Professional / Graduate Staff

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Professional Staff

Corey Thoss

Senior Assistant Dean of Students,
Director of New Student Programs

Education
  • Bachelor of Arts from Bellarmine University
  • Master of Education at the University of Louisville
About Me

I joined NSP at UIUC in 2013. Before I came to Illinois I worked for 4 years at Purdue University with their orientation program Boiler Gold Rush. In my spare time I like to craft, cook, and bake.

Advice to an incoming student

Say hello to everyone! You never know where you’ll meet your new best friend!

Lisa Jackson

Associate Director

Education
  • B.S. Political Science, Illinois State University
  • M.A. Political and Justice Studies, Governors State University
  • Paralegal Certificate, Roosevelt University
  • Doctorate of Education, Argosy University – Dallas
About Me

I joined the New Student Programs staff in January 2017. My responsibilities include working with the Summer programs (Inbound and RISE), International Student Orientation and Transfer Student programming. I have an older brother and enjoy traveling, shopping and reading. I am also an active and proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Advice to incoming students

Learn about the resources available on campus and take advantage of those. Get involved! It will help you connect with others who are going through similar things as you and can make your experience so much more memorable.

Rachel Chlebanowski

Assistant Director

Education
  • Master of Science in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University
  • Bachelor of Science in Speech & Hearing Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
About Me

I’m from Bolingbrook, IL and am an Alum of U of I! In my role with New Student Programs, I primarily work with the Orientation Leader team, oversee the Inbound program, and assist with Fall Orientation/Welcome Days. In my free time I enjoy going to the Urbana Farmer’s Market, trying different restaurants throughout Champaign-Urbana, cooking and baking, and spending time with my cat, Mia.

Advice to an incoming student

Explore your options! If you join a student organization, it’s ok if you decide it isn’t for you. Thinking about a different major? Talk with an advisor to find one that would suit you better! Now is the perfect time to explore different interests and see which ones stick!

Carolyn Mink

Office Support Specialist

Education
  • BS in Early Childhood Education
  • Certified to teach Elementary Education
About Me

I have worked in the NSP office for about 5 years. I’m a lover of nature, knitting, reading, and baking!

Advice to an incoming student

This is the only time in your whole life (except in a senior care center ☺) you’ll ever be around everyone who is your same age. Enjoy it. Study hard but also play hard – find a happy balance.

Graduate Assistants

Ashley Phillips Smith

Graduate Assistant

Education
  • Master of Education (EdM), Higher Education, May 2018
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2012
  • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, 2010
About Me

I consider myself to be a lifelong learner. I am married with two wonderful daughters and enjoy spending time with my family and Church. My ultimate passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of young adults by serving as a mentor and resource to college students.

Advice to an incoming student

Never be afraid to reach out and asks questions when in doubt, nervous, or unsure. Always strive to rise above any challenge, meet new people, and utilize resources provided to you on campus. We are here to ensure you succeed!

LaDarius DuPree

Graduate Assistant

Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign '15, B.A. in Queer Studies
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign '19, M.Ed. in Diversity & Equity in Education
About Me

A first year Master's student in the College of Education, and an Illinois alum dedicated to issues of social justice, higher education policy, and student affairs administration. I am also a "double" transfer student, having transferred into Illinois as an undergraduate, and then again as a graduate student, from separate institutions. Originally from Chicago, IL - I enjoy fighting games, good BBQ, Sailor Moon, and is very fond of the squirrels on campus.

Advice to an incoming student

Take your first year on a campus to explore! Explore campus, the surrounding town/city, classes outside of your major that sound interesting, different foods that you haven't tried before, and essentially anything else that you may not be familiar/comfortable with. College is all about self-exploration and growth into the person you will become, so it's best that you've seen or encountered as much as possible, in order to establish the person you want to be!

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