The UNH Institute for Student Success was established in 2022 to galvanize the exceptional work with students in Academic Success departments and their collaborations with partners across campus as well as to provide an anchor to expand university-wide success efforts like Knack tutoring and myWildcatSuccess (EAB Navigate), and other initiatives that speak to UNH’s strategic goals.

Through mentoring, teaching critical skills and strategies, leadership, and community building, the ISS provides one-on-one holistic support to students while supporting overall student persistence, participation in research and other experiential learning opportunities, and on-time graduation.


Dawna Perez

Executive Director, Student Success

Dr. Dawna M. Pérez oversees the University Advising Center, Center for Academic Resources (CFAR), University Writing Program/Connors Writing Center, CONNECT/STEM CONNECT, TRIO Scholars (SSS), and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program in addition to overseeing myWildcatSuccess advising and early alert platform, and Knack Tutoring for UNH. The Institute for Student Success at UNH bridges Academic Affairs and Student Life to build an integrated and coordinated network for support for all students in service of their success and well-being.

Dr. Pérez joined UNH in 2018 after serving as dean of student success and support services at Northern Essex Community College during her eleven-year tenure there. She earned her doctorate in Organizational Systems -Education track from Saybrook University, an MBA in Human Services from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, and a BA in Spanish and Sociology from Colby College, Waterville, ME. She’s the mom of four young men and resides in Haverhill, MA with her husband David, and three furry rescues.

Assessment & Evaluation

Stephanie Bernier

Stephanie (Stef) coordinates program evaluation for Institute for Student Success units and initiatives,  along with tech support, grant-writing assistance, operations, and communications.

Stef joined UNH in 2008, at the Institute on Disability in their Concord office. She moved to the Durham Campus in 2010 to join the CFAR and TRIO SSS teams, where she coordinated administrative activities for both programs while earning her BS in Business Management from Granite State College, and her M.Ed. from UNH Durham, along with a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, Assessment and Policy. She is a Lean Management Green Belt and a member of the American Evaluation Association.

Stef is proud to be a first-generation college student and mother of two brilliant grown children. She resides in Strafford, NH with her husband Troy, and Connor, their adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. In her spare time, Stef enjoys kayaking on Bow Lake and tending to her ever-expanding flower garden.