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Academy Resource Center

Online Academic Support

Meet Our Team

The following individuals are available to assist with various aspects of online academic coaching.

aaron_fieldAaron Field
Director, Online Student Academic Support

Aaron is a born and bred San Francisco native happily stuck in the cool, gray, city of love. His love of writing led him to pursue a degree in English with the University of California, Davis. Aaron has been with the Academy in the online support department for seven years . Currently, Aaron is the Director of Online Student Academic Support. He has been married since December 2001 to his high school sweetheart and they both reside with two aggressively cute daughters and three ferocious feline companions .   

Justin DeCristofaroJustin DeCristofaro
Online Academic Coach

Justin is a New Jersey native and joined the Academy in 2010. He has BA degrees in English and History from Hiram College in Ohio and has served various educational roles. Justin has worked as a tutor, course developer, and now academic support coach. He finds daily inspiration connecting with the Academy's talented and diverse student population. In his spare time, Justin partakes in a wide range of outdoor activities. He also enjoys writing and playing guitar.

shayla_griffinShayla Griffin
Online Academic Coach

As the LA 151 First Year Seminar Online Coordinator and as an Academic Coach my first priority is to identify students' academic support needs and connect them with the Academy's resources through the Academy Resource Center. My personal philosophy when it comes to assisting students is it's a partnership; we work together to reach your academic goals. After 8 years with the Academy of Art I continually am amazed at the passion our students bring. I want to be a part of their journey as they reach their full potential as both students and artists.

penny_hondrogenPenny Hondrogen
Online Academic Coach

Penny Hondrogen is originally from New Hampshire, but has lived in the west for more than 20 years. At AAU she is an online instructor and academic coach with the Online Academic Support team. “The real value of the AAU education is the diversity of the student body, the professionals who teach the courses, and the proximity of the classes to world class museums, galleries and agencies. She is a true believer in getting her students to break out of their shells, and dive into new experiences that the AAU has to offer." Penny has extensive experience in teaching undergraduates and graduate students at AAU, and brings years of experience of teaching and coaching to students. She has taught classes to art students at-risk of failing out of AAU, and to International students who are trying to make sense of American college culture. Penny has a master’s degree from San Francisco State University in TEFL. Currently, she lives north of San Francisco in Marin county with her family and animals. She enjoys mountain biking, yoga, and loves the variety that California has to offer.

Janelle QuintinJanelle Quintin
Online Academic Coach

Janelle comes to us from San Diego, with a BA in Psychology from UC Irvine and an MA in School Counseling from Chapman University. She previously worked as an Admissions Representative with the Academy and brings with her the drive to help students achieve success. She enjoys working with students to help them reach their potential and loves viewing student artwork. In her spare time, you can either find her baking, taking photos, or hanging out with her husband, son, & their dog, Tippy.

Tessa SteffensTessa Steffens
Online Academic Coach

Tessa, a long-time California resident, came to San Francisco from San Diego. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in History. Joining the ARC staff in May 2007, Tessa encourages students to channel their unique perspectives into excellent artistic and academic achievement. Outside the Academy, Tessa likes exploring San Francisco, catching live music shows, baking, and browsing the shelves of bookstores and libraries.