Role of Success Coaching



What is Coaching?


ADVANCE Success Coaches support students who enrolled through the ADVANCE program, a NOVA/Mason Partnership. Success Coaching is different from academic advising as it provides multiple layers of holistic support for students pursuing higher education. ADVANCE Success Coaches guide and encourage the growth and development of each student’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs about their ability succeed in higher education as well as within their chosen field. ADVANCE Success Coaches will discuss all aspects of a student’s life that impacts their academic performance, including but not limited to the following eight focus areas:


  1. School Community 

  2. Effectiveness 

  3. Commitment to graduation 

  4. Career 

  5. Managing commitments 

  6. Finances 

  7. Health & support  

  8. Academics


The highly trained ADVANCE Success Coaches will meet with students to discuss, in depth, these eight focus areas and how they are influencing their student experience at Mason. Success Coaches will work closely with campus resources, Academic Advisors, and the student directly to develop success plans to enhance and improve a student’s performance and confidence in each of these eight focus areas.


What we do:


Our professional Success Coaches are here to provide one-on-one support and guidance to ADVANCE students in a variety of focus areas. Improving a student’s experience in school can have lifelong impacts on the student, their family, their community, and society at large.


Success Coaches provide resources, support, guidance, and critical problem-solving discussions to provide a seamless transition from NOVA to Mason encouraging students to achieve their academic and professional goals. With the support and guidance of their assigned Success Coach, students can define what “success” means for them.



Our Success Coaches

Amira Aly (she/her/hers), ADVANCE Success Coach – Annandale campus

(Last names L-Z) and Medical Education Campus

Schedule an appointment with Amira


Amira has 10+ years’ experience working in higher education both internationally and in the US. Amira worked with diverse student populations particularly international students and non-native English speakers. Before joining ADVANCE, Amira worked at NOVA’s Annandale campus as an Academic Advisor. Amira is originally from Cairo, Egypt and her native language is Arabic.  Amira holds a BA in Psychology from The American University in Cairo and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Higher Education and Student Development at George Mason University.


“NOVA students have always inspired me. They are a very diverse student population, hardworking, goal oriented and resilient individuals. Every student has a different story, comes from a different place, has unique challenges and aspires to different dreams.” 

All ADVANCE Loudoun students are currently assigned by their last name and a new Coach is listed in the chart below. For now, this is a temporary re-assignment for the Fall 2021 semester only. You will receive information for your new assigned Success Coach in January 2022. We have assigned students from his caseload by the first letter (or the first three letters) of your last name and your new Coach is listed in the chart below.

                               Last Name: A- Erk:

                      Success Coach Sabrey Stewart



                             Last Name: Erl- Lee

                    Success Coach: Destiny Spencer



                                    Last Name: Lef- Rod

                            Success Coach: Amira Aly



                                     Last Name: Roe- Z

                            Success Coach: Sharon Kim


Please remember your Success Coach will be your main point of contact moving forward and they are here to help support you on this journey. If you would like to make an appointment with your Success Coach, please connect with them by email to set an appointment. Thank you!

Sabrey Stewart (she/her/hers), ADVANCE Success Coach – Alexandria Campus

Schedule an appointment with Sabrey


Sabrey Stewart is the Success Coach for NOVA’s Alexandria and Medical Education campuses. After graduating from NOVA Loudoun in 2013, Sabrey transferred to the University of Virginia and earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English. Afterwards, Sabrey served as a College Adviser with the Virginia College Advising Corps, helping underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income high school students achieve their post-secondary aspirations. Sabrey earned her Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University in 2019.


“As a former NOVA student, I personally understand the trials that may arise when attempting to transfer to a four-year institution. I did not have a lot of guidance during my transfer process and, as a result, I wanted to ensure that other students would have a mentor to help them through such trials in the future. It’s exciting to be able to use a holistic perspective in order to gain a comprehensive look into a student’s goals and experiences. From there, I can help address their academic, professional, and personal needs in an effort to foster their growth and success.”

Sharon Kim headshot

Sharon Kim (she/her/hers), ADVANCE Success Coach – Annandale Campus


Schedule an appointment with Sharon


Sharon Kim is the Success Coach
 for NOVA’s Annandale Campus. After graduating from NOVA, Sharon transferred to
 George Mason University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She earned her Master of Education in Educational
 Psychology from George Mason University and completed additional graduate work 
in Community Agency Counseling at George Mason University as well.  Prior to working as a Success Coach, Sharon
 worked as a Lead Advisor at George Mason University Korea.  Also, Sharon worked as an advisor at Northern
Virginia Community College.  Sharon also
taught student development courses and ESL courses at Northern Virginia
 Community College.


“As a former NOVA student and a transfer student at GMU, I realized how important it is to make positive connections with someone who can guide you through this process.  Additionally, I am excited about my role as a Success Coach in a way that I can build long-term relationships with students, have a part in affecting the life of students by providing holistic support, and help them build resilience throughout their academic journey.”

Ashley Marshall-Lanier (she/her/hers), ADVANCE Success Coach – Manassas Campus


Schedule an appointment with Ashley


Ashley Marshall-Lanier brings over fifteen years of experience in higher education to her new role as ADVANCE Success Coach.  She has previously served in athletics administration for student-athletes, transfer admissions, and most recently as a transfer specialist for the College Records Office of Northern Virginia Community College.  Her responsibilities included evaluation of domestic and international credit, credit for prior learning,  and assistance with course substitutions and degree auditing.  She is an advocate for student success and firmly believes in the integral part that community college education plays in successfully matriculating students to four year institutions, and eventually graduating from those institutions with Bachelor’s degrees.

Destiny Spencer's Headshot

Destiny Spencer (she/her/hers), ADVANCE Success Coach – Woodbridge Campus


Schedule an appointment with Destiny


Destiny is the Success Coach on the NOVA Manassas and Woodbridge campuses. She is an alumna of George Mason University who has received a B.A. in Communication and M.A. in Higher Education. Previously she has worked with Mason’s co-curricular program the Patriot Experience as a graduate assistant. She also has worked in Mason’s Alumni Relations Office as the Young Alumni and Student Programs Assistant. Destiny has a passion for helping students reach their highest potential and succeed in and out of the classroom.

“When I graduated from high school in 2012 and started my career at Mason my mind was working a thousand miles per hour with questions. Through my experience at Mason, I was able to get a lot of those questions answered with the help of my advisors and mentors. I am excited to be able to be a support system for ADVANCE students on their journey and be a person that they can depend on.”

Krystal Wiley (she/her/hers), Assistant Director for ADVANCE


Schedule an appointment with Krystal


Krystal brings 11 years of experience in higher education to her new role. She has previously served in various departments such as Admission, Financial Aid and Academic Advising. She has worked for a few intuitions such as The Art Institute, North Carolina A&T State University and East Carolina University, all located in North Carolina. She has 5 years’ experience in advising and coaching students in various majors and different programs of study. A few of her responsibilities included working with transfer students from the community colleges, reviewing transcript evaluations and heading summer orientations for all incoming students. She has a passion for student success and believes this can be achieved by providing students with the tools to be a confident learner, knowing there is a community who is committed to help them reach their goals.