Anchor Team Bios


r-kirk-2017.jpg    Dr. Rachel Kirk, Program Manager

As the daughter of a Naval officer, Dr. Rachel Kirk grew up on the east coast and overseas. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. After receiving her Ph.D., she returned to the east coast to work as a licensed mental health counselor and manager. She specialized in trauma work and provided outpatient, community, and home-based mental health counseling for those who experienced some type of trauma. Her primary focus was children ages 2 – 14 years old.  In 2009, she was hired as an academic advisor for Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and in 2018 she became the Anchor Coordinator.  She oversees the BAS/UNVS, Islander Academy, Island Harbor, PSA, UPHS and VIP programs. 


  sm_bill.jpg   Bill Coari, Anchor Academic Advisor 

Bill Coari was raised in Corpus Christi. He attended Texas A&I University in Kingsville where he ran track and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physical Education. After his tenure at A&I, he joined the Kinesiology faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1990. While there, he taught Exercise Science labs and activity classes. He also served as the undergraduate Exercise Science advisor. Bill returned home in 2008 and joined the TAMU-CC College of Education advising team. In 2011, Bill joined the Islander Transition Center. His duties included coding core classes, advising for undeclared/PSA/walk-ins and University Studies, scribing for core, solving scribing/Degree Works issues, and producing advising videos. In 2018, Bill joined the newly created Anchor Team for the University College. His duties include, advising for the PSA Program, Dual Credit, and marketing/advising videos for the University College. In his spare time Bill enjoys exercising, golfing and surfing. 


     Shannon Chambers, Anchor Academic Advisor 

Shannon Chambers grew up on the west coast before entering the US Navy in 1990. During her enlistment she was stationed in Norfolk, VA. Once she completed her enlistment, she moved to Oklahoma where she completed two Associate degrees in Sociology and Telecommunications from Carl Albert State College in Poteau, OK. She then moved with her family to the DFW area for nearly 9 years, before returning to Oklahoma to complete both her BA in Psychology and her MS in Higher Ed Leadership from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. After completing her BA, she briefly worked as a mental health case manager. She returned to a career in higher education as the Coordinator for Outreach, Referral and Follow-up in the NSU campus, while completing her MS in Higher Education Leadership in 2016. Shannon is currently the academic advisor for the BAAS and UNVS degrees with the University College and is working on the completion of her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from TAMU-CC.  She is a current member of NACADA, (The Global Community for Academic Advising,) and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, (International Honor Society in Education), and she has held previous membership in  NASPA (Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education).


  Jessica Spahr, Program Specialist II

Jessica Spahr grew up in a small city just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA and her Master’s degree in Social Work from California University of Pennsylvania in California, PA.  She started her career working in a therapeutic foster program, providing counseling and case management services to children and adolescents in a specialized foster care setting.  Jessica transitioned to the educational setting where she worked full time with middle and high school students placed in emotional support or alternative education. In 2013, she became a licensed clinical social worker.  She then worked at a private practice providing counseling to adolescents and young adults for a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and LGBTQ issues.  Jessica is the foster care liaison for the university and will be working with students in the Island Harbor program.