Program Advisors


Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Nigyar Alves


Nigyar Alves
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 117
Edwards

Biography

Hometown:Baku, Azerbaijan

Degree held: BA Communication Studies from University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I value education in helping people find their passion and strengths in all stages of their college career. Academic advising goes beyond class selection and scheduling. It is an intensive process that takes into account the whole student and their college experience. It is valuable to have a non-judgmental, non-evaluative person in student’s lives throughout their college experience.

Programs

Alyson Germinder


Alyson Germinder
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 111C
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Merriam, Kansas

Degrees held: B.A. in Theatre with minor in English, University of Missouri-Columbia; M.A. in Theatre, University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I am an Academic Success Coach because: I value individual stories and understand the role our narratives play in the choices we make, especially when it comes to what we choose to study. Working in admissions for three years introduced me to many students’ stories but I longed to see how their stories continued. I discovered the best way to do so was to partner with them as an academic success coach. Now I get to advocate for students as I bear witness to their entire academic journey. It’s a great privilege to listen to and help students find a path that speaks to their interests, career goals, and deep-seeded dreams.

Programs

Estevan Ortiz


Estevan Oritz
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 117
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Kansas City, KS

Degrees held: B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I am passionate about guiding students to reach their goals. I understand each student may bring unique circumstances, situations, and backgrounds. I believe in meeting students where they are, supporting their dreams, and empowering them to own their path to a degree. As a first generation student, I completely understand the importance of being that support person.

My programs

Penny Thies


Penny Thies
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 111
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Danville, Louisiana

Degrees held: B.A. in English from the University of Kansas City Missouri.

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I enjoy helping students fulfill their dreams. As a first-generation college student, I know firsthand that trying to navigate through college can be challenging at times whether it be at the undergraduate level or graduate level. Students need to know their resources and next steps. This is where I help. We discuss goals, ambitions, and next steps so in a few years these students are walking away from KU with a degree that will open a door into their future.

Programs

Renee Williams


Renee Williams
  • MS Ed
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 111
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: I was born in Stone Mountain, GA, but I’ve lived many places

Degrees held: BA in Psychology (Honors) from the University of Southern Mississippi, Masters of Science in Education (Special Education) from KU

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I really enjoy helping and coaching people to reach their goals, whatever those may be. I love seeing people succeed! I learned as an undergraduate student, far, far from home that a good adviser can make a lot of difference to one’s college experience, and that motivates me to be as good an adviser as I can be. Students need someone on their success team they know they can come to with issues, questions, problems, and successes. I love meeting and talking with new people – people have the most amazing stories! The coaching metaphor really fits the way KU Edwards Campus works in that we’re all on the same team!

Programs

School of Professional Studies

Nigyar Alves


Nigyar Alves
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 117
Edwards

Biography

Hometown:Baku, Azerbaijan

Degree held: BA Communication Studies from University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I value education in helping people find their passion and strengths in all stages of their college career. Academic advising goes beyond class selection and scheduling. It is an intensive process that takes into account the whole student and their college experience. It is valuable to have a non-judgmental, non-evaluative person in student’s lives throughout their college experience.

Programs

Jenny Parr


Jenny Parr
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Office:
Appointments:
Regents Center 111
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Marshalltown, Iowa

Degrees held: Bachelors (double major + minor) – International Relations/Spanish, Latin American Studies; Masters – English Linguistics

I am an Academic Success Coach because: The one-on-one connections I have with students, help me realize I have an impact on their academic success. I try to meet them where their needs are and be the person in whom they know they can turn to for help or just to tell me a success story. This, to me, is at the heart of a student-centered coach, adviser, mentor, guide, and (in some ways) teacher. For me, when I can see my student all the way through to graduation, especially if the road was bumpy along the way, is success.

Programs

School of Social Welfare

Graduate Programs

Applied Statistics, Analytics & Data Science

Shana Palla, Ed.D.


Shana Palla
  • Assistant Director of Graduate Education, Department of Biostatistics & Data Science

Contact Info

BEST Building 350
Edwards

Biography

Personal Mission Statement

My goal is to positively impact public health through the education of future researchers, implementation of innovative trial designs, and execution of solid and accurate statistical analyses.

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Degrees held: BS in Mathematics, MS in Statistics, and working on EDD in Higher Ed (expected July 2021)

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: Students in the Applied Statistics & Analytics MS, Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate, and Applied Data Science Graduate Certificate programs need one person who can serve as the “go to” person when it comes to their graduate academic success. I am with students from the initial inquiry all the way to post-graduation career assistance. Having a single person do this, who understands the field with firsthand experience, is vital to the success of the programs and the success of the students. Online programs need a point of contact that is there to listen, advise, and serve as the liaison to the faculty and administrators at the school on behalf of the student. I enjoy being that person.

Programs

 

Education

B.S. in Applied Mathematics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
M.S. in Statistics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Research

My research interests include innovative Phase I-III clinical trial designs, clinical trial monitoring, and clinical trial analysis with an emphasis in cancer. I have collaborative experience with a wide range of medical fields, with concentration in pediatric cancers, cancer palliative care, hepatitis, and hemochromatosis.

Selected Publications

1. Fu J, Gutierrez C, Bruera E, Guo Y, Palla S.  Use of injectable spasticity management agents in a cancer center.   Support Care Cancer. 2012 Nov 11.  PMID: 23142955

2. Zage PE, Sirisaengtaksin N, Liu Y, Gireud M, Brown BS, Palla S, Richards KN, Hughes DP, Bean AJ.  UBE4B levels are correlated with clinical outcomes in neuroblastoma patients and with altered neuroblastoma cell proliferation and sensitivity to epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors. Cancer. 2012 Sep 18. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27785. PMID:22990745

3. Yennurajalingam S, Kang JH, Cheng HY, Chisholm GB, Kwon JH, Palla SL, Bruera E. Characteristics of Advanced Cancer Patients With Cancer-Related Fatigue Enrolled in Clinical Trials and Patients Referred to Outpatient Palliative Care Clinics. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Aug 20. PMID:22917716

4. Del Fabbro E, Parsons H, Warneke CL, Pulivarthi K, Litton JK, Dev R, Palla SL, Brewster A, Bruera E. The Relationship Between Body Composition and Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Women with Operable Breast Cancer.  Oncologist. 2012 Aug 17. PMID:22903527

5. O'Connor CM, Sheppard S, Hartline CA, Huls H, Johnson M, Palla SL, Maiti S, Ma W, Davis RE, Craig S, Lee DA, Champlin R, Wilson H, Cooper LJ. Adoptive T-cell therapy improves treatment of canine non-Hodgkin lymphoma post chemotherapy.  Sci Rep. 2012;2:249. Epub 2012 Feb 13. PMID: 22355761

6. Lopez-Olivo MA, Andrabi TR, Palla SL, Suarez-Almazor ME.  Cervical spine radiographs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis undergoing anesthesia. J Clin Rheumatol. 2012 Mar;18(2):61-6.  PMID: 22334269

7. Robert RS, Paxton RJ, Palla SL, Yang G, Askins MA, Joy SE, Ater JL.  Feasibility, reliability, and validity of the pediatric quality of life inventoryTM generic core scales, cancer module, and multidimensional fatigue scale in long-term adult survivors of pediatric cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Feb 2. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24099.  PMID: 22302778

8. Niikura N, Liu J, Hayashi N, Palla SL, Tokuda Y, Hortobagyi GN, Ueno NT, Theriault RL.  Retrospective analysis of antitumor effects of zoledronic acid in breast cancer patients with bone-only metastases.  Cancer. 2012 Apr 15;118(8):2039-47. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26512. Epub 2011 Dec 2. PMID: 22139648

9. Rabin KR, Gramatges MM, Borowitz MJ, Palla SL, Shi X, Margolin JF, Zweidler-McKay PA. Absolute lymphocyte counts refine minimal residual disease-based risk stratification in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Nov 18.  PMID: 22102553

10. Hui D, Kilgore K, Nguyen L, Hall S, Fajardo J, Cox-Miller TP, Palla SL, Rhondali W, Kang JH, Kim SH, Del Fabbro E, Zhukovsky DS, Reddy S, Elsayem A, Dalal S, Dev R, Walker P, Yennu S, Reddy A, Bruera E. The Accuracy of Probabilistic Versus Temporal Clinician Prediction of Survival for Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Preliminary Report.  Oncologist. 2011;16(11):1642-8. PMID:21976316

Awards & Honors

1997, Lifetime Member of the Golden Key National Honor Society
2014, PStat® Accreditation

School of Architecture, Design & Planning

Business

Angela Hughes


Angela Hughes
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 117
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Degrees held: BS Liberal Studies from Lincoln University; Masters of Science, Organizational Management, Baker University

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I love education. I believe once the mind is expanded through knowledge, there is no way it will shrink to its original size. As a first generation college student, my passion came from my personal experience. I learned a lot about navigating the college process on my own & If I can assist someone else with removing barriers to advancing their life, then I am honored to be a part of that process.

Programs

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liz Barton


Liz Barton
  • Assistant Director Jayhawk Academic Advising

Contact Info

BEST 277
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Degrees held: Bachelors of Liberal Arts and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach because: Growing up, I wanted to be a recreational therapist. When I was in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor and found my love for youth development and mentoring. I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in England and had an amazing advisor who helped me tremendously and cared about me as a person. That’s when I knew I wanted to devote my career to helping college students. Being an academic success coach allows me to help students in multiple ways and I love that.

Programs

Penny Thies


Penny Thies
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regents Center 111
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Danville, Louisiana

Degrees held: B.A. in English from the University of Kansas City Missouri.

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I enjoy helping students fulfill their dreams. As a first-generation college student, I know firsthand that trying to navigate through college can be challenging at times whether it be at the undergraduate level or graduate level. Students need to know their resources and next steps. This is where I help. We discuss goals, ambitions, and next steps so in a few years these students are walking away from KU with a degree that will open a door into their future.

Programs

School of Education

Kim Huggett


Kim Huggett
  • Curriculum & Instruction Educational Leadership Ed. D. Special Education

Contact Info

Edwards Campus Phone:
Lawrence Campus Phone:
BEST Building 273
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: North Platte, NE (Go Big Red!)

Degrees held: BA Social Work – Nebraska Wesleyan University, Masters in Public Administration (MPA) - UMKC

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I have worked in higher education for 34 years – 20 of them here at the KU Edwards Campus so you can tell that this is a job that I enjoy. I love talking with students to help them figure out what program is the best fit for them to achieve their personal goals. The relationship building is something I enjoy and seeing the students graduate is exciting.

Programs

School of Engineering

School of Journalism

Matt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR


Matt Tidwell
  • Integrated Marketing Communications Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

Regnier Hall 370
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Arkansas City, KS

Degrees held: B.S., Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas; M.S. Communications Management, Syracuse; Ph.D., Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I help people advance their careers and, in doing so, build better lives for themselves and their families.

Programs

School of Professional Studies

Liz Barton


Liz Barton
  • Assistant Director Jayhawk Academic Advising

Contact Info

BEST 277
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Degrees held: Bachelors of Liberal Arts and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach because: Growing up, I wanted to be a recreational therapist. When I was in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor and found my love for youth development and mentoring. I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in England and had an amazing advisor who helped me tremendously and cared about me as a person. That’s when I knew I wanted to devote my career to helping college students. Being an academic success coach allows me to help students in multiple ways and I love that.

Programs

Jennifer Keleher-Price


Jennifer Keleher-Price
  • Academic Success Coach

Contact Info

BEST Building 350
Edwards

Biography

Jennifer Keleher-Price coordinates admissions, enrollment, and advising for the Master of Engineering and Master of Science in Project Management. She manages prospective student inquiries and applications, and counsels on graduate school policies and procedures. She coordinates orientation for new students, and is the primary contact for all academic questions and concerns for current and prospective students of Project Management.

Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Portland State University and went on to Kansas State to receive a Master of Science in Academic Advising. Jennifer has extensive advising experience working with Adult Learners and non-traditional students. She is an active member of NACADA and KAAN national and state level advising associations.

My programs: 

School of Social Welfare

Amea Chandler


Amea Chandler
  • Assistant Director Jayhawk Academic Advising

Contact Info

Regents Center
Edwards

Biography

Hometown: Hiawatha, KS

Degrees held: B.S. Speech Communication with minor in psych, Northwest Missouri State University; M.S. Applied Health Science with emphasis in wellness, Northwest Missouri State University

I am an Academic Success Coach because: students need advocates that understand university policies, procedures, and resources that can directly affect their success at KU. I also love helping students in general which is why this position is such a good fit for me. The students I have met since coming to KU Edwards have already positively impacted my life in multiple ways. It is a privilege to get to work with social work students, faculty, and staff (KU Edwards staff included) who are helping to change the world.

Programs

Kristy Magee


Kristy Magee
  • Academic Success Coach
She/her/hers

Biography

Clifton Strengths: Strategic, Belief, Developer, Individualization, Empathy

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

Hometown: Great Bend, KS

Degrees held: B.F.A. –Theatre – Emporia State University; M.A. in Communication – Pittsburg State University; Professional Certifications: Career Development Facilitator (NCDA), and Certified Peer Educator Facilitator (NASPA)

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I love to learn and I love to help! I especially enjoy helping others get to where they need to go in personal, academic, and career goals. My 15 years of experience in higher education has been in areas of career counseling, advising, success coaching and student support services. I enjoy utilizing my background in these areas as I cheer on my students, help them embrace challenges, and get them direct answers they require to achieve their goals. When I was in grad school, I had to balance working while attending classes and caring for a young child, so I understand the excitement and challenges that come with seeking a masters degree with other life responsibilities. I am honored to be a supportive advisor along the way. I am especially thrilled to work with MSW students as many of the special people in my life are social workers or have been positively impacted by the field in so many ways. Social workers make the world a better place and I’m grateful to walk beside them as a very small part of their career journey. I am also thankful that KU Edwards is such a kind and hospitable community. It is a joy to collaborate with an amazing team that helps our students understand exactly what they need to succeed.