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Academic Coaching

Due to health concerns about COVID-19, we are not currently able to offer in-person coaching appointments. However, we are happy to meet with you via Zoom.

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Academic Coaches work with undergraduate and graduate students to tackle common challenges like:

  • Time Management
  • Procrastination
  • Motivation
  • Exam preparation & anxiety
  • Writing essays and dissertations
  • Reading and note-taking strategies
  • Communicating effectively with advisors/mentors


Undergraduate Coaching Appointments        Graduate Coaching Appointments       Student-Athlete Appointments

What is Academic Coaching?

“I feel like I never have enough time.”

“I study and study, but it doesn’t show on my exams.”

“I’m just not feeling motivated to do my work.”

Does this sound familiar? You're not alone. Academic life at Stanford can be challenging. The pace, complexity, and volume of material encountered in the quarter system challenges students to learn more effectively and efficiently. Our academic coaches help you navigate these challenges by providing you with the tools to balance the many demands that are placed on you as a Stanford student. We work one-on-one with you to help you improve your academic strategies, suggest changes to your approach, find school/life balance, and provide encouragement as you implement new ways of learning. 

You can think of an academic coach like a personal trainer. The coach is adjusting the weights, offering new workouts, supporting you, and providing guidance to help you achieve your goals. The obvious difference is that an academic coach is helping you strengthen your learning fitness. 

Your goals might sound like this:

  • “I want to study more efficiently.”
  • “I want to procrastinate less.”
  • “I think I could be managing my time better.”
  • “I don’t want my anxiety to get in the way of how I perform on a final.”
  • “I’d like to retain more of the information I learn for the long-term.”

Stanford undergraduate, master's, professional, and PhD students walk into Academic Skills Coaching sessions year-round with statements like these and many more. Coaches offer strategies, accountability, and inspiration along the way. Book an appointment  to start your individual training!

Academic Coaches

Nicholas Santascoy, PhD Academic Coach, Student Learning Programs

Nicholas Santascoy (him/his) is an Academic Coach in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Nicholas started his college education at Berkeley City College then later majored in psychology at UC Berkeley, where he was a McNair Scholar and researched the effect of gratitude interventions on rejection sensitivity. To learn more about the science of human nature, he completed a PhD in psychology, examining people’s beliefs about intergroup bias. He decided to combine a growing interest in learning science with his psychology skills by pursuing a career in academic coaching. He has held coaching positions at both the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University. He began his current role at Stanford in Spring 2019. Working together with students on advancing their skill and confidence in strategic planning, deep learning, critical thinking, faculty relations, and self-motivation is the highlight of his day. 


Rhean Sun, MFA Academic Coach, Student Learning Programs

Rhean Sun (she/her) is an Academic Coach in the Center for Teaching and Learning and a proud Stanford graduate. She majored in English with a focus on creative writing. Her favorite classes included Social Dance and The Graphic Novel. While at Stanford, she was also involved with the Native American Cultural Center, Polynesian Cultural Festival, and the Stanford Taekwondo Club. Since graduating, she has been a food blogger, marketing manager, tech support specialist, editor in chief, and college writing instructor. She also holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She's excited to be back at Stanford helping students develop the skills necessary to reach their academic goals and become lifelong learners.


Jae Chung, PhD Associate Director, Student Learning Programs

Jae (he/his) manages the Student Learning Programs at CTL and oversees the Peer Learning Consultant Program. Jae received his PhD in Biology from Stanford University, where his doctoral research focused on cardiovascular development and cancer biology. Jae has launched mentorship and TA support programs, and was the Residential Academic Director for the Leland Scholars Program at Stanford before coming to CTL. Jae has worked with Stanford students since 2012 and is committed to helping students reach their academic goals. 


Peer Academic Coaches

Michelle Atallah Michelle Atallah
Lead Learning Consultant
PhD Student, Cancer Biology

Works with undergraduate and graduate students


Leehi Yona Leehi Yona
Lead Learning Consultant
JD/PhD Student, Law and Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources

Works with undergraduate and graduate students


Chris Puntasecca Chris Puntasecca
Graduate Learning Consultant
MD Student, Medicine

Works with undergraduate, graduate students, and student athletes


Brandi Ransom Brandi Ransom
Graduate Learning Consultant
PhD Student, Materials Engineering

Works with undergraduate, graduate students, and student athletes


JamieFine Jamie Fine
Graduate Learning Consultant
PhD Student, Modern Thought & Literature

Works with undergraduate and graduate students


IleanaPirozzi Ileana Pirozzi
Lead Learning Consultant
PhD Student, Bioengineering

Works with undergraduate and graduate students

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