Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Dean of Students

Division of Student Development

Meet our DOS Team

DOS Team Photo

The Office of the Dean of Students team is here to help! From left to right, pictured are: Paige Gardner, Will Rodriguez, Amber Miller, Jo Anne Walsh, Lester Manzano, and Courtney Bilbrey.

OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS
Will Rodriguez, Ph.D.  Dean of Students & Assistant Vice President, Student Life & Engagement
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Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President Will Rodriguez, Ph.D. (he/him/his), joined Loyola in November of 2017. Will received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola, an M.S.Ed. from Northern Illinois University, and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining us at Loyola, Will worked as the Associate Dean of Students and Ombudsperson at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Will brings with him years of experience in student success, crisis management, diversity, and student advocacy.

Will credits much of his leadership style and approach toward serving students to the values he learned from the sisters at a two-year college known at the time as Felician College. It was there that Will, as a first-generation college student, was exposed to an educational mission that focused on social justice and a deep sense of caring for others — ideals that not only mirror the Catholic, Jesuit mission of Loyola but also resonate with Will personally and professionally.

When Will is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, engaging in community service, mixing music, and riding his bike all around Chicago. Will has also been known to provide guided bicycle tours of the city to family, friends, and even students!

Lester Manzano, Ph.D.  Associate Dean of Students
Lester Manzano

Associate Dean of Students Lester Manzano, Ph.D. (he/him/his), joined the Office of the Dean of Students in April 2019. Prior to joining the Office of the Dean of Students, Lester served as Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola. With over 20 years of service in higher education and student affairs administration, Lester has worked in the areas of student academic affairs, academic advising, residence life, housing, and student conduct at Lake Forest College, Colgate University, and the University of Vermont.

Lester received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, an M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Courtney Bilbrey, L.C.S.W.  Assistant Dean of Students & Equity Case Manager; Title IX Deputy Coordinator

Assistant Dean of Students Courtney Bilbrey, L.C.S.W. (she/her/hers), provides guidance, advocacy, and resources as case manager for gender-based (Title IX) and bias-motivated misconduct issues involving students. As a Loyola School of Social Work graduate, Courtney is committed to supporting Loyola students in their personal journeys to thrive academically, socially, spiritually, and psychologically. Courtney believes that college years serve as an opportunity for students to develop their unique identities, challenge their own and others’ biases, heal from trauma, and learn to advocate for causes of personal importance. Courtney seeks opportunities to magnify the voices of students who have experienced personal, institutional, and societal trauma and inequity, so our community may continue to strive for healing and justice in our world and at Loyola University Chicago.

Previously, Courtney served as Compliance Officer and Title IX Deputy Coordinator at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she advised the university on Title IX and ADA compliance, supported students, investigated cases, and resolved complaints. With a post-grad certificate in Sexual Health/Sex Therapy from University of Michigan, Courtney also has worked as a therapist at Center on Halsted, where she specialized in areas of sexual health, queer identities, disability, and aging.

Courtney’s non-Loyola roles include partner, parent of two small humans, and board member at Upswing Advocates, a Chicago-area nonprofit.

Paige Gardner, M.Ed.  Assistant Dean of Students & CARE Case Manager

Assistant Dean of Students Paige Gardner, M.Ed. (she/her/hers), builds resiliency and persistence among students by serving as lead case manager for Coordinated Assistance and Resource Education (CARE) Services.

Prior to joining Loyola University Chicago, Paige graduated from Seattle University with a Master of Education in Student Development Administration. Her graduate internships and professional interests focused primarily on the development of mentorship programs for underrepresented students, facilitation of cultural competency trainings, and leadership development for college students. She then worked in Residence Life at the University of California Santa Barbara before joining Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Loyola in 2013.

Since coming to Loyola, Paige’s passion for Jesuit education has deepened, and the value of cura personalis now guides her in developing intentional relationships and holistic experiences with and for students. Paige also remains committed to providing students with proactive strategies that support student activism, leadership, and community efforts towards justice and transformative education.

Finally, Paige is a student herself! As a doctoral candidate in the School of Education, Paige enjoys helping students, staff, and faculty to expand their awareness, knowledge, and skills through trainings and workshops oriented toward social justice and diversity. Paige will continue to cultivate spaces that empower students to build inclusive environments, think critically, and successfully navigate their Loyola experience.

Amber Miller, L.C.P.C.  Assistant Dean of Students & BCT Case Manager

Assistant Dean Amber Miller, L.C.P.C. (she/her/hers), is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois and a Loyola University Chicago graduate. She obtained her M.Ed. in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago in 2005 and worked as a psychotherapist in the nonprofit sector for over five years. In 2010, Amber transitioned into higher education at Columbia College Chicago as the Assistant Director of Student Relations. There, she assisted students in crisis and collaborated with campus partners to ensure student success.

In 2014, Amber returned to her alma mater to join the Student Life and Engagement team as the Behavioral Concerns Team Case Manager. Amber is also a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and a former Mizzou Golden Girl. In addition to helping Loyola students, Amber provides individual, family, and couples counseling in her private practice in Old Town.

Jo Anne Walsh  Administrative Assistant
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Fresh from the University of Iowa, Administrative Assistant Jo Anne Walsh (she/her/hers) joined advertising giant Young & Rubicam where she sharpened her advertising skills until joining Scholastic Inc. as Midwest Marketing Director. Jo Anne worked with the likes of Hallmark and SC Johnson developing and implementing quality “in-classroom” marketing programs. Ten years later, Jo Anne was wooed into joining the family business centered in real estate, and became an administrator and real estate agent.

Exposure to quality education models via her children’s schools led Jo Anne to leave the real estate business in 2012 and find a position in education at Loyola's Division of Student Development. As she rides into the sunset of her career, Jo Anne enjoys being in a position where she can assist the quality work being done with and for all our students.