Student Success Leaders

Please note: the SSLs listed below are from the 2019-20 academic year. Please check back soon for the SSL info for 2020-21.


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.

Photo of Shelby Barbee

Hello! My name is Shelby Barbee, and I’m so excited to welcome you to Hollins! I will be the SSL for Professor Hendrick’s Designing Women first-year seminar. I’m a rising junior art history major from North Carolina. On campus, I can usually be found in the library or out taking walks. I am very passionate about art history and always love to talk about it! In my free time, I love to read (my favorite book is Lord of the Rings) and watch Marvel movies. I look forward to meeting you all this fall! If you have any questions, no matter how small, please email me ( See you soon!

Photo of Christine-Emeric-Martinez

Welcome class of 2023! My name is Christine M. Emeric-Martínez, and I’m so excited to be your SSL for Supreme! America’s Highest Court with Professor Chenette. I am passionate about creating a more diverse and inclusive community at Hollins, social justice, and advocating for legal rights for my home territory of Puerto Rico. I enjoy learning and celebrating all cultures I am exposed to. I am very involved in the deaf community and encourage learning ASL to anyone interested. I am a rising sophomore, studying political science and international studies, while pursuing the Batten Leadership Certificate. Outside of school and work, I enjoy traveling and spending time at the beach with my friends and family. Getting involved in Student Government Association, Model Arab League, and the ISOP/Early Transition Program helped me find belonging my first year at Hollins. I look forward to helping you find community and working with each of you this fall. Enjoy your summer break, and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at!

Photo of Katie Grandelli

Hi everyone! I’m Katie Grandelli, and I’m honored to be Professor Nuñez’s SSL for What is a Nation?. I’m a rising senior international studies major and a double history and economics minor. Home for me is a small town in Northern Virginia that doesn’t even have a post office anymore. I am so excited to be returning to What is a Nation? — because it was my first-year seminar when I started at Hollins! I can’t wait to be back on campus this fall since I just finished up my spring semester in London. Now that I’ll be back on campus, I’m looking forward to being the captain of the riding team and leading our Model UN/Model Arab League program. I’m a fan of a good cup of tea, epic musicals about revolution, trains, and the politics of the Middle East. I cannot wait to welcome you to Hollins and especially to the history department! Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions, and I will see you all very soon in the fall!

Photo of Anja Holland

Hey class of 2023! My name is Anja Holland, and I am the SSL for Professor Gerber-Stroh’s first-year seminar. I am a rising junior, going for a major in film studies and a minor in French. I am from the West Coast of Canada originally, but I currently live in Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. On campus, I am part of the French Club, Talmadge Singers (one of the choirs on campus), the new Mariachi Ensemble (I play trumpet), and the Valley Chamber Orchestra (I play trombone.) I cannot begin to tell you how terrified I was about going to college, but within my first day on campus, I knew that Hollins was the perfect place to be. In my free time, I’m usually watching movies, talking about movies, watching hockey, working in the Wetherill Visual Arts Center, practicing music, or walking around campus looking for ducks! I cannot wait to meet all of you, and I am so excited about this FYS! It’s going to be amazing! Feel free to reach out to me anytime for any reason. My email is Have a great rest of your summer!

Photo of Esmere Litz

Hello, everybody! My name is Esmere Litz, and I’ll be your SSL for Edible Poetry in the coming fall! I’m a rising senior from the 757 (re: Virginia Beach). I have a double major in theatre and English with a concentration in creative writing. In my photo, I’m doubled over with laughter, which is how I like to spend the majority of my time. In the past, I’ve been involved with the Hollins Activity Board (HAB) and done university-sponsored internships. I’m currently working with a local elementary school by helping them choreograph group performances for a talent show. If you can’t hear me laughing way too loud in Moody, I’m probably at the library where I’m a Student Peer Coordinator (SPC), hanging out with my best friend and roommate-to-be, Madison Knight, hiking to Carvins Cove, at the gym, or meditating. If it seems like you haven’t seen me in months, and I’ve somehow dropped off the face of the earth, I’m probably in a show. I wasn’t always this active on campus; my first year here, I had trouble figuring out where I fit into Hollins. I know how difficult it can feel to find your place while beginning college life, and I’m here to help you along the way. So, if you have any questions, big or small, you can send them my way at or message me on Facebook!

Photo of Nya Monroe-Stephens

Hey guys! My name is Nya Monroe-Stephens, and I’ll be your SSL for Professor Rosen’s Contemporary American Women Writers in the fall. I’m a rising senior with a love of creating things. Therefore, I’m an English major (with concentrations in creative writing and US multicultural literature) and minoring in film. In my free time, I’m probably editing a video, writing, or hanging out with friends. I remember that when I came to Hollins, I was so caught up in the newness of everything. If you have any questions, however silly you may think they are, please feel free to ask me at! After spending the 2019 Spring Semester studying and interning abroad in London, I’m so excited to return to Hollins. I hope you are too!

Photo of Mhelaney Noel

Hi class of 2023. I’m Mhelaney Noel. I’m a rising sophomore from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At Hollins I’m studying creative writing and Spanish. I’m a writing center tutor, as well as a member of the Talmadge Singers and the Black Student Alliance, and I live in La Casa Hispanica. I hope to go to grad school in Miami. After I get my master’s, I plan to write, travel, and teach ELL students. Outside of class, I love listening to metal, meditating, and sporadically changing my hair color. Let me know if you want band suggestions. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you. Feel free to email me at

Photo of Donovan O'Daniel

Hey y’all! My name is Donovan O’Daniel, and I’ll be the SSL for Professor Franko’s Greek Tragedies seminar; the same seminar I took as a first year. I’m a rising senior classical studies major who just got back from studying abroad in Italy. When I’m not reading Latin poetry, I’m painting or drawing, playing Sims, hanging out with my friends, or talking to my family back home in North Carolina. I’ve been heavily involved with theatre at Hollins, as well as the ETP program; so if you’ve got any questions about that or anything else, feel free to hit me up at Enjoy your summer, and I’ll see you soon!

Photo of Katelyn Richardson

Hiya! My name is Katelyn Richardson, and I am Professor Krause’s SSL for his first-year seminar, Taking The Crooked Road Though Virginia’s Musical Heritage. I am from a small town in Southwest Virginia, so I am very familiar and in love with the Hollins landscape. I am a rising senior working toward a history major, music minor, and two certificates. I am currently a member of the Hollins Rock Climbing Team. I was part of the London Abroad program this last year. I fell in love with the pace and way of life there, and I desperately hope that I can go back soon. Some of my favorite things to do in my down time include watching Netflix (things from One Day at a Time to My Only Love Song to Main Hoon Na), hanging out with friends, and watching Japanese butai (stages) and myus (musicals). One important thing to know about me is that even though it is only my minor, music is my life. I cannot get out of bed in the mornings without opening up YouTube or starting one of my playlists. I am excited to welcome you to the music department, as well as the Hollins community overall. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at I look forward to meeting you all!

Photo of Abigail Robinson

Hello! My name is Abigail Robinson, and I will be the SSL for Professor Richter’s How to Watch TV seminar. I am a rising senior and a communication studies major and psychology minor. I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and now live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; but the beautiful mountains nestling Hollins have become an important home to me, as well. When I’m not studying, I’m usually working at the Hollins Writing Center (which I encourage everyone to visit), volunteering at the Roanoke SPCA, or hanging out at Starbucks. I also love trying new foods and listening to music with friends. However, I’ve spent this past spring semester studying abroad in Osaka, Japan. It’s been an incredible experience and just one of the many amazing opportunities that Hollins has given to me. Although beginning a new life at college can be a little daunting, I want to help you explore everything that is possible for you here! I’m excited to speak to each and every one of you this coming fall, and if you have any questions, or just want to say hi, my email is See you soon, and welcome to Hollins!

Photo of Savanna Sewell

Hello! My name is Savanna Sewell. I’m a rising junior communication studies major, and I am so looking forward to being the SSL for Professor Bratic’s first-year seminar. I spent my second semester of sophomore year in Paris with the Hollins Abroad program, and I am so excited to be back on campus with y’all this fall! I am originally from Cary, North Carolina (right by Raleigh, about three hours southeast of Roanoke), and in my free time, you can find me baking, listening to music, or hanging out with the cats and dogs of the Roanoke SPCA. I have found a wonderful community here on the Hollins campus, and I am looking forward to sharing that sense of togetherness and those bonds with you. I am so thrilled to meet y’all! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have or just to strike up a conversation! I am on Facebook, and my email is

Photo of Hannah Schleupner

Hi, class of 2023! My name is Hannah Schleupner, and I’m going to be the SSL for Consuming French Culture with Madame Sampon-Nicolas! I’m very excited to fill this role, as I participated in this seminar when I was a first-year student. Now, I’m a rising junior working toward a biology major. I can usually be found with a cup of coffee, listening to music, spending time with friends, and/or working away in Dana (the science building). Roanoke is my hometown, so I know the city quite well, and I love spending time in the mountains. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I hope you all enjoy the summer!

Photo of Jewel Smith

Hey y’all! My name is Jewel Smith, and I am excited to be Dean Gettings’ SSL for The Philosophy of Superheroes. I’m originally from Greenville, SC, but I am happy to call Hollins my home now. I’m a junior majoring in Spanish and sociology, and I will hopefully be traveling to Barcelona next spring semester. I live in NEFA (Near East Fine Arts), which is an arts specialty house on campus, and I love to take photos and draw. I spend most of my time in and out of the library working as a writing center tutor on campus; but when I am not working, I am usually taking a nap. Beyond being a nap advocate, I am a huge superheroes nerd, so feel free to hit me up to fangirl. If you have any other questions or concerns about anything Hollins related or beyond, feel free to email me at

Photo of Shardei Sudler

Hello class of 2023! My name is Shardei Sudler, and I cannot wait to be your SSL for Professor Costas’ bell hooks: rage, love, and creating beloved community seminar this fall. I am a rising junior with a double major in psychology and philosophy. I’m from Havre de Grace, Maryland, and am very proud of my state’s seafood and beautiful flag. I love music, animals, film, fashion, and poetry. In my free time on campus, you can probably find me watching movies, having dance parties by myself in my room, or in the Goodwill near campus. On a hot day, you can find me resting on a picnic blanket on the chapel lawn with my friends. I am very excited to welcome you all to campus. I know when I first got here I had so many questions I needed answered, so if you have any questions or just want to talk to someone on campus, don’t be scared to email me at See you in the fall!