Professional Staff

Meet our SASS staff


SusanSusan Korba

Director of Student Academic Success Services: Learning Strategies and the Writing Centre







Carly D’Amico-Nickerson

Promotions and Administrative Coordinator

As the front face of SASS I love interacting and working with the Queen’s community.  It is my pleasure to create an approachable and welcoming space for students, staff and faculty. My background is in service and communications, and I greatly enjoy reaching out to students where they are, whether through one on one class visits, or through the latest viral hashtag.

Come drop by the front desk! I’ll be happy to help you book an appointment, or lean about a new service SASS has to offer.





DonnaDonna Katinas

ESL Program Coordinator






Valerie Ashford

Writing Workshop Coordinator

After getting my Master’s degree in English at the University of Guelph, I taught in various capacities (including ESL) at Guelph, Queen’s, and St. Lawrence College. I did a doctorate in Higher Education at Queen’s but left the program just before completing my dissertation, and became a professional writer. Now, working at SASS with its fantastic programs, wonderful colleagues and the opportunity to engage with students of all kinds, I consider myself really lucky to be right where I am. I get to teach students that they really can learn to write better, even if they’re already pretty good. When I see the “lights go on,” whether it’s in a one-to-one consultation with a doctoral student in Physics, or in a workshop for 100 first-year Political Studies students, I feel a wonderful sense of possibility for those students who suddenly get that:

  • academic writing is really just about understanding what scholarship is, and
  • there are particular skills one can develop to show one’s scholarship off in its best light.


Claire Hooker, BA (Hons), BEd, MA, PhD (in progress)

Writing and Learning Strategist

I work with a variety of students who have a range of interests related to their academic success – self-management skills, study and learning skills, and more. Every student I see has his or her own story; I enjoy hearing these stories and working collaboratively with students to help them reach their potential. I’ve spent the last twenty years or so teaching and working or volunteering with students in different roles at universities, colleges, and schools across Ontario. In addition to offering Learning Strategies appointments, I offer individual writing appointments at SASS, and I’m interested in post-secondary student development and leadership.

To book an appointment with me, visit our online booking system, drop by Student Academic Success Services, Stauffer Library (ground floor), or call 613-533-6315.


Linda Williams, MA Psychol.

Senior Learning Strategies Advisor

As a Learning Strategist, I feel privileged to help students individually or in group workshops to reach their academic potential and goals and enjoy their Queen’s experience. I offer practical suggestions to assist students to develop new learning and studying techniques and maintain a positive attitude, or to find ways to complete a dissertation, or to enhance their presentation skills, or to change their daily habits so they’re more productive and happier.

I have previously taught at the post-secondary education level and worked with people with disabilities or disadvantages related to their physical, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning. Working in Learning Strategies enables me to combine my long-standing interests in education, mental health and research, and counselling individuals to meet their potential, regardless of their situation.

Whether you may be struggling to pass or are competing for a highly prestigious fellowship—you don’t have to “do it alone”. Come discover how we can work together to help you have a satisfying Queen’s experience.

Please contact Linda at


Leslie Paterson, BA Hons, CYW, BEd, MEd

Learning Strategies Advisor

I love meeting with students, learning from them, and helping them develop or finesse the skills they would like to have in order to be a successful and engaged member of the Queen’s community. I believe that students have individual, unique strengths and challenges that play into their life as a student, and my hope is to help students see and use their strengths, and view difficulties as an opportunity for growth and development.

My background is in student accessibility, teaching, and learning strategies. I welcome any and all students to come and meet with me to see how we might work together so that your experience here at Queen’s can be rich and enjoyable.

To schedule an appointment, please see our online booking system, drop by Student Academic Success Services, Stauffer Library (ground floor), or call 613-533-6315.


Ian Garner

Outreach Coordinator

My role at SASS aims to encourage academic growth for individual students and the university community through workshops and our Peer Learning and Writing assistant programs. I believe that every university student should have the support they need to achieve their full academic potential. My background in teaching languages and humanities, and time spent as a Ph.D. student, has led me to believe that the best support comes from within the student community. Our peer volunteers are the best tool to help Queen’s students learn to learn – and love to learn!

For more information, email, or drop by Stauffer 143 at Student Academic Success Services, in Stauffer Library.


Meet our SASS Writing Consultants

Writing Centre staff come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Many are professional writers or editors. Others are teachers, professors, musicians, and graduate students.

Lynne Clarke
Dr. Jane Russell Corbett
Catherine Dale
Sheelagh Frame
John Haffner
Val Hamilton
Caylen Heckel
Greg Hicks
Anne Linscott
Dr. Robert May
Sandra McCubbin
Johanne Mednick Myles
Julia Savage
Jaspreet Tambar
Lori Vos