Administrator Profiles


Lori Salem

Director & Assistant Vice Provost
Email: lori.salem@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-0709
Office: Student Success Center / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 201

Contact:
  • With questions about the Writing-Intensive Course program or the Writing Intensive Course Committee (WICC)
  • With questions or concerns about SSC staff, programs or policies
  • To learn more about the Emerging Scholars program
  • If you are part of the writing center or learning center community, and you have questions about Temple’s SSC

Lori Salem began her academic career in the arts - she studied music history as an undergraduate, and she wrote her dissertation in dance history - but along the way, she discovered a love for academic administration and for the opportunity it provides to have a tangible impact on the world. She became the director of the Writing Center in 1999, and later became Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Student Success Center. What drove this career pathway was an abiding concern for educational access and fairness.

Lori is very active in the field of writing studies. Her research is published in The Writing Center Journal, the Journal of Writing Program Administration, and elsewhere. She has also served as the president of the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association, as chair of the IWCA Summer Institute, and as the reviews editor for J-WPA and for the Journal of Teaching Writing.

In Lori’s ideal world, there is always plenty of time to read and think, and every day brings an encounter with a very challenging idea. Also in that ideal world, proper tea is served promptly at 4:00pm, and it’s always 65 degrees and breezy. Lori lives in Center City with her husband and (occasionally) with her college-aged twin daughters.


Lorraine Savage

Associate Director
Email: lorraine.savage@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-0705
Office: Student Success Center / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 201

Contact:
  • With questions about SSC services for graduate students
  • With questions about the Academic Coaching program
  • If you are an instructor or administrator, and you want to refer a student for Academic Coaching
  • With questions about online tutoring
  • If you have a question about the SSC and don’t know who to contact

Lorraine holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Hunter College. She spent her early career working as a college counselor for high school students in New York City. A lifelong love of learning and a desire to have an impact on educational policy, led Lorraine to Temple to pursue a doctoral degree in Urban Education. There, her passion for working with diverse populations of students drew her to the work of the Writing Center. She began her professional career with Temple as a writing tutor and then transitioned into administrative role, first as the Program Specialist and later as the Assistant Director of the Writing Center. In those roles, she developed a knack for staff development and program management. In the spring of 2017, she became the Associate Director of the Student Success Center. Being Associate Director affords Lorraine the opportunity to have an impact on student development on both an individual and university level. The broader implications of this work invigorate and excite her.

Lorraine was born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut and now lives in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. While she continues to find new reasons to love Philly, the food scene remains at the top of her list. Nevertheless, she is always dreaming of being on a white sand beach, reading a novel and deepening her tan.


Leslie Allison

Assistant Director for the Writing Center
Email: leslie.allison@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-1071
Office: Student Success Center / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 201

Contact:
  • With questions about the Writing Center, and the writing tutor development program
  • If you are an instructor, and you want to talk about teaching with writing
  • For verification that you (or your student) visited the Writing Center
  • If you are a member of the writing center community, and you want to know more about Temple’s Writing Center

Growing up in a military family, Leslie lived in Germany, Panama, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama before making Philadelphia her home. With a life always in motion, reading and writing offered her a way to understand a world teeming with diverse cultures and ideas. Her interests resulted in a bachelor’s degree in English at Auburn University (2006) and a Ph.D. in English here at Temple University (2015), where she specialized in postwar American women’s writing. She has presented her literary research at national conferences, and has published her work in Studies in the Novel.

During her time as a graduate student at Temple, Leslie taught a wide variety of writing and literature courses, and was named the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Instructor in 2012. It was her time as a tutor in the Writing Center, however, that brought her interests in teaching, writing, and student development full-circle. She enthusiastically joined the Writing Center’s administrative team in 2014, and never looked back. Since then, she has presented at various writing center conferences including MAWCA, NCPTW, and IWCA on issues such as faculty development and student attitudes towards writing instruction. When not working, you can find her reading at a local coffee shop (ok, usually Starbucks), watching live stand-up comedy, or discussing politics and pop culture with friends. She lives in Havertown with her husband and two conspiratorial cats.


Deirdre Kelleher

Assistant Director for Educational Programs
Email: dkelleher@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-3210
Office: Student Success Center Annex / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 100

Contact:
  • With questions about the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program, and the PASS leader development program
  • With questions about Exam Review Services
  • To learn more about the STEM tutor development program
  • If you are an instructor, and you want to talk about teaching and learning in STEM courses

Deirdre’s first job in academic support services was as an undergraduate tutor and grader for Boston College’s Mathematics Department. After graduating from BC with a degree in Mathematics, she accepted a job as a financial analyst in New York City, temporarily leaving tutoring behind. When Deirdre returned to academia to pursue her PhD in Anthropology at Temple University, she stepped back into the tutoring role, this time as a graduate writing tutor at the Writing Center. After completing her graduate research in historical archaeology and receiving her Ph.D., Deirdre worked in state government reviewing archaeological projects throughout New Jersey before making her return to academic support services as an administrator at the SSC. Deirdre still stays active in archaeology as an executive committee member of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum.

Deirdre lives in South Philly with her husband and their growing brood of animals. In her free time, Deirdre plays soccer, gardens in her modest backyard plot, and collects historic maps of Philadelphia.


James Otwell

Assistant Director for STEM Tutoring
Email: james.otwell@temple.edu
Phone: (215)-204-0562
Office: Student Success Center Annex / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 100

Contact:
  • With questions about the STEM tutoring service, and the STEM tutor development program
  • For verification that you (or your student) used the STEM tutoring service
  • For questions about SSC services at Ambler and Harrisburg campuses
  • If you are an instructor, and you want to talk about teaching and learning in STEM courses

James is a lifelong Philadelphia resident who was born at Temple Hospital and spent his early childhood in a Temple daycare center. He attended Syracuse University where he received Bachelor’s degrees in both Physics and Secondary Science Teaching. He was introduced to STEM tutoring at Syracuse as a departmental “physics coach” for recitation sections of Freshman Physics courses.

James has spent time teaching people of all ages in both formal and informal settings, including classrooms, hockey rinks, the Appalachian Trail, and 50 feet up a climbing wall. ┬áHe is fascinated with experiential learning, and with the role that daily experiences play in shaping our cognitive and emotional processes. This curiosity led him to pursue his Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Educational Psychology. His coursework there, combined with his experiences as a supervisor, has sparked his current interest in studying the college learning environment, and made his current role at Temple a natural fit.

When he is not thinking about STEM Tutoring, James enjoys discussing his beloved Philadelphia sports teams, playing fantasy football, and listening to music. Though still a city-guy at heart, he has come to appreciate a canoe trip on a quiet river with the people he cares about most.


Elisabeth (Liz) Ursell

Assistant Director for the Language Lounge
Email: eursell@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-0703
Office: Student Success Center / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 201

Contact:
  • With questions about the Conversation Partners program
  • With questions about tutoring services and workshops for language learners
  • With questions about events for English language learners
  • If you are an instructor, and you want to talk about teaching practices that support language learners
  • For information about how to connect with the SSC on social media

Elisabeth (Liz) earned her B.A. in Creative Writing at Hamilton College, and her M.S. Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She first became interested in language instruction after volunteering at a refugee center in Utica, NY. Since then, she has taught ESL to various refugee and immigrant communities across Philadelphia, as well as IELP and international students.

Liz’s true passion, though, is helping others to develop their teaching potential and intercultural awareness. She currently oversees the Language Lounge at the Student Success Center, where she has developed a suite of services that support Temple students who are learning English, but also English-language speakers who are learning a foreign language. She herself speaks Spanish and basic French, and she is learning some Polish, her family’s native tongue.

Liz lives in South Philadelphia, and in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, and writing and reading science fiction.


Denae Sisco

Learning Specialist
Email: denae.sisco@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-0561
Office: Student Success Center Annex / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 100

Contact:
  • With questions about the Academic Coaching program
  • If you are a student, and you want to discuss your specific academic support needs
  • If you are an instructor or administrator, and you want to refer a student for academic coaching

Denae was born in Florida, raised in New Jersey, and now calls Philadelphia home. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Johns Hopkins University. While there, she worked in a local library and learning center where she discovered a passion for education and advocacy. From there, Denae enrolled in Temple’s School Psychology doctoral program, earning her Master’s degree in the same concentration along the way. During her time in this program, Denae has taken on many roles that have taught her a great deal about the human brain, how the fields of education and psychology intersect, and the importance of protecting and preserving the rights of others. Her current role as the Learning Specialist for the Student Success Center adds a new, exciting branch to her career pathway and she is looking forward to what is in store.

Outside of Temple, you might find Denae singing aloud to Broadway and Disney soundtracks, cheering at Sixers or Eagles games, attending a concert or local festival, or spending lots of quality time with family and friends. She also has an affinity for random trivia, pop culture trends, and podcasts.


Michael O’Connell

Senior Administrative Specialist
Email: michael.oconnell@temple.edu
Phone: 215-204-8487
Office: Student Success Center Annex / Tuttleman Learning Center, Suite 100

Contact:
  • With questions about SSC administrative processes (payroll, purchasing, scheduling)
  • For general information about any SSC service, including hours and locations
  • If you have a question about the SSC and you don’t know who to contact

Michael grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from Conestoga High School (go Pioneers!) before attending Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, PA where he obtained his BA degree in Communications. Wanting to combine his passion for communications and theater, Michael moved back to Philadelphia after college to pursue a career in arts marketing at the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and The University of the Arts. Along the way, he helped to market such successful shows as David Lynch: A Unified Field and KAWS @ PAFA. Michael also served as a member of the Teaching with Primary Sources program at UArts, which is a grant-funded higher education service provided by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys getting dressed for the gym but not actually going, binge-watching true-crime documentaries, and spending time with family & friends. Michael is thrilled and honored to be a part of such a great group of people in the Student Success Center.