Meet the ACE Staff
Michele’s professional experience focuses on student success and retention in higher education. Her prior work experience includes coordinating the First-Year Experience and Peer Mentoring programs at Coastal Carolina University. In that role, she developed and assessed programs, and served as a mentor for students in leadership roles. After returning to Chicago, she supported students on their journey to complete their Health Career degree programs at a suburban community college. She is driven by a strong desire to make a positive difference in students’ lives.
For fun and relaxation, Michele enjoys visiting museums, listening to music, dancing, taking photos of nature, and most of all, her walks along the lake!
Jennifer started her career at the top-ranking early college high school in Indiana, which serves a majority minority of first-generation college-bound students. As the senior class core advisor, she assisted students with a variety of academic, career development, and social and emotional needs. This experience helped Jennifer recognize her passion for supporting first-generation college students in achieving academic success and pursuing career goals. Jennifer is thrilled to be part of the ACE team and support first-generation college students at the university level.
You will catch Jennifer with an iced coffee every morning wanting to talk about 'The Bachelor' franchise. She has traveled to 25 countries, with her favorite being New Zealand. She loves trying new restaurants, going to the gym, and being at home with her boyfriend and cat.
Lissette is a first-generation college graduate from Loyola University Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology with a Catholic Studies minor. Additionally, she is an ACE alumna, and as an undergraduate student, she served as Peer Mentor, Peer Advisor, and Lead Retreat Leader within the ACE community. Upon graduation, Lissette continued her education at Northwestern University and received a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy.
Through her experience working with high school students in Chicago Public Schools from 2018 to 2020 with Driven and Empowered Youth, Inc., Lissette gained an interest in education and aided ESL students with tutoring, mentoring, and more. In addition, she found her passion in helping underrepresented and underserved student populations, which she continues to carry out in her work. With this newfound passion, Lissette entered her master's program and focused her master's thesis on first-generation college students and their development of a sense of belonging in hopes of better understanding this student population's needs. Lissette hopes to help create equal learning opportunities, provide resources, and promote policy changes to advance equity in higher education.
Lissette greatly values her free time, and she enjoys things that make her happy such as exploring the city, going to concerts, walking her dog, spending time with family and friends, and taking on spontaneous adventures.