Learning Support: Staff

Resources for students in the Suzanne Dworak Peck School School of Social Work's MSW, MSN, and DSW programs.

Meet our Staff

Director of Learning Support

Shunit Mor-Barak is the director of Learning Support at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.  She earned a BA and MPW from USC and has spent many years teaching and tutoring.  Since beginning her work at USC, Shunit has learned to incorporate wisdom gleaned from theories and concepts shared with her by social work students, staff, and faculty.  In Learning Support, she emphasizes goal-setting through collaboration between tutor and student as well as viewing the art and practice of writing as a permutation of systems, from the micro (grammar, sentence) level to the macro (research, outline, thesis).  


Lead Content Tutor

Jennifer Nichols is Learning Support's Lead Content Tutor and a graduate of USC's Master of Social Work program. She joined the Learning Support team as a student in the program. She is a licensed social worker and certified teacher with over 10 years of experience in education. Her primary goal is to help students solidify their understanding of evidence-based theory and concepts so they can apply these approaches to their academic and professional endeavors.  






Writing Coach

Ashley Nicole Beene was born and raised in the Midwest. She currently resides in Southern California where she enjoys hiking, weightlifting, and exploring new neighborhoods. Ashley’s teaching style is a combination of explanation, modeling, and then encouraging the student practice the skill. 




Writing Coach

Rosemarie DiMatteo received her dual genre MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and MA in Pedagogy and Creative Nonfiction from SUNY Brockport. Among her publications, her nonfiction, “Waiting Room,” was published in the anthology, September 11, 2001: American Writers Respond, Etruscan Press. Rose is inspired and humbled by students' passion to improve lives. 


Writing Coach

Michael Grimm's background is in professional writing and secondary education, but he is also an active screenwriter and lover of film. Michael harnesses his positive attitude and abundance of energy to work with all types of student in making the writing process as enjoyable as possible. He enjoys working with students because they are passionate about serving others. He is inspired by their humility, gratitude, and kindness.


Writing Coach

Nahal Navidar's journey as a teacher began in 2006 in the Micronesian island of Saipan where she taught speech and drama at Hopwood Junior High School.  ​Nahal believes that students will learn best when they believe in themselves, and highlights students' strengths during the writing process.  Nahal loves working with students who are determined to socially motivate the world.  In addition to serving as a writing coach, Nahal is a playwright who continues to develop plays about the marginalized and underrepresented voices in society, and finds the intersection of art and social work truly inspiring.  Nahal holds an MFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Southern California. 




Senior Content Tutor

Elizabeth Baik is a senior content tutor who has been with the Learning Support team since May 2016.  She grew up in South Korea and moved to America at age 17 to attend NYU.  Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she commissioned as an Army officer and served on active duty in Germany and Italy.  She completed her MSW degree in December 2016 and currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband.

Content Tutor

Nethanya Cortez is a content tutor and an expected 2017 MSW graduate. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from USC and her M.Ed at UNLV. After teaching in the Las Vegas Valley, she has returned to pursue her passion for serving and empowering others. Her tutoring style is interactive and collaborative, guiding and reinforcing students' knowledge through modeling, questioning, explanation/analysis, and practice.





Senior Content Tutor

Chelsy  Duffer has been with USC Learning Support  for over a year. She graduated with her MSW from USC in May 2016 with a concentration in Mental Health. In addition to working as a content tutor, she works at South Bay Children’s Health Center-Child Guidance Clinic providing mental health services to low-income children, youth, and families in the South Bay Area. 





Content Tutor

Allie Kessel is a Content Tutor and an expected 2018 MSW graduate.  While transitioning from a career in journalism to an aspiring social worker, she has developed a passion for the field. Allie's takes pride in using a strength-based approach when working with students.




Group Leader

Anneamarie O'Reilly is a current MSW student at USC School of Social Work in the department of Children, Youth and Families. She is working towards a PPSC to be able to serve children in the school settings.





Content Tutor

Gabrielle Sutherland is an MSW student in the Children, Youth, and Families concentration. She expects to graduate in May 2018, and hopes to use her degree to help others in the community. She utilizes a collaborative tutoring style focused on engaging students so that the skills they learn now can translate into valuable tools later in their careers.