Student Success and Academic Support, in support of the university’s mission, provides an inclusive environment and transformative educational experience, one that promotes engagement and academic and personal success. We believe in a student-centered culture and continuously strive to develop and deliver high-quality programs and resources that help students succeed.
As we collaborate across the university, we engage faculty, senior leadership and staff in the spirit of student success and development. By creating a student-focused culture, we help students identify their goals, stay on a path to success, graduate on time and prepare for life after UB.
Senior Associate Vice Provost and Director of Student Success and Academic Support
Cheryl Taplin is the senior associate vice provost and director of Student Success and Academic Support. Her office collaborates across campus to promote student success leading to graduation.
Cheryl has been at UB since 1987. She began as a counselor for the Upward Bound Program; became coordinator of the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP); served in various roles in undergraduate academic advisement; and served as director of the former Student Academic Records and Financial Services (SARFS) before her current role.
Cheryl is a member of several organizations, including the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE), the Western New York Retention Committee and First-Year Experience. She is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Cheryl earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Gannon University, a master’s degree in social sciences interdisciplinary with a concentration in public affairs from the University at Buffalo, and a PhD in educational leadership and policy with a concentration in higher education from UB.
Student Success Staff Assistant
Lauren Galgovich is the student success staff assistant for Student Success and Academic Support. Lauren joined the team in January 2018. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the SUNY Buffalo State College. Lauren enjoys teaching the LAI203 Academic Success Strategies course, which focuses on strengthening learning tools and skills for students who are struggling academically. She is a senator on the Professional Staff Senate as well as a committee member for the PSS Inclusion and Diversity committee.
Associate Vice Provost/Senior Executive Director, Student Success and Academic Support/Unit Diversity Officer
Jacqueline Hollins is the associate vice provost and senior executive director for Student Success and Academic Support. She also serves as the unit diversity officer for Academic Affairs. Jacqui came to the University at Buffalo in 1998 as an academic advisor for underrepresented student populations. She served as the university’s pre-law advisor, overseeing the development of the Pre-Law Student Services Center and as the director of Student Advising Services (now Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center) before assuming her current role. Jacqui is actively involved in the community, including being a graduate of Leadership Buffalo and the WNY Consortium of Higher Education Academic Leadership Institute. She is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and is a recipient of the Friends of EOP award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources from the University at Buffalo and a master’s degree in education from Canisius College. Jacqui is currently pursuing her PhD in higher education at UB.
Director of Tutoring and Academic Support Services
Vivian Jimenez joined Student Success and Academic Support in June 2017 from the University of North Texas, where she worked with the graduate student population. Prior to her time in Texas, Vivian was a senior academic advisor in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the coordinator of language proficiency at UB. As assistant director for the Office of Student Success and Academic Support, she coordinated the success summer bridge program and helped to organize functions and events for Say Yes Buffalo incoming and current students. In her role as director of Tutoring and Academic Support Services, Vivian oversees UB’s centralized destination for tutoring at UB. As director she also teaches, oversees and coordinates the LAI 203 (Academic Success Strategies) courses which are designed to help student who are struggling academically get back on track. Vivian also manages the first generation peer mentoring program, which has a summer bridge component. Through the program, eligible first generation incoming freshmen are paired with upperclassmen and these students forge a relationship that eases the transition for our first year students.
Director of Technology for Student Success
Jessica Julicher is the director of technology for student success. She attended University at Buffalo as an undergraduate and a graduate student, studying Sociology and then, Higher Education Administration, respectively. Jessica started working at the university in 2007 in the Division of Athletics assisting in their Academic Support area as well as Athletics Development as a graduate assistant, and then in 2009 as a full-time staff member.
Jessica has been a part of a number of university-wide initiatives such as the Student Services Transformation (SST) Project which implemented our current student information system, HUB; Finish in 4 and now currently is the application administrator for the university’s student success management system, EAB Navigate. She enjoys working collaboratively with many areas on campus to help introduce technology, improve processes and measure student-support activities so that, ultimately, we can help our students succeed at UB.
Director of Student Success Planning
R.J. Multari joined Student Success and Academic Support as the unit’s student retention planner in November 2021 after 21 years of service with the UB School of Architecture and Planning, serving as an assistant dean since 2011 involved with academic planning, advising administration, undergraduate and graduate curriculum development, environmental design education, and undergraduate studies. In addition, R.J. is a senator on the SUNY University Faculty Senate, and serves on the UB Faculty Senate. During his tenure with the School, R.J. oversaw approximately 2100 students earn their baccalaureate degrees, planned and developed five new graduate program approved by SUNY/NYSED, submitted curricular revisions for three undergraduate programs, and drafted or revised approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate courses. Initially, R.J. joined UB in 1998 as an advisor in UB’s Academic Advisement Center (now Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center), and previously worked at Youngstown State University as assistant to the director of enrollment planning. An educator and urbanist, R.J. earned a social science master’s degree in urban studies and an educational administration master’s degree - both from UB - and is completing a dissertation on educational urbanism for his PhD, also from the University at Buffalo.
Director of Center for Excellence in Writing
Rhonda Reid holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning with an emphasis on writing instruction in higher education. Her dissertation, "Negotiating Unfamiliar Genres: A Writing Center Study," examines the writing center conference as a vantage point into student experience with writing curriculum, particularly the development of genre awareness. She provides strategic leadership for the Center for Excellence in Writing (CEW), teaches Writing Center Theory and Practice, and designs professional development workshops for writing consultants and faculty. Rhonda has been employed by the University at Buffalo since 2009 and has served as director of the CEW since its inception in 2013. Before directing CEW, Rhonda taught college writing and literature for over 25 years.