Staff

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Arlene Tan photo

Dr. Arlene Tan

Director

Dr. Arlene Tan received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Psychology from SIU. Her areas of expertise include Developmental Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Traumatic Brain Injury. She has led the Achieve Program since 2011. Her office is always open to students and parents who have questions or concerns. Dr. Tan's top priority is to see her students succeed at SIU and develop the skills they will need after they have graduated. Please feel free to contact her at arlenet@siu.edu or 618-453-6135.


Roger Pugh photo

Roger Pugh

Developmental Skills Training Specialist

Roger lives in Metropolis, Illinois and completed his B.A. and M.A. in English at SIU. He is currently working to complete his Ph.D. in Special Education. Roger worked for the Achieve Program as an undergraduate tutor and graduate assistant before accepting a full-time staff position in 1999. Roger has dedicated his professional career to working with students because of their continuing need for services at the university level, and the opportunity he is afforded to make a difference in their lives. Please feel free to contact him at rpugh@siu.edu or 618-453-6138.


Leslie Love

Leslie Love

Administrative Aide

Leslie is a Southern Illinois native and is pursuing her B.A. in University Studies from SIU. She has been with the Achieve Program since April 2012 and performs a variety of roles in fiscal and personnel management, as well as student services. She enjoys working in an environment so responsive to individual students’ needs and with colleagues so dedicated to student success; working at Achieve is truly fulfilling. Please feel free to contact her at llove@siu.edu or 618-453-6161.



Tara Thompson

Tara Thompson

Office Support Specialist

Tara lives in Carbondale and is pursuing a B.A. in Health Care Management. She has been with SIU since 2014 in various departments but has found her niche with the Achieve Program in 2016. She is excited to be a part of an amazing team and contribute all that she can to the success of the students. Please feel free to contact her at achieve@siu.edu or 618-453-6155.


Zain Abdi

Zain Abdi

Graduate Assistant

Zain was raised in Arlington, TX where he completed his B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science and M.S. in Petroleum Geology at UT Arlington. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Organic Geochemistry and Petrography at SIU. He has over 2 years of experience in tutoring and supplemental instructing with 2 years of experience as a teaching assistant. His previous job was as an adjunct at Tarrant County College. With a passion of research, tutoring, teaching and helping others he is incredibly thankful for being a Case Manager at the Achieve Program. He is always looking forward to helping others achieve a life as a productive, independent college student.


Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander

Graduate Assistant

Ben earned his B.S. in Agriculture Education from Southern Illinois University. He is a first year graduate students studying Agriculture Education, with a focus in extension programs and adult education. Ben student taught in Vienne, IL last year and greatly enjoyed working with high school students. Ben is very excited to be taking a step up and working with the students in the Achieve Program. He plans to use his experience leading a classroom to understand student's unique issues and foster greater student success.


Andrew Goforth

ENGL Instructor

Andrew hails from Des Moines, Iowa.  He received his bachelor’s degree in English / writing and philosophy at Grand View University and his MA at Southern Illinois University in contemporary American Literature.  He is currently working on a PhD in Rhetoric in Composition focusing on the relationship between literacy, identity, and writing curriculum design.  Andrew is an avid gamer and media enthusiast and loves integrating multimodal approaches to his teaching.  He is excited to work with the Achieve Program due to a greater emphasis on personalized approaches and communication with his students.


Michael Guerrieri

Graduate Assistant

Michael earned his Associate's degree in Applied Science in Automotive Technology before transferring to SIU. At SIU, Michael earned his Bachelor's in Automotive Technology and is currently working on his Master's in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Learning Systems Design & Technology. Michael enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, racing/building race engines and playing guitar. He has visited every state except Hawaii, as well as Europe, Canada, Mexico, and others. Michael is looking forward to working with the Achieve team and being a contributing factor in student success. 


Olga Kaczmarczyk photo

Olga Kaczmarczyk

Case Manager

Olga earned her B.A. in Psychology from SIU and is currently a graduate student in the TESOL program. She has a wide variety of experience at Achieve, as a tutor, test proctor, and case manager. She is excited to return as a case manager this year and finds it rewarding to see students learn to use resources and become more independent.


Jessica Liew

MATH Instructor

Jessica was born and raised in Malaysia. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics from SIU and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Economics. She has been with Achieve for one and a half years as a math tutor. She enjoys helping the student with different needs and interests, learning mathematics from different perspectives. She is excited to return as a Math TA and believes every student could enjoy mathematics if the correct learning approach is provided.
Gabriela Lopez photo

Gabriela Lopez

Case Manager

Gabriela holds a dual B.A. in Applied Linguistics and Human Nutrition & Dietetics, and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Gabriela enjoys helping her students prepare to overcome the difficulties and challenges that college life presents. Her goal is to guide them to become independent and successful students, achieve all their potential, and meet their expectations and goals they are seeking for their future lives.


Brenda Sanders

Case Manager

Brenda earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from SIUC. She has a B.S. in University Studies and a M.S. in Workforce Education, Training & Development. In addition, she has completed several credit hours towards her doctoral degree in Special Education at SIUC. Most recently, Brenda worked at the SIUC University Honors Program for the past three years as the Learning, Service, and Leadership Specialist. Prior, she worked on an assessment project for SIUC performing identification and analysis of high attrition courses at SIUC. During her undergraduate and graduate student activities, she was involved in leadership, training, and development efforts aimed toward helping enable student persistence and success. Additionally, she worked for the Achieve Program as a Graduate Assistant. Also, Brenda mentored Supplemental Instruction leaders and McNair Scholars, to train them with the know-how to provide student encouragement and support; and most of all, to instill critical-thinking and transfer of knowledge and skills. She is proud of her track record of successful work and rapport with college students, professors and student support services. Her position is to put the student first with the goal of retention and success here at SIUC.


Arika Wiggins

Case Manager

Arika is originally from Oakland, CA and has moved to various parts of the country to pursue her education.  She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas Arlington, and a second master’s degree in health education from the University of New Mexico.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in health education at SIU Carbondale.  She was with the Achieve program from 2015 – 2016 as a graduate assistant.  She then spent two years as a graduate teaching assistant at SIU’s School of Social Work, where she taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses.  Now she is back at Achieve as a full time case manager, who is looking forward to continuing to help students become independent and successful.