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Meet the Staff

For general questions, email us at asla@northwestern.edu. Read about our mission here.
Marina Micari

Marina Micari

Director

847-467-6481
m-micari@northwestern.edu

Marina serves as director of ASLA, leading Northwestern's efforts to provide high-quality, inclusive, and holistic academic support for undergraduates. She has been at Northwestern since 2003, previously with the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, where she led program evaluation projects and worked with faculty seeking to enhance their students' learning. Marina is also a lecturer in Northwestern's Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program within the School of Education and Social Policy. She is engaged in national and international conversations around academic success in higher education, particularly in STEM, and has authored numerous journal articles and two books on the college student academic experience. In her pre-Northwestern days, Marina worked for a decade in publishing and corporate communication, and taught courses in intercultural communication, multicultural education, and educational research methods. She received her B.A from Grinnell College in anthropology and French, and holds an M.A. in communication and a Ph.D. in education, both from the University of Minnesota.

See Marina's publications and presentations.

Aston Karner

Aston Karner

Program Manager for Remote Learning Initiatives

Aston joined the ASLA staff in 2021, bringing with him a variety of experiences with first-year students. Most recently, he spent three years at Illinois State University, guiding students and their families through the college application process as an admissions counselor both in on-campus and regional capacities. Prior to that, he spent time in career services, international studies, new student orientation, and undergraduate housing during his time as a graduate student. Aston holds a B.A. in music and an M.S. in college student personnel administration, both from Illinois State University.
Una McGeough

Una McGeough

Program Manager

847-467-0148
una.mcgeough@northwestern.edu

Una manages the Undergraduate Program for Advancing Learning (UPAL) and Peer Academic Coaching programs.

Prior to making a career shift into higher education, Una worked as an environmental policy analyst for a variety of organizations, focusing on energy and sustainability. She is currently president of her local school district’s board of education, and has served on the school board and volunteered extensively in K-12 education for over ten years. She has been with Northwestern since 2015. Una received a B.Sc. in biology from McGill University, and a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University.

Borislava Miltcheva

Borislava Miltcheva

Program Manager

847-491-2731
borislava.miltcheva@northwestern.edu

Borislava manages Peer-Guided Study Groups.

Before coming to Northwestern in 2017, Borislava worked for 12 years at Northeastern Illinois University, first as Writing Specialist and then Assistant Director of the Learning Support Center. Her work’s focus and personal joy is in guiding students on the road to achieving academic success and realizing their full potential. Borislava is proud to have started her own career as a peer leader while working on her degree. Borislava holds a B.A. in English from National-Louis University and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ashley Truong

Ashley Truong

Program Assistant

847-491-3929

ashley.truong@northwestern.edu

Ashley has been with Northwestern since the fall of 2014. She previously worked as the coordinator for the Primary Care Clerkship and Education-Centered Medical Home program at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Prior to working at Northwestern, Ashley worked as an elementary school teacher for seven years. She received her B.A. in secondary education/history from DePaul University.
Krystal Wilson

Krystal Wilson

Program Manager

krystal.wilson@northwestern.edu

847-467-6406

Krystal manages ASLA's Drop-In Peer Tutoring and Navigating Northwestern Academics programs.

Krystal has recently joined our team as of 2020. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Krystal worked for seven years with students in various capacities, serving as a Financial Aid Administrator, Program Coordinator, and College Advisor within colleges, high schools, and non-profit organizations in the Chicago area. She has been deeply engaged in various facets of helping students prepare for and succeed in college, from the college application and financial aid process to the development of leadership skills. She has also volunteered as a mentor to youth for many years. She is passionate about providing holistic support for student success. Krystal holds a B.S. in Community Health and an Ed.M. in Higher Education, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Almaz Mesghina

Almaz Mesghina

Graduate Student Intern

almaz.mesghina@northwestern.edu

Almaz is a fifth-year PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. Broadly, her work explores how (and for whom) heightened pressure can facilitate or hinder learning in the classroom. Currently, she tests interventions that teachers and students can use to reduce anxiety and improve STEM learning potential. Almaz has taught six courses at UChicago, where she also serves as a teaching consultant for peer instructors. On the weekends, Almaz mentors her bright, ten-year-old “little sister” through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Almaz has a deep commitment to improving students’ academic and emotional wellbeing and is thrilled for the opportunity to join ASLA and put her research into practice.  Almaz holds a B.S. in both Child Development and in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. 

Student Team

David Meza

David Meza

Student Associate

David is a second-year Industrial Engineering major who is also pursuing a certificate in the Kellogg School of Management. He is a peer facilitator for Differential Calculus in Academic Support and Learning Advancement's Peer-Guided Study Group Program.  His favorite spot on campus is the Lakefill!

 

Connor Call

Connor Call

Student Associate

Connor is a fourth-year Chemical Engineering major, focusing on Biochemical Engineering. They are currently a Peer Facilitator and Operations Assistant in the Study Group Program with Academic Support and Learning Advancement. Connor loves to spend their time working with other students and conducting research on campus. You can usually find them studying in the library or working in lab!

Aurora Greane

Aurora Greane

Engagement and Outreach Committee Member

Aurora is a third-year Biomedical Engineering and Violin Performance major.  She is a tutor in Academic Support and Learning Advancement’s Drop-in Peer Tutoring program. You can catch her studying in places that have natural light on campus, such as the Deering Reading Room or in the little garden outside Deering’s Observatory. 

Deogratias (Deo) Mukuralinda

Deogratias (Deo) Mukuralinda

Engagement and Outreach Committee Member

Deo is a second-year Industrial Engineering major.  He is a tutor in Academic Support and Learning Advancement’s Drop-in Peer Tutoring program.  If Deo could share one piece of advice with a new Northwestern student, it would be that “success isn’t supposed to be achieved alone- it’s okay to accept help.”

Micha Nouafo

Micha Nouafo

Engagement and Outreach Committee Member

Micha is a fourth-year Cognitive Science major, minoring in Global Health Studies. She has been a peer facilitator for calculus in the Academic Support and Learning Advancement’s Peer-Guided Study Group Program for two years. Her favorite thing about Northwestern is the people here and the countless resources to help students succeed.