Meet the Academic Success Team

Choosing an academic success counselor or writing specialist is like choosing the perfect pair of jeans – any style has you covered but what you really want is the best fit for you.  With that in mind, this is an introduction to the Academic Succss Team.  Each individual brings their own style to the department and we’re sure that you’ll find a counselor or writing specialist with whom you have something in common.  If you ever have any questions, please come by to speak to us.  We look forward to working with you!

Odessa Alm (Director of Academic Success); University of North Florida - Bachelor of Science, Biology and Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; Florida Coastal School of Law – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Odessa grew up in northern California and Hawaii before moving to Jacksonville.  She has twin boys and a beautiful daughter.  Odessa loves reading novels of every genre (except romance), and her personal best is reading seven novels in one week.

Diane Mulligan (Associate Director of Academic Success); University of Florida – Bachelor of Science, Psychology; Florida State University College of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Diane grew up in rural Pennsylvania and spent a year after undergrad as a dolphin trainer/researcher.  Prior to joining the Coastal team, Diane practiced civil litigation at a mid-sized firm in Orlando, FL.  In her spare time, Diane enjoys traveling, photography, reading, and spending time with her toy poodle, Oreo.

Jordan Johnell (Assistant Director of Academic Success: Bar Prep); University of Florida – Bachelor of Arts, Classical Studies; Fordham University School of Law – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Jordan loves traveling and reading.  In September, 2011, she became a certified yoga instructor.

Douglas Helsing (Academic Success Counselor); Eastern Washington University - Bachelor Business Administration; University of Pittsburgh - Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Doug served in the Air Force before attending law school and worked at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff performing global intercontinental ballistic missile watch.  In his spare time, Doug enjoys swimming and hiking.

Lisa Desai (Bar Prep Instructor); Ramapo College of New Jersey – Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Business (dual degree); Florida Coastal School of Law – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Lisa grew up in Northern New Jersey and moved to the Jacksonville area to attend law school.  Prior to joining Coastal, Lisa worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, specifically in Duval and Clay Counties, and as a Judicial Staff Attorney.  In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time at the beach with her yellow lab, Bailey.

Joseph Walz (Assistant Director of Academic Success: Writing Assistance); Florida State University - Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; Bachelor of Arts, Criminology; University of Florida – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Joseph has a background in Criminal Law.  When not working, Joseph spends his time acting in local theatres, independent films, and national commercials.

Mawiyah Duckworth (Academic Success Counselor); Auburn University - Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and Economics; Georgetown University Law Center - Juris Doctor; Bar Licenses – Alabama and District of Columbia; Mawiyah was born and raised in Mobile, AL.  The DC metro area was her home for eight years prior to relocating to Jacksonville.  Mawiyah met her now husband, Twane Duckworth (FL and DC barred), the first year of law school; between them both, they have experience in judiciary clerking, private practice and government practice.  Her interest is helping people help themselves by using insight from her background and other current pursuits.

Mollie Hazel (Bar Prep Instructor); Prescott College – Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies; Vermont Law School – Juris Doctor & Master of Studies in Environmental Law; Bar License – Vermont; Before joining the Florida Coastal Academic Success Team, Mollie lived in Vermont and was a partner in a private practice law firm.  She enjoys gardening and playing with her two young sons.

Missy Davenport (Bar Prep Instructor); Jacksonville University - Bachelor of Science, Sociology; Florida Coastal School of Law – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Missy moved to Jacksonville from Bristol, Virginia in 2005.  Before law school, she worked as a buyer for a chain of grocery stores.  Missy’s hobbies include art history, architecture, reading, and photography.

Dyvonnda Thurston (Academic Success Counselor); University of Florida – Bachelor of Science, Psychology; University of Florida – Juris Doctor; Bar License – Florida; Dyvonnda has recently moved to Jacksonville from Orlando, where she worked at the State Attorney’s Office for 6 years.  In her spare time, Dyvonnda likes to travel, watch football, read, and play Frisbee with her Corgi, Emma.

Jeffrey Totty (Academic Success Counselor); University of Georgia - Bachelor of Arts, Comparative Literature; Thomas M. Cooley Law School - Juris Doctor; Bar Licenses - New York, Florida, Georgia; Jeffrey served as Associate Editor of the Cooley Law Review.  Prior to joining Coastal, Jeffrey practiced in New York City, Georgia and Florida.  He is also admitted to the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.  In addition to spending time with his family, Jeffrey enjoys reading, playing soccer and competing weekly in the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.

Kim Erickson (Academic Success Counselor); Bowling Green State University - Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education; Oklahoma City University School of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar Licenses - Oklahoma and Arizona.  Prior to joining the Academic Success Team, Kim was a practicing attorney in the Phoenix, Arizona office of Bryan Cave LLP in the class action and commercial litigation practice groups. Kim also spent two years in the Corporate Law Department of State Farm Mutual Insurance Companies in Bloomington, Illinois.  She began her practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at a small insurance defense firm.  Kim enjoys spending time with her family, studying the learning process, reading just about anything, watching football, and relaxing on the beach.

David Braun (Academic Success Counselor); University of South Florida – Bachelor of Arts, English Literature; Stetson College of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar License - Florida; David was born in Guam, but grew up in Orlando from the age of two.  David had a sole practice focusing on transactional law for ten years while teaching both graduate (LP at FCSL) and undergraduate law courses for the last ten years as an adjunct professor.  In his spare time, David enjoys literature, playing with his four year old son, traveling, diverse music, photography, and all beach activities in St. Augustine, where he currently lives.

Beth Hray (Academic Success Counselor); Wofford College – Bachelor of Arts, English; University of South Carolina School of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar License - South Carolina.  Before joining the team, Beth drafted legislation and worked as an attorney for the South Carolina General Assembly.  New to Jacksonville, she enjoys exploring the city, reading, and spending time with her family and close friends.

Katie Tuohy (Academic Success Counselor); University of Florida – Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Marketing; Florida State University College of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar License - Florida.  Katie grew up in Jacksonville.  Prior to joining the Coastal team, she worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and spending time with her family and friends.

Kristin Pawlowski (Academic Success Counselor); Lehigh University – Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies; University of South Carolina School of Law - Juris Doctor; Bar License - South Carolina.  Before law school, Kristin spent most of her time in the pool, competing at the National and Division I Collegiate level.   Prior to joining Coastal, Kristin worked as a Staff Attorney in the South Carolina Supreme Court and later as an Attorney for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.  In her spare time Kristin enjoys exploring her culinary interests in the kitchen, entertaining family and friends, or taking her Yorkie, Chloe, for a stroll.

Rosan Larizza (Writing Specialist); University of Georgia, Bachelor of Arts, Journalism; University of California at Long Beach, Master of Arts, English Language and Literature; Instituto de Cervantes, Diploma Nivel Superior en Español; Rosan is a world traveler, polyglot, fan of different languages and cultures, cinema, literature, cycling, hiking, and understatement, always in search of the right word in the right place.

Sharon Gurule (Administrative Assistant for Academic Success); Arapahoe Community College – Associate of Applied Science, Interior Design; Sharon relocated from Colorado in 1998 after a career as a kitchen & bath designer.  She was a stay at home mom prior to joining the Academic Success team at Florida Coastal.  In her free time, Sharon enjoys tennis, boating, bicycling, and traveling.

Jennifer Trice Carter (Administrative Assistant to the Director of Academic Success); Florida Community College at Jacksonville – Associate of Arts; in her spare time, Jennifer enjoys playing soccer, working crossword puzzles, and reading.