About Our Team

Dr. Jason Mastrogiovanni

Assistant Provost for Student Success

Dr. Jason Mastrogiovanni Assistant Provost for Student Success

Contact Information

Tigert Hall 236 
(352) 294-6621

Bio & Responsibilities

Jason Mastrogiovanni serves as the first Assistant Provost for Student Success. He earned a BM in Music Education from the University of Florida, an MS in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University, and a PhD in Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to coming back to UF, he worked at the University of Tennessee, Stony Brook University, Central Connecticut State University, and most recently Texas A&M University in various student success related roles. As a first-generation student himself, he is a passionate advocate for supporting students in large complex university environments. He has published several articles and presented nationally on student success, design thinking, and collaboration in higher education. He also serves as the current editor for the Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention.


Ph.D. in Education - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.S. in Music Education - Central Connecticut State University
B.A. in Music Education - University of Florida

Selected Publications

Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Chang, H., Hayakawa, T., Mastrogiovanni, J. M., Shipley, L., Durbin T., & Miller, C. (2020) Ah…I’m a designer. In B. Hokanson (Ed.) A new focus for learning: Educational technology beyond content. Boston, MA: Springer.

Ward Roof, J. & Mastrogiovanni, J. M. (Ed.) (2019). Building successful foundations: Best practices in orientation, transition, and retention. Minneapolis, MN: NODA: The Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention. 

Clegorne, N. A. & Mastrogiovanni, J. M. (2015). Designing alternatives: Design thinking as a mediating learning strategy to bridge science and the humanities for leadership learning. The Journal of Leadership Education. 14(4). p. 46- 54. doi: 1012806/V14/I4/I2

Selected Presentations

Mastrogiovanni, J. M. (2022) Collaboration in Transfer Student Services. National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students Annual Conference. St. Louis, MS.

Bruner, B., Mastrogiovanni, J. M., & Moock, K., (2020). Building capacity and a foundation for those new to student success work. NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education. [Online pre-conference session due to COVID-19]

Mastrogiovanni, J. M. & Peden Christodoulou, J. (2020). The case for collaboration in designing HIPs. HIPS in the States Conference. College Station, TX.

Professional Service

2022-Present: Editor, Journal for College Orientation, Transition, and Retention

2022: Conference Chair, 1st Annual Texas Conference on Student Success 

2019-2022: Cluster Core Team for Powered by Publics, Association of Public Land Grant Universities

2017-2019: Retention Symposium Faculty, NODA: The Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention

Awards and Recognitions

2020: Research Grant Award, National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students

2017: Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars Award, National Resource Center and McGraw-Hill Higher Education (nominee)

2015: Advanced-Coaching Certification, National Tutoring Association                

2014: Appreciative Advising Certification, Appreciative Advising Institute

Braden Blue

Communications Specialist

Braden Blue's professional headshot.

Contact Information

Yon Hall, Room 232
(352) 846-2082

Bio & Responsibilities

Ask someone what “success” looks like and you’ll receive a range of answers. For Braden, success is spending time with his wife, experiencing the world through travel and photography, and making a positive impact on the people around him. He feels fortunate that his position as the Communications Specialist for Student Success provides the latter. 

Braden found his professional voice in the radio industry – literally and figuratively. On his first week as an intern for a group of local radio stations, he was asked to perform as a pirate’s parrot for a commercial. This silly beginning ignited a passion for marketing and communications. Some years later, that internship eventually led to an accepted offer for a Creative Services Director position. If you’ve listened to local radio from 2015 to 2023, there’s a solid chance you’ve heard his work.  

In December 2023, Student Success welcomed Braden into the fold. Now, he uses his experience as a first-generation UF graduate, communications skills, and growth mindset to assist students in realizing their potential. If you're ever in need of information about Student Success resources, or have constructive feedback to share, feel free to reach out. He's happy to assist.

Everyone deserves the opportunity for success. Braden is proud to help you find yours. 


B.S. in Telecommunications - The University of Florida

Shannon A. Kelly

Transition Advisor

Shannon Kelly's professional headshot.

Contact Information

(352) 294-9153

Bio & Responsibilities

Shannon Kelly is a proud academic advisor who firmly believes in the importance of empowerment. She is immensely grateful to be an educator, helping students navigate the complex landscape of higher education and of life. As a Transition Advisor, Shannon is excited to interact with students and the campus community across an ever-widening range of academic disciplines, professional goals, and life pursuits. A lifelong interdisciplinary learner herself, Shannon's undergraduate studies at Penn State centered on Mathematics, Psychology, Sexuality and Gender Studies, and Statistics. From UF, she has earned an M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Information Systems and Operations Management. Outside the office & the classroom, Shannon is a nail polish enthusiast and self-professed cat lady.


M.Ed. in College Student Personnel in Higher Education - University of Florida

B.S. in Mathematics and B.S. in Psychology - Penn State University

Selected Presentations

Kelly, S. & Raymond, N. (2023). Putting the Philosophy Back in Advising Philosophies. UF Advising Conference: A New Era: Creating a Unified Vision for Collaborative Advising. Gainesville, FL. 

Kelly, S. (2021). Student Self-Triage through Qualtrics. UF Advising Conference: Inclusive Advising: Building Bridges in a Diverse Learning Environment. [Remote presentation due to COVID-19]

Awards & Recognitions

2021: Outstanding New Advising Award - Primary Advising Role, NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising

2021: Outstanding New Advisor, University of Florida

Stephanie McBride

Manager of Operations for Student Success

Stephanie McBride's professional headshot.

Contact Information

Tigert Hall 235
(352) 294-0994


After three years coordinating events for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, Steph had the opportunity run the largest event at the university; she then spent the next six years serving the offices of the Provost and President as the Commencement Director.

When UF’s student success initiative began, she helped with committee work. When Student Success took form as a division and there was an opportunity to become a staff member, Steph made the move to Student Success where she now serves as the Manager of Operations.

In her spare time, she can be found hiking, baking, or hanging out with her husband and their five pet chickens.


As the manager of operations, Steph provides support and communications for internal and external stakeholders to ensure our mission moves forward.


B.A. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management- Ball State University

Sierra McVeigh

Transition Advisor

Sierra McVeigh's professional headshot.

Contact Information

(352) 294-7781

Bio & Responsibilities

Sierra McVeigh is a first-generation Double Gator. Having changed her own career aspirations during her time as a student, she values the opportunity for students to intentionally self-reflect and access additional support through the new Transition Advisor roles, to make the most of their college years in working toward a fulfilling post-graduation life. A staunch advocate of mindfulness and intentionality, she encourages students to appreciate and maximize every decision available to them—academically and otherwise—and be active decision makers in their own lives. Her advising approach incorporates the Socratic Method and focuses on empowerment of students to educate themselves on their options and explore with open minds and curiosity.

You will always find seasonal decorations, a variety of teas, and baked goods in Sierra’s office. In her personal time, she enjoys learning about cultures through their food and culinary histories, hosting dinner parties, and traveling.


M.S. in Mechanical Engineering- University of Florida

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering- University of Florida

Nigel Richardson

Senior Director of Advising

Nigel Richardson's professional headshot.

Contact Information

(352) 392-2466


Nigel Richardson is a dynamic and accomplished higher education professional with a passion for academic advising and student success. Previously, he served as the Assistant Director for New Student Transitions at the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Center at the University of Florida. He is a firm advocate of continuous professional development for academic advisors, acknowledging its crucial significance. With over a decade of experience in advising, Nigel has played an active role in a range of university activities and committees. He is convinced effective academic advising is pivotal to the success of undergraduate students and firmly believes that supporting advisors is essential to ensuring that students receive the guidance they need to realize their academic and career aspirations. As he embarks on his new role as Senior Director of Advising, Nigel eagerly anticipates the opportunity to collaborate with the diverse and dynamic University of Florida community. He is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment where all students can achieve their academic and career aspirations, and he is eager to work alongside advisors, staff, and faculty to ensure that students receive the highest quality of academic guidance.


As Senior Director of Advising, Nigel will represent the academic advising community as part of the Advisory Council for Undergraduate Affairs. He will oversee UF-level websites and media related to Academic Advising, collaborating with various stakeholders to prioritize and implement advising support tools and technology. Furthermore, he will coordinate the preparation of an annual report on Academic Advising, establish a University Advising Leadership Group, and contribute to the development of the Academic Advising component of Preview. Nigel will also supervise a team of Transition Advisors and serve on the UF Student Success Executive Leadership team.


M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration- Valdosta State University

B.A. in Political Science- Valdosta State University


2023: UF Office of Academic Support Advisor of the Year

2021: UF Division 3 Superior Accomplishment Award

2020: CLAS Professional Advisor of the year

2017: Liberal Arts Commission-Sponsored Presentation at NACADA