Success Mentors

Photo of Dr. Mat Gendle, Ph.D.

Dr. Mat Gendle, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Faculty Ombudsperson; Associate Director, Project Pericles; Faculty Mentor, Periclean Scholars Class of 2019

I am particularly well-equipped and willing to help students get organized and create structure in their lives; talk about preparation for graduate school and careers in neuroscience, psychology, and biomedicine; discuss issues related to classwork-life balance, and; work through issues related to access to, and affordability of, study abroad experiences. My academic interests are neuropharmacology/behavioral neuroscience/service learning. I enjoy competitive running, fitness, cars and performance driving.

Office: Global Commons 216

Phone: (336) 278-6431


Photo of Dianne Ford

Dianne Ford

I am the Coordinator of Library Electronic Resources, and Librarian for Life and Health Sciences. I am interested in helping everyone with library research for their assignments! As a former biologist, I’m especially interested in women in science, special challenges for women in STEM fields, and mentoring science majors. I’m an aspiring Spanish speaker. I can help a mentee with learning their way around how Elon campus works, and also help to make class assignments more successful through strong library research. I love to hike and swim and spend a lot of time outside. I live on a 25-acre farm in southern Alamance County that is designated wildlife habitat; I maintain huge native plant gardens there. Of course I love to read! I love international travel and teach study abroad at Elon.

You can email or chat with me from this link, or make an appointment in my calendar:

Office: Belk Library 213

Phone: (336) 279-6584


Photo of Keren Rivas

Keren Rivas

I am Director of Publications for University Communications and a 2004 Elon graduate (School of Communications). Originally from Peru, I am proficient in Spanish and enjoy sharing my Hispanic heritage with others and answering questions regarding my own experiences as a first-generation college graduate. I am particularly interested in helping students find ways to make their Elon experience meaningful, particularly for those who might not see themselves reflected in the larger student body, by connecting them with existing resources on campus. I also want to support students who are looking for ways to maintain/grow their cultural/ethnic identity. My interest include journalism, communications, diversity issues, women's issues (serious ones); traveling, antiques, dogs (lighter ones).

Phone: (336) 278-7401


Photo of Aisha Mitchell

Aisha Mitchell

Assistant Director of Corporate and Employer Relations, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences

I am a 2012 Elon graduate in my 3rd year at Elon, building and managing relationships with employers to market great internship and post-graduate opportunities to students. I am willing and able to help in a variety of areas including: career exploration/goal setting, connecting you with the breadth of opportunities to engage at Elon outside of the classroom, and general life at Elon or beyond advice. I am easy to talk to and extremely open. Being a student doesn’t feel that far away, and I am willing to help in any way I can! Outside of work, I love to travel, try new foods and restaurants, and being outside.

Office: Moseley Center 151

Phone: (336) 278-5965


Photo of Anita Smith, Ed.S, LPC

Anita Smith, Ed.S, LPC

I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies as a first-generation student from a rural community near central Virginia. I currently work in Counseling Services as the Assistant Director and Staff Counselor. I love the work that I do inside my office and I am also so passionate about the involvements and relationships I have been able to experience throughout the Elon community. I engage with students most consistently through my involvement with the ALANAM Sisterhood Circle/The CREDE and Active Minds. When I am not in work mode, I am trying my best to keep up with my young daughter and making time for cooking, traveling, and guilty pleasures on Netflix. I am not an expert in all things Elon but I am committed to offering the emotional support, occasional advice, and help in connecting to the valuable resources on campus to help make your transition a success.

Phone: (336) 278-7288


Photo of Rhonda Waller

Rhonda Waller

I work in Global Engagement and am the Director of Study Abroad. My academic interest is in Education, World Languages & Cultures. I was a first generation college student myself and I was someone who thought study abroad might not be possible (financially, academically) even though I was passionate about doing it. Needless to say I figured it out and it changed my entire life. I went on to teach English abroad in Japan after college and I love talking about that experience. I can be a sounding board as you process your first year experience at Elon. I hope I can support students in developing a plan for classwork-life balance and I can help students work through issues related to access to, and affordability of study abroad/study USA experiences. I can help students apply for their first passport! I love animals (we have two cats). I love binge watching TV series (Stranger Things is my recent favorite). I also love eating - my obsession is finding the best breakfast taco in North Carolina.

Office: Global Commons 308

Phone: (336) 278-5185


Photo of Tina Kissell

Tina Kissell

I am Tina Kissell, Ed. D., Assistant Director for Disabilities Services. Tina has completed her 4th year at Elon following a long history as a school psychologist and public school administrator (32 years). In her current position , she works with students registered with Disabilities Services (currently over 15 % of the student population) facilitating accommodations to allow appropriate access to the college curriculum. Her interests include promotion of student self-advocacy, disability awareness, and varying learning styles. Outside of Elon, Tina lives in the country where she and her husband raise English Golden Retrievers.

Office: Duke 108G

Phone: (336) 278-6500

Fax: (336) 278-6514


Photo of Dr. Kathy Gallucci

Dr. Kathy Gallucci

I want to be a mentor because as a student, I needed a mentor to help me navigate my college experience, and had none. I am the fourth of six children from a blue-collar family, and four of us went to college. My Dad, a machinist, did not go to college, but he was able to earn some college credits in the Army Air Corps and became a pilot during WW II. My Mom, the eldest of four, had to drop out of high school to help support her family when her Dad suffered an work-related accident . I was the only one of my siblings to go to college in another city. After graduating from a convent high school, I went to Le Moyne College in Syracuse, a majority male, Jesuit college, without any financial or emotional support from my parents. As a biology major, I had science and math professors who were all male, and most of my classmates were financially more secure than I was. I had no faculty or staff mentors, and no female role models.

I supported my husband while he finished his Masters in fine art and we moved to Greensboro and then decided to go back to get my Masters in Marine Sciences from UNC-Chapel Hill. I began teaching at Elon 3 years later and have now begun my 33rd year here. While working at Elon, I earned my PhD in science education from NC State.

My main focus here at Elon has been to develop the biology curriculum for the non-science major. I have written two lab manuals, and I do pedagogical research on how students learn science. I am a case study teacher, and have presented and published on the case study method for several years. Currently, I am working on a project to “flip” the non-majors course using original and professional videos for student homework, combined with active learning activities in the classroom. I have also taught the Global Experience, Population Biology, Current Issues in Biology, Integrated Science (MEd program), Women in Science, and study abroad courses in Europe, the Galapagos, and Samoa. I am the Elon liaison for the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholars Program, a member of the Voices of Discovery speaker series, and a Sustainability Scholar. I have two grown children who are both professional artists. My husband does public art and owns a sculpture business in Greensboro, where he employs five assistants.

Phone: (336) 278-6180


Photo of Melissa Purgert

Melissa Purgert

As a first-generation college student, I continually strive to achieve all that I can. When I first arrived at Elon, I was confused on what field would be right for me. I took several personality and career tests, talked to many mentors, and took a variety of classes. Despite having this confusion about what to do with my future I have accomplished everything I could have hoped for. I am now a Senior at Elon studying Finance and Classical Studies (an independent major).

Within the past three years I have created my own major, participated in Elon's Study USA, created my own study abroad, completed one independent research project and am working on another, taken on the role as the Classics Club Vice President, worked as an America Reads Tutor, have joined the Elon Core Curriculum Council, participated as an Elon Orientation Leader, become a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, and have received the Waesche Engaged Learning Scholarship. 

All of this was made possible with the resources that Elon has provided me with and amazing family and friends. With all I have been able to accomplish, I am excited to help others with their transition into Elon, and offer the advice and assistance my mentor, teachers, and fellow students have provided me with.

Photo of Arielle Morrow

Arielle Morrow

I am a current junior, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Biology. My goal at Elon University is to take advantage of all the great opportunities it has to offer, to bring me closer to my career goals. This summer I was selected to be a part of the Noyce internship program, giving me the chance to informally educate various age groups on multiple topics of science. I am currently the secretary of Black Student Union and former mentee of the Success mentoring program. I love doing volunteer work in my free time with Elon animal rescue. I would love to help other students connect with the campus; help them find internships and opportunities to help them get closer to their student and long term goals.