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LHU News

LHU opens Student Success Center as central location for student support on campus

Student Mentors Image
Shown from left, are student success mentors, Katelyn Fitzgerald, Brent Khalil and Zoe Wise.

Lock Haven University recently celebrated the opening of the new Student Success Center (SSC) on campus during an open house event on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

For the first time, LHU students will have access to a concierge-like experience, where their needs and concerns can be met and addressed by both professional staff and peer mentors.

The center will connect students with resources in a welcoming and central location on campus in Ulmer Hall. It will serve as a one-stop-shop to assist students in four major areas vital to student success and retention: academic success, social adjustment, financial literacy and career exploration.

The center is a hub for the various campus offices and resources that fall within these four areas. First floor offices include – Center for Global Engagement, Counseling Services, HOPE Center and the Professional Resource Closet. Second floor offices include – the Office of Student Success, the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Accounts, Student and Residence Life, Center for Career and Professional Development, TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Academic Improvement Plan (AIP), Academic Success Program (ASP), Disability Resources, coordination of tutoring services and Freshman Commons.

Success Staff Image
Shown are some of the staff for the new Student Success Center at Lock Haven University. Front row from left, are student employees Breanna Hanley, Madison Buxton and Julienne Casper. Back row from left, are Dr. Stephen Lee, vice president for enrollment services and student affairs; Dr. Amy Downes, director of student support and retention; George Rusczyk, director of transition and outreach programs; Benjamin Game, student success specialist; and Tammy Kramer, administrative assistant.

The Office of Student Success within the Student Success Center (SSC) is responsible for the success info desk, ASP, new student orientation, the Haven Cupboard, Haven Leadership Program, Early Alert, student mentoring programs and outreach to students who may be struggling.

“The Success Center provides a singular location on campus for faculty and staff to send students who are experiencing challenges that could cause them to withdraw,” said Dr. Stephen Lee, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, also emphasizing a major focus of the center – student retention.

Dr. Amy Downes, director of student support and retention, said the SSC is a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to support LHU students. “The SSC was created to help support students in their journey toward graduation. It will provide and coordinate with a variety of programs aimed to enrich the student experience,” she said. “Students will be able to find answers to questions, receive support and overcome barriers that can interfere with their progress.”

The single location will make it much easier for students to know where to go and more likely to take advantage of the many important resources that already were available to students, but spread out across campus. It will also now be easier for SSC staff to be able to identify and connect students with the programs and resources that they need.

“The SSC will simplify, expand and encourage student access to the many resources that LHU has available,” said George Rusczyk, director of transition and outreach programs. “The office will also reach out to students throughout the semester to offer assistance with mid-term grade concerns, class registration, as well as enrichment opportunities such as time management, study skills and other workshops.”

In addition to Downes and Rusczyk, SSC office staff also includes Benjamin Game and Rebecca Baker, student success specialists (main campus); Trinity Werstler, student success specialist (Clearfield campus); Dakotah Miller, assistant student success specialist (main campus); Hadley Raven, assistant coordinator for the Haven Cupboard and the HOPE Center; and Tammy Kramer, administrative assistant. The center also has 25-30 student mentors on staff.

LHU senior social work major, Brent Khalil, of Exton, is a student success mentor at the center. He said he has a passion for helping people and is excited for this opportunity to help his fellow students in this position. “Many first-year students come in needing help,” Khalil said. “They’re facing anxiety and mental illness caused by leaving home. The SSC will help students realize they’re not alone. They can ask for help. I think through the SSC, students will realize how many opportunities and resources exist on campus to help them.”

Business administration junior, Zoe Wise, said she really appreciates that all of the student-focused university resources are now in one location and thinks that will be a huge benefit to LHU students. Wise, of Montoursville, is a student mentor.

Katelyn Fitzgerald, a pre-physician assistant senior and student mentor from Elwood City, thinks the center will bring a lot of value to LHU students. “I think the SSC will improve the way we are able to reach out to students who need help,” she said. “The SSC will provide more opportunities for peer mentorship and will allow students who may be struggling to make connections with other students who can walk alongside them. This will lead to so many opportunities for students to be successful at LHU.

Office hours for the center are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To contact the office, email or call 570-484-2345.

SSC services are also available for students at LHU Clearfield at 102 Founder’s Hall. Office hours are Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Student Success Center, email, call 570-484-2345 or visit

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit, email, or call 570-484-2011. 

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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

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Executive Director of Strategic Communications

Elizabeth Arnold
213 Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center
(570) 484-2293

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