Academic Advising Center Room 112
Dana Gautcher has worked in both Student and Academic Affairs at Northern Illinois University for over 12 years. She came to NIU as hall director in Douglas Hall where she oversaw the first year residential experience of 500 students. She then served as Scholarship Coordinator and Financial Retention Advocate for over 11 years. During this time, she helped connect students to scholarship resources and worked to improve campus scholarship utilization. She helped to streamline scholarship administration at NIU by creating policies, procedures and audit and tracking practices. Always an advocate of students, she also created a process by which students in financial distress could seek counsel.
In July of 2009, Dana was afforded the opportunity to oversee the newly created Office of Student Academic Success. Along with her staff, Dana oversees MAP-Works; the Early Alert Program; Financial Cents, a campus-wide financial literacy program; the Leaders & Scholars program as well as other initiatives aimed at supporting students as they persist towards graduation.
In addition to her responsibilities within the Office of Student Academic Success, Dana has taught UNIV 101, UNIV 201 and courses on student transition, volunteerism and leadership.
Dana holds a B.A. in history from Winona State University and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago. She lives in Sycamore, Illinois with her husband and two daughters.
Academic Advising Center Room 110
Randi has worked in both Academic and Student Affairs as well as Athletics at Northern Illinois University. Previously employed in the Office of Enrollment Services, Randi served as a Research Associate for the Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Services assisting with marketing, data analysis and research for the division. Randi worked as part of a team that created projects such as the Financial Literacy program Financial Cents, the Leaders and Scholars Program and the MidSemester Check Program. She also represented the Office of Enrollment Services by sitting on numerous committees helping to promote student success.
While working in Intercollegiate Athletics, Randi worked in both Marketing and Development. She worked her way up through Internships, Graduate Assistantships and eventually became a Development Assistant before leaving to work on the Academic side of the university. While in athletics, Randi was part of a team that earned the Lieutenant Governors Medal for their fundraising efforts in the "Hoops 4 Troops" campaign which raised money for the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. Randi was also part of a team that produced record breaking numbers in both enrollment and donations to the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund. She also helped finish the fundraising efforts for the state of the art Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center, which is an Academic and Athletic Performance Center.
Randi joined the Office of Student Academic Success in November of 2009 and brings her strong knowledge of all sides of the university to this position. By helping to create and implement beneficial programs, she is excited to have a direct impact on the success of all NIU students. Randi is currently an active instructor for the University Experience course, UNIV 101 and the faculty advisor for the Delta Zeta Sorority.
Randi holds all of her degrees from Northern Illinois University. She completed a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Family and Child Studies and received her M.S.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education. Randi is currently working towards her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education. She lives in DeKalb with her husband Ray and their daughters Kara and Katy.
Academic Advising Center 113
Paul joined the OSAS team as a graduate assistant in September of 2013. Paul completed his B.S. in Exercise Science from Eastern Illinois University and his M.S. from NIU in 2008. Paul is currently pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) at NIU.
Paul previously held a graduate assistant position at the NIU Student Recreation Center where he was responsible for intramural sports and sport clubs. After graduating, Paul worked at Rawlings Sporting Goods for 5 years where he held the position of Brand Marketing Manager. He was responsible for Rawlings' social media and business to consumer advertising.
Paul loves being active and his hobbies include playing sports, skiing, weightlifting, and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Student Success Specialist
Academic Advising Center Room 115
Missy joined the OSAS staff in September of 2010. She completed her B.A. in English and Psychology in 2006 and her M.S.Ed in 2008 from NIU. As an undergraduate, she worked in NIU Housing and Dining as a Community Advisor, Learning Assistant, and gave tours of the residence halls. Missy was a student mentor for the Mentoring for Academic Success (M.A.S.) program in the Latino Resource Center as well as a Senator for the Student Association. Missy joined NASPA and in 2004 was a Minority Undergraduate Fellow and interned at St. Mary's University, San Antonio. While in graduate school, she was employed as a Graduate Assistant in the Academic Advising Center, was a Peer Instructor for UNIV 101, and taught CAHC 211: Career Planning, to freshmen and sophomore students.
Prior to returning to the NIU community, Missy worked in the Western Suburbs of Chicago completing a counseling internship at Westchester Middle School in Westchester, Illinois and worked as an independent contractor for a company affiliated with DCFS.
Missy is a proud member of Alpha Psi Lambda National, Inc. and currently serves as co-advisor for NIU-Gamma Chapter and sits on multiple committees. She is also an adjunct faculty in the College of Education teaching undergraduate classes and UNIV 101.
Student Success Specialist
Academic Advising Center Room 111
Deb Miller came to NIU from the Maine Township High Schools in Des Plaines and Park Ridge where she was the Vocational Evaluator in Special Education for the district. Prior to that she worked at Anixter Center in Chicago, which is one of the largest not-for-profit agencies in the state serving individuals with disabilities. She brought her experience in teaching and counseling to Student Support Services at NIU beginning in January of 2009 as the Program Coordinator before transferring to her current position as the Student Success Specialist in the College of Education.
Deb is active on two NIU Presidential Commissions and is a member of SPS Council. She also serves as adjunct faculty in the College of Health and Human Sciences teaching undergraduate and graduate classes.
Deb is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and earned her M.A. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Special Education and Elementary Education from Michigan State University.
Deb is a Certified Personal Chef and enjoys entertaining and traveling.
Academic Advising Center Room 113
Nilay Started with OSAS as a Graduate Assistant from May 2013, Nilay completed his B.S. in Marketing from NIU in 2012 with a Certificate in Advanced Professional Selling. He worked for General Motors for about a year as an analyst before coming back to complete his MBA. His professional goal is to become an entrepreneur.
During his time as an undergraduate, Nilay was an active member of American Marketing Association and Collegiate Sales Advisory Board leading student teams to various internship and job fairs.
Nilay loves to play Soccer and Volleyball and likes to catch up with friends on weekends.
Student Success Specialist
Academic Advising Center Room 114
Ashleigh first arrived at Northern Illinois University in 2007 as an undergraduate student studying Psychology and Sociology. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science degree in December 2009. Upon graduation, Ashleigh began substitute teaching for school districts in Northern Illinois. She frequently volunteered in her sister’s third grade classroom, where she facilitated small group instruction focusing on social skills. During this time, Ashleigh also volunteered with the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois in Nachusa. These experiences shaped her passion for the education profession and paved the way for the next chapter of her educational endeavors.
In January 2012, Ashleigh returned to NIU to pursue her M.S.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education with an emphasis in Higher Education/Student Affairs. That same year, she joined the Office of Student Academic Success. She is enthusiastic about students achieving their academic goals and leaving NIU with the tools for success.
Acting Research Associate
Academic Advising Center Room 113
Matt joined the Office of Student Academic Success in 2012 as a Graduate Assistant and now serves as the office’s Acting Research Associate. Matt completed both of his degrees from NIU. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2010, and a Master of Science in Education in Adult and Higher Education with an emphasis in Higher Education/Student Affairs in 2013.
During his time as an undergraduate at NIU, Matt was active in the Student Association, serving as a Senator, Speaker of the Senate, and Assistant to the SA President. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Matt served as the student member of NIU’s Board of Trustees. In addition, he served two years in the Residence Hall Association as Douglas Hall Council’s Vice President and President, two years in the Political Science Department’s Student Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Pleiades Chapter of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society. Matt interned in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2009 for former U.S. Congressman Bill Foster through NIU's Congressional Internship Program. Matt also worked in NIU’s office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development, first as a student worker from 2009-2010 and as a graduate intern during the fall of 2012.
Student Success Specialist
Academic Advising Center Room 116
Born in England, Mandy spent twelve years in the Women’s Royal Air Force as an Air Cartographer, after which she worked for HarperCollins Cartographic Division in Edinburgh, Scotland. Deciding to follow her dream of studying for a degree, she attended an Access to the Arts program for adult learners at the University of Edinburgh, before going on to complete her undergraduate studies there. She graduated from Edinburgh with an M.A. in English Literature in 2001, and moved to the United States for graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign the same year. As a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, Mandy won departmental and campus-wide teaching awards, including the Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers. She also acted as a peer advisor to graduate students in their first year of teaching.
Mandy joined the Office of Student Academic Success (OSAS) in January 2012, as the Success Specialist for adult students in off-campus locations. A strong advocate for adult learners, Mandy’s goal is to connect students to the resources they need in order to be successful at NIU.
Mandy lives in Downers Grove with her partner Tracy. They have two rescued dogs (Lucy, a lab-huskie mix, and Tara, a German shepherd-Australian shepherd mix) and their tuxedo cat, Boots.