Student Success Leaders

Each first-year seminar has an upper-class student mentor called a student success leader, or SSL, who attends your seminar, helps you with advising, and answers academic questions. Once you have been assigned your seminar over the summer, your SSL will get in touch with you to discuss how to build your schedule for the fall and to answer any questions you have about academics at Hollins.

Morgan Blalock

Hey there, 2018! My name is Morgan Blalock, and I’m a junior this year. I’m Professor Leedom’s SSL, and I can’t wait! I’m a creative writing and classics double major here at Hollins, and I’m also editor of Cargoes literary magazine and a part of Academic Policy Board. I’m originally from Newport News, VA, and some of my favorite things are college basketball, Christian Bale movies, and buying too many shoes. I’m planning on going to grad school after my time here to study creative writing more and hopefully teach for a university I love as much as this one. I’ll be thrilled to meet all of you when you get here and to help you make Hollins and Roanoke your new home!

Caleigh Bravo

Hello class of 2018! My name is Caileigh Bravo, and I am in the class of 2016. I am from Gainesville, VA, which is right outside of Washington, D.C. I will be the SSL for Professor Gerber-Stroh’s first-year seminar class for the fall semester of 2014. I am a film major with a minor in math, which is a strange combination, I know. I will have just spent the entire summer in London doing an internship in film production by the time I arrive back to Roanoke. Throughout my time at Hollins, I’ve also done an internship with America’s Test Kitchen in Boston and at Boyd Photography. As well as being an SSL, I am the president of the riding team along with co-president of S.H.A.R.E. If I’m not doing homework or making films for my class, you can find me watching my favorite movies or television shows basically anywhere on campus. Watching movies, to me, is more a hobby than something just to do in my free time. Being a film major will do that to you, I guess. If you can’t find me with my eyes glued to a television, I’m most likely riding up at the barn. Horses keep me sane, and it’s one of my favorite ways to spend my time. Anyway, I can’t wait to meet all of you and show you around the school I love so much! If you want to ask any questions, or simply want to discuss your favorite TV show or film, I’m all ears, (

Shannon Ciccarello

Welcome new Hollins women, class of 2018! I’m Shannon Ciccarello! I am a rising sophomore, class of 2017, from Stafford, Virginia. I am double majoring in mathematics and classics. On campus, I am a part of the golf team, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and Rules Committee. Next year, I will be a Judicial Board member, a QR tutor, and a part of the Hollins Honors Program! I also have a work-study job here at duPont Chapel with a wonderful group of ladies! When I am not golfing or doing homework in the science building, Dana, I enjoy playing the beautiful pianos around campus and going out to the tennis courts with my roommate. I am an avid fan of book hoarding, Harry Potter, shoe shopping, the beach, and Tom Hiddleston. In the fall, I will be the SSL for Professor Diefenderfer’s seminar, “Games, Puzzles, and Logic.” I am so pumped for the class and excited to meet you all!

Emily Dodson

Hello everyone! My name is Emily Dodson, and I am a member of the 2016 class here at Hollins. I am from the small town of Boones Mill, Virginia, which is only about 30 minutes south of campus. My major is psychology, and I am also pursuing a Batten Leadership Certificate. You may have seen me on your visits to campus in the admission office where I hold a work-study position. When I graduate from Hollins, I plan to attend graduate school and further my education in the field of psychology. While I am off campus and have the time, you can find me doing outdoor activities, reading, cooking, or attending musical events. Feel free to contact me by email at any time if you have any questions or concerns at During my first year at Hollins, I was able to take Professor Pempek’s Positive Psychology course during j-term, and it was an awesome experience for me, as I know it will be for you! I am so excited to be Professor Pempek’s SSL for your first-year seminar, and I can’t wait to meet each of you!

Rory Keeley

Hi! My name is Rory Keeley, and I am in the Class of 2017! I am from Charlotte, NC, but Hollins is now such a home to me. I am very excited to be working with Professor Gettings’ philosophy seminar this upcoming fall and can’t wait to meet all of you! Currently, I am pursuing a major in mathematics & statistics with a minor in philosophy and a Certificate in Leadership Studies with the Batten Leadership Institute. But, when you can’t find me in Dana, I am probably off hanging out with my Hollins sisters. I am an avid reader and writer, and I also love to hike, climb, and hope to travel the world! At Hollins, I work as a quantitative reasoning tutor and an admission ambassador. I also live in the wonderful Carvin Global Village! I am very adventurous, curious, and energetic and love meeting new people! I cannot wait to get started as an SSL in the fall and meet all of my future Hollins sisters! See you soon!

Ericka Kelly

Hello! My name is Ericka Kelly, and I’m from Roanoke, VA. As a native of central Texas, I moved to the Roanoke Valley years ago, making my home, and I love my home! I will be the SSL for Professor Spodark’s first-year seminar for the incoming Horizon students in the 2014-15 academic year. I am an English/creative writing major, and I plan to minor in communication studies. When I’m not enjoying walks around our gorgeous campus, you can find me in Swannanoa between English classes, and starting in the fall, I will be in the Writing Center as a tutor! I can’t wait to meet all of your new faces. I am confident you will all get to know and love Hollins as I have!

Kyri Lorenz

Greetings class of 2018! I’m Kyri Lorenz, class of 2015, and I’ll be helping out Professor Anderson’s seminar this fall. Hailing from Northern Colorado, I’m a studio art major with minors in creative writing and philosophy. I’m part of the leadership council of Otaku Hall, one of our many specialty houses, and a co-chair of the Grapheon Literary Society. I also work every day in the Alumnae House right as you get onto campus, so I get to see a lot of behind-the-scenes Hollins. During my sparse free time, I consume a lot of anime and manga, read a lot of books, crochet, design and sew doll clothing, learn trivia facts, and waste time on tumblr. I can’t wait to meet all of you and help you take your first steps toward greatness here at Hollins! My email is, and I check it every day, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send them off.

Mandy Moore

Hello, class of 2018! My name is Mandy Moore, and I will be the SSL for Professor Poliner’s first year seminar. I am a junior from Woodstock, VA, majoring in English (creative writing/literature in performance) and minoring in French. On campus, I am involved with the Spiritual and Religious Life Association and French club. I am also a tutor at the Writing Center and a resident of French House. My hobbies include pretending I can sing, being an avid fan of everything from Doctor Who to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and doing way too much research on fairy tales. If you want someone to talk to about interactive multimedia storytelling, the Oxford comma, chocolate chip pancakes, or any questions you may have about Hollins, please feel free to email me whenever ( I can’t wait to meet y’all!

Lydia Price

Hello ladies! My name is Lydia Price, and I’m a member of the class of 2016. I’ll be professor Pfeiffer’s SSL this year, and I’m so excited! I’m an English major with a concentration in multicultural U.S. literature, and I’m a history minor. I plan to go to graduate school after Hollins in hopes of becoming a reading specialist. I’ve been a first year RA for two years, so I truly enjoy interacting with new students. This year, I’ll be a head RA. I’m originally from Birmingham, Alabama, so yes, I love barbeque and football… Roll Tide! I’m so excited for this upcoming year and I can’t wait to meet y’all!

Brenna Rivett

Hello ladies! My name is Brenna Rivett, and I am a junior from the small town of Purcellville, VA. I am a double major in environmental studies and international studies, and I am also pursuing a leadership certificate from the Batten Leadership Institute. On campus, I serve on the Hollins Activity Board as the social events chair, I work in admission as a tour guide, and have a work-study position working backstage in the theatre (which I love)! When I am not living in our beautiful library, I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, running, watching old Gilmore Girls reruns, traveling as much as I possibly can, and being outside. I am very passionate about the environment and plan to pursue a graduate degree in environmental policy and development after I leave Hollins. I am so excited to be working with Professor Sampon-Nicolas this fall, and I can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Deborah Rogers

Hello class of 2017! My name is Deborah Rogers, and I am a senior here at Hollins. I am majoring in music while working on certificates in piano teaching and art administration. I play piano, guitar, compose my own music, and I am always up for a jam session in Presser at any hour. I am rather excited to be helping Professor Krause with his first-year seminar this fall! Some of the activities that I enjoy participating in here on campus are singing in the choir, canoeing with HOP, hanging out at HAB events, attending the dances, and performing in the student recitals. I love fantasy books about dragons, reading about music analysis, music and mathematics, poetry, watching TV shows like Doctor Who and Downton Abbey, and I have an eclectic taste when it comes to music including Celtic Woman, TobyMac, Nickelback, Debussy, and Ravel. If you need to get in touch with me, send me an email at I love talking about music and Hollins!! I really can’t wait meet all of y’all this fall!!

Pavithra Suresh

Hey there! My name is Pavithra Suresh, and I’m an international studies major and a communication studies and Spanish double minor. I’m originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, but Hollins has become my second home. I’m very passionate about traveling, service, culture, and political theory. In my free time, I enjoy researching indigenous labor movements in Bolivia. I’m so excited to be the Student Success Leader for Professor Ridley’s seminar “Passion for Power and the Power of Passion”! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at See you soon!

Victoria West

Hello class of 2018! My name is Tori West, and I am a senior double major in communication studies and political science. I will be the SSL for Professor Bratic’s seminar this fall, and I am very excited to meet y’all. I am from the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina, but Hollins has really become my second home over the years. In addition to being an SSL, I am also the Secretary for the class of 2015, a member of the Judicial Board, and a member of ADA. In my free time, I love to bake, scrapbook, and I have recently taken up making stained glass artwork. If you have any questions about anything, please do not hesitate to email me at