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

Location

First-Year Experience & Transition Programs is on City Campus in Love South Library 127. Co-located with Explore Center, 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.

1248 R St.
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 Canvas
  2. Click “Account”
  3. Click “Settings“
  4. Click “MyPLAN”
  5. Click “My Success Network”
  6. Find “First-Year Experience & Transition Programs” and click “Schedule Appointment” to request an appointment with the next available Coach

OR Schedule with a SPECIFIC Success Coach:

  1. Log onto Canvas
  2. Click “Account”
  3. Click “Settings“
  4. Click “MyPLAN”
  5. Click “My Success Network”
  6. Find “First-Year Experience & Transition Programs”
  7. Find your Coach and click “Schedule Appointment” next to their name

More About Our Staff

Lori Romano

Lori Romano

Director, First-Year Experience & Transition Programs

402-472-1880
lromano@unl.edu

Learn more about Lori

Lori Romano is a Nebraska native with a rich background in both secondary and higher education.

Lori is a first-generation student who 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 CCNY, Lori went on to teach high school English at Truman High School in the Bronx, Language Arts at San Manuel Jr High School in Arizona, and English Composition at Central Arizona College. Lori also has experience in the non-profit sector as an education coordinator, professional development specialist, and freelance writer.

Lori is excited to work in a role where she can connect with students and help them achieve success. She loves learning and hopes that she is able to provide students at Nebraska with the same sort of guidance and support she received when she was starting her own college journey.

When she’s not at work Lori enjoys reading, writing, hosting Walking Dead dinner parties, and spending time with her husband, kids, and hound dog.

Dan Hutt

Dan Hutt

Academic Success Coach

402-472-1880
dan.hutt@unl.edu

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.

Donny Bui

Donny Bui

Academic Success Coach

402-472-1880
donny.bui@unl.edu

Learn more about Donny

Donny Bui is a Nebraska native, born and raised in Lincoln.

Donny is a first-generation student who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with an emphasis in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Donny intends to pursue a graduate degree in the Education Administration Masters Program.

Donny has a passion for education and learning. He is excited to be part of the First Year Experience & Transition Programs team, and to work in a role where he can provide support, motivation, and encouragement to students of all backgrounds to achieve success in and out of the classroom.

Prior to joining the FYE&TP team, Donny worked as an Education Specialist for the Upward Bound Math Science Program in assisting students to strengthen their math and science skills in preparation to pursue post-secondary education in a STEM field. He hopes to continue his passion of working with students to achieve academic success in his new role.

In his spare time, Donny enjoys going fishing, listening and discovering new music, and spending time with his family and friends.

Robert Russell

Robert Russell

Academic Success Coach

402-472-1880
robert.russell@unl.edu

Learn more about Robert

Robert Russell, a lifelong Michigander, joins the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with academic experience teaching literature and writing courses at the University of Michigan, Saint Mary’s College, and Indiana University South Bend. Most recently, he was a Learning Specialist at the University of Notre Dame, working closely with the student-athlete population.

Robert has a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies (with a specialization in Film Studies) from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in English Studies from Oxford Brookes University. Passionate about academic support services, he is committed to encouraging and assisting students of all backgrounds to take ownership of their academic careers and realize their fullest potential.

Robert is a writer, and the author of two short novels: a western, Mesilla, and Sea of Trees. He co-founded two nationally-recognized literary journals, Midwestern Gothic and CHEAP POP. He loves traveling and Midwestern landscapes and trees and is filled with genuine awe and wonder at the natural world and all within it. He is thrilled to settle in Lincoln and can't wait to bring his curiosity and passion to campus and beyond.

Hailey Larsen

Hailey Larsen

Graduate Assistant – Emerging Leaders program

402-472-1880
sw-hlarsen4@unl.edu

Learn more about Hailey

Hailey, a Nebraska native, received her Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is currently working towards her Master's degree in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs from UNL.

Before joining the FYE&TP team, Hailey worked with a local non-profit college access organization. Helping students get to and through college is something she realized she was passionate about during her time at UNO with the Thompson Learning Community. As a first-generation college student, she wants to help students in the same way others helped her.

When she's not working or in class, Hailey is usually trying to find new coffee shops, FaceTiming her mom, or walking around Holmes Lake.

Kristy Saunders

Kristy Saunders

Graduate Assistant – First Husker program

402-472-1880
sw-ksaunders10@unl.edu

Learn more about Kristy

Kristy Saunders, a homegrown Montanan now Nebraska transplant, is in her second year of graduate school in the Educational Administration Masters program. Kristy attended the University of Montana-Missoula for her B.A. in Psychology as a first-generation college student.

During her undergraduate career, Kristy was an orientation leader, campus tour guide, and a coordinator for Admissions and Enrollment with Orientation Programs. These positions contributed towards her passion for supporting students in their path toward a college education, and she has worked in higher education ever since.

Prior to moving to Lincoln to start her graduate degree, Kristy worked as a Financial Aid Adviser for a Coconino Community College in Arizona, where she helped students complete the financial aid process and coordinated tribal scholarship applications.

Outside of work and school, Kristy loves to take her dog on adventures around Lincoln, and spend time with her husband, Dylan. She is an avid movie buff and loves to go camping, hiking and river floating.

Carly Mendoza

Carly Mendoza

Administrative Coordinator

402-472-1880
carly.mendoza@unl.edu

Learn more about Carly

Carly Mendoza, a Nebraska native, is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumna who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Mathematics.

Carly is a first-generation college student. After earning an Associate’s degree from Southeast Community College-Lincoln, Carly transferred to UNL to continue her education. During her undergraduate experience she was involved in student government, philanthropy, and multiple honor societies.

After working in patient services at a local optometry practice, Carly is excited to be back at UNL and in an academic setting. She has a passion for learning and helping others. She is especially thrilled to work in a University program committed to empowering students who, like herself, may be a first-generation or transfer student. In her free time she enjoys binge watching way too many shows to name, playing board games, and spending time with her dog.

Jordan Heim

Jordan Heim

Academic Success Coach

402-472-1880
jheim2@unl.edu

Learn more about Jordan

Jordan Heim, a native South Dakotan, joins us after working with the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS) and the Center for Civic Engagement as a graduate assistant.

Jordan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication and Religious Studies from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and a Master's degree in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs from UNL.

During his undergraduate experience, he was involved in numerous areas like student activities, student government, student media, and various choirs. It was then that he realized all of the possibilities student affairs offered and discovered how his passion for helping people and making a difference came together.

When he's not supporting students, you can find Jordan roaming the aisles of Target, taking care of his houseplants, eating mozzarella sticks and catching up on the latest Netflix Original series.

Colleen Cameron

Colleen Cameron

Academic Success Coach

402-472-1880
colleen.cameron@unl.edu

Learn more about Colleen

Joining the First-Year Experience and Transition team, Colleen is fulfilling a life-long ambition to be a part of the University of Nebraska. She is excited to bring her education and experience on board to serve students at UNL. A native Nebraskan and first-generation Husker, Colleen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas with a personal interest in Human Potential Psychology.

She is passionate about empowering students to own their college experience and make the most of their time at UNL. Colleen hopes to encourage students to develop and embrace a love of learning and an attitude of exploration, wonder, and growth.

Colleen finds herself humbled and awed by the grace and beauty in the world around her, and she is committed to living a life filled with learning and gratitude. When she is not working, she enjoys relaxing or sailing with her family, puttering in her garden, and going on dates with her husband. She enjoys coffee shops, reading, movies, and being outdoors—and she is crazy about moss.