Meet your success coach!

At St. Edward’s, you’ll have an entire success team to help you personalize your college experience — classes, internships, leadership opportunities, study abroad and more. And it all starts with your success coach.

To help you get more acquainted with your success coach, we asked each of them to answer a few questions about themselves. See what they shared. And be sure to reach out to your coach at any time. You can email them to schedule a call or meeting. They’re always happy to hear from you! 

For more specific information on who to contact for each academic program and/or population, please contact Academic Counseling & Exploration.

Success Coaches with The Bill Munday School of Business

Portrait of Kelsey Samsel

Kelsey Samsel, Associate Director and Success Coach 

Email Kelsey or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Every student is different and brings a new light to my job each day. I learn so much from them (y'all keep me young)! Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Sitting at the tables in front of the bookstore, working or meeting with students. The hilltop is so peaceful and makes even those who prefer to be indoors, love the outdoors. Insider campus tip for students: Topper Tender can be used at Cabo Bob’s. What’s Cabo Bob’s, you say?! It’s my Pro-Tip Place to go. One surprising tidbit about me: I really dig high fives and coffee (together or separate)!

Portrait of Claudia Briseno-Chavez

Claudia Briseno-Chavez, Success Coach 

Email Claudia or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Helping students navigate their college experience and make the transition to our university a little less daunting. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Walking around campus and looking at the architecture of the buildings and the beautiful grounds. It can be quite peaceful. Insider campus tip for students: Holy Cross Hall has great areas that are perfect for studying without too many distractions! One surprising tidbit about me: I’ve always been terrified of deep water, but finally, at my age, am conquering my fear and learning how to swim. 

Success Coaches with The School of Arts and Humanities 

Photo of Claudia Trevino

Claudia Trevino, Associate Director and Success Coach

Email Claudia or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: For me the best part about being a success coach is helping students navigate their time at St. Edwards and getting to work with a great team of people that are all dedicated to student success. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: I am still learning about all the great things at St. Edwards, but my favorite so far is chatting with the excellent staff at the Meadows Cafe while picking up some Jo's Coffee. Insider campus tip for students: Download and use the Topper Safe App to fill out your COVID-19 Self Assessment every morning. It is helpful to access buildings and different services at St. Edwards. One surprising tidbit about me: Something interesting about me is that I have visited 6 different countries and have studied abroad twice. Once in Japan during my undergraduate years and once in Scotland during graduate school. I am looking forward to using my passport again.  

Joshua Urie Headshot

Joshua Urie, Success Coach

Email Joshua or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Walking alongside students as you figure out what you want from your education, discovering where it can take you. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Walk around and take in the beauty of the campus. Insider campus tip for students: Find a specific place to study and keep it sacred. Whether it's a spot on campus, in your own home, or somewhere else utilize that spot for studying and studying only, so that you enter the right headspace even as you near it to begin. One surprising tidbit about me: I've lived in six and a half states: California, Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas; the half is Washington because my parents moved there while I was in college and though I've spent a significant amount of time there, I haven't actually lived there. I also lived in Ecuador for just under a year, but unfortunately I was a shy kid and didn't learn Spanish.

Success Coaches with The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Roel Martinez

Roel Martinez, Associate Director and Success Coach

Email Roel or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Working with learners who want to step and leap into their future. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Walk around campus on my lunch break and talk to students away from the office. Insider campus tip for students: Jo’s Coffee in Doyle Hall (I call it “Secret Jo’s”) is a great place to have a quiet cup of coffee if you need a moment to yourself with caffeine involved. One surprising tidbit about me: I have an affinity for analog writing tools — pencils and typewriters to sharpen, fix and use.

April Buentello-Srock

April Buentello-Srock, Success Coach

Email April or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Collaborating with faculty and staff to provide mission-driven services to all the students and families we serve. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Roam around campus and enter nostalgic spaces connected to my undergraduate and graduate years. Insider campus tip for students: Explore our beautiful campus and get to know it — and visit faculty and staff during office hours! One surprising tidbit about me: I got to meet Gabby Rivera, one of my favorite writers and advocates, and the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics.

Portrait of Kyle Kaiser

Kyle Kaiser, Success Coach

Email Kyle or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Helping first-year students transition to college and learning about their academic goals. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Going for runs through campus — running in front of Main Building that overlooks downtown is awesome. Insider campus tip for students: Use the different study spaces available around campus — you don’t just have to go to the library or study in your residence hall. One surprising tidbit about me: I’m a fan of true crime podcasts.

Success Coaches with The School of Natural Sciences  

Portrait of Michael Kinsey

Michael Kinsey, Associate Director and Success Coach

Email Michael or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: I really enjoy working with all the student-athletes to help them plan and set goals for their time at St. Edward’s and beyond, as well as occasionally cheering them on at their games! Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Walk around campus and see what students are up to while drinking a hot cup of coffee. Insider campus tip for students: The best view on campus is from the third floor restrooms in Fleck Hall. One surprising tidbit about me: It's not very surprising, but I used to play baseball and am a proud graduate of St. Edward’s!

Portrait of Nicole Barrios

Nicole Barrios, Success Coach

Email Nicole or Schedule an Appointment

On the hilltop: 1 year. Best part about being a success coach: Supporting students during this exciting time in their life when everything is new and so many possibilities await them. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Enjoy the natural beauty — the gorgeous trees, the Austin skyline, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, the swings beneath ivy-covered trellises near Moody Hall. Insider campus tip for students: Visit with your professors! The phrase “office hours” can sound intimidating but your professors are not. One surprising tidbit about me: I worked at the School of American Ballet in Manhattan — but I’m not a ballerina!

Lauren Wyatt Headshot

Lauren Wyatt, Success Coach

Email Lauren or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Guiding students through their college career and meeting with students one-on-one to learn about their personal and academic goals. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: I love to take a walk around the beautiful campus and admire the view of downtown Austin. Insider campus tip for students: Utilize all of the resources that St. Edward's has to offer you and don't be afraid to ask questions! One surprising tidbit about me: I really enjoy being outside - hunting and fishing are two of my favorite hobbies.

Stephen Pilcher Headshot

Stephen Pilcher, Success Coach

Email Stephen or Schedule an Appointment

Best part about being a success coach: Working with students to identify strategies to meet their academic goals and guide them toward experiences that foster their innovation as emerging leaders. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Jo's Coffee breaks and quiet time at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. Insider campus tip for students: Dedicate time to visit your professors weekly during their office hours. This is an imperative strategy to build meaningful relationships with your faculty, develop as a scholar, and hone in on specific course content or research that you need additional help with. Our faculty want you to succeed, please meet them halfway! One surprising tidbit about me: Music keeps my world in harmony. My growing vinyl collection highlights include Joni Mitchell, Kendrick Lamar, Phoebe Bridgers and Kate Bush. Poets, indeed.

 

Success Coach for CAMP Scholars 

Gilbert Contreras

Gilbert Contreras, Success Coach

Email Gilbert 

Best part about being a success coach: I love interacting with students and the conversations that happen outside of my office that keep me updated on current events. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Taking time out of my day to walk around campus, enjoying the nature, view and people I encounter.  Insider campus tip for students: Something fun is to take a blanket and sit on the hill in front of Main Building and admire the Austin skyline. One surprising tidbit about me: It’s not a secret but I’m a diehard San Antonio Spurs fan. I’ve been going to games since 1986 — too many games to count.

 

 

Additional Success Coaches

Aneasha Lawrence, Success Coach

Email Aneasha

Best part about being a success coach: See students grow and develop throughout their college journey and be able to support them along the way! Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Sit under Sorin Oak to admire our beautiful scenery and the spectacular view of downtown Austin. I also really enjoy attending plays through our theater program! Insider campus tip for students: College is a time to learn more about yourself and the world we live in! It’s just as valuable to figure out what you do like as well as what isn’t the best fit so be open to trying new things and exploring different opportunities- this includes classes, activities, and connecting with new people. One surprising tidbit about me: I spent 1 week traveling and camping in the Netherlands and carried all of my gear on my bike!

Hannah Fields, Success Coach 

Email Hannah

Best part about being a success coach: Supporting students to achieve their own version of success, whatever that means to them, and making sure students know they never have to walk alone during their journey. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: I love this beautiful campus! Some of my favorite things to do include watching the squirrels play on Sorin Oak, trying a new seasonal coffee from Jo's, or taking an afternoon stroll to look out at the Austin city skyline. Insider campus tip for students: A part-time job on campus is a great way to make additional connections, learn new skills, and ensure your working environment will be supportive of your educational goals. Don't know where to start? Career and Professional Development is a great resource! One surprising tidbit about me: I love animals! I grew up on a vegetable farm and at one point in time, my family had 60 chickens, 20 cats, 5 dogs, 2 goats, and a donkey. Today I have two cats of my own named Callie and KitKat! 

Michael Rodgers, Success Coach 

Email Michael R.

Best part about being a success coach: I love having conversation with students and faculty/staff about the college experience and growing as individuals. Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Taking walks around campus and going to the Recreation and Athletic Center (RAC). Insider campus tip for students: The earlier you park on campus - the better the parking spot! Also, the bright side of having early morning classes is that it often means free afternoons. One surprising tidbit about me: I am afraid of heights but will still get on roller coasters without a second thought!

Rebecca Yeager, Success Coach

Email Rebecca

Best part about being a success coach: Helping students plan their future and pursue all of the opportunities that await them! Favorite thing to do on the hilltop: Drink a latte from Jo’s coffee and sit outside (in the shade) under one of the many beautiful trees on campus. Insider campus tip for students: Be sure to use all of the resources that St. Edward’s has to offer to help you succeed, like office hours, the math lab, writing center, tutoring, the Health and Counseling Center, and many others. We all want to see you reach your full potential during your college experience! One surprising tidbit about me: I love to listen to audiobooks and podcasts in my free time! 

Have general questions? Contact Academic Counseling & Exploration by phone at (512) 448-8660 or by email at ace@stedwards.edu.