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The JJC Student Advising staff is so excited to get to know you! Learn a little bit more about our staff below.
Robin began her work with JJC in 2010 as an adjunct faculty member, teaching College Success to new students. She joined the Counseling Department in April 2013 as a part-time Orientation Specialist and moved into her full-time First Year Experience Specialist position in January 2015 while also continuing her work as an adjunct faculty member. In July 2022, Robin was promoted to New Student Coordinator. She brings extensive orientation and advising expertise to the Student Advising Center. Having been a first-generation college student, she also brings a strong commitment to empowering students as they transition into and navigate through their educational journey. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Aurora University and completed her graduate work in Biological Anthropology with an emphasis on primate behavior at Northern Illinois University. Robin is a member of NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and NODA (Association for Orientation, Transfer and Retention).
“I enjoy working with JJC students as they transition into their college experience, and am here to help them successfully navigate their educational journey. It’s incredibly exciting and so rewarding to work with students on a daily basis to help them reach their personal and academic goals!”
Brenna joined the Student Advising Center in 2016; bringing more than 16 years of experience in higher education with an extensive background in academic advising, orientation, and transfer educational planning. Brenna brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her previous academic advising roles at Moraine Valley Community College, Northern Illinois University, and Lewis University. As a First Year Experience Specialist, she provides in-depth and skilled academic advising and transfer planning to incoming and continuing students. In addition to her work experience, she holds a Masters of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University and Bachelors of Arts degree in both Theatre and Communications from Hope College. Brenna is an active member of NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and NODA (Association for Orientation, Transfer, and Retention).
“I enjoy working with students and supporters and helping them navigate the first year of college; I consider it a privilege to help students pursue their educational and career goals.”
Matthew came to JJC as a Student Success Coach after working at National Louis University in the College of Education as a Graduate Advisor. Matthew helped students navigate program and state requirements in order to obtain their teaching license and degree. He also worked for as a Student Success Coach at Colorado Technical University managing and coaching a cohort of undergraduate student through their degree programs. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning from DePaul University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Governors State University. Before entering higher education Matthew was a high school teacher and track coach for thirteen years.
Before accepting the position of Student Success Coach, “Lisa” Rivera worked at JJC as an Adjunct Counselor and College Success Instructor. Lisa is a skilled advisor with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of JJC students. She has spent the last seventeen years providing academic advising, educational planning and coaching, and personal support to students. She also worked as a Lead Mentor and Coordinator for the Project Success mentoring program. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Social Work from New Mexico State University and a Master of Social Work from University of Southern California. Before her time in higher education Lisa spent many years working in the mental health field as a clinician and administrator.
Kim has extensive experience as an academic and career advisor. She came to JJC from Waubonsee Community College where she was a Career and Transition Advisor for the Adult Education program. There she provided academic and career advising, assisted students with the transition from adult education to post-secondary education and employment, and provided regular support to students to aid in retention. Kim also brings a wealth of advising experience and knowledge from her previous academic and career advising positions at the University of Akron, Wayne College, and Indiana University. Kim holds both a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel and Bachelor’s in Secondary Education from Bowling Green State University. Kim is active in NACADA (National Academic Advising Association), NCPN (National Career Pathways Network), and IACEA (Illinois Adult and Continuing Educators Association).
Cheryl began her career with JJC in 2012 when she served in the position of Transfer Specialist. She came to JJC after several years assisting students as an Academic Advisor at Moraine Valley Community College. In 2016 Cheryl became the Assistant Director of Transfer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and most recently returned to Illinois, and JJC, after four years with the University of California, Irvine, in the capacity of Advisor/Coordinator and Credential Analyst for the STEM Education Secondary Teacher Program “CalTeach.” As a first-generation student, Cheryl understands the challenges of navigating college systems and processes with limited resources and support, and is committed to student success.As a JJC Student Success Coach, Cheryl believes she can best serve students by helping them understand their options, recognize and prepare for potential obstacles, and then guiding them towards efficient and strategic pathways while helping them avoid wasting time, effort, and unnecessary funds on actions inconsistent with their goals.
Kandis is a proud alumnus of Joliet Junior College, where she earned her Associates of Arts degree in Accounting. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Governor’s State University. Kandis brings experience from her work at the college as an Educational Outreach Specialist for the Educational Talent Search TRIO Program. In this role she was responsible for recruiting, supporting, and tracking the success of over 800 high school students. She also developed and planned several student programs and workshops with the purpose of transitioning high school students from underrepresented groups successfully to college. Kandis also previously worked as a Secretary in the Fine Arts Department. In addition to her work in higher education, Kandis is a Youth Volunteer in Chicago’s Lawndale community. In her free time she mentors, tutors, and provides overall support to disadvantage youth.
A friendly Student Advising Center office staff member will be ready to greet you as you call or come into the center. They will ask a few simple questions and then walk you through steps to meet with an advisor or direct you to the correct location.
Office staff members schedule appointments, respond to email messages, assist students with navigating JJC technology, and provide overall excellent customer service to students, parents, and supporters.