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), 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 18 years in various education and workforce-centered not-for-profits in Lawrence, Massachusetts, focused on the strengths and resilience of Lawrence's residents, who were frequently new to the United States and English Language Learners. With youth and families' individual goal achievement and systemic change towards social justice and equity as beacons, Dr. Pérez's work included an "I Have a Dream" project as well as developing a multisectoral community partnership for literacy. She then spent 11 years serving as associate dean, then dean of student success and support services at Northern Essex Community College. 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.