Meet Our Team

Our entire staff is dedicated to helping you succeed in all aspects of your college career. We truly care about helping you find your passion.

Have a question? Email DGS at genstudies@illinois.edu. DGS Advisors do not conduct academic advising through email.

Click here to Schedule an Appointment

Academic Advisors

Janelle Brooks

Janelle Brooks

Education

Kansas State University, M.S. in Counseling and College Student Development; Truman State University, B.S. in Exercise Science- Sport and Recreation Mgt.

Best Part of My Job

Discussing with students their interests, strengths, and goals and collaborating with them on their next steps.

Interests

Cooking, Dancing, Listening to Music, Watching TV/Movies, Reading, and Chocolate.

 

Emily Davidson

Emily Davidson

Education

Western Illinois University, Master of Science in College Student Personnel Truman State University, Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders

Best Part of My Job

Helping students realize their strengths and values; and utilize them to be successful in college and after college!

Interests

Listening to True Crime Podcasts, hanging out with my cat named Luna, Traveling & Adventuring, Lifelong Learning

 
 

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Education

Western Illinois University- Master of Science, College Student Personnel; Illinois State University- Bachelor of Science, History

Best Part of My Job

Supporting students as they navigate college and helping them find their niche.

Interests

Traveling, trying new restaurants, athletics, dystopian fiction, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Leslie Lewis

Leslie Lewis

Education

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ed.M. in Education Policy; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Journalism MS; Millikin University, Elementary Education BS

Best Part of My Job

Helping students unfold and develop their unique narratives

Interests

Photography, Music (singing, playing piano, and listening), all topics in social justice and equality, nail polish, watching movies and television, conversing with friends and family

 

Dr. Michael Myers

Michael Myers

Education

University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. in Medieval History; York (England), M.A. in Medieval Studies; Colorado State, M.A. in Medieval History; University of Arizona, B.A. in History

Best Part of My Job

Spending time with the people I work with

Interests

Masonry, gardening, English sports cars, chainsawing, boating, and keeping up with my teenagers

  

Nikki O'Brien

Nikki O'Brien

Education

University of Pennsylvania, MSW Social Work; Michigan State University, BA Human Resource Management

Best Part of My Job

Being part of student journeys as they explore & claim their unique voices and authentic selves

Interests

Energy healing, writing, health equity/social justice education, spirituality & faith, cooking, baking and pinterest

 

Kate Patterson

Kate Patterson

Education

Florida State University, M.S. in Higher Education; University of South Carolina, B.A. in English and History

Best Part of My Job

Helping students adjust to college and get excited about the opportunities available to them

Interests

Reading, travel, watching movies and period dramas, trivia, going to museums, visiting parks

Katelyn Talbott

Katelyn Talbott

Education

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, M.S. Sport Management; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Recreation, Sport, and Tourism

Best Part of My Job

Helping students discover career paths they might not have known about that reflect their personal interests and pursuits

Interests

Baking and cooking, sport and sustainability, international/domestic travel, taking trips on our Harley-Davidson, and spending time with family, friends, and pets

 

Pre-Engineering Advisors

CJ Holterman

CJ Holterman

Education

Grand Valley State University, Master of Education in College Student Affairs Leadership; University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Services

Best Part of My Job

Helping students navigate their college experience and campus

Interests

Cooking, playing games, traveling, being outdoors, visiting local parks with my family and coffee!!

 

Clarissa Leman

Clarissa Leman

Education

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: MSW Social Work, BS Human Development and Family Studies

Best Part of My Job

Utilizing a student's interests and strengths to guide them toward achieving academic goals

Interests

Spending time with family, reading, listening to true-crime podcasts, exploring the local music scene

 

Kimberly Powers

Kimberly Powers

Education

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, M. A. in Anthropology and History; University of Louisville, B.A. in History and B.F.A. in 2D Studio Arts

Best Part of My Job

Learning about students’ diverse interests and experiences

Interests

Listening to podcasts about design, history, and politics; playing indoor soccer; international travel; animal rescue 

 

Assistant Directors

Jessica Arnold, Admissions

Jessica Arnold

Education

Eastern Illinois University, M.S. in College Student Affairs and B.S. in Health Studies, Community Health option

Best Part of My Job

Interacting with students from their first visit to the university and then working with them when they become an enrolled student. I enjoy seeing students get excited about their passion and interests! 

Interests

Spending time with my family, cooking and baking, traveling to and exploring new places.

 

Sarah Gardiner, Honors

Sarah Gardiner

Education

Ball State University, M.A. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education; Eastern Illinois University, B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences

Best Part of My Job

Supporting and interacting with some of the most talented and motivated students on campus; it is exciting to see what heights of success they can achieve!

Interests

Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, checking out all the fun places in the Champaign-Urbana area.

 

Associate Director

Teri Farr, Academic Advising and Student Success

Teri Farr

Education

Illinois State University: M.S. in History and B.S. in History

Best Part of My Job

Working with students to help them realize their full potential and make decisions based upon experience. My favorite moment with a student is when they make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom to their ultimate career and educational goals.

Interests

Gardening, home improvement and decorating, reading, vacation trips to the beach, and spending time with family and friends

 

Director

Dr. Daniel Turner

Dan Turner

Education

Loyola University Chicago, Ph.D. in Higher Education; Northern Illinois University, M.S. Ed. in Instructional Technology and B.S. in Psychology

Best Part of My Job

Helping students explore all the academic opportunities available to them and talking about their personal goals and dreams

Interests

Hiking, biking, travel, live music, visiting Colorado and Chicago, and being outdoors