Debbie Painter
Coordinator of Diagnostics

  • Member of H.E.L.P. Staff since 1991
  • B.A., Marshall University, 1990
  • Major:  Elementary Education 1-6, Early Education N-K
  • M.A., Marshall University, 1993
  • Major:  Special Education, Learning Disabilities
  • National Affiliations:  International Dyslexia Association, Learning Disabilities Association of America

Debbie was appointed Interim Director of the H.E.L.P. Program in January 2013 by the Dean of the College of Education and Professional Development.  She began tutoring for the H.E.L.P. Program in January of 1991 as a Graduate Assistant and in 1992 her role became Diagnostician.  Debbie has also served as a Reading Specialist and has provided corrective reading instruction to medical students.  She became the Coordinator of Diagnostics in 1995 and continues to oversee that division.   In July 2012 Debbie was appointed Assistant Director of H.E.L.P. to supervise the college program.  Originally from Oak Hill, WV, Debbie and her husband Chuck moved to Huntington in 1977.  They have two children and one grandchild.


Missi Fisher
Assistant Director/Business Manager

  • Member of H.E.L.P. Staff since 2014
  • R.B.A. – Marshall University (2012)

Missi Fisher became the Assistant Director/Business manager in January 2016. She joined the H.E.L.P. staff in July of 2014, taking over all responsibilities in the Business Office. Among Missi’s responsibilities are: creation, oversight, and management of the program budget including all income and expenditures; all financial reporting on the part of the H.E.L.P. Program, including but not limited to the program director, MURC, the University, and the Board of Advisors, payroll for all full-time staff and the roster of Graduate Assistant tutors; client billing; serving as the Human Resources liaison for the program with the University at-large and MURC.

A Marshall alum, Missi studied organizational leadership and psychology while in school. Miss has more than 25 years of experience in business administration, with previous employment at the West Virginia State Police, US Food Services, and West Virginia Media.

She lives in Hurricane with her husband Roland and has four children: Blaine, Casey, Ryan, and Sierra.


 K. Renna Moore, C.P.S.
Administrative Assistant

  • Member of the H.E.L.P. staff since 1993
  • Attended Bluefield State College – Business Administration (’82)
  • R.B.A. Marshall University – Psychology (’11)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Mental Health Counseling (In Progress)
  • Certified Professional Secretary Status (CPS)
  • Marshall University Employee of the Month (’01)
  • National Affiliations: National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Certified Professional Secretary’s Association

Renna initially served as the secretary to the director of the H.E.L.P. Program in 1993 and later was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant to the Director of the H.E.L.P. Program. In addition to providing assistance to the Director and H.E.L.P. staff members, she communicates with prospective parents and students to ensure a smooth application process, serves as a liaison between parents, students and professors and serves as a lead staff member in the absence of the Director as needed. Renna supervises and trains H.E.L.P. front desk workers and has represented H.E.L.P. at college fairs and the International Dyslexia Association Conferences. While working at H.E.L.P., Renna suffered a debilitating accident that caused her to have to spend weeks in a rehabilitation hospital where she had to learn to walk again.  This experience allowed to better empathize with the feelings experienced by many of our students when facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Her persistence and faith have allowed her to return to work, complete her undergraduate degree while working full time, pursue a Master’s Degree in Counseling and work alongside her husband, Samuel, in the ministry.


Robbie Ashworth, M.A.
Coordinator of Professional H.E.L.P.

  • Member of the H.E.L.P. staff since 2005
  • B.A. Humanities
  • M.A. English

Robbie started his career in education in 1998 tutoring and mentoring undergraduate students with A.D.H.D. and other Specific Learning Disabilities. In 2007 he started working with the Medical H.E.L.P. Program as a reading and learning specialist, and in the summer of 2010, Robbie became a co-instructor with the Medical H.E.L.P. Program, working exclusively with medical students and assisting with classroom instruction and curriculum development. In August of 2012, he assumed the role of Interim-Coordinator of Medical H.E.L.P., and as of September 2013 he was hired as the Coordinator of Professional H.E.L.P.

As Coordinator of Professional H.E.L.P., Robbie plans to continue the growth and development of the Medical H.E.L.P. Program. He is also interested in developing the program’s outreach efforts, incorporating new technologies, and helping students to meet the unique needs of today’s medical students. In addition, Robbie intends to expand offerings beyond medicine and the health sciences. He envisions offering services to students studying law and those involved in other professional preparatory programs, as well as career professionals looking for assistance with issues involving A.D.H.D. and other time management and organizational difficulties.

Robbie particularly enjoys helping students identify concrete goals and teaching them strategies to modify their behavior in order to meet these goals and to create positive changes in their daily lives. He has seen countless times that with the right focus, dedication, discipline, and instruction students can create and sustain permanent change in their academic and personal lives. Robbie has a Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in education and learning theory. He has worked with a wide variety of people ranging from high school students and first-time college freshmen to medical students, physicians, and other professionals seeking improvement in their lives.


Sara L. Barker
Coordinator, Skills and Student Development
Coordinator, Summer Prep

    Member of H.E.L.P. staff sine 1992

  • B.A. – West Virginia University – (’81) – Elementary Education, Specialization in Mentally Impaired
  • M.A. – Marshall University – (’94) – Learning Disabilities
  • Wilson Reading Level I Certification (’07)
  • National Affiliations:  Learning Disabilities Association, International Dyslexia Association

Sara came to H.E.L.P. as a graduate assistant in 1992 where she worked part-time for the next 15 years as a Learning Specialist and an Educational Diagnostician.  She became Coordinator of Summer Prep in 2005 and Coordinator of Skills and Student Development in 2007.  Before moving to Huntington, Sara was employed at Wood County Schools as a teacher.  Sara resides in Ona, West Virginia with her husband Mike and they have two adult sons, Derek and Zachary.


Nancy McCormick
Coordinator, Registration and Tutor Development

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1993
  • B.A. Marshall University  – History – Psychology (1993)
  • M.A. Marshall University – History (1997)
  • Ed.D Walden University – Higher Education Leadership (In Progress)

Nancy has served as the Coordinator of Registration and Tutor Development since 2007.  She is responsible for matching students with tutors who are qualified to work with them in their specific classes.  She is also the tutor’s direct supervisor.  Prior to her appointment to her current position, Nancy worked as an academic tutor in College H.E.L.P. and as an instructor in Medical H.E.L.P. and served as a Graduate Assistant tutor while completing her Masters at Marshall.  Nancy is a native of Presque Isle, Maine, the proud grandmother of Iris and an instructor with the Piecemakers Quilt Group.


Laura Rowden
Coordinator of Community H.E.L.P.

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1995
  • B.A. West Virginia Wesleyan College – History and Secondary Education(’94)
  • M.A. Marshall University – History (’07)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Learning Disabilities (’07)
  • National Affliations: Member of C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), LDA National Conference, IDA National Conference, Former Officer of WVLDA

Laura has served as the Coordinator of Community H.E.L.P. since the beginning of the program in 1999.  Her job involves managing all aspects of Community H.E.L.P. including: initial intake testing, developing curriculum, teaching students, training tutors, assisting parents, and working with the local school systems.  Laura is well versed in the Orton-Gillingham approach and has instructed a class on teaching multisensory phonics for several years at Marshall University. Prior to her appointment to her current position, Laura worked as a Learning Specialist and served as a Graduate Assistant tutor while completing her Masters at Marshall.  Diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, Laura has had a passion for working with girls with ADHD and assisting them with interventions and accomodations. Laura lives in Huntington.


Diane F. Williams
Coordinator of Student Affairs and Special Projects

  • Member of H.E.L.P Staff since 1990
  • B.A. Marshall University – Elementary Education with Specialization in Mental Retardation (1975)
  • M.A. Marshall University – Learning Disabilities (1977)
  • National Affiliations:   International Dyslexia Association

Diane began working at H.E.L.P. in 1990 as Coordinator of Remediation and is currently serving as Coordinator of Student Affairs and Special Projects.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities with additional training in a variety of multisensory techniques.  Diane has also taught graduate classes in Diagnostics as well as supervising graduate students in the Learning Disabilities Practicum. Prior to coming to H.E.L.P., she taught Learning Disabilities at Huntington, WV’s Cammack Junior High for 13 years.  In 2009, Diane was honored as the Marshall University Employee of the Year.  Suffering a major stroke in January 2010, Diane was unable to work for 18 months, during which time she went through extensive rehabilitation. During that period of time her goal and motivation was to be able to return to work at H.E.L.P.  Diane says, “I am passionate about the students in the H.E.L.P. Program, and my desire is to do all I can to empower them to succeed.”