2020-2021 Success Coaches

Success Coaches are graduate level students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and are trained to offer personalized support. Meet our Success Coaches below:

Courtney Brennan headshot

Name: Courtney Brennan

Current Major/Program: Speech Language Pathology Master’s Program

  • Undergrad Major & Minor:A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Linguistics minor
  • Hometown: Downingtown, PA
  • Activities: The Alpha Eta Society President, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association member, nationally certified tutor, reading, listening to music, skiing
  • What should you know about me? This is my 6th and final year at West Chester University! I love both the university and the town, which is about 10 minutes from where I grew up. My favorite part about school has been helping other students become successful.
  • Fun Fact: My favorite band is Little Big Town!
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: I had a hard time finding the right group of friends to live with when I was an undergrad.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: I was chosen to be the Commencement Speaker for the College of Health Sciences when I graduated!

Nzingha Wright headshot

Name: Nzingha Wright

Current Major/Program: Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Sociology 
  • Hometown: Philly (Philadelphia)
  • Activities: Binge-watching Netflix, Reading/ Research 
  • What should you know about me? I am here to help you define what being successful is to YOU, during your time at West Chester. If I do not know the answer to your question; I will find the answer or find someone that knows the answer. 
  • Fun fact:I am name after the King/Queen, Nzinga,of Angola 
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: As an undergrad my biggest challengewas asking for help when I needed it. 
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: My biggest success as an undergrad was when I won Outstanding Sorority Women of Year. 

Ally Drames Headshot

Name: Ally Drames

Current Major/Program: Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Early Grades Preparatory and Special Education
  • Hometown: Havertown, PA
  • Activities: Reading. Listening to podcasts. Yoga.
  • What should you know about me? I just completed my undergraduate degree at WCU in May. I know my way around campus and am excited to spend another two years at my favorite school. Rams up!
  • Fun fact: I am obsessed with true crime.
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Handling living off campus and dealing with roommates.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Organizing Advocates For WCU Renters, a group of students and parents advocating for the rights of off-campus renters during the COVID-19 crisis.  

 

Tyler Kearney Headshot

Name: Tyler Kearney-Good

Current Major/Program: Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: B.A. Psychology
  • Hometown: Philadelphia
  • Activities: Secretary & founding member of Black Graduate Caucus, Alumni Advisor for Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Inc., Graduate Assistant for DCCC Resource Pantry
  • What should you know about me? 
  • Fun fact:  I have an identical twin sister.
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Balancing academics with campus involvement, working, and commuting
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Building relationships with peers and professors although I was only on campus for 2 years.

Allena McCloud headshot

Name: Allena McCloud 

Current Major/Program: Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Public Health and & Liberal Studies with minors in psychology and contemplative studies
  • Hometown: Lancaster, PA
  • Activities: Impact, Alternative Break, SAGA, Public Health Club 
  • What should you know about me? I love listening to music and cooking.
  • Fun fact:  My senior year I traveled to four countries. 
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Picking the right major.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Graduating with Honors

Kia Shadhideh Headshot

Name: Kia Shahideh 

Current Major/Program: Philosophy

  • Undergrad Major and Minor: Civil Engineering minor in Philosophy
  • HometownDoylestown, PA
  • Activities: Running, climbing, backpacking and playing soccer.
  • What should you know about me:I enjoy pushing myself both physically and mentally, I am also a huge Liverpool football club fan. 
  • Fun fact: I worked on an Alpaca farm in Cusco, Peru for 2 months.
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad:Finding the correct balance between being an athlete, getting schoolwork done, and taking care of myself.
  • Biggest success as an Undergrad: Finding and pursuing a topic outside of my major of engineering that brought me greater meaning and purpose.

 

Fatima Kanneh Headshot

Name: Fatima Kanneh

Current Major/Program: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Psychology
  • Hometown: Philadelphia 
  • Activities: Writing/Reading, Traveling, Cooking
  • What should you know about me? I have traveled to 4 different countries and every state in the US!
  • Fun fact:  I have studied abroad in Morocco.
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Being on my own and actually having to rely on myself instead of my parents.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Networking with Alumni!

Kit Catranis

Name: Kit Catranis

Current Major/Program: Master of Business Administration 

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Major in Microbiology with a Minor in Chemistry
  • Hometown: Glenmoore Pa
  • Activities: Whittling, Traveling, Gardening, Reading, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Kayaking
  • What should you know about me?  I enjoy helping people find things. My favorite things to help others find are (1) the motivation to achieve excellence and (2) lost car keys. 
  • Fun fact:  I’ve lived on 4 continents. 
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: it was a struggle maintaining my motivation to excel in the classes that did not seem relevant to my interests. 
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: I was not put into school as a child. I was uneducated until I asked my parents to put me into a school; I was 16 at that time. I struggled for years to catch up. My struggle continued into my university career. Yet, I still managed to achieve summa cum laude during my undergraduate career. 

Courtney Garner Headshot

Name: Courtney Garner, Smarthinking GA

Current Major/Program: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

  • Undergraduate Major & Minor: Psychology, Sociology
  • Hometown: East Lansing, Michigan
  • Activities: Painting, baking, working out, watching TV
  • What should you know about me: I grew up in Michigan and every summer you could find me on one of the many beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan. I made the move to PA in 2019 and have loved exploring all that PA has to offer.
  • Fun fact: I have cooked every burger in “The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers”
  • Biggest challenge as an undergrad: Balancing a social life and academics! I had to work towards prioritizing schoolwork so that I was able to attend social events.
  • Biggest success as an undergrad: As a first-generation student, I felt so accomplished completing both my major and minor within four years.

Shivani Nalk Headshot

Name: Shivani Naik

Current Major/Program: Master’s in Public Health

  • Undergrad Major: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
  • Hometown: Surat, India
  • Activities: I like cooking and watching motivational videos
  • What should you know about me? I never give up on learning and experiencing new things in my life   
  • Fun fact: I have a fear of heights- Acrophobia
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: How to being Self-reliant? 
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: I learned to focus on important things over urgent things in my life and became self-dependable during my undergrad. 

 

Stefan Martyniak

Name: Stefan Martyniak

Current Program: Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs 

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Psychology and English Writing 
  • Hometown: Phoenixville, PA
  • Activities: Crashing on my couch as of now
  • What should you know about me? I’m pretty open and honest and can have a conversation on just about any topic
  • Fun Fact: I’m a First-degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Doo Martial Arts
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Making friends
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Becoming an RA 

Name: Brittani Dalton

Current Program: Masters in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Degree in Middle Grades Education with math and science concentration
  • Hometown: York, PA
  • Activities: I enjoy playing sports, shopping and hanging out with my family.
  • What should you know about me? I love to help others in any way that I can.
  • Fun fact: I have 5 sisters.
  • Biggest Challenges as an Undergrad: Being an out of state student, I struggled with sense of belonging at first.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: I juggled a serving job, school, and student teaching my senior year and while it was hard, it molded me into the determined individual I am today!

 Toria Mcleod Headshot

Name: Toria Mcleod

Current Major/Program: Higher Education & Administration (HEPSA)

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Business Entrepreneurship
  • Hometown: Southwest Philadelphia
  • Activities: Working on optimal mental & physical health, hiking, and eating
  • What should you know about me? I am fun & adventurous
  • Fun fact:  I am a U.S solider
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: transitioning through each semester & balancing the military vs civilian life.
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Graduating

 

Catherine Purcell

Name: Catherine Purcell

Current Major/Program: M.S. Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

  • Undergrad Major & Minor: Musical Theatre
  • Hometown: Eagleville, PA
  • Activities: Making & listening to music, creative writing, watching travel vlogs (actually travelling in non-pandemic times)
  • What should you know about me? I love working with students in a one-on-one setting, helping people access their inherent strengths and realize all of the amazing gifts they already have to offer.
  • Fun fact: I'm obsessed with the TV series Fleabag & I've met the writer and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge in London
  • Biggest Challenge as an Undergrad: Managing a heavy course load, extracurricular commitments for my major, outside jobs, and a social life. 
  • Biggest Success as an Undergrad: Pursuing my passion and finding ways to incorporate it into my professional life. 
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