Student Referrals: Help a Zip

HELP A ZIP

Help for students having personal or academic difficulties

College can be stressful for students as they balance academics with their lives outside of the classroom. If you are aware of someone in distress, or if you are in need of help, please use this page to let us know.

One of our caring student-support professionals will offer resources for assistance.


Help for students who are experiencing:

  • academic issues (missed assignments; poor grades on exams, assignments and projects; repeated absences from class, etc.),
  • mental health issues (depression, anxiety, substance dependence, etc.),
  • financial issues, and/or
  • personal problems (relationships, social contentedness, roommate compatibility, homesickness, etc.)

Other sources for assistance

Contact The University of Akron Police Department at any hour at 330-972-2911 or 9-1-1.


UA's Counseling and Testing Center is available during business hours Monday through Friday. The office is open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Call 330-972-7082.

You have several options:

  • University of Akron Police: Available 24-7 at 330-972-2911.
  • Mike Strong, UA's deputy Title IX coordinator for students, is the principal resource for students who want to know more about their options and available resources if they’ve been victims of, or involved with sexual assault or sexual harassment. Mike is trained in all aspects of Title IX, a law designed to ensure gender equity on college campuses. Mike can be reached at 330-972-6048. 
  • Vanessa Sampsel is the the campus outreach coordinator for The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties. Vanessa and the team at The Rape Crisis Center provide crisis intervention, support, advocacy and other resources to survivors of sexual assault. The Center’s 24-hour hotline is 330-434-RAPE. Vaness is located in Room 246 or the Student Recreation & Wellness Center. Call her at 330-972-6328.

About confidentiality

It is most important for students to know that Vanessa and Mike are both committed to supporting individuals who have experienced sexual violence, but they have different responsibilities as it relates to confidentiality when it comes to reporting an incident. 

Here’s what you need to know about how federal and state regulations define reporting responsibilities:

  • Conversations with Mike, as a deputy Title IX coordinator, are kept as confidential as possible, but information about sexual misconduct incidents must be shared with relevant administrators (and in the case of sexual assault, with law enforcement), so that the University can take any action necessary to protect the safety of the campus community and to comply with Ohio’s crime reporting laws.
  • If a person indicates a desire to report a sexual assault to any UA employee, that employee should advise the person about her/his applicable reporting obligations and available confidential resources.  A UA employee may have an obligation to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement or a Title IX coordinator.  More information about reporting obligations is available at: http://www.uakron.edu/title-ix
  • Confidential resources on campus available to sexual assault survivors are licensed counselors at UA’s Counseling and Testing Center (330-972-7082) or licensed health professionals at University Health Services (440-972-7808). 
  • Vanessa and her team at the Rape Crisis Center are not employees of UA, and do not have the same reporting obligations as University employees. A sexual assault survivor who reaches out to Vanessa or her team can remain anonymous. 

Anyone who has experienced sexual assault does not have to file a formal complaint to receive assistance, but will receive information about all of her/his options to keep themselves and the campus safe. All efforts will be made to respect the privacy wishes of victims of sexual assault; however, the university must balance all requests for privacy/confidentiality with the need to provide a safe learning and working environment for all.    

Both Mike and Vanessa are prepared to help any students through the difficult course of actions that are required to recover from a sexual assault.  For more resources related to sexual assault, link here.   

Related:


Additional Title IX coordinators who can assist

  1. Mark Stasitis is the University’s Title IX coordinator for matters related to University sex and or gender based offenses. Stasitis can be reached at: 125N Administrative Services Building, 330-972-2352, or mstasitis@uakron.edu. Mr. Stasitis oversees the Title IX process at UA
  2. Bethany Prusky is the University’s deputy Title IX coordinator for matters related to employee sex-based offenses. Prusky can be reached at: 125L Administrative Services Building, 330-972-6195 or bcp17@uakron.edu
  3. Mary Lu Gribshaw is the University’s deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics. Ms. Gribshaw can be reached at: 183 James A. Rhodes Arena, 330-972-7080 or marylu@uakron.edu.

The CARE Team is a University organization that provides guidance and assistance to students who are experiencing crises, displaying odd or unusual behaviors, or are engaging in other behaviors that may be perceived as being harmful (either to the student individually, or to others). CARE stands for Crisis, Assessment, Referral and Evaluation

The CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students (and their families, faculty, and staff) when concerns for a student’s health, welfare, and safety are identified.

The CARE Team also supports members of the University community who interact with at-risk students by assessing and evaluating situations, communicating with individuals involved or impacted by a student’s behavior, and providing referrals and resources to assist and address behavioral concerns.

Make a CARE Team referral

Student Health Services provides health care on campus to enrolled students. Appointments are requested. Call 330-972-7808.

Student Health Services is located in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Suite 260, 382 Carroll St. Akron, OH 44325-1101.

Visit the Health Services website.

Emergencies after hours

When Student Health Services is closed, students needing immediate medical attention for acute illnesses or injuries may seek care at Akron City Hospital. Students are reminded that fees for hospital treatment and/or ambulance transport, if needed, are the responsibility of the student. See healthcare facilities offering evening and weekend hours within the greater Akron community.


About Help a Zip

What happens when a Help-a-Zip referral is made?

Direct questions about these services to:

Nancy L. Roadruck
Assistant Vice President for Student Success
Division of Student Success
330-972-7979 or nancy5@uakron.edu