Student Success Advisors & Staff
Dr. Cassandra Green - Assistant Vice-President
Jarso Jallah Saygbe - Executive Director-Advising & Retention
Ms. Jallah Saygbe is a seasoned professional with extensive interdisciplinary executive experience in Academia, Training & Workforce Development, Human Service, Public Sector Management, and Strategic Organizational Development. She has progressive experience working in academia, both at the secondary and post-secondary levels; with special focus in assisting low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline.
Her primary role as Executive Director of Advising & Retention in the Office of Student Success is to provide strategic leadership and manage the administration of the academic advising program, including retention related initiatives. Her core professional interest has always been and continues to be student development. Her motto on advising is: “advising is teaching” and she teaches students to acknowledge their passions, to seek out opportunities that allow them to pursue their life goals. Her academic credentials include both a Master of Arts in Counseling, and dual Baccalaureate degrees in Sociology and Communications. Additionally, she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education Administration.
Ms. Jallah Saygbe has directed and coordinated federal, bilateral and multilateral educational programs in the United States and Africa, in partnership with institutions in China, South Korea, Brazil, and Africa. Prior to joining the Office of Student Success, Ms. Jallah Saygbe spent a couple of years as Deputy Director General- Capacity Development Training for the Republic of Liberia, Management Development Institution; as well as Country Coordinator for the Anglophone West African Regional Public Sector Management Training Programme. She has collaboratively written and overseen numerous grant projects, including major awards from the U.S. Department of Education and numerous multilateral development organizations.
Ms. Jallah Saygbe is a recipient of the DSU-CMNST 2014 “Excellence in Staff Service Award”; where she served as the founding Director of Advisement in the former College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology at Delaware State University (DSU). In addition, she was an integral team member of the first phase of DSU’s Student Success Initiative that implemented the initial Individual Development Plan (IDP). She has taught women and gender studies courses at the baccalaureate levels, as well as student development and general equivalency diploma courses. Ms. Jallah Saygbe enjoys engaging in philanthropic activities, mostly social justice advocacy that improves the economic outcomes of women and girls in developing countries. She is a devout Christian and has two teenage daughters, Kormasa and Mawou.
Email: jsaygbe [at] desu.edu
Tiffany Alexander - Academic Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor
Tiffany Alexander has a passion for retaining and graduating college students, which is illustrated in her work experience and educational background. As the Academic Program Coordinator for the University College, Ms. Alexander empowers students to obtain their educational and personal goals through academic advising and teaching, as well as organizes engaging educational workshops that are designed to enlighten and inspire students to succeed. Ms. Alexander graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and a master’s degree in Higher Education and Counseling.
Advisement Areas: Kinesiology, Public Health, and Textiles and Apparel Studies
Email: talexander [at] desu.edu
Anthony A. Asti – Project Assistant
Anthony Asti possesses several years of higher education experience which began through serving multiple roles at the Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus. Today, he assists with the daily project operations of University College that is associated with first-year academic advising and retention initiatives. Tony has a passion for developing new and exciting ways to enrich the student experience and making a positive impact on the future outcomes of their education. Born and raised in Dover, Delaware, Tony graduated from the University of Delaware with an Associate’s degree in University Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He went on to attend Millersville University of Pennsylvania where he served as a graduate assistant and graduated with a Master of Science degree in School Psychology.
Dianne Bogle - First-Year Retention Specialist and Academic Advisor
Dianne Bogle earned a (BSW) Bachelor of Social Work degree from Delaware State University in 1997 and a MSOL (Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership) from Wilmington University in 2005. Ms. Bogle has more than 20 years of experience working with Youth program management and Leadership Development, is a member of the Dover Human Relations Commission, and has worked with the Capital School district and the Delaware Department of Education and in the area of Parent and Community Engagement. In her current role as Retention Specialist/ Academic Advisor, Ms. Bogle advises First Year Students and coordinates DSUs Summer Bridge Programs Project Success and Jumpstart. Ms. Bogle is passionate about working with students and the community.
Advisement Areas: Sports Management (sophomores), Sociology, History, Political Science
Email: dbogle [at] desu.edu
Anna Cortese – Director, Integrated Academic Support Services
Anna Cortese has demonstrated a passion for providing students with academic support in order for them to achieve their goal of college graduation. Throughout nearly 20 years in higher education, Ms. Cortese has coordinated many programs and has taught developmental math courses. Ms. Cortese’s primary role at Delaware State University is to support students with their academic needs by coordinating the Quantitative Reasoning Center (QRC), Tutorial Center, and Supplemental Instruction (SI) program – placing SI leaders in courses that are deemed “historically difficult” and providing tutors for various subjects including math. Ms. Cortese has created the philosophy that SI and tutorial sessions are more than a “quick fix – give me the answer approach”. The approach to sessions is a holistic one – to reinforce concepts learned in class, to develop note-taking/study skills and test-taking strategies, and to work with other students so that study groups are created. Ms. Cortese also believes in helping SI leaders and tutors grow professionally by providing the tools through professional development workshops and training. Ms. Cortese holds a Bachelor of Science from Seton Hall University and a Master of Science from Montclair State University– both in Mathematics Education.
Email: acortese [at] desu.edu
Tamekca Faria-Frisby - Director of Advisement
Tamekca earned her BA in American Studies & African American Studies from Wesleyan University, and her MA in Educational Administration from New York University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University. Educating underserved students has been Tamekca’s passion since graduating from college. She believes that education is the key that opens the door to a future of opportunity. Tamekca was a 1995 Teach for America corps member and taught middle school in New York City for ten years. She joined the Delaware State University community in 2006 and worked with the Classic Upward Bound program before becoming an academic advisor in the College of Business. She enjoys playing and watching sports and trying to learn to play the guitar and drums in her spare time.
Advisement Areas: Hospitality & Tourism Management
Email: tfaria [at] desu.edu
Dr. Lee Hawkins - Academic Advisor
Having worked in the corporate arena for over twenty-five years in myriad staff, lower-level management positions and ultimately promoted to Executive Director, I decided to retire and fulfill my life’s dream, to work in higher education.
Prior to coming to Delaware State University, I was an Adjunct Professor in the Business Department at the City University of New York (Medgar Evers College) for nine years and moved on to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania for three years teaching a variety of business courses. In 2012 I transitioned to a position as Academic Advisor at Delaware State University and the experience I gained has been extremely rewarding.
I am an alumnus of St. Augustine’s University where I received a B.A. in Business Administration, an M.B.A. from The Atlanta University and eventually earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University.
During the past six years, it has been an honor and privilege to mentor/advise the students in the College of Agriculture/Human Ecology departments. Needless to say, my major objective has always been to serve and assist our students in attaining their goals, selecting courses in order to meet their career objectives and help them to develop strategies to improve their academic performance. With their end goal after leaving Delaware State University, they will become successful and productive model citizens in the world.
Advisement Area: Agriculture, Human Ecology, Food and Nutrition
Email: lhawkins [at] desu.edu
Jewel Hopkins - Academic Advisor
Jewel Hopkins is a Career & Academic Advisor for the College of Business at Delaware State University. She currently works with those students pursuing a degree in Accounting or Business Administration with a concentration in Finance & Banking or Economics. Mrs. Hopkins strives to provide a place of support for her students as they test their limits and boundaries and achieve their own personal and professional goals. She provides individual, academic, and career counseling to students who face various challenges as they pursue their degrees. Mrs. Hopkins has over 20 years of experience providing counseling and mental health education to children and families and has a part-time practice where she provides individual, family, and group counseling in the community. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor with a Master’s in Community Counseling from Wilmington University and an Adjunct Instructor at Delaware Technical Community College.
Advisement Area: Accounting, Economics, and Finance & Banking
Email: jfhopkins [at] desu.edu
Ann Knettler – Student Accessibility Services Coordinator
As a member of the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Ann currently serves on the Standing Committee for Professional Development and represents the association as a member of the Board of Directors for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). She has been in the Disability Services field for over 10 years and is an experienced presenter and educator. Her passions include student empowerment, education, online accessibility, fostering inclusion and collaboration, the college to career transition for students with disabilities, and promoting a campus culture that embraces disability as another aspect of diversity. Ann received a Masters of Arts in Counseling in Higher Education with an emphasis in Mental Health from the University of Delaware.
Email: aksmith [at] desu.edu
Gloria Knowles - Academic Advisor
Gloria Knowles is a first-year academic advisor to Mass Communications students. She enjoys being committed to guiding and supporting her advisees as they eagerly progress through stages of detaching from their past, adapting to their present, and embracing their future.
Ms. Knowles is an alumna of Delaware State University with an earned dual degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She furthered her education at Wilmington University where she earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Advisement Area: Mass Communications
Email: gknowles [at] desu.edu
Dr. Raymond Lee - Academic Advisor
Dr. Raymond Lee is an academic advisor in the Office of Student Success. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the same academic institution. He has lead comprehensive responsibilities pertaining to student-centric programming, student success initiatives, programming to improve development and engagement, academic program design, curriculum development, leadership and development for at-risk students and best practice research that propel academic and co-curricular program success. Additionally, he has established a variety of innovative programs to attract and retain students, energize academic offerings, and enhance career and professional development outcomes for students alike. In August 2017, Dr. Lee started the not-for-profit S.A.A.F.E Lee-dership foundation, to provide mentorship, leadership, and professional development for at-risk youth in the community, students in an educational institution and business professionals respectively. He has presented at many research forums and participated in panel discussion on topics centered on leadership, academic advising, student success, cultural intelligence and holistic education. He has a passion for serving and is committed to the success of all students from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Lee’s message is simple “To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected.”
Advisement Areas: Criminal Justice, Music, Art
Sonya McCray - Writing Studio Coordinator
Sonya McCray is an education enthusiast who inspires students to reach their maximum potential in academics and life. As a College Success Specialist, Mrs. McCray redirects students on academic probation toward greater productivity through collective instruction and one-on-one guidance. She is also an Adjunct English Instructor and an entrepreneur with a B.A. in English from James Madison University and a M.Ed. from Wilmington University.
Email: smccray [at] desu.edu
Janet McCrea - Academic Advisor
Janet McCrea started her journey at Delaware State University as a full-time, non-traditional student in 1997. In 1999 she became a secretary in Hospitality Management. She continued her education as a part-time student and received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration in 2003. She has such a sincere desire to assist other students in pursuing their degrees that she accepted a position in the College of Business Advisement Center as an Academic Advisor in 2003. Her goal is to continue helping students pursue their dreams. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and has a special interest in event planning and decorating.
Advisement Area: Sports Management (freshmen)
Email: jmccrea [at] desu.edu
Jill McKinney - College Success Specialist
Jill McKinney is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a B.A. in Sociology. She continues to be a loyal Gamecock fan and is an active volunteer with The George Rogers Foundation of the Carolinas, the primary function of which is to raise scholarship funds for first-generation college students that reside in North and South Carolina. Later, Ms. McKinney attended Delaware State University to complete required courses for Mathematics Teacher Certification and subsequently earned a Master of Education in Educational Technology from Wilmington University. A newly retired Delaware Department of Education Liaison, Ms. McKinney has also been an adjunct at DSU for over 8 years. Presently, as a DSU College Success Specialist, Ms. McKinney teaches the course “Learning Strategies for Academic Success” and is eager to mentor and advise students as needed to encourage each one to achieve his or her goals.
Email: jmckinney [at] desu.edu
Brian Passerell - Academic Advisor
Brian Passerell earned his Associate of Science in Business Management from Cuyahoga Community College (Parma, OH), a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, OH) and a Master of Arts in Education in Leadership in Higher Education from Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, OH). After spending seven years in retail management, Brian started on a new career path in higher education, looking to share his knowledge and experience with students pursuing careers in the business world. Brian joined Delaware State University in October 2012. In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, playing multiple sports and delving into his passion for history.
Advisement Area: Aviation
Email: bpasserell [at] desu.edu
Kevin Noriega - Director of the Opportunity Scholars Program
Kevin Noriega is the Director of the Opportunity Scholars Program. He has had the opportunity to serve the student community at DSU as a Residence Hall Director, Admissions Counselor, and Academic Advisor. He has also had the opportunity and the pleasure to be the advisor for the Residence Hall Association and the Latino Student Association at DSU.
Mr. Noriega was born and raised in Venezuela and came to Delaware State University on a baseball scholarship. He is fluent in both English and Spanish. In addition, Mr. Noriega earned a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Finance and Banking, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. Both degrees were earned at Delaware State University. Mr. Noriega has a passion for helping others in achieving their academic, professional, and personal goals and dreams. As Director of the Opportunity Scholars Program, Mr. Noriega ensures that the Dreamers (undocumented students) are receiving the proper academic, professional, and personal support; in addition to making sure that his students are having a positive and successful college experience and career at DSU.
Email: kenoriega [at] desu.edu
Dr. Marcel Poe - Director of Advisement
Dr. Marcel Poe serves as the Director of Academic Advisement for the College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology (CAST). Marcel has 20 years of experience working with at-risk populations at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) and Delaware State University. Dr. Poe previously served as the Individualized Development Plan (IDP) Coordinator/Advisor for the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (CMNST). In this role, he collaborated and developed career and academic activities and milestones for students from Freshmen to Senior Year.
While at DTCC, he provided academic, social, and career advisement to First-generation, low income, and disabled students. Dr. Poe also developed a summer bridge program, male retention group, and several workshops and activities focused on student retention. Marcel served on the Diversity Committee, Student Success Committee, and Student Life Committee.
Dr. Poe has a heart and passion for student success.
Advisement Area: Mathematics Natural Sciences and Technology (students with last name beginning with A-G)
Email: mpoe [at] desu.edu
Michelle Rush - Director of Advisement
Michele Rush is a Director of Advising in the Office of Student Success. She enjoys providing programs and workshops to enhance student learning and academic success. She believes academic advising is a collaborative teaching and learning process integral to the education experience as Delaware State University. She is adept at building relationships, providing support, information and resources that allow for student self-discovery and personal growth and is important to student progress to graduation. She has served the university for more than 17 years in the areas of academic advising and university admissions. Mrs. Rush holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Management.
Dr. Cindy Seto-Friel – Academic Support Student Retention Initiatives Coordinator & Academic Advisor
Cindy Seto-Friel has worked in higher education for over 10 years. Her primary role at DSU is to help students on academic probation return to good academic standing. She also teaches courses and advises students at DSU. Dr. Friel earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master’s in Regional and Community Planning from Kansas State University and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University.
Advisement Areas: Psychology (Students with the last name starting with A-K)
Email: cfriel [at] desu.edu
Travis Mishoe Sudler I
Mr. Travis Mishoe Sudler I was born on December 2, 1974 in Dover, Delaware. He is the second of two children of Dr. Wilma Mishoe and the late Roy Sudler, Sr. In addition, he is the fourth grandson of the late Dr. Luna Isaac and Hattie Bernice Mishoe. He is also the grandson of the late Stanford Sudler and Ruth Helena Waters.
As a long time native of the Delaware territory, his education began at Delaware State College Child Development Center. Mr. Sudler attended Kent Christian Academy, a private Pentecostal institution from 1st to 6th grade. Afterwards, the remaining primary and secondary education was spent in the Capital School District where he attended Central Middle and Dover High School, graduating in 1992. He continued his education by attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia; however, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Wilmington University in 2005 and a Masters of Education degree in 2016. He is a current participant of the 2017 Education Doctoral cohort here at Delaware State University.
He is married to Regina-Lynnette Gould (Sudler), who is the daughter of Joyce Mosely and the late William Gould Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Sudler are the proud parents of Mark Stephen Wright, Jr., Ja’Nae Marie Sudler, Travis Mishoe Sudler II and grandchild, Aniyah Lelani Wright. Mr. Travis Sudler is the brother of The Honorable Roy Sudler, Jr., Dover City Councilman of the Fourth District.
Having been raised on the campus of an HBCU, post-secondary education is one of Mr. Sudler’s natural habitats. Currently employed at Delaware State University, Mr. Sudler serves as University Fellow and Special Assistant to the Office of Student Success. His current obligations include academic advisement for the Early Bird program and coordinator of the Supplemental Instruction program. His prior employment experience involves several years of academic instruction with higher education and alternative education as well as support for programs with disabled populations. He has proudly worked with several community organizations and institutions. As a current member of the nationally recognized historical registered Star Hill AME Church in Dover, Delaware, Mr. Sudler has served as the church incorporator and a trustee officer for more than 10 years under the current Pastor, Rev. Rita Mishoe Paige.
Bible Passage: Proverbs 3:13-20
Charmaine Whyte - Assistant Director of Advisement
Charmaine A. Whyte is a double alumna of Delaware State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Office Management in 1996 and a Master’s of Business Administration in 1997. In 2003, she became a part of the University’s professional staff team and has served in the capacity of technology analyst for the Education Department, University Seminar Instructor for Pre-Nursing and Pre-Education students and currently serves as an Assistant Director for academic advising within the Office of Student Success. Ms. Whyte is very passionate about coordinating and facilitating the successful progression of students to advanced levels of education; she encourages and motivates each advisee to be successful career oriented thinkers, not just job seeking people.
Advisement Areas: Pre-Education - Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle-Level Education and Physical Education
Email: cwhyte [at] desu.edu
Associate Director of Academic Programming - Academic Services for Student-Athletes
nrobinsthompson [at] desu.edu
Nikita Robins-Thompson has been in the field of education for over twenty years. During this time, she’s assisted students in identifying, preparing, and implementing the tools necessary for academic success. She loves her time with students because it allows her to deposit little pearls of wisdom designed to build character and to provide a critical view of life. During her tenure at DSU, she has worked as a transfer admission counselor, academic advisor and she’s taught freshman seminar.
Nikita holds a bachelor degree in Psychology from North Carolina Central University and a Master Degree in School Counseling from Wilmington University. Her Motto: Let your life be a reflection of your worth…Education is key! Nikita lives in New Castle, Delaware with her husband Jarvis Thompson and son Jayden.
Athletic Academic Advisor
aysmith [at] desu.edu
Ahira Y. Smith is currently an academic advisor for student-athletes at Delaware State University. Arriving onto the campus in 2012, she has served as Director of Academic Advising for the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, where she worked with students in various majors in the field, including but not limited to: Food Science, Nutritional Science, and Textile and Apparel Studies. Ms. Smith serves on several different committees involving Academic Advising, Career Services, Communication, Networking, Retention, and Student Success.
Prior to joining the Delaware State University Hornet Family in 2012, Ms. Smith had served as an academic advisor for 5 (Five) years with the Center for Academic Excellence at North Carolina A&T State University for both athletics and undecided/undeclared students.
She received her Bachelor of Sciences in Physical Education (K-12) from The Kentucky State University in 2000 and her Masters of Education in Recreation and Leisure from Bowling Green State University in 2002.