Jess Tuck Director

Jess E. Tuck, Ph.D.

Director, ACCESS & University Advising Services
(561) 297-2072
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Dr. Jess E. Tuck serves as the Director of the ACCESS Coaching Center and University Advising Services. Dr. Tuck was the Project Director of FAU's U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant from October 2010 to September 2016. He is also an Adjunct Instructor with University Advising Services and FAU Global Student Success Program (GSSP). Dr. Tuck's experience began at FAU in 2003 advising freshmen and sophomores with undeclared majors, providing guidance to students through developmental advising strategies. Dr. Tuck received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership: Higher Education from FAU, where his dissertation topic was Students' preference for online versus face-to-face academic advising based on individual learning styles. He received a M.Ed. in Counselor Education, also from FAU. Dr. Tuck attended SUNY Plattsburgh and holds a B.A. in Sociology.

Abdula Newman

Abdula Newman, M.B.A.

Associate Director, Advising Technology & Academic Success
ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor
(561) 297-2016
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Abdula is originally from The Bahamas and holds Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting from Florida Metropolitan University and Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. Additionally, Abdula holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Abdula has been working at FAU since 2001 in academic advising and previously worked as a Coordinator of Academic Programs in the office of Freshman Academic Advising Services. While Abdula enjoys assisting students with course selections and adjusting to college life his hobbies/interests include traveling, technology, reading, theater, and music.

Monica Martinez

Monica Martinez, M.Ed.

Assistant Director for Academic Coaching & Advising
(561) 297-3962
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Monica earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and her Master of Education in Counseling. For nearly a decade she worked as a Defense Contractor in support of the Department of Defense and State Department. Through her extensive volunteer work, she realized that her true passion was to help others achieve their highest potential. She went into the counseling field and ultimately discovered her love of advisement and working with students. Currently, she works as the Assistant Director for Academic Coaching & Advising with the ACCESS Program. In addition to her work, Monica enjoys to travel, spend time with her family and friends, and dote on her Chihuahua.

Marsha Saddler

Marsha Saddler, M.A.Ed.

ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor
(561) 297-6845
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Marsha Saddler was born and raised in Miami, Florida and graduated from Miami Norland Senior High School. She earned her first college degree in Sociology from the University of Florida. Afterwards, she sought her master's degree in Postsecondary Education & Student Affairs and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). The opportunities for employment at various colleges and universities, including Miami University of Ohio and the University of Iowa, allowed her to gain a myriad of experience in helping students transition to and matriculate through organizations of higher education. She’s had the privilege of teaching students who were pursuing the same master’s degree that she gained at UNI, and provided support to students and parents in two K-12 school systems. Marsha is particularly passionate about enhancing the access to and retention within postsecondary institutions for all students. She is married with three children, and enjoys reading and listening to books as well as singing.


Allison Rodgers Zapata

Allison Rodgers Zapata, M.A.

ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor
(561) 297-4736
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Allison grew up in upper east Tennessee and the Pacific Northwest – from the Appalachian to the Cascade Mountains. She earned her bachelor of arts in business management from Hope International University (Fullerton, CA), earned her master of arts in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA), and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in educational leadership (higher education) at FAU. Allison’s passionate for fostering students’ growth – exploring their interests, goals, life aspirations – began in her undergraduate experience serving as an orientation leader, alternative spring break coordinator, and student worker in the university controller’s office. She thrives in curating gathering spaces for meaningful conversations. Currently, Allison serves as an ACCESS Academic Coach/Academic Advisor. Her hobbies include exploring south Florida and its cultures and cuisines, watching basketball and baseball, coloring, reading and listening to audiobooks, and spending time with her family.


Chandini Balwant

Chandini Balwant, M.A.

ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor
(561) 297-4756
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Chandini earned both her Psychology, B.S. and her Counselor Education, M.A. (with a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling) from the University of Central Florida. She started working as a Peer Advisor in UCF’s Psychology Department during her undergrad and discovered her passion for helping students achieve their academic and career goals. Chandini worked simultaneously as an academic advisor and graduate student at UCF while completing her counseling internship in community mental health, focusing on trauma counseling, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Through these experiences, she recognized that she found the most fulfillment when working with students as a guide to help them on their academic and career journey. Outside of work, Chandini likes to spend her time with her family, and enjoys reading, writing, and dancing.


Eric Foster

Eric Foster II, M.S.

ACCESS Academic Coach/Advisor
(561) 297-2793
Fax: (561) 297-3132

Eric Foster serves as an ACCESS Academic Coach in the ACCESS Coaching Center as a part of University Advising Services. Eric is a first-generation college student earning his Bachelor's degree at Florida International University. He would then go on to receive his Master's Degree from Florida International University as well. During this time, he realized his passion for helping others become the best version of themselves. Eric specializes in speaking and life coaching, leading him into his role at the university. Currently, Eric is enrolled in the Higher Education Ph.D. program at FAU. His philanthropic involvement with his organization Get After It Now Inc. has earned him notoriety in the communities he serves, being named to the Legacy Miami Magazine 40 under 40 list in 2019 along with other Miami-Dade County leaders and public figures. Eric enjoys cooking in his down time as a form of relaxation.


ACCESS Partners

FAU Career Center

The FAU Career Center helps students build toward their successful future and meets with students to review major and career options, explore internships on and off campus, build and review resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, enhance interview skills, apply to graduate school programs, and connect with employers through Handshake.

To schedule an appointment with a career counselor:

  1. Login and claim your account in Handshake
  2. Click on “Career Center” in the top right corner
  3. Select “Appointments” from the drop down menu
  4. Click on “Schedule A New Appointment” in the blue box on the left corner
  5. Follow the prompts to choose an appointment category (location), an appointment type (topic), and your date and time. You can also select appointment medium, to set your appointment to phone, video or email.

For additional questions, call 561-297-3533 or email The Career Center offers same-day career advising Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Boca Raton campus and other locations found here:

Below please find additional resources dedicated to assisting ACCESS students:

Center for Learning And Student Success

University Center for Excellence in Writing

Math Learning Center

 Last Modified 10/8/21