuring out daily struggles or brainstorming on how to make tutoring better or more effective for our students! I LOVE getting involved in life with my tutors! I love hearing their life goals and plans and where/what they want to do/be!! I love encouraging the underdog!

Favorite subject to talk about – Football!! Oh, do you mean academic subject….

Other interests – I love football! Especially Texas Tech football! I like being creative, making things, doodling, decorating, hanging out with friends, and attempting to workout. I have really started to enjoy yoga and getting my chakras in line! I wish I liked to run but I hate it. Travel!! I LOVE to travel! All the places! I want to go!!!


Laura Casanova – Academic Counselor


Graduate: Special Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders (M.Ed., University of Texas at Austin)

Undergraduate: Psychology (B.S., University of Arizona), Special Education and Rehabilitation (minor, University of Arizona)

Strengths – Positivity, Strategic, Responsibility, Communication, Developer

Favorite resource at Tech – I LOVE the leisure pool! And while I have never been, the Mind Spa sounds fantastic!

Favorite part of counseling – I love building relationships with students and tutors. Over the past 3 semesters, my students have inspired me in countless ways. Each of our unique relationships have taught me something special. I love identifying individual qualities, needs and strengths in my students. Watching them flourish and achieve their goals is by far the best part of this job.

Favorite subject to talk about – I love hearing about my student’s and tutor’s passions! With such a wide range of represented majors and career goals, I can learn so much! I particularly love hearing about others’ goals and aspirations for the future. I want to do my best to support these goals and encourage them as they become a reality.

Other interests – I love eating diverse and new foods, baking, swimming, consuming sour candy, quilting, spending time outdoors and traveling!


Jacob Fisher – Academic Counselor


Graduate: Media and Communication (M.A., in progress, Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: Honors Arts and Letters (B.A., Texas Tech University), Spanish (B.A., Texas Tech University), Business Administration (minor, Texas Tech University)

Strengths – Restorative, Intuitor, Developer, Input, Connectedness

Favorite resource at Tech – I love the Engineering Opportunities Center. I’m a little biased because my wife is on staff there, but they truly do provide excellent advising, tutoring, and development services for Engineering students.

Favorite part of counseling – I love helping students prepare for life outside of college. College is only a short few years, and many times the things that help students really succeed are beyond the classroom. I enjoy talking about life, helping students sort through their thoughts, and helping them discover the things that they are truly passionate about.

Favorite subject to talk about – I enjoy talking to my students about their lives. It’s sometimes easy to forget that students are whole people living lives outside of the Center. Reconnecting to that is always a cool reminder of why I do what I do.

Other interests – I enjoy front porches and playing guitar. I read as much as I can, mostly nonfiction. I love coffee. I’m very involved in my church, Redeemer, here in Lubbock. I listen to music constantly, and try my best to stay on top of the artists making really great stuff, so if you ever need music recommendations, let me know!


Hannah Bergren – Academic Counselor


Graduate: Interdisciplinary Studies (M.A., in progress, Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: Retail Management (B.S., Texas Tech University)

Strengths – Individualization, Maximizer, Relator, Achiever, Harmony

Favorite resource at Tech – I love the Rec center. Free workout classes? A pool? Masseuses? What is not to love about increasing your physical and mental health?

Favorite part of counseling – My favorite part of counseling probably integrates my first three strengths. I love looking at each person individually, figuring out how we can relate to one another, and use this knowledge of them to help them become the best version of themselves.

Favorite subject to talk about – Everything! Habits, relationships, life goals, school goals, pets, relaxation, struggles, religion, sleep, health,etc. Whatever is pressing to the student or tutor in that moment.

Other interests – My interests include trying to figure out what I’m interested in.
I love to spend time with my friends in Lubbock. They are like a second family to me. I love to read, play with my dogs, and figure out all of the best places to eat in Lubbock.


Michael Abbott – Academic Counselor


Graduate: Psychology (M.A., Texas Tech University), Financial Planning (M.S., Texas Tech University)

Undergraduate: Sociology (B.A., The Ohio State University)

Strengths – Empathy, Responsibility, Belief, Developer, Relator

Favorite resource at Tech – My favorite resource on campus other than the TC would have to be the counseling center.

Favorite part of counseling – I really enjoy getting to know the students and helping them through this process. I enjoy creating the relationships and providing an atmosphere where they can come and confide in and trust someone.

Favorite subject to talk about – Psychology is my favorite to talk about; it is most fascinating to me. But I am open to learning about other subjects as well.

Other interests – I am very interested in my family, sports, entrainment, and things that make me laugh!


Jo Lynne Stark – Senior Business Assistant


Undergraduate: Studio Art (B.F.A., in progress, TTU), Photography (minor, TTU)

Strengths – Adaptability, Positivity, Includer, Developer, Harmony

Favorite subject to talk about – I enjoy talking about all kinds of things. I enjoy hunting, photography, art, horses; anything that has to do with the outdoors.

Other interests – All things outdoors! Gardening, horses, hunting, and going to the lake are just a few things I do. I like all kinds of art and photography. I also enjoy cooking.



Master Tutors

(all education in progress at TTU)

Samantha Ward


Undergraduate: Exercise Sport Science (B.S.), Psychology (B.A.), Nutritional Sciences (minor)

Strengths – Harmony, Achiever, Intellection, Learner, Relator

Favorite resource at Tech – My favorite resource on Tech’s campus is the Career Center. I set up a mock interview with them before my Grad school interviews and they were extremely helpful!

Favorite part of tutoring – My favorite part of tutoring is when students are able to share their successes with me. Whether this is doing well on an exam or something not school related.

Favorite subject to talk about – My favorite subjects to talk about are probably ESS and health courses.

Other interests – I love to read! Also, movies and Netflix take up quite a bit of my time! Most recently my biggest interest has been planning for the arrival of my niece in April!


Rachel Onishi


Undergraduate: Human Sciences (B.S.), Psychology (minor)

Strengths – Developer, Communication, Positivity, Adaptability, Activator

Favorite resource at Tech – I love the personality and strengths assessments that are available through the Career Center!

Favorite part of tutoring – I enjoy getting to connect with my students and encourage them in all areas of life, not just academically. I love seeing them develop as whole-hearted individuals.

Favorite subject to talk about – Anything related to Psychology

Other interests – I love having coffee with friends, cooking, pleasure reading, deep conversations, and spontaneous adventures!


Jared Olafsson


Undergraduate: Geoscience (B.S.), Mathematics (minor)

Strengths – Learner, Maximizer, Includer, Communication, Strategic

Favorite resource at Tech – I find the counseling center to be the most beneficial outside resource to students. They have highly trained professionals who are there to talk about any and everything. The best thing, of course, is that students get 6 sessions each semester (included in the cost of tuition).

Favorite part of tutoring – My favorite part of tutoring is being able to build friendships with my students. I especially enjoy watching my students become more confident in themselves through the academic assistance we provide them in both their work and their personal lives.

Favorite subject to talk about – I love to talk about sports. I can talk about football and basketball for hours on end, and I watch ESPN every single day. Go Texans.

Other interests – I like to play video games, go hiking, read, and watch TV/movies!


Brieann McDaniel


Undergraduate: Psychology (B.S.), Biology (minor), Chemistry (minor), American Sign Language (minor)

Strengths – Strategic, Consistency, Responsibility, Focus, Restorative

Favorite resource at Tech – My favorite resource is the student counseling center. I think it is so cool that each student gets free sessions with a psychologist just as part of being a student here.

Favorite part of tutoring – My favorite part of tutoring is getting to know my students on a personal level and watching them succeed. Often times students have lost confidence in themselves after years of being told they “can’t”, and seeing them smile after acing an exam is just priceless.

Favorite subject to talk about – I really enjoy tutoring both Psychology and American Sign Language. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking these classes myself, and having others like them too is really rewarding.

Other interests – I really enjoy reading, watching tv/netflix/football, and just hanging out with my friends and family.


Taylor Fortney


Undergraduate: Exercise Sport Science (B.S.), Religion (minor)

Strengths – Analytical, Deliberative, Competition, Strategic, Relator

Favorite resource at Tech – My favorite resource is the Student Union. There are so many options, it is crazy. There are fantastic places to eat, fun areas to hang out, as well as great study rooms that provide all the resources you need!

Favorite part of tutoring – I really enjoy life chats with students, and getting to know them beyond their GPA. Also, showing them how their school work is reflective of life, and seeing their progress.

Favorite subject to talk about – My favorite subject to talk about is Exercise Science, and more specifically biomechanics. I really enjoy showing how exercise can benefit the body in so many ways, whether the person works out two times a day or not at all. Biomechanics is basically Sport Science on ESPN! I think it’s really cool to see how the joints and muscles work together to create the most force and movement.

Other interests – My two biggest passions are baseball and archery! I played college baseball for two years, and it has been my passion since I could walk. I also am President of the Tech Archery club, and shoot competitively with the team.


Victoria Andrews


Undergraduate: Animal Science (B.S.), Chemistry (minor), Agricultural Leadership (minor)

Strengths – Focus, Achiever, Input, Competition, Includer

Favorite resource at Tech – The Rec Center, Library and the Writing Center!

Favorite part of tutoring – Building relationship with students, seeing students succeed, prep time, and relating concepts to the real world

Favorite subject to talk about – Anything Animal Science or Agriculture related!

Other interests – Crafting, cooking, exercising, reading, photography and watching TV!


Stephanie Casey


Undergraduate: Honors Arts and Letters (B.A.), Chemistry (minor), Psychology (minor)

Strengths – Strategic, Achiever, Analytical, Includer, Competition

Favorite resource at Tech – The library! They have so many services they offer. Here are a few:
cheap microsoft office download (and many other types of software)
iliad document delivery system
personal librarians
free access to databases
dvd rental for when netflix gets boring
video/audio equipment
a recording studio!
Anatomy models
free use of (tutorials for software use)
study rooms (for when the TC is closed)

Favorite part of tutoring – My favorite part of tutoring is when you can tell the material clicks in students minds. I enjoy seeing them make connections between classes and truly understand the course content.

Favorite subject to talk about – Anything to do with science. My degree has integrated humanities, hard sciences, and psychology so I enjoy discussing the inner workings of people on a molecular and behavioral level.

Other interests – I love long walks on the beach (but really though). I was a figure skater for ten years so if I’m in a city with ice I try to skate. Dance is a great outlet for me. I love hiking! I enjoy cooking and baking. Trying out different recipes and forming my own concoction is always fun.


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