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First-Year Experience Faculty:

Ryan Barone
Assistant Director, Center for First-Year Exp
(970) 339-6657

My name is Ryan, and I joined the Aims community in the Spring of 2014. I have studied or worked at seven different higher education institutions in three different states, and I have been uniquely inspired and motivated by the students, staff, and faculty at Aims. Navigating higher education can be complex, and I am thrilled to be one of the many people here committed to helping students progress and succeed to meet their educational goals.

Success Tip: Identify the skills you already have which assisted you in getting to this point in life, and use those characteristics to help you meet your goals. You are competent and valuable, and you can be successful here at Aims and beyond.

Dawn Boll
FYE Liaison

I am going for an Accounting Degree at Aims and I am in my fourth semester. I am a non-traditional student and I am thoroughly enjoying learning new things. I enjoy watching the antics of my dog and cat, even while doing homework. Much of my success here at Aims is due to my involvement with organizations like Catalyst, W.I.T.T., and attending as many iFocus workshops as possible. I also believe my success here has a lot to do with the volunteering I get involved in.

Shannon McCasland
Assistant Dean for Student Services
(970) 339-6563

My name is Shannon and like you, I chose Aims. In fact, I’ve stayed here for 15 years! It is my #1 goal to connect you to the college – the resources, people, and learning that will give you an early boost toward college success.

The transition from high school, the military, or the work force can be extremely difficult and it is our mission to make that transition as easy as possible for you. Stop in and let’s connect!

Success Tip: always keep the end in mind. Picture yourself graduating and keep that at the forefront of your mind. When the going gets tough, your “end in mind” will help you persist!

Franz Quinones-Villalobos
FYE Liaison

I am studying for a degree in Animations and currently I’m getting a certificate in Graphic Design. My hobbies are photography, graphic design, writing and music. My motto for life is to take responsibility for your actions “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

Student Success Tip: Don’t make up excuses to procrastinate.

Rachel Veretto
Coordinator, Center for the First-Year Exp.
(970) 339-6641

My name is Rachel and I am thrilled that you’ve made Aims your college of choice! I joined the Aims community in 2005 and began teaching AAA courses in 2008. I love working in the Center for the First-Year experience because I get to impact students’ lives from the moment they walk onto campus until they walk across the stage at graduation.

It is my personal goal to get to know as many of you as I can through the various activities and events the Center hosts and the classes I teach. I want the Center to become your go-to safe space when you need help - we want to connect you to the people and resources on campus that will help you succeed! Stop in and visit us and let’s make it a great first year!

I love teaching AAA because it gives me the unique opportunity to become a part of the students’ stories and they a part of mine. Students grow a tremendous amount over the course of 15 weeks and to be involved in that transformation is truly a gift.

Success Tip: after the first few classes, take all of your syllabi and transfer assignment due dates, tests, quizzes, papers, readings, etc… into your planner. This will allow you to prioritize each day, week, and month so you aren’t scrambling to complete your work the night before.