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 EXLUSIVELY available to Lawrence Tech students, staff, and faculty. 

Location: Taubman Student Services (Building #5)
Lower Level, C201
Phone:  248.204.4120

Staff Bios and Contact Information

Gladys M Avilés, PhD

Gladys Aviles
Director, Academic Achievement Center

Dr. Avilés is a published author and inventor who is interested in student development, student success, and student degree completion. As a first-generation in college graduate, she is passionate about supporting students’ academic progress. She oversees many programs offered at the Academic Achievement Center (AAC): tutoring services, testing services, study tables, and the Academic Early Warning and Academic Coaching programs.  In addition, she teaches chemistry in the Natural Sciences Dept.

Dr. Avilés grew up in Puerto Rico, obtained her bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras and her PhD in organic chemistry from Michigan State University. She worked as a senior research chemist for BASF Corporation and an adjunct faculty member in chemistry before joining Lawrence Tech.

During her free time, she plays pickleball, hikes, and volunteers in her community.

Sean Diaz, MA

Sean Diaz

Assistant Director, Academic Achievement Center

Sean Diaz ("Diaz") is the assistant director of the Academic Achievement Center. Diaz assists with daily program operations, coordinates the LTU Scholars and CAMPUS Connections programs, conducts academic and study skills workshops, and meets individually with students for success coaching.

Before becoming the assistant director of the AAC in February 2022, Diaz worked as an academic advisor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University.

Diaz earned his BS in psychology with a minor in business from Grand Valley State University and his MA in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education and student affairs from Western Michigan University. While completing his graduate program, he served as a graduate research assistant - student success coach in the College of Education and Human Development working with transfer students, FTIAC students, and distance learners.

In addition to serving LTU students, he enjoys gardening and taking care of over 50 houseplants, rollerblading around the city, and spending time with family, friends, and his cat Bynkx Monsoon. Diaz also likes creating art through several mediums, dancing literally all the time, and taking road trips around Michigan/Ohio to visit popular forests and hiking trails.

Prof. Sterling Russell

Sterling RussellProf. Sterling Russell

Study Skills Specialist

Prof. 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 four years. Prof. Russell left there to teach English and math for a year in Mwanza, Tanzania, East Africa. Upon returning to the states, she became the director of Guidance and Counseling at St. Martin De Porres High School in Detroit.

In 1989, Prof. 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. Prof. Russell owns an editing and proofreading company called Maranza Consulting and works on various editing projects through it. Prof. Russell has been married to her husband, Ira, an engineer, for 33 years. They have two children, both of whom are engineers. Prof. Russell is a Southfield resident.

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