The JJC Student Advising staff is so excited to get to know you! Learn a little bit more about our staff below.
Student Advising Center Manager
Jeff joined JJC and the Student Advising Center team in December of 2022 after spending 17 years at University of St. Francis. With over 20 years of higher education experience, along with over 10 years of advising experience, Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge to the advising team. He always keeps the best interest of the student at heart, reflecting back on his own college experience and tries to create pathways for students to find their own network. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from North Central College in Accounting and a Master’s from USF in Training and Development. In his free time, Jeff enjoys staying active as a cross country and track coach, and being a dad of his two kids.
New Student Coordinator
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!”
Student Advising Center Coordinator
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 the Student Advising Center Coordinator, she supports the department manager in day-to-day operations and trains and mentors Student Success Coaches while facilitating cross-training efforts with other student development areas. She continues to provide guided academic advising and direction to new and first-year students at JJC while developing first-year programming and outreach to support student success.
In addition to her work experience, she holds a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor 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.”
Student Success Coaches
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.
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.
Madison “Maddie” Wilson accepted the position of Student Success Coach upon the completion of her Master’s degree in Communication from Illinois State University. While obtaining her Master’s, Maddie served as a course instructor for Communication as Critical Inquiry, an introductory communication course at ISU. It was through this experience that Maddie found a passion for student success, coaching, and engagement. She brings two years of course instruction and mentorship, as well as a wealth of industry experience from three previous internships, with her to the Student Advising Center. Maddie also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an Associate of Science degree from Parkland College.
As a first-generation student who began her educational journey at a community college, Maddie is committed and excited to begin working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional 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.