Our Academic Coaching Associates Team

At ACA, we pride ourselves on our exceptional team of highly trained, experienced academic coaches who all hold Master’s degrees in education or related field

Susan V. Schaefer, M.Ed., M.A.T, Founder & Owner, Academic Coaching Associates and Launch Career Coaching

Susan Schaefer Academic Coaching Associates FounderSusan Schaefer holds a Master of Arts degree (M.A.T.) in Teaching and a Master of Education degree (M.Ed) and has completed the Career Coaching Mastery Certification Program through C.T.A. (Coach Training Alliance). With a proven record of improving academic success for students both nationally and internationally, Sue is a pioneer in the field of Academic Coaching and is committed to helping students realize their potential and reach their goals through her successful companies, Academic Coaching Associates (ACA), and Launch Career Coaching. Sue’s expertise is focused on teaching students better study skills based on individual learning styles and strengthening executive function skills including organization, time management, pre-planning, and self-advocacy. One of the reasons for Sue’s success is her gift for forming positive, lasting connections with her students.

Sue is also a sought-after speaker who trains education, psychology, and life coaching professionals to become successful academic coaches. She has been a featured speaker on numerous educational subjects and speaks each year at the SpEd CT (Special Ed Connecticut) Annual Conference, was Keynote Speaker at the commencement at Lincoln College, and speaks regularly at schools and various venues across Connecticut including the Connecticut Guidance Counselor Symposium, King Philip Middle School, Bristow Middle School, Farmington CT Library, and many more. She has published many articles on education, wrote a weekly education column for Patch.com that was nationally distributed, appeared on Huffington Post Live and the WXLM radio show. Sue was recently featured in Innovation Destination Hartford as an entrepreneurial success story. Prior to opening ACA, Sue was a classroom teacher and holds teaching certificates in both Connecticut and Illinois.

Sue is a volunteer mentor for Untapped Potential, a non-profit organization that helps women who have opted out of the workforce for a period of time to raise their children to opt back in and make a smooth re-entry. She also gives her time mentoring women who dream of owning a business in the field of education and trains individuals to become successful academic coaches.

For more information about academic coach training or to book Sue to speak at your event, please email her at sue@academiccoachingassociates.com.


Academic Coaches-College Students


Andrea Marshall, M.Ed., C.T.A. (Certified Life Coach), Director of College Coaching

“Andrea is doing a super job keeping Ryan on track, and most importantly, acting as the liaison between Ryan and us in terms of his academic experience.  I feel much better knowing that Andrea is coaching Ryan and reminding him of deadlines, encouraging him to use his time more wisely and basically keeping him on track. I am very pleased with Andrea’s work with Ryan and having her as Team Leader for Team Ryan.”

Andrea holds a Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) in General and Athletic Counseling and is a certified life coach. Andrea has been helping students at the University of Hartford for 21 years in the areas of Academic and Personal Counseling. For the past 5 years, Andrea has been Associate Director of the Student Success Center and Orientation where she meets individually with students who are struggling academically or personally. She also teaches a course each semester for students who are undecided about their majors and career path.

Andrea is the director of our College Program including the Career Exploration Program and is certified in Typefocus, a cutting-edge assessment tool that helps students chose a viable college major and career path. As an Academic Coach with ACA, Andrea uses her wealth of experience to help college students focus on the process of learning including examining their learning style, organization abilities, self-advocacy, problem-solving strategies, and life skills that will lead them to academic success.

Andrea lives in beautiful West Hartford, Connecticut. She is the “outdoorsy” type and enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, and iPhone photography. Her puppy, Baily, is a little bundle of energy who keeps Andrea on a short leash. 


Irwin Nussbaum, M.S., CFO & Educational Consultant

Irwin earned his Masters Degree in Counseling and Higher Education Administration from SUNY – Albany.  He was the Associate Vice President for Student Life at the University of Hartford where he directed the Student Success Center. Irwin has helped countless students who struggle with their academic expectations and assignments due to poor executive functioning skills helping them organize, plan, prioritize, manage their time, etc. At UHart, Irwin was also responsible for the Orientation Program and supervised the offices of Judicial Affairs and Parent Relations.

Irwin has a vast amount of experience in helping students who have been placed on academic probation navigate the process including compiling the future academic success list and meeting preparation (dean of students, advisor, etc.) In addition, Irwin consults with students who seek medical withdrawal or university re-admittance. Helping students to become confident, successful self-advocates has always been a cornerstone of Irwin’s professional career, and seeing students thrive and succeed at college is what gives him the greatest satisfaction.

Irwin is a man of many talents. His vast experience in college administration makes him the perfect CFO for an education company.  He is responsible for all financial and accounting responsibilities for ACA. On his off-hours, Irwin resides in Connecticut half the year and in Florida the other half where he can usually be found firmly planted on the beach.


Dave Woolever, M.A., Ed.D., College Academic Coach

“Dave’s work with Connor has been a great success!  His “motivation without nagging” approach prompted Connor to take action and self-advocate, something he had never done before. I am so glad we found ACA and would recommend it to anyone!” -Deb

Dave earned his Master of Arts degree in Education from East Carolina University, a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and his Doctorate in Education from Liberty University. Currently, Dave is a professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at Johnson & Wales University’s Denver campus, where he teaches a variety of undergraduate history and ethics courses and also serves as a student advisor. In addition, he provides academic coaching and online teaching support for struggling students at the University of Texas. Previously, he had the honor of teaching at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as well as Maxwell AFB.
Dave is actively engaged in volunteer activities within the Denver community, where he volunteers in the Prescription Pet Therapy Program at Children’s Hospital-Colorado with his dachshunds, Nestor and Parker, and he serves as a trainer in the program, certifying both handlers and dogs for the hospital. Through his volunteer experience at the hospital, Dave developed a passion for writing children’s picture books, and he has now published multiple books. Dave’s love for coaching goes beyond academics.  He is a Special Olympics coach and established and coached the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country programs at Johnston & Wales, Denver. As an outdoors guy and an avid skier, it’s easy to see why Dave loves living in Colorado.

Christine Riley, M.A., College Academic Coach & Career Coach

Chrissy holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently an adjunct psychology professor and the Director of Orientation | Assistant Director & First Year Advisor at the University of Hartford. As a First-Year Advisor, she provides academic, emotional, and social assistance to struggling students.

Chrissy has been a senior counselor for a therapeutic social skills summer program where she implemented clinical interventions to assist individuals with Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, and PDD-NOS. Her belief is that by providing a positive and supportive environment, she can create a culture that brings out the best in her students; cultivating their strengths and empowering them to improve holistically. She is passionate about people and her goal is to be a catalyst for her students to succeed in school and in life.

Currently, Chrissy resides on the CT shoreline in Old Saybrook with her fiancée and two furry children. She is a beach lover and spends a lot of her free time relaxing there. Additionally, she is an avid Target shopper and loves spending her time cooking, going for mile runs, and trying her best at DIY projects.


Nick Delaney, M.Ed., College Academic Coach

“Nick, I would like to tell you how happy I am with your help. Angel is so much more focused than he was before working with you. I am so proud of him! ” -Ana

Nick earned a Masters of Education in Elementary and Special Education from Westfield State University, and a Post-Masters Certificate in Post-Secondary Education and Disability Services from the University of Connecticut. He is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership (Ed.D.) with a focus on higher education at the University of Hartford. Nick worked in K-12 in special education before transitioning to higher education in 2013. He currently works as an Academic Advisor at the University of Connecticut and has worked in academic administration, mentoring, and academic coaching both at the School of Fine Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Storrs.

In his free time, Nick loves watching and playing basketball, going to concerts, and playing guitar and bass. He is a diehard fan of all New England sports and wishes the Hartford Whalers were still a team. Nick also plays in a rock band called GreenHouse that frequently plays shows throughout the Northeast. GreenHouse won “Best of Hartford” for bands this year.  Congratulations Nick!


Shoshana Armington, B.S., M.S, College & High School Academic Coach

Shoshana holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut and earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology, also from the University of Connecticut.  Over the course of her 11 years of experience, she has helped high school and college students in a variety of education settings serving high school, and college students improve academic performance and develop life skills.

Shoshana is the Assistant Director of Advising for Student Transitions for the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Previously, Shoshana worked as an academic advisor at UConn where she advised engineering students with course selection, degree planning, and career enhancement. She worked one-on-one with first- and second-year students to develop positive academic habits, learn about campus resources, and transition successfully to college. In her role as an advisor, she assists students in making academic decisions and teaching them strategies to improve executive functions such as problem-solving, self-advocacy, study and test-taking strategies, and time management.

Shoshana is fiercely committed to helping her students reach their academic goals by tailoring coaching strategies to meet her students’ individual needs. In her spare time, Shoshana enjoys dancing, Zumba, DIY crafting, and plays a mean round of golf.


Lauren Eddy, B.S., M.S., College Academic Coach

“Lauren, I am very thrilled with your coaching with Sydney!  You are extraordinary!!” -Lynn

Lauren earned her Master’s of Science degree in Counseling with a focus in Student Development in Higher Education and her Bachelor’s degree in History and English from Central Connecticut State University. She is currently the Tutoring Resource Center Coordinator at Western Connecticut State University where she hires, trains, and supervises a staff of 20 undergraduate peer tutors, primarily in the Arts & Sciences, as well as run study skills workshops, and is coordinating a pilot peer academic coaching program for students on academic probation. 

As an academic coach in the CCSU Learning Center, she used a holistic, strengths-based approach to coach at-risk and first-year students one-on-one and in small groups. She is passionate about helping students successfully navigate college life and become independent, strategic learners. Lauren has also worked in academic advising, academic counseling for Division I student-athletes, and has taught a number of first-year introduction courses and study skills workshops.

Most weekends, you can find Lauren out hiking with her dog Ash, doing yoga, gardening, or reading. She loves all things Harry Potter and playing strategy and tabletop board games.


Marissa Frangione, B.A., M.S. College Academic Coach

“Marissa,  I just wanted to say how positive we all feel about Emily working with you for academic coaching.  The lesson notes are fantastic!   We know it is going to take some time for her to develop new strategies and habits, but the things you have worked on so far seem to be exactly what Emily needs.  We are very grateful to have found Academic Coaching Associates and already referred two friends to you!”  -Tanya

Marissa earned her Master of Science in Human Performance from the University of Florida and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of West Florida.  During her time in graduate school, Marissa worked in the Career Resource Center where she helped students with career planning, organization, and time management skills.

In addition to her academic coaching position at ACA, Marissa works as a Mental Performance Coach specializing in student and athletic development. She teaches skills to help students boost their academic performance. Previously, Marissa worked with the United States Army where she taught soldiers academic performance training skills such as time and stress management, study techniques, and test-taking skills. These skills helped soldiers successfully complete coursework throughout their rigorous flight school training and during their trainings as a soldier on the range and as a pilot in the cockpit.

Marissa’s specialty is helping students increase their motivation and confidence by harnessing their mindset.  She believes that with hard work and effort, anyone is capable of learning the skills they need to be successful in the classroom and in life.

When she is not working, you can find Marissa sweating it out in the gym, binge-watching her favorite shows, or relaxing on the beautiful Florida beaches.


Academic Coaches-High School and Middle School Students

Kaprece Smith, M.ED., B.A., Academic Coach
Kaprece holds a Master of Education from the University of Lynchburg in School Counseling, and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, also from the University of Lynchburg.  She holds Connecticut state certificates in both School Counseling and Teaching (grades 7-12).  With 15 years of experience in a variety of education settings serving both high school and college students, Kaprece is one of our most well-rounded academic coaches. 
 
Presently, Kaprece is the Coordinator of Early College Programs at Goodwin College where she works with students individually and in groups to ease the transition to college by teaching constructive academic habits, self-advocacy/using campus resources, and higher education expectations. This includes coaching students on the consequences of academic decisions, problem-solving, self-advocacy, study and test-taking strategies, and time management.  Prior to her current position, Kaprece was a teacher at Cheshire Academy, The Nichols School, and Lake Forest Academy. At each school, Kaprece taught history and social studies and both freshman and senior seminar classes. At Lake Forest Academy she was also the Dean of Students and Director of Multicultural Affairs. 
 
Kaprece is dedicated to facilitating the academic success of her students.  Her warm and engaging personality, as well as her love of sports, makes her a student favorite. 

Hilary Ben-Ami, M.S., Certified Life Coach & Academic Coach (Middle School through College)

“The teachers said a lot of great things about her and how much she has grown and taking the initiative to communicate with them. They’re excited to see so much personal growth and confidence.You have worked miricles with Rhyka, and for that I am forever grateful”     -Jen

Hilary holds a Master’s degree in Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Speech from Hunter College in New York City.  She has a wealth of teaching and academic coaching experience with students ranging from middle school through college. She is trained in the pedagogy of teaching, including differentiation skills and personalized learning.  Her style is a blend of brain-based learning, strategic thinking, and mindfulness. Her coaching has been informed by the knowledge that our minds are more powerful in producing results when we implement and consistently practice new, productive habits. She has organized hundreds of workshops and seminars for thousands of participants. As a former lead literacy teacher in a middle school, Hilary can break through writing and learning blocks with her students with clarity, wit, and wisdom.

In her spare time, she can be found visiting her grown children, taking part in a personal development or creativity workshop, biking, hiking, writing, or listening to music with her artist husband and her King Charles Cavalier, Maya.  


Heather Toyen, M.S., Academic Coach

” I just wanted to drop a note and tell you how grateful we are that we found you and your team! Charlie is thriving in school.  Heather is an amazing coach and he is taking great pride in his work.  As we battle the school to get him the help and accommodations he needs, we are so thankful that he is working with Heather.” -Suzy

Heather is a Connecticut certified high school counselor with over 20 years of experience working with middle and high school students. She holds a Master’s degree and 6th Year degree in counseling from the University of Hartford.  Heather takes pride in boosting student’s self-esteem and confidence by helping them overcome academic obstacles such as organization, time management, pre-planning, accountability, and follow-through.

A large part of Heather’s current responsibilities involves individual counseling to assist students in achieving greater academic success. She
believes that lifelong learning is important for everyone and is passionate about assisting students to become excited to learn and grow.
 
Heather enjoys spending her free time running, reading, and relaxing at the beach.  She has a rescue cat named Dorsey who spends her days lounging on the couch and napping in the sunshine.

Jillian Berube B.A, M.S., Academic Coach

“The coaching sessions Jill has had with Ryan have been incredibly beneficial and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her.
Thank you all so much for all of the help and confidence you’ve given to Ryan this year.”  -Erin

Jillian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut. She has been a high school Spanish teacher for the past 7 years. Jillian not only strives to teach her students to become proficient in the Spanish language but also the benefits of organization, time management, and study skills. Many of her students are underclassman and thrive in a structured environment.

In her free time, Jillian loves spending time with her son a.k.a. her dog Mac. They love to go everywhere together! She also loves to travel. Jillian has traveled all over Europe and even lived in Spain for a period of time. She is also an avid cruiser and particularly enjoys the Caribbean. Jillian also spends time at Cape Cod every other summer with her family.


Paul Henning, M.A.T., Math Tutor

Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Brown University and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Mathematics Education from Rhode Island College.   In addition, he passed a rigorous series of exams to become an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society and has worked as an actuary for many years.

As a Math Tutor For ACA, Paul guides his students to focus on the fundamentals: arithmetic, numerical fluency, and logical thought.  By building a strong foundation, his students become more confident and are better prepared for the challenges of the high school and college years. Paul has the ability to build confidence and strengthen skills in even the most “math-challenged” students

When he’s not tutoring, Paul likes to relax with a crossword puzzle or a history book.  In the warmer months, he can often be found on a bicycle, exploring the scenic back roads of the Nutmeg State.


Corinne Byrne, M.S., Academic Coach, Math Coach

“What wonderful information and feedback Corinne, thank you—you have been so helpful to Maya”  -Leslie

“We are super grateful for the help my daughter has received from Corinne!   She really has been masterful at connecting with and helping Natalie.” -Julia

Corinne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Saint Joseph, and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Central Connecticut State University. She has 10 years of experience in the classroom in both a traditional high school and currently in an alternative high school where she works with at-risk students.  As the Vice President of the Connecticut Association of Alternative Schools and Programs, Corinne expands her dedication to her students from the classroom to the state level.

When she is not working, Corinne enjoys trying new DIY projects, playing volleyball and basketball and exploring all the interesting and diverse areas of Connecticut with friends.


Stephanie Herrera, M.S., Academic Coach

Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish education from Central CT State University and a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the American College of Education.  She has been a high school Spanish teacher for the past 7 years and works to teach her students how to manage their time with the given tasks, improve their learning and study skills, and ultimately release the responsibility of learning to her students. She strives to teach the same skills to her academic coaching students to help them reach their academic goals. In the summer, Stephanie can be found tutoring in Spanish to help students maintain their fluency in the language or to improve their level of speaking and writing in Spanish, and of course, coaching ACA students on executive function skills in preparation for the coming school year.

In her free time and summer, Stephanie loves spending her time with her family and friends by having multiple loud cookouts and going to the beach as much as possible.  She belongs to a book club that allows her to get lost in books as well.