Meet the ACE Staff
As the project director, Roy is tasked with the coordination of support services and program components, overall project administration, collaborating with other university student support units, staff supervision, budget administration, and project evaluation.
Roy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanistic Studies with a spanish minor from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. After several years in the workforce, he enrolled in graduate school and eventually earned a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science with a specialization in community informatics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an undergrad, Roy changed his major 4 times. During the process, he learned that creativity in developing one’s career development path from the first day of freshmen year is critically important!
As his first opportunity of professional employment, he worked for the School District of Howard-Suamico for 1.5 years providing support services to English as a Second Language (ESL) and American Indian students grades K-12. For the next four years, he was employed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as assistant to the director/counselor in the Office of Minority Student Affairs. Annually, he advised a cohort of TRiO/Student Support Services’ students, coordinated campus events including career fairs, graduation ceremonies, a scholastic awards banquet, the national TRiO/McNair Scholar's graduate school fair, and was a member of a variety of campus committees. Prior to joining Loyola University Chicago, he was director of the TRIO/Educational Opportunity Center for The City Colleges of Chicago where he assisted first-generation and/or lower-income adult Chicago residents nineteen years of age or older seeking to enhance their literacy skills, educational credential attainment, and career opportunities.
Roy is a huge fan of music collecting and attending concerts. He has never discarded a cd, cassette, or record despite changing music format trends. His bookshelves are a detailed library of music including soul, 80s pop, and 90s Euro dance. He loves attending concerts of one-hit-wonder artists, 80s-90s bands that no one remembers, and legendary performers who saw their heyday well before he was born. You’ll likely find him at Reckless Records on the weekends enjoying the treasure hunt!
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 supporting 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.
Before joining the ACE team, Luis worked for several organizations that aim to elevate students’ voices and provide mentorship and guidance to young adults from under-resourced communities. Most recently, Luis was part of Urban Alliance, where he worked with college-aged alumni as they completed paid internships with corporations and non-profit organizations that equipped them with the tools, skills, and knowledge in order to be successful in the workforce. Luis has also led high school students in service-learning projects inside and outside the classroom, exposing youth to the value and impact of giving back and serving in their communities.
Luis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish from Whitworth University and a Master’s degree in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago. A son of immigrants, a first-generation college graduate, and a firm believer in the power of student engagement as a way to help youth develop their full potential, Luis hopes to draw from his life experiences to provide wrap-around services for ACE Scholars at Loyola.
In his spare time, Luis enjoys bike rides along Lakeshore, discovering new music on Spotify, exploring the vast cuisine experience that Chicago has to offer, and spending time with his cat, Leo.