Student Success Team

Student Success Center 
Location: Beneficial - Hodson Library & Learning Commons, Suite 1027
Primary Phone: 301-669-3569
Email:  (Allow 24 business hours, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for a reply)

Student Success Team

In addition to the professional staff listed below. Trained graduate assistants, student workers and tutors help to carry out the office's mission and core values.

Phone: 301-696-3860
Office: Beneficial - Hodson Library & Learning Commons, 1029
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Click here to schedule an appointment! 

Clifton Strengths: Positivity - Responsibility - Empathy - Belief - Developer 

Lisa brings over 30 years of work experience in the field of higher education working in various student support and administrative roles. 

Lisa began her career in admissions at Hagerstown Business College in Hagerstown, MD, where she spent over 10 years as the Registrar overseeing the advisement, course scheduling, and registration for the student body.  After the acquisition by Kaplan College, Lisa worked as the Associate Academic Dean facilitating faculty engagement workshops and teaching an orientation to college class to incoming student as well as Public Speaking and Presentation Skills for the Professional.  She then was named the Dean of Student Affairs after college changed to Kaplan University, where her duties included student retention, overseeing the Registrar’s office, student activities and engagement,  and serving as a member of the Senior Team. 

Born and raised in Altoona, PA, she graduated from Shippensburg University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Speech Communications.  She recently completed her Educational Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University after completing her Masters Degrees in Online College Teaching and Higher Education College Administration and Leadership.  She resides in Greencastle, PA, and is a proud parent of two grown children and two shih-tzus and enjoys the beach, cooking, baking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family and friends. 

As the Director of Student Success since 2017, Lisa serves as the chair of the Students of Concern Committee, a member of the Student Success Council,  Learning Commons Committee, and teaches the Academic Success Seminar and the spring First Year Seminars.  She oversees tutoring at the college and works diligently to create support systems for our students.



Clifton StrengthsIndividualization - Context - Learner - Ideation - Strategic

Kate Gmuer joined Hood College in 2017. Before Hood, she worked at WJLA-TV, in Washington, D.C. starting as an intern and working up to an associate producer working in the newsroom covering 2000 Bush v. Gore, 9/11, D.C Sniper and anthrax attacks. She also directly worked on I-Team reports, and a local weekly political program Capital Sunday. Interested in education stories, and having tackled school as a student with learning disabilities and ADHD, she later transitioned into the education field and became a multi-state certified special education teacher. For over a decade, Kate has worked in K-12 private, public, and virtual school environments, before joining Hood College's Student Success Center team.  She has conducted workshops on students with disabilities, learning disabilities/ADHD, assistive technology, transition to college with disabilities, and applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the classroom. Beginning in 2018, Kate began meeting with her counterparts at small, liberal arts Maryland colleges to create a consortium of disability/accessibility directors. 

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Washington, D.C and Montgomery County, MD, she met her husband of 10 years while working together at The Lab School of Washington in Washington, D.C. Kate holds a B.A. Journalism from Columbia College, an M.Ed. Education Policy and Leadership and a M.A. Special Education: Learning Disabilities, both from American University (Washington, D.C). Currently, she is working towards her doctorate in education focusing on education policy and leadership for learning disabilities, ADHD, and reading instruction also from American University in Washington, D.C. She has received trainings/certifications in evidence-based reading, writing, grammar and math multi-sensory instruction from programs accredited by the International Multi-sensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and endorsed by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  Her proudest accomplishment is being the mom and advocate for her two sons, both of whom have the blessing of a creative ADHD and dyslexic brain. She and her husband, Matt, live in Frederick and love to watch their boys follow in their dads footsteps on the baseball field and ice hockey rink.

As the Director of Accessibility Services, Kate is the Title IX Resource for students with disabilities, serves on the Title IX committee, the Students of Concern Committee, and the Risk Assessment Committee. She oversees all accommodations for undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities.


Phone: 301-696-3422
Office: Beneficial - Hodson Library & Learning Commons, 1031
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Clifton StrengthsRelator - Learner - Maximizer - Harmony - Intellection

Dr. Akia Jackson has extensive experience supporting undergraduate and graduate students in both writing and speaking centers.  She earned her BA in English from Xavier University of Louisiana and her MA and PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Iowa, where she worked in writing and speaking centers supporting business, engineering, and liberal arts students.  Her teaching experience includes composition courses at the University of Iowa, Middle Tennessee State University, and Trinity Washington University in D.C.

Dr. Jackson looks forward to supporting undergraduate and graduate students in their own writing and research projects at Hood College.  She particularly enjoys how working with so many students exposes her to new ways of approaching writing projects:  “For me, one of the best parts about working with writers in the Center is how each student approaches writing with a different style.  Students teach me so much about content creation with their varied ideas on assignments and personal projects.”


Phone: 301-696-3195
Office: Beneficial - Hodson Library & Learning Commons, 1030
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Click here to schedule an appointment!

Clifton Strengths: Empathy - Developer - Relator - Positivity - Input

Gretchen moved from California to Greece as a kid and came back to the states for college in the 90’s. She has lived in Frederick County since Fall of 1999. Gretchen began her career at Hood in August 2001 as an International Admissions Counselor. September 11, 2001 happened and everything changed. Gretchen worked in Admissions until she gave birth to her son in 2004 and then her daughter in 2007. She came back to Hood College in the Director position for Student Engagement and Orientation in 2013. Gretchen joined the Student Success team Fall of 2019 and she is VERY excited to be on this side of the student experience. All of her education is in Psychology and College Counseling.  She values her one on one time with students and colleagues very much. Students often spent hours hanging out (pre-pandemic) and chatting in her office with snacks and her service dog Iris. (she’s a one eyed 13 year old, five pound. rescue Chihuahua. Her family has two other rescue dogs as well). Gretchen's teaching style is a very collaborative one. She believes we all have something to learn from one another and how we interact as humans in the world.

Katie Rice

Phone: 301-696-3419
Office: Beneficial - Hodson Library & Learning Commons, Suite 1032
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Katie comes with nine years of mathematics teaching experience at the secondary level. A lifelong learner, Katie surrounds herself with books as she continually researches education and cognitive science to improve her craft and help reach students. She believes that every student can succeed in math, and she uses her pedagogical knowledge and her excitement toward math to help students get there.

Katie earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, where her love of math took on real-world applications. But her favorite part of learning was teaching others, so she returned to school and earned her Master of Arts in Elementary and Secondary Education from the University of California, Irvine. The idea that the world can be understood through mathematics is nothing short of amazing, and her goal is to bring that joy to students.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting, watching her son play baseball, and walking around downtown Frederick, where she lives with her husband, Brandon, and son, Sam.