Our Staff

Professional Staff

Kelly Smith, Director
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

kellysmith@niu.edu 

Hometown: Waterford, Wisconsin
Education: Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision (ABD)
Advice: Take advantage of NIU's opportunities, they can help shape your life.




Cathy Dancey, Office Support Specialist
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

cdancey@niu.edu 

Hometown: Sycamore, Illinois
Advice: Be true to who you are, stay flexible and keep a positive attitude and remember to enjoy the journey!


Lauren Napolitano, Associate Director
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

lnapolitano@niu.edu 

Hometown: Lake Zurich, Illinois
Education: M.Ed. Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Advice: Get to know as many people as possible while you’re here at NIU. You'd be surprised how much one relationship on campus could impact your life!

Shelley Mass
Program Advisor
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

mmass1@niu.edu 

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Education: M.S.Ed. Adult and Higher Education
Advice: This is a time to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Don't be afraid of the lessons you can learn from failing.


Connie Storey, Extra Help
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

cstorey2@niu.edu

Hometown: Lockport, Illinois
Education: M.S. Ed. Adult and Higher Education
Advice: Get to know your instructors and professors, ask them questions or go to their office hours, this will help you be more successful!


Graduate Assistants

Emily Murphy
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

emurphy4@niu.edu 

Hometown: Mundelein, Illinois
Major: Counseling-Clinical Mental Health
Year in School: first-year graduate student
Hobbies: baking, spending time with friends, DIY projects/decorating, traveling


Zachery Nielsen
Pronouns: He, Him, His, She, Her, Hers

znielsen1@niu.edu

Hometown: Tampico, Illinois
Major: Counseling-Clinical Mental Health
Year in School: first-year graduate student
Hobbies: pop culture, fashion and tattoos


Student Success Team

Jenah Anderson
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Hometown: Henry, Illinois
Major: Business Management
Year in School: junior
Hobbies: softball, TV/movies, socializing


Anetia Dickens
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Business Administration, minor in Social Entrepreneurship
Year in School: junior
Hobbies: cooking, reading, binge watching TV shows and movies, arts and crafts, singing, trying new foods


Taylor Donelson
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Hometown: Clinton, Illinois
Major: Pre-Physcial Therapy, minor in Family and Child Studies
Year in School: senior
Hobbies: showing cattle, softball, swimming


Carissa Hartwig
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Hometown: Aurora, Illinois
Major: Communications
Year in School: senior
Hobbies: roller derby, hiking, film photography


Mitchell Huftalin
Pronouns: He, Him, His


Hometown: Winnebago, Illinois
Major: Communication Studies; Spanish Business and Translation
Year in School: junior
Hobbies: painting, reading playing piano


Kyle Majewski
Pronouns: He, Him, His


Hometown: Kildeer, Illinois
Major: Marketing
Year in School: sophomore
Hobbies: playing guitar, listening to music, graphic design, watching bad movies

Contact Us

First- and Second-Year Experience
Altgeld Hall 100
815-753-0028
fsye@niu.edu