The Margaret Campbell Student Success Center provides academic resources and ADA/Section 504 accessibility services to Stephens College students. The Center promotes student success by supporting learning and growth both inside and outside of the classroom, and it facilitates accessibility through ADA/Section 504 accommodations that eliminate barriers to access.

Whether students utilize the Center for one-on-one academic skills coaching, writing or content tutoring, ADA/Section 504 services, workshops, or independent study in a quiet space, they will find Center staff to be warm, friendly and enthusiastic about supporting Stephens students.



  • Academic Skills Coaching: Setting academic goals and handling setbacks, managing time, reading academic texts, studying and taking notes effectively, engaging in classroom discussions, communicating with professors, utilizing Canvas and MyStephens and more
  • ADA/Section 504 Accommodations: Accommodations to provide equal access in the classroom and on campus. Please visit our Accessibility Services page for more details on the services we provide.
  • Writing Assistance: Beginning the writing process; developing ideas; outlining; improving organization, mechanics and grammar; refining research skills and citation and avoiding plagiarism
  • Tutoring: One-on-one and group tutoring for select undergraduate courses
  • Workshops: Workshops offered to improve overall academic success
  • Study Space with Computer Access: A quiet, comfortable study area for individuals or small groups



Sady Mayer Strand

Director and ADA/Section 504 Coordinator

Sady Mayer Strand has over 20 years of experience working directly with postsecondary students who identify as having learning disabilities, ADHD, or other disabilities.

Sady finds fulfillment in directing the Student Success Center’s day-to-day support operations — tutoring in writing and undergraduate general education courses, coaching undergraduate academic skills, advising first-year students, and providing ADA accessibility accommodations for the Stephens community. She also has a passion for creative writing, travel and hiking, and is a devoted meditation and yoga practitioner. Sady earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in women’s studies from the University of Missouri in 1998. She earned an M.A. in Teaching/Education from Columbia College in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Diversity and Equity in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 


Leah Criswell

Assistant Director

Leah loves seeing students gain an appreciation for science and mathematics and how these subjects help us understand our world. As the assistant director of the Student Success Center, she wants to enable students to achieve their dreams by successfully completing their academic goals. She earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics at Missouri State University and then continued with graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning a Ph.D. in physics in 2007. She has taught physics, astronomy and math classes at Missouri State University, Westminster College and MACC-Columbia. She wants to help students overcome any academic difficulties and develop a better understanding of how science and math apply to their daily lives. Playing with the science toys is just a bonus.


Chelsea Fabian


Chels enjoys helping students succeed in both their personal and academic lives and guiding students toward finding value in the work that they do. Chels knows how difficult college can be and they strive to be a reliable point of support for all students. Chels is an academic coach and writing tutor in the Student Success Center and a Ph.D. candidate, graduate writing instructor, and graduate assistant for the College of Arts & Science social media team at the University of Missouri. Their doctoral research at Mizzou focuses on the visibility, futurity, and validity of polysexualities and nonbinary gender identities. They received their B.A. in creative writing from the University of Delaware in 2016 and their M.A. in English Literature at Salisbury University in 2019. In their free time, they can be found reading science fiction, writing poetry, knitting, eating burrito bowls, and hanging out with their cat Freya.


Phillip Overeem


Phil Overeem is a tutor in the Student Success Center as well as an adjunct freshman composition instructor. Hailing from southwest Missouri, he has been teaching since 1975, if swimming lessons count. He is an avid, omnivorous reader, and blogs about popular (and other kinds of) music at​​ In addition, he frequently reflects on his career in education on The Overeem Farewell Tour blog, where he is currently keeping a COVID-19 journal called "Cloister Commentary." ​Phil has taught and tutored at Stephens since 2013, and previously taught language arts, coached basketball and track, and sponsored student council, The Canterbury Society, and The Academy of Rock at Parkview High School in Springfield, Missouri, and David H. Hickman High School and Smithton Middle School in Columbia. He estimates that he has graded over 40,000 essays in his lifetime. 

Phil and his wife Nicole have weaknesses for cats, travel, inventive foods, and the Klackamas, Oregon band Dead Moon.


Dr. Tixieanna Dissmore


Dr. Tixieanna Dissmore is the Biological Sciences Tutor at the Student Success Center. 

In 1993, she obtained her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Psychology from Missouri State University; in 2004 she obtained her Master of Science (MS) degree in Nutritional Sciences from Loma Linda University (LLU), and in 2013 she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Nutrition from Kansas State University.  In addition, she attended Georgetown University (2017-2020), as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Oncology, where she did research in Tumor Biology and in Metabolomics.

She has taught both undergraduate and graduate students as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and worked as a Research Science Assistant at West Point Military Academy.  

During her academic studies, Dr. Dissmore was awarded separate National Institutes of Health (NIH) fellowships at both pre- and post-doctoral levels.  The results of her research have been peer-reviewed and published in scientific journals.  

She is from a military family and recently relocated to Columbia.  She has had 21 different residences in at least a dozen states, including Missouri and Hawaii, overseas in Europe, and also in Washington, District of Columbia. She loves gardening and all things pertaining to lifestyle health and wellness. She volunteers with Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA), plus she is trained as a Master Gardener through Mizzou’s extension program. She is a certified Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist and also works independently as an Integrative Lifestyle Nutrition Health Coach Practitioner. 

Contact us

Student Success Center

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, during Fall/Spring semesters (excluding breaks)
(573) 441-5191, Ext. 5191 [email protected] Hugh Stephens Library Main Floor | 1200 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215 | Campus Box 2111 ADA/Section 504 Accessibility Services

Audience Menu