On Campus Coaches
Executive Director, Academy Resource Center
Naomi grew up in New Jersey and moved to the Bay Area in 1995. She is passionate about helping students from all backgrounds succeed academically. Prior to joining the Academy Resource Center team, she taught ESL to students from all over the world in nonprofit organizations, high schools, a library, a preschool, and in a private school in Florence, Italy. She has a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University. Naomi loves to commute to work by bicycle and travel; she has spent a great deal of time exploring Italy. She is married to an Italian man that she met in her travels, and they have a son.
Dan has been with the Academy of Art University since May 2003. He worked assignments in International and Undergraduate Admissions before becoming a full time employee as Classroom Services Administrator and now ARC Administrator. He has a B.S. degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Dan enjoys interacting with and assisting students along with the vibrancy of a campus environment.
Academic Outreach Coordinator
Amy was born and raised in a small town in eastern Missouri, moved to Oregon after high school, and graduated with a degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Oregon. She and her husband then moved to Kyoto, Japan, where she taught English as part of the JET Programme for five years. They moved back to the States in August of 2011 and Amy joined Academy of Art’s ARC as the Academic Outreach Coordinator the following April. In her free time, Amy enjoys singing, knitting, watching baseball (Go Cardinals!), and beating her friends at Texas Hold 'Em.
Mary Donovan has taught English and writing in the United States and abroad, and has written and edited content for print, web and radio. She has worked as an administrator and an administrative manager in schools specializing in art, design and performing arts education. Mary has a BA in Liberal Arts and an MA in Media Studies, both from The New School in NYC.
Coach Coordinator and Academic Coach
Lynda was born in California and grew up on the East Coast on a small island in Maine. She is happy to call San Francisco her home for over a decade now. Lynda received her B.A. in Marketing from Marietta College in Ohio, where she was also a student-athlete. She has a diverse vocational background including coaching collegiate basketball teams, a short stint as a paramedic, and several years as a sign language interpreter. She is inspired by the creativity and passion of the students and faculty here at the Academy. Lynda enjoys stand-up comedy, blogging, camping, sailing, rockabilly music, and collecting vintage clothes and mid-century memorabilia.
Illustration 101 Coordinator and Academic Coach
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Michael Robertson is an Academic Coach for the Academy of Art University with over 14 years of experience working with college students. Michael is the former Associate Director of Student Services in the Student Services Department and has guided hundreds of students towards their graduation as an Academic Advisor. A born Illustrator Michael has taken a large number of Art courses at different Universities including AAU and Cal State East Bay. As a freelance artist he has experience in the fields of Traditional and Digital Illustration, Animation, Photography, Fine Art and Screenwriting. During his off time he enjoys listening to music of every genre, uploading videos to YouTube as a speed painter and watching horror films. Michael is married and loves spending time with his wife and three children.
Resources Coordinator, LA151 Teacher Mentor and Academic Coach
Mike has a degree in psychology from the University of San Francisco and an MA from Boston College in School Counseling. Mike teaches study skills to freshmen and academically coaches students at the academy. He enjoys providing interactive walking tours of the city.
New Technology Coordinator and Academic Coach
Matthew grew up in Burlington, Vermont, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Studio Art, German Language, and Political Science and went on to complete an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to working at the University, he taught middle school and high school art to at-risk youth and students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in Vermont and San Francisco. He also teaches in the Liberal Arts and Art Education departments at the Academy of Art and coordinates the Speaking Lab in the ARC. His interests include writing, photography, cooking, designing furniture, exploring San Francisco, and travel.
Academic Coach and LA 151 Administrative Coordinator
Marla earned a BA in English from Montana State University, an MA in Critical Theory from Ohio University, and a PhD in American Literature from the University at Buffalo. She feels incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to serve the dynamic, creative, and passionate students at AAU. As an Academic Coach, she enjoys assisting students with the critical resources and skills they need to meet their educational goals. In other lives, she has worked as an editor, freelance writer, tutor, cashier, barista, retail manager, and university instructor of writing, research, critical thinking, and literature. She spends her free time reading, writing book reviews, running, practicing yoga, knitting, and watching horror films.
Photos (with the exception of Lynda Espana) by AAU BFA student Bonnie Rae Mills