About Us

Our Mission

The mission of First-Year Experience & Transition Programs is to engage, empower, and support all students in and out of the classroom. We provide academic and transition coaching, peer mentors, and interactive workshops aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Coaching in the new Learning Commons


First-Year Experience & Transition Programs is on City Campus in Love South Library 127. Co-located with Explore Center and Undergraduate Education's UCARE program, the goal is to expose students to advising, research opportunities, and encourage academic success all in collaboration with University Libraries. This unique space offers a conference room, computers for students to check email, and a friendly front desk staff to assist students.

Love South 127
P.O. Box 884109
Lincoln, NE 68588-4109
Phone: 402-472-1880
Fax: 402-472-3630
E-mail: success@unl.edu

Love Library

What is Coaching?

Our coaches build supportive relationships with students to identify areas for enhancement, learn study and life skills, and create action plans. You can meet with a coach once or throughout a semester. Our coaches will help you to be academically successful throughout your UNL career.

Success Coaching

How to Schedule an Appointment

Schedule with ANY Success Coach:

  1. Log onto Blackboard
  2. Click "MyPLAN" at top of screen
  3. Click "My Success Network"
  4. Find “First-Year Experience & Transition Programs” and click “Schedule Appointment”

OR Schedule with a SPECIFIC Success Coach:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above
  2. Select “First-Year Exp. & Transition Programs”
  3. Find your coach and click “Schedule Appointment”

More About Our Staff

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy

Director, First-Year Experience & Transition Programs


Learn more about Sarah

Sarah Murphy, a lifelong Nebraskan, is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumna for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She joins the First-Year Experience & Transition Programs office after working at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. While there, she worked with first-year students in the Thompson Learning Community, taught student success courses, and oversaw a Peer Mentor program.

Sarah has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Educational Administration. She is passionate about working with college students and considers it a privilege to guide students through this important life experience. Her favorite place at UNL is the Learning Commons in Love Library North, where you can find a comfortable seat and Dunkin' Donuts coffee!

Cheryl Pflueger

Cheryl Pflueger

Academic Success Coach


Learn more about Cheryl

Cheryl Pflueger joins the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from South Dakota State University where she has over a decade of experience working in higher education.

Originally from Illinois, Cheryl attended the University of Illinois and earned a Bachelor's degree in Speech Communication Education. Cheryl has her Master's degree in Counseling, Guidance, and Personnel Services from South Dakota State University. While at SDSU, Cheryl advised undeclared majors, taught career planning classes, student success courses, and first-year experience seminars.

Cheryl is passionate about working with students of all backgrounds and helping students find the tools they need to be successful.

Ann Callies

Ann Callies

Academic Success Coach


Learn more about Ann

Ann Callies, originally from Kansas, joins the University of Nebraska Lincoln after working at Washburn University for more than a decade. While at Washburn, she directed the tutoring and writing center programs, taught first-year experience courses, and major and career exploration courses.

Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Education (middle-secondary language arts) from the University of Kansas and taught high school English in Blair, Nebraska, for several years prior to her time at Washburn. Her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies (emphasis: American Literature/History and Women’s Studies) is from Washburn University.

Ann is passionate about educational technology, just-in-time learning and teaching, and helping students learn effective strategies to meet their academic and personal goals.

Dan Hutt

Dan Hutt

Academic Success Coach


Learn more about Dan

Dan Hutt is a native Nebraskan and a graduate of UNL, earning his B.A. in English in 1993.  Dan was a Lecturer in Spanish at UNL from 1997-2007 and taught a variety of Spanish courses for industry in the Lincoln, NE area (including State Farm Insurance, Gallup, NE Dept of Labor) through the Southeast Community College Customized Education Division.

Dan attained his M.A. in English from Kansas State University in 2011, specializing in Literature and Cultural Studies. From 2009-2013, Dan taught English and Spanish courses at Southeast Community College in Lincoln and Beatrice, NE and was instrumental in establishing counseling services at SCC for first-generation college students.

Dan is passionate about education and working with students from all backgrounds. His personal interests include all things international, his cats, and the Beach Boys.

Lauren Kelba

Lauren Kelba

Student Outreach Coordinator


Learn more about Lauren

Lauren Kelba joins the University of Nebraska Lincoln from the University of Iowa, where she earned a B.S. in Recreation and Sport Management and a B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Lauren spent five years competing for the Hawkeyes as a springboard and platform diver in Big Ten and NCAA competitions. While at the University of Iowa, Lauren was able to teach English in rural Vietnam with the Coach for College program and worked as the Camp Director for the Iowa Diving Camp. Upon graduation, Lauren joined Iowa Athletics in the Student-Athlete Academic Services department before coming to Lincoln to pursue her MA in Educational Administration with a Specialization in Student Affairs.

Lauren is passionate about helping students reach their greatest potential, by working with students to develop the academic and life skills necessary to excel during and after college.

Lori Romano

Lori Romano

Academic Success Coach


Learn more about Lori

Lori Romano, a Nebraska native, joins the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a rich background in both secondary and higher education.

Lori earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Concordia College New York and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education from CUNY Lehman College. After working in both the Admissions and Marketing & Public Relations offices at Concordia, Lori went on to teach high school English at Truman High School in the Bronx, middle school Language Arts at San Manuel Jr High School in Arizona, and English Composition at Central Arizona College. Since 2008, Lori has worked in the non-profit sector and as a freelance writer.

Lori is excited to return to higher education and she is passionate about connecting with students to help them develop the skills to succeed both in college and in the world beyond.