female silhouette of head and shoulders

Sheila Riley-Callahan, M.Ed.

Executive Director of Academic Services & Special Projects

Cumnock Basement


M.Ed, Educational Administration – Concentration: Planning and Policy in Higher Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell
B.A, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell


As Executive Director, Riley-Calahan is responsible for the direction of the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services, which includes services on four campuses:
  • a university wide Advising Center 
  • peer tutoring center 
  • five computer labs 
  • academic support for undeclared exploratory students (students in transition from one major to another) and incoming transfer students. 
  • serve on the leadership team of the implementation of student success initiatives, reduction of disparities of underrepresented groups and support for STEM programs. 
  • direct the Starfish Early Alert system of which there are 14 gateway courses (all sections) 
  • direct the management
2018 – Hobson Institute – Early Alert Best Practices Panelist 
2015 – National Academic Advising Association - "Expanding the Village: Early Alert as a Campus-Wide Retention Initiative" Presentation
2014 – National Academic Advising Association - "Keeping the Beat: Early Alert System comes to UMass Lowell" Presentation
2014 – National Academic Advising Association - "New Rhythms in Advising: Innovative Advising Practices" Poster Session
2000 – The Council on Teaching, Learning and Research as Scholarship – Engaging Faculty in Building Academic Services.  Conference on Retention in Higher Education – UMass Boston.
Professional Memberships
National Association of Academic Affairs Administrators 
National Academic Advisor Association
New England Transfer Association
Massachusetts Women in Public Higher Education
Professional Awards
2016 Pillar of Excellence Award – Living and Learning Communities for Transfer Students.
2005 – Successful Implementation of SIS and Academic Advisement
2004 – Francis Cabot Lowell Award  (exemplary and outstanding work for the UMass Lowell Community.
2001 – Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – Psychology Department – UMass Lowell.
1992 – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for Outstanding Performance: Pride in Performance.
Grants – the coordination and direction of two grants: 
College Access Challenge Grant for first generation college students and the 
Urban Massachusetts Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation for students in the STEM majors.
1988-1990         Instructor, Freshmen Seminar (1 credit)
1988-present     Instructor, Values and Creative Thinking (3 credits)
Related University Experience
2003-2005 – Subject Matter Expert for the implementation of PeopleSoft Academic Advisement, Pre-Requisite enforcement and Student Records
1990-1994 – Coordinator – Encore Adult Learner Program 
1986-1987 – Student Loan Coordinator – Financial Aid Office