The Academic Achievement Center (AAC) is a support hub for Lawrence Tech students and faculty. LTU students come to the AAC for tutoring in a variety of subjects, to compare notes with classmates, to meet with study groups, or to seek that spark of needed motivation. For many, the AAC is simply a friendly place to be with others. AAC services are FREE and ONLY available to Lawrence Tech students, staff and faculty. The AAC is located on the lowest level of the A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center in C201.


Academic Achievement Center
Staff Bios and Contact Information

Gladys AvilesDr. Gladys Aviles,
Director, Academic Achievement Center

Dr. Avilés is the director of the Academic Achievement Center. In addition to coordinating the academic support, tutoring services, and testing services of our students, she oversees the Early Feedback and Midterm Grade processes for first-year students.

Dr. Avilés grew up in Puerto Rico and obtained her bachelor degree in chemistry from the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. She obtained her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Michigan State University.

Dr. Avilés was a senior research chemist for BASF Corporation and an adjunct faculty member in chemistry before becoming the First Year Experience coordinator in 2005. In 2008, she co-chaired the Foundations of Excellence in the First Year self-study that led to a number of recommendations implemented during the 2009-10 academic year.

She enjoys working with students and wants to help them succeed. During her free time she plays indoor soccer and volunteers in her community.

VaNessa Thompson, MA,
Assistant Director, Academic Achievement Center

VaNessa graduated from Michigan State University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2008. After her experiences in undergrad, VaNessa had opportunities working at Wayne State University and Marygrove College in Detroit, MI. Since arriving at Lawrence Technological University in 2011, VaNessa has had a variety of opportunities. Before becoming Assistant Director for the Academic Achievement Center, she worked in Office of Residence Life as a Residence Hall Coordinator for South Housing. While working in Housing, VaNessa received her MS in Technical and Professional Communication from LTU in 2015.

When VaNessa is not interacting with fellow Blue Devils or sharing her love for LTU, you could find her playing the latest video games or spending time with her friends and family.

Sterling RussellSterling Russell,

Study Skills Specialist

Professor Russell earned her BA in English and MA in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Michigan. She also holds an Education Specialist degree from Wayne State University. She began teaching in 1971 at Huron High School in Ann Arbor and taught there for 4 years. Ms. Russell left there to teach English and math for a year in Mwanza, Tanzania, East Africa. Upon return to the states, she became the director of Guidance and Counseling at St. Martin De Porres High School in Detroit. In 1989, Ms. Russell became the assistant principal of Birney Middle School in Southfield. In 2004, she became that school's principal, retiring in 2007 after 18 years with the district. Professor Russell owns an editing and proofreading company called Maranza Consulting and works on various editing projects through it. Professor Russell has been married to her husband, Ira, an engineer, for 33 years. They have 2 children, both of whom are engineers. Ms. Russell is a Southfield resident.

Emily Matt, ematt@ltu.eduEmily Matt
AAC Coordinator

Emily is a Lawrence Tech graduate with both her Bachelor and Master of Architecture. She started working at the Academic Achievement Center in 2010 and has performed a number of roles including tutor, pre-course leader, and front desk employee. She is currently working at a small architecture firm as a Project Manager during the day and spends her evenings at the AAC meeting with students and assisting with the coordination of workshops and programs.

In her free time she enjoys traveling and reading newspaper comics – her favorite is Calvin and Hobbes!

Ana Magana
Senior Student Front Desk Assistant

Student Front Desk Assistants
Karina Gonzalez
Jocelyn Montalvo
Dalia Saleem
David Sullivan
Ashlea White
Jeff Busick
Javier Contreras
Carina Taylor
Victoria Smith


Tutor Info

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