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.
Illustration 101 Coordinator and Academic Coach
Drew hails from Iowa City, Iowa. He studied Anthropology, Spanish, and Cinema Production at the University of Iowa, receiving his B.A. in 2003. He studied abroad in Seville, Spain and Morelia, Mexico. Upon graduating, Drew joined the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, where he taught art and Spanish to elementary school students in Charleston, South Carolina. He worked as a Construction Site Supervisor for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and served as a guide/interpreter at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. In 2006, he moved to California to teach filmmaking, art, and music classes at a high school in Menlo Park. He simultaneously pursued graduate studies in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his MA in 2010 after completing fieldwork in La Guajira, Venezuela where he lived with the Wayuu indigenous tribe. Drew coaches students at the Academy of Art to reach their full creative/artistic potential and teaches in the liberal arts and illustration departments. He spends his free time snowboarding, painting, honing his archery skills, and playing music with his hip-hop band, Tektite.
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.
Academic Coach and Writing Lab Coordinator
As an Academic Coach, Liz Farsaci enjoys helping students figure out how to get from where they are to where they want to be and advocating for them as they negotiate college life. As the Writing Lab coordinator, she hopes to empower students to be better writers and thinkers. Prior to joining AAU, Liz worked as a newspaper editor and reporter. She received an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in Communications, from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. She also attended the Universidad de Granada in Spain and University College Dublin in Ireland, where she drank too much Guinness and stayed for the better part of a decade. She loves good friends, good book readings, and fried food. In her next life, she’s going to be a British police detective.
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