Dr. Chad H. + " " + Bennett

Dr. Chad H. Bennett

Chair, Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies

Assistant Professor, Director-ASP/Act 101

(717) 477-1134

Dr. Chad Bennett is a passionate, collaborative and innovative educator, advisor, and coach.  He has presented at numerous regional and national conferences on developmental education, first-year programming, student leadership, and program management.  He has over 16 years of experience working in academic and student support. Dr. Bennett is a recent recipient of the Shippensburg University Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching (CFEST) Teaching Innovations in Pedagogy and Scholarship Award (TIPS Teaching Award) and the 2015 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.  Additionally, he has been the chair of the Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies at Ship for over 7 years.  During Dr. Bennett’s time as director and chair, he has secured over a half of million dollars in grant funds and has created the program’s lending library as well as the “ASP Super Star” Award during the Summer Bridge Program.

Prior to working at Shippensburg University, Dr. Bennett served as the director of a youth shelter in Harrisburg, Pa, in addition to teaching at Harrisburg Area Community College while playing a stint of professional soccer in the USL as well as coaching for the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic Development Program.

He is currently a board member for the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Education and member Act 101 Directors group.  In addition, Dr. Bennett  has been published in the monograph for the Educational Leadership Development Conference at St. Peter's College, University of Oxford, England.

Dr. Bennett received his undergraduate and masters degrees in psychology from Shippensburg University and his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership through Duquesne University in 2009.  He enjoys the outdoors participating in various activities and sports, working on home improvements, listening to a wide variety of music, but most especially spending time with his family. 

Rebecca + " " + Lee

Rebecca Lee

Associate Director

Wright Hall
(717) 477-1134

Ms. Rebecca Lee earned her B.A. in Fine Arts and her M.S. in Counseling from Shippensburg University. Ms. Lee is currently working towards her Doctoral degree in Administration and Leadership Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvannia. Ms. Lee has presented at conferences on the local, state, and national level, most recently at the 33rd Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience in 2014 and the National Association of Developmental Education in 2018. Her research interest areas include first-year students, first-generation students, academic advising, and summer bridge programs. 

"The circumstances of your life have uniquely qualified you to make a contribution. If you do not make that contribution, no one can." -Rabbi Harold Kushner

Curtis + " " + Spencer

Curtis Spencer

Transition and Outreach Counselor

131 Wright Hall
(717) 477-1013

Mr. Curtis L. Spencer, is a graduate of Towson University (B.S. Psychology) and received his M.S. in Counseling & College Student Personnel from Shippensburg University.

Mr. Spencer has an extensive background in Residence Life and Leadership Development.  Mr. Spencer became better acquainted with the Academic Success Program while completing a Clinical Field placement with the program in the summer of 2013. He then transitioned into the role of Transition & Outreach Counselor permanently in December of 2015.  

Mr. Spencer attributes his love for student development to his wonderful experience in various student activities as an undergraduate, and his countless memorable experiences as a young professional working in Residence Life. He enjoys academic coaching, counseling, leadership development, and assisting students with their career and holistic development.

Mr. Spencer is a classically trained musician (cello), singer, and songwriter and has studied music since the age of 11.  Mr. Spencer is currently  pursuing a Doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research interest include access and equity, first-year experience, men of color initiatives, and the retention and persistence of students of color in higher education.

“Criticism is a small price to pay for doing work that you love and think matters”

-Brene Brown


Melissa + " " + Knouse

Melissa Knouse

Instructor and Academic Advisor
Wright Hall 135
(717) 477-1134

Professor Knouse earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Millersville University and then pursued her Master’s from Shippensburg University, where she earned a Master of Science in Counseling and College Student Personnel. Upon graduation, she coordinated the Office of Academic Support for Student-Athletes before taking a faculty position in the College of Business where she was an adjunct faculty member teaching Foundations of Business Administration. She also piloted the Early Alert Program which provided early intervention to Shippensburg University students to assist in reaching their educational and professional goals. Currently, Melissa is a faculty member in the Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies, and teaches and advises students in the Academic Success Program. Prior to working at Shippensburg University, Professor Knouse worked with children with Autism and advised students at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). Her favorite activities include spending time with her 3-year-old twins, boating on Lake Raystown with her husband, and spoiling her dog Tyson.

Kelly + " " + Stambaugh

Kelly Stambaugh

Prof. Stambaugh earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Clinical/Counseling track) with a minor in Spanish from Lock Haven University.  She earned a Master of Science in Psychological Science from Shippensburg University.  Prof. Stambaugh loves learning and is also a Certified Phlebotomist.

Prof. Stambaugh has been teaching within the Psychology Department at Shippensburg University since 2006.  More recently, she has become an Exploratory Academic Advisor and enjoys teaching as part of the ASP program.

Prof. Stambaugh was a first-generation college student and is committed to helping students to navigate the choppy waters or celebrate the smooth sailing of education!

In her spare time, Prof. Stambaugh enjoys anything outdoors—particularly biking, motorcycling, and hiking.  She also enjoys helping others.  Prof. Stambaugh has a registered therapy dog named Gale.  Gale is a “rescued” Cairn Terrier who conducts visits for the benefit of others.  Gale has been included during advising hours, the “Faculty House Calls” program, Home @ SHIP, and other activities on campus.  If you’d like to meet Gale, please do not hesitate to ask!

Cindy + " " + Murray

Cindy Murray

Professor Cindy Murray earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Chemistry, Psychology, and Philosophy & Religion from Wilson College. She earned her Master of Science in Psychological Studies from Shippensburg University, and is currently working toward her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Indiana University of PA.

She has been working at Shippensburg University since 2010, when she started as an adjunct professor in the Biology Department while also working as the coordinator for the MLK Academic Retention Program. She has worked as a part time Learning Specialist and as an Academic Advisor for the Exploratory Studies students.

Professor Murray is currently a full-time Learning Specialist in the University’s Learning Center, and has been a faculty instructor and advisor for Academic Success Program students since 2015. Her research interests include academic support for STEM students, college readiness for first generation students, resilience-building for academic recovery, group study strategies, non-traditional student supports, and stress-induced illness among college students.

In her free time, Professor Murray enjoys being in nature: hiking, gardening, swimming, and caring for animals. She also loves music, cartoons, crafts, and cooking. Her daily inspiration comes from her loving family- 4 grown children and 5 adorable grandsons.

Jaime + " " + Juarez

Jaime Juarez

Mr. Juarez was born and raised in central California. He earned a B.A. in English and History from California State University, Fresno and completed his M.A. in English at Shippensburg University.

Prior to coming to Shippensburg University, Mr. Juarez worked at numerous colleges and universities, including Fresno State, University of Washington, Harrisburg Area Community College, and Penn State Harrisburg. He has taught writing and study skills and worked with the Academic Success Program since 2010.  Currently, Mr. Juarez is a Learning Specialist at Shippensburg University’s Learning Center and an adjunct instructor during the Summer Bridge Program.

Mr. Juarez and his wife, Sharon Stockton, live in Carlisle, PA, and have three children, Eugene, Cristina, and Katherine. He enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and is an avid film buff.

Danielle + " " + Surotchak

Danielle Surotchak

ASP Secretary

Wright Hall
(717) 477-1134

Danielle has worked for Shippensburg University for almost three years, most recently in the Teacher Education Department. She became a part of the ASP family this year. Danielle really enjoys getting to know our students and enjoys spending time with her family. 




Jasmine  + " " + Henderson

Jasmine Henderson

Jasmine Henderson is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration. She is pursuing a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This program required Field Placements that were completed at Penn State Harrisburg’s Counseling and Psychological Services. In addition, Jasmine has worked with the Academic Success Program as an Academic Coach for two years. Prior to becoming a graduate student, she worked at the Multicultural Student Affairs office, interned at the Women's Center, joined Student Alumni Ambassadors and numerous groups on campus. Jasmine also has experience as an Academic Advisor at Harrisburg Area Community College. Her passion for education led her to help others. Her advice to incoming students is to have an open mind and build long lasting connections during your time at Shippensburg University. She loves Mexican food, spending time with family, and traveling.

Angel + " " + Barfield

Angel Barfield

Angel Barfield earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Shippensburg University. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Behavior Analysis and pursuing her goal to open her own school in Philadelphia. Angel loves learning, children, and all things creative.

"Intelligence is not how much you know, but how much more you are willing to learn" - Angel Barfield

Elizabeth  + " " + Shaffer

Elizabeth Shaffer

Liz Shaffer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Shippensburg University. She is currently enrolled in Shippensburg’s Master of Social Work program and is expected to graduate May of 2019. Liz established her love for Social Work through her experience at Milton Hershey School. She looks forward to becoming a License Clinical Social Worker. Since a very young age, Liz has been interested in art. She enjoys watercolor painting and poetry. She looks forward to facilitating art therapy in the future.

Sammy + " " + Hanzlik

Sammy Hanzlik

Sammy Hanzlik earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development Family Studies from Penn State Mont Alto University in 2015 and is currently pursuing her Master's from Shippensburg University in Social Work. Her ambitions are to becoming a licensed social worker (LMSW). She intends to practice at a hospital as an acute medical social worker. Outside of work, she loves to travel internationally, homesteading, and outdoor hobbies that include kayaking, backpacking, hiking, and camping.  

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Keith + " " + Walls

Keith Walls

Keith Walls graduated from Shippensburg University with a B.S. in Psychology. He is now pursuing a M.S. in Counseling and College Student Personnel. Keith is currently the graduate assistant in Leadership Development and CUB Operations and is working as a graduate intern with the Academic Success Program this summer. His experience as a Resident Assistant fostered his passion for Student Affairs and helping students. He is also a brother of the national fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha and is currently an advisor to the fraternity. Keith loves music, is a Philadelphia 76ers fan, a fan of comic books and anime, and loves spending time with his friends. His advice to incoming students is to step out of your comfort zone, build connections and relationships, and get involved on campus and the surrounding community. 

Jazzy + " " + Williams-Smith

Jazzy Williams-Smith

Jazzy Williams-Smith is a second year Master's candidate in the Counseling-College Student Personnel program here at Ship. She has a B.A in English from McDaniel College in Westminster MD. Jazzy is working with the Academic Success Program this summer as a graduate intern and academic coach.

Jazzy has worked extensively with first-year students both in residential life and disability services. She loves grammar and all things dealing with the English language so if you ever want to talk about the Oxford comma, she’s your girl!

David + " " + Brown

David Brown

David M. Brown is a graduate of The College of New Jersey where he received his B.A in Communication Studies. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Counseling with a specialization in College Student Personnel. He serves as a Residence Director (RD) on campus, currently overseeing Lackhove Hall. This summer he will be interning for ASP, helping all of its students get acclimated to Ship’s campus. While there will be many pieces of wisdom he will share with you, his greatest piece of advice is closed mouths don’t get fed! This simply means ask many questions and seek knowledge through every step of your journey here at Ship and through life! 

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou 


Joy + " " + Wells

Joy Wells

Joy Wells is a junior at Shippensburg University and is studying Criminal Justice. She plans to minor in Psychology this fall semester. Over the past few semesters, she has had the opportunity to be a Peer Mentor for incoming first-year students and will also work as a Peer Anchor for new incoming first-year students this coming fall semester. Along with being a peer, she will serve as a Resident Assistant in Seavers Hall. She is very excited to help contribute to her future residents’ success and is very passionate about helping students in their academic and social lives. She hopes that she can help students have a smooth transition from high school to college. She looks forward to helping each student push themselves to their highest potential and step out of their comfort zone in order to learn more about themselves and their community.

Iliah + " " + Smith

Iliah Smith

Iliah (eye-lee-ah) Smith is an outgoing, honest, funny, patient, caring, and efficient peer leader. She sings, acts, writes, and does makeup. Her major is Accounting and when she graduates, she wants to be a personal financial advisor. She went through the Academic Success program in Summer 2017, and feels that ASP helped her to be successful in her first year of college. She learned better studying methods, time management, and organization. The staff around her during ASP inspired her to be a leader, which is why she applied to be a peer leader and a resident assistant and got both jobs!

"I want to grow. I want to be better. You grow. We all grow. We're made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear."

-Tupac Shakur

Stephen + " " + Washington

Stephen Washington

Stephen Washington is a sophomore at Shippensburg University, pursuing a dual major in Management Information Systems and International Studies. He is a cadet with the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and is involved with Housing and Residence Life as a resident assistant. Stephen credits his participation in the 2017 Summer Bridge Program as a key component of his academic success. Whether on or off campus, Stephen is dedicated in helping others improve themselves in order to be successful in the future. He is looking forward to returning to the Academic Success Program (ASP) as a peer leader to mentor students to be academically and mentally prepared for their Shippensburg University experience.

Madeline + " " + Culbert

Madeline Culbert

Madeline Culbert is a sophomore here at Shippensburg University. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with animal shelters, going to the beach, and enjoying the day with my friends and family! Madeline went through the ASP program and feels it really helped her to transition into college. Now she is extremely excited to give back to the program as a Peer Leader! Madeline will be here to help her students reach their full potential and guide them along the way! She is very outgoing and caring, and wants to make sure everyone feels comfortable as they are transitioning into this new chapter of higher education.

Sophia + " " + Carabba

Sophia Carabba

Sophia Carabba is a junior at Shippensburg University studying Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. In her spare time, she loves to draw, paint, and hang out with her friends. Sophia is always open to trying new things, which has led her to go skydiving, hiking with bears, and slacklining. She loves Mexican food, but will try anything. Sophia is also part of Shippensburg University's track and field team; she runs the 400 and the 4x400 meter relay.  Her career interest post-graduation is to become a forensic psychologist and eventually move out of the state and into a warmer climate. This will be Sophia’s first year as an ASP peer leader and is looking to be a great role model and an even better friend to some of the incoming bridge students.

Roneka + " " + Jones

Roneka Jones

Roneka is a senior at Shippensburg University, pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Roneka went through the ASP program and feels that that the program helped her understand and maneuver through college. Since then she has been involved in the Student Government Association, Harmonic Voices of Truth Gospel Choir, and has served as a Peer Mentor for incoming first-year students. Roneka hopes to inspire first-year students to succeed and stay persistent throughout their journey at Ship. She looks forward to helping students with their transition into college and getting acquainted with their new community of opportunity.

Aliyah + " " + Mensah

Aliyah Mensah

Aliyah is an Senior Exercise Science major and a Biology minor. She intends to study nursing after graduation and later pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner. Aliyah is a member of the Nationals Honors Fraternity Phi Sigma Pi and the Student Conduct Board. In her free time she likes to crochet. Aliyah has always been driven to become a leader and a great role model to others through her past struggles and experiences. She believes dreams can come true if everyone puts their minds to it!

Jiyana + " " + Wright

Jiyana Wright

Jiyana Wright is a senior at Shippensburg University, pursuing a B.S.B.A in Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management and a minor in Sociology. Jiyana is a native of York, PA. Growing up in an urban environment, she decided to attend Ship to broaden her horizons. During her time here, she has maintained a healthy balance between her studies and full-time work. She was previously employed at the Lehman Library and with On-Campus Dinning Services.  She currently serves as the Student Assistant at the Women’s Center. In addition to her leadership roles with New Student Orientation, Jiyana is also involved with the Multicultural Student Affairs office and Women Leaders of Grove. After serving in these positions, Jiyana decided to become an ASP Peer Leader. She believes that this role will allow her to equip incoming students with the necessary tools and resources needed to excel both academically and socially here at Ship. Jiyana loves spending time with her family and friends and maintaining genuine connections with those in her life. As a first time Peer Leader, Jiyana is excited to meet this summer’s participants and is also passionate in assisting them in their transition from high school to college.