Center for Student Success

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Preceptorial Assistant Council (PAC)

PAC Chair

Daniella Lisle

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Major
Business Marketing
Minor
Communication Studies
Year in School
Junior
Expected Graduation
May 2014
PA Experience
Dani was a PA for two years before becoming PAC chair
USD Involvement
Honors Program, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, intramural soccer
Fun Fact
Dani is passionate about her Italian heritage and will be traveling to Italy for the fourth time this summer.


PAC Members

Blake Busby

blake_busby
Major
Business Economics
Minor
Finance
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Blake was a PA for one year, this is his first year on PAC
USD Involvement
Ambassadors Club
Fun Fact
Blake refuses to eat vegetables!

 

Alli Chlapaty

alli_chlapaty
Major
Environmental Studies, Political Science
Minor
History
Year in School
Junior
Expected Graduation
May 2014
PA Experience
Alli was a PA for one year, this is her second year on PAC
USD Involvement
Ambassadors Club, Young Democrats, Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law Fraternity), and the Honors Program
Fun Fact
Alli has traveled to 5 continents!

 

Sydney Davis

sydney_davis
Major
Biology
Minor
Chemistry
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Sydney was a PA for one year, this is her first year on PAC
Involvement
Tour Guide for Undergraduate Admissions, Student Outreach and Recruiment Club (SOAR), and the Black Student Union
Fun Fact
Sydney loves animals and is passionate about saving endangered species and being green for the planet!


Jim Kinney

jim_kinney
Major
Math, Music
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Jim was a PA for two years, this is his first year on PAC
Involvement
Outdoor Adventures, PRIDES, and Ambassadors Club
Fun Fact
Jim toured Italy this past January singing in various venues, including St. Peter's Basilica with the Choral Scholars.

 

Claire Kuelbs

claire_kuelbs
Major
Biology
Minors
Chemistry, Math
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Claire was a PA for one year, this is her first year on PAC
USD Involvement
Dept. of Marine Science & Environmental Studies student worker, ASTRA, and the Honors Program
Fun Fact
Claire has never been out of the country.

 

Alison Lebenbaum

alison_lebenbaum
Major
Behavioral Neuroscience
Minor
Chemistry
Year in School
Junior
Expected Graduation
May 2014
PA Experience
Alison was a PA for two years, this is her first year on PAC
USD Involvement
Invisible Children Club, University Ministry, Tijuana Spring Breakthrough, and Psychology Dept. researcher
Fun Fact
Alison's middle name is Bliss. It's weird, but she's pretty sure that's why she's such a happy person!

 

Elizabeth Szewczyk

elizabeth_szewczyk
Major
History
Minor
Political Science
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Elizabeth was a PA for one year, this is her first year on PAC
USD Involvement
Alpha Chi Omega sorority
Fun Fact
Elizabeth runs a sorority craft business called Etsy.

 

Brooke Thayer

brooke_thayer
Major
History
Minors
Classical Studies
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Brooke was a PA for one year, this is her first year on PAC
USD Involvement
Honors Program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Intramural Soccer
Fun Fact
Brooke has a miniature dachshund named Moose!

 

Valerie Thorngren

valerie_thorngren
Major
Biochemistry
Year in School
Sophomore
Expected Graduation
May 2015
PA Experience
Valerie was a PA for one year, this is her first year on PAC
USD Involvement
The PA Program!
Fun Fact
Valerie is a champion at Bop It Extreme 2!

 

Preceptorial Assistant Council Advisors

Dr. James Gump

Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

doctor_gump Dr. James Gump currently serves as Associate Dean for Advising and Curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences, and has been associated with the PA Program from its inception. He previously served as Associate Dean in the College, Chair of the Department of History, and Director of the Honors Program. He has been a member of the USD faculty since 1981 and is a Professor of History. Dr. Gump earned his B.A. in History from the University of Nebraska, an M.A. in History from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Nebraska. He has been the recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, and the Beinecke Library at Yale University. He is also the former recipient of a Davies Chair at USD.

 

Merrick Marino

Assistant Dean and Director, Center for Student Success

merrick_marino Merrick Marino is the Assistant Dean and Director for the Center for Student Success and is the co-chair of the Committee for Undergraduate Persistence (CUP). He has also co-chaired university-wide initiatives on the First Year Experience and Second Year Experience at USD.  After writing a book for entering college students shortly after graduating himself (1993: College Undercover: What Every Student Needs to Know), Merrick has spent the majorityof his professional career working to support students in their transition to college, and particularly with peer mentoring programs. Before the PA Program was established, Merrick worked with the long-running “Mentor Connection” peer mentoring at USD. Merrick is also a two-time USD alum (’96 M.Ed. Counseling and ’03 MBA).