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ASC About Us: Academic Skills Leadership

Melanie Brown, PhD - Director

Melanie BrownResearch Interests:  Adult learners in online higher education; critical reading; workplace communication
Social Change Interests: Mental illness advocacy; elder support; bird habitat & conservation  
Joined Walden: 2001 
Location: Minnesota
About Melanie: Helping Walden students achieve their academic goals is important to me. I collaborate with the Academic Skills Center’s excellent staff and faculty to help students strengthen their confidence and self-efficacy in statistics; critical thinking, reading, and writing; and professional skills, including time management. I also serve on the Undergraduate Leadership Council, participate in Walden’s Doctoral Orientation to the Capstone, and copresented at our 2016 International Student Success Conference. I have a PhD in English from the University of Minnesota. Outside of Walden, I enjoy volunteering for my neighborhood senior association, hiking in state and national parks, and bird watching. 

Contact Melanie with your comments and questions today!

Emily Dahlen - Associate Director, CAEX Program Director

Photo of EmilyResearch Interests: Organizational communication, flexibility in the workplace
Social Change Interests: Parental leave expansion and equity
Joined Walden: 2013
Location: Minnesota 
About Emily: I am an Associate Director in the Academic Skills Center and the Program Director for the Walden Center for Academic Excellence (CAEX) courses and workshops. Prior to coming to Walden, I worked as an academic advisor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and at Capella University. I also taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara where I am a doctoral candidate in organizational communication. My educational background is in organizational communication, human resource development, and political science.

Contact Emily with your comments and questions today!

Terren Rye - Associate Director, Mentoring & Tutoring

TerrenResearch Interests: Academic success for the adult learner; first-generation Latino college students
Social Change Interests: Educational access for minorities; health and wellness
Location: Minnesota
Joined Walden: 2013
About Terren: At Walden I enjoy engaging with students, staff, and faculty to continually improve the university experience and apply the mission of positive social change through collaboration and new initiatives. Supporting student success is the mission of the Academic Skills Center and I believe by providing a variety of high quality services we can continually meet and adapt to the needs of our students. I have several years’ experience as an Academic Advisor and a background in Tutoring Services as a Graduate Assistant at St. Cloud State University. Outside of Walden, I enjoy volunteering as a tutor and mentor for Latino youth in academics and college preparation.

Contact Terren with your comments and questions today!

Shawn Picht - Manager of Faculty Outreach and Student Communication

Image of Shawn

Research Interests: Social media marketing & multimedia support in higher education
Social Change Interests: English language learners
Joined Walden: 2013
Location: Minnesota
About Shawn: As Manager of Faculty Support, I am interested in informing faculty through various means of communication, including text, video, and audio, about the Academic Skills Centers services while providing practical information they can use to help guide students. In my student marketing role, I like to connect students to the Academic Skills Center by growing our newsletter and exploring various multimedia modes of communication.

Contact Shawn with your comments and questions today!

  Host of the Academic Skills Center's Savvy Student Podcast

  Editor of the Academic Skills Center's Savvy Student Blog

  Contacting Your Academic Skills Center, by Shawn Picht

Dena Easton - Operations Manager of Writing Assessments

DenaResearch Interests: Organizational change management
Social Change Interests: Advocacy for domestic violence victims and homelessness
Joined Walden: 2006
Location: Minnesota 
About Dena: As the Coordinator of Doctoral Writing Assessment, I track doctoral student progress through the writing assessment by assisting students in gaining a better understanding of their current writing skills. I serve on the Walden Community Building Committee promoting social change and volunteerism. I spend time outside work volunteering and donating items to local homeless and abuse centers. My BA is in Criminology and Sociology and my MBA in Human Resource Management is from Walden. I own a pet hedgehog named Saphia that fulfills the need both to have an interesting pet and to own a real Walden mascot.

Contact Dena with your comments and questions today!