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GSSC: University Alumni Navigators


The University Alumni Navigators are here to assist scholars with any questions or concerns on how to navigate their way around NU. The Navigators will assist and support you with the following:

  • Finding balance
  • Understanding feedback
  • Breaking down the assignment prompt
  • Matching resources
  • Kaltura
  • TurnItIn
  • APA 7 basics and resources
  • Finding NU-provided software
  • Dissertation Template
  • Webinars
  • and much more 

They are ready to serve you!


Upcoming Navigator Events

The Commons Calendar

purple calendar icon

Use The Commons calendar to find information on upcoming Graduate Studies Support Center Skill Ups and other events.

Ask the Navigators

Chat Hours

Sunday 10AM - 7PM

Monday 4PM - 8PM

Tuesday 3PM - 8PM

Wednesday 3PM - 8PM

Thursday 4PM - 8PM


Saturday 8AM - 2PM

Chat hours are in Pacific time.

Meet your University Alumni Navigators & Mentors

Dr. Samira Galvao

Dr. Galvao has been an educator for over 20 years. She started with NCU in July 2017. She has a B.A. in Early Childhood and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instructions, and she received her EDS in Leadership from NCU in August of 2018. Dr. Galvao successfully defended her dissertation on June 9th, 2020. The title of her dissertation is "Addressing the Needs of English Language Learners at the Secondary Level: A Qualitative Single-Case Study." She loves to travel with her family, and her favorite destination is Disney World. They go every year, and they are proud to be called Disney fanatics. “If you can Dream it, You can Do it!” -Walt Disney. 

Dr. Calvin Gardner

Dr. Gardner is a native of Detroit, MI. He has been married for 34 years. He is the father of four adult children and a grandfather of eight. He has spent the last 36 years in Active-Duty Service (21 in the U.S. Marine Corps; 15 as a Navy Chaplain Corps). Interesting facts about Dr. Gardner, as a lifelong learner, he has earned seven undergraduate/graduate degrees. His last earned degree was his Ph.D. in Psychology. The title of his dissertation is “A Quantitative Correlational Study: Exploring the Relationship Between Religiosity, Humility, and Dispositional Forgiveness.” As a hobby, he enjoys educational coaching and mentoring. Dr. Gardner is interested in researching the following: Disposition Forgiveness, Humility, Religiosity, Spirituality, Leadership, Implicit Bias, and Neuropsychology. He enjoys reading and writing about bridge builders between Theology and Psychology communities. 

Dr. Megan McNamara

Dr. Megan McNamara has worked in the field of education for 20 years striving to be a purpose-driven educator working to address gaps in educational equality. As a lifelong learner, she completed the NCU doctoral program in 2020 with an Ed. D. in Organizational Leadership.  Her quantitative dissertation is titled “A Correlational Analysis of Connections Between Family Engagement and Socioeconomic Experience in Baton Rouge Area Schools.” She is a family-oriented individual and devoted partner who aims to balance work and home life to bring peace and calm to family, friends, colleagues, and students.  She is thrilled to be part of the Navigator Team and is here to support others on their path to educational excellence.

Dr. Kertrenia Wright

Dr. Wright has been an educator for over 24 years. She started with NCU in May 2018. She has a B.A. in Biology, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and received her Ed. D in Educational Leadership from NCU in November of 2021. Dr. Wright successfully defended her dissertation on November 8, 2021. The title of her dissertation is "Academic Achievement of Middle School English Language Learners Based on Participation in an English as a Second Language Program." She loves to spend time with her family, paint, and create crafts.  Her educational philosophy is centered around the 5G’s and 3Ds.  She continues to grow academically in order to give the knowledge gained to others to guide them to greatness all through grace. Her commitment to this philosophy is completed through determination, dependability, and dedication. Her favorite quote is, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu.

Dr. Wendy Cooper-Porter

Dr. Wendy Cooper-Porter brings over two decades of K-12 and higher education experience to National University.  She earned her Doctor of Education degree from Northcentral University, specializing in curriculum and teaching, and a master’s degree specializing in instructional technology.  Dr. Cooper-Porter’s professional expertise is in the areas of data-driven instruction and practices, professional development training, online learning, methodology and dissertation writing, and diversity and inclusion methods. The title of her qualitative dissertation is "Teachers of Students in Poverty that Attend Online Schools: A Qualitative Case Study."

Dr. Pamela Gary-Maple

Dr. Gary-Maple is a native of New Jersey. She has been an educator for over 20 years. She has a B.S. in Biology, M.ED in Education, and M.ED in Administration & Supervision, and she received her EDD in Education Leadership from NCU in September 2021. Dr. Gary-Maple successfully defended her dissertation on September 7, 2021. The title of her dissertation is Comparing Differences in High School Algebra Achievement Based on the Use of Differentiated Instruction: An Archival Quasi-Experimental Study. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and creating precious memories with her husband and son. Her favorite quote is, “Don’t Dream Your Life; Live Your DREAM!”

Get Connected

Start a chat or submit a ticket to get connected with a Navigator. Alumni Navigators are all recent NU graduates and can use their experience as students to support you in your educational journey. 

Group Sessions

There is No Place Like Home first Wednesday of the month.

Join a member of the Graduate Studies Support Center (formerly CTL) for a 1.5-hour navigational workshop on all of the exciting resources that are just a click or two away from the NCUOne homepage. (This workshop is designed for one-to-one students using NCUOne)

Join us


Power Hour Sessions every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

Dr. Galvao and Dr. Wright lead study sessions for support, guidance, and accountability to complete your assignment or reading! This is an open Zoom session where you can come and complete your coursework without interruption with an accountability buddy or two!

Join us


Military Power Hour Sessions every 4th Sunday.

Dr. Gardner leads a study session for support, guidance, and accountability to complete your assignment or reading!

Join us