Loyola University Chicago

First and Second Year Advising

Student Academic Services

Meet Your Advisor

Joe Drake, MS

Assistant Director

Joe attended American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned his BA in political science. He moved to Chicago several years ago to complete an MS in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern. Joe came to Loyola after directing educational programs and leadership conferences for high school students across the country. He also worked previously as an educational and strategic planning consultant for national and local health-related organizations. His interests include traveling domestically, playing "got your snout" with his dog, college football, and trading stocks.



Katrina Weizer, MSED

Asisstant Director

I was raised in Youngstown, OH and attended Youngstown State University (Go Penguins!) where I earned both my Bachelor's of Art in Professional Writing and Editing, with a concentration in Journalism; and my Master's in Higher Education.

I have a lot of different interests, but if it involves making me laugh or better yet, allowing me to make others laugh, I am all in! Since moving to Chicago I completed year-long improv training programs at The Second City and Improv Olympics, and enjoyed performing throughout the city. I have also completed a number of half-marathons, and I am training for my third Chicago marathon this fall, so I guess it is fair to say that I enjoy running. What I treasure the most though, is spending time with my family and friends. I always look forward to spending quality time with the people I love most in the world.



Michelle Aldridge, MA

Academic Advisor, International Student Advisor

Michelle is a passionate educator, study abroad enthusiast, and Michigander! Her previous work has focused on international education in the Midwest, experiential education in Nicaragua and Ecuador, ESL education in Japan, citizen diplomacy in DC, and dialogue facilitation wherever needed.  Her love of international exchange, travel, and languages led to dual B.A.A. degrees in Spanish and Integrative Public Relations from Central Michigan University. These passions also led her to study abroad in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Japan.  Since then she has backpacked to more than 40 countries and can say the word potato in 12 languages. 

Michelle spent a total of four years living in Japan where she earned her M.A. in Peace Studies at Kokusai Kirisutokyo Daigaku and got her fix of nightly karaoke at Uta Hiroba. When she’s not advising students you can find her cooking cheesy potato casserole, attempting to be creative, and looking at pictures of corgis online. Michelle loves to talk about all things international education and loves supporting international students so please stop by FSYA to say hello!



Shannon Baker, MA

Academic Advisor

Shannon Baker is one of the academic advisors here in the First and Second Year Advising Office. Originally from Chicago, Shannon completed her undergraduate degree in English Writing at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where she worked on the school newspaper and assisted international students in the Global Education office. Shannon went on to complete her master’s degree in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she advised students and traveled to New Zealand in order to learn more about the international higher education system via their traditional Maori and Pacifica Wānanga institutions. She has lived around the world, including England and California, and has traveled internationally to Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and New Zealand! Shannon is excited to be home once again in the Windy City and to be working with incoming Loyola students as they navigate their paths on the way to reach their goals.



Cindy Chun, MA

Academic Advisor

Born in New York and raised in Florida, I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Andrews University in Michigan. Moving to Southern California to escape the humidity, I earned my Master’s degree at La Sierra University and stayed on to teach Composition and Rhetoric for the next five years, the last of which I also served as a first-year advisor for the Center for Student Academic Success. Apparently unable to stay away from the humidity, I moved back to the Midwest to pursue my passion for supporting students on their road to success while reveling in that thing known as a white Christmas. In my free time, I enjoy cooking (and then subsequently feeding it to other people), spending time with family and friends, and weekend trips to Michigan.




Omega Cruz

Academic Advisor

Omega was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She earned her B.S. in Business Management from Eastern Illinois University. Additionally, she attended DePaul University where she earned her MEd in Counseling. Omega enjoys exploring Chicago and spending time with family and friends.  




Carrie Daut, MEd

Academic Advisor

Carrie grew up in Louisville, KY, where she learned at an early age to appreciate college basketball and "the greatest two minutes in sports." After earning her BA in Economics at the College of William & Mary, she dabbled in publishing, nonprofit administration, and Central American travel before finding a professional home in higher education. Carrie worked for three years in undergraduate admissions at Bellarmine University and then completed her MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration at the University of Vermont.

As a member of the Loyola community, she’s most excited to meet students and help them design academic plans that will introduce them to interesting courses, amazing people, new challenges, and transformative opportunities. Outside of work, Carrie can't wait to put down roots in Chicago and is on the hunt for the best yoga studios, the best food, and the best beaches.



Martin Finnie

Academic Advisor



Katie Hill

Academic Advisor

Katie is originally from the Rockford area and has been living in Chicago since 2011.  Katie joined Loyola University Chicago from Concordia University Chicago, where she worked as the Assistant Director of Academic Advising.  She earned a bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University with a major in Sociology and completed her Master of Education in Higher Education at LUC!  Katie also enjoys volunteering and currently volunteers for a cat shelter in Chicago.  



Bri Lauka, MA


Bri Lauka

Academic Advisor

Originally from East Lansing, MI, Bri grew up down the street from a beautiful college campus—her alma mater, Michigan State University. During both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Bri worked for university writing centers assisting students with academic writing projects as well as employment and graduate school application materials. After finishing her master’s degree and an internship in a community college women’s center, Bri advised first and second year students at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL for two years. She then joined Loyola first in graduate enrollment management and then as an Academic Advisor in FSYA. When not working, you will likely find Bri running along lakeshore path, trying new recipes, and traveling whenever possible. Bri also studied abroad in Istanbul during college and highly recommends this experience to students!



Kirsten Lawrence

Academic Advisor for Special Programs

Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Sport Studies from the University of Aberdeen.  I then wanted pursue a dream of playing college soccer in the USA, whilst doing this I earned my Masters in Education from Campbell University in North Carolina.  A door was opened into coaching that I jumped through with both feet; I spent almost 12 years as a college coach but regularly found myself in auxiliary roles that involved teaching classes and being academic liaison for the programs I worked with. Loyola is the Higher Education institution I have spent the largest part of my career at and there is a reason for that; it is a wonderful place to be!  I have met so many brilliant people here and continue to learn every day.  

I am truly passionate about sports, my two favorites to compete in are Soccer and Netball (google that one) but I can watch just about any and love to try new ones as long as I am good at them.  Nothing clears my head better than a walk with my dogs or a bike ride along the lakeshore.  



Amanda Martinez, MA

Academic Advisor

Amanda is from Seattle, Washington, where she attended Seattle University (shout out to that Jesuit education) for her B.A. in Criminal Justice.  After loving her time at SU, she decided to engage in a year of service work through AmeriCorps at L’Arche Noah Sealth Seattle.  After a lot of discernment and late nights of research, she decided that Higher Education work was what she wanted to do and attended Michigan State University (GO GREEN) for her M.A. in Student Affairs Administration. 

Amanda joined the Loyola University Chicago community as a Resident Director where she found a passion for supporting students through their academic endeavors.  This led her to join the FSYA team! She is so excited to work with the Loyola student population and help them find their passions.  For fun, Amanda loves to bake, read books, explore Chicago, and play with her dachshund Alonso. 



Anani Moy

Academic Advisor

Born in Tacna, Peru, Anani and her family immigrated to the states where she would enroll just down the street at Swift Elementary School for kindergarten. She is proud to be a first-generation college graduate and Latina who received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Upon completion she decided to become a stay-at-home mom but later would change careers by returning to school and completing a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Loyola.

While in graduate school she invested her time as a graduate assistant at Northwestern University working with Latino/Latina Student Affairs, interned at First and Second Year Advising, and TRiO program at Malcolm X City College. Prior to joining FSYA Anani worked as a Recruiter Specialist/Advisor at University Center of Grayslake helping students as young as middle school learn how to navigate their way to college completion. She recognizes that her bilingualism is a privilege that helped her reach families by presenting in Spanish. Her desire to help fellow first-generation college students accomplish a bachelor’s degree is the fire that keeps her energized as an Academic Advisor at FSYA today.

Anani is a true north-sider, Cubs fan, who enjoys going on adventures with her husband and two teenage boys. Spending time with family and good friends, finding new adventures in serving at church, going on bike rides or just watching TV with the family and two cats are just a few things that make her smile.



Leah Pasquesi, MEd

Leah Pasquesi Photo

Academic Advisor

Leah Pasquesi Mika is a higher education professional and social justice advocate who is passionate about increasing access and retention of underserved and underrepresented students in post-secondary education. Leah received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Masters of Arts in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. Leah was born and raised in a southwest suburb of Chicago though she currently resides in Chicago with her partner Keith. What qualifies a good day for Leah is one that is filled with laughter and gratitude.



Hanna Ricketson, MEd

Hanna Ricketson

Academic Advisor

Originally from Arkansas, Hanna completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Arizona State University. As a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, Hanna taught secondary English for a number of years before transitioning to roles in higher education in Chicagoland, including work in Residence Life and Student Involvement.



Samantha Stewart

Assistant Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Development and Academic Services

Samantha “Samm” Stewart is the Assistant Athletic Director for Academics and Student Development since January 2017. Before Loyola, she spent two years at Florida International University as the manager of the learning enhancement team and disability services for student-athletes.

Samm also served as a special education teacher for Teach for America and worked in the Office of Access and Disability Services at Harvard University. Samm received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master's of education from Harvard University. When not attending Rambler games, Samm is an avid reader and dancer. She lives with her husband, Brod, and her two dogs, Foxytails & Popeyes.



Mario Salgado


Administrative Coordinator

Mario serves as the Administrative Coordinator for First and Second Year Advising and New Student Programs. Prior to joining Loyola, Mario worked for seven years in the Adult Education department for the City Colleges of Chicago. Loyola’s mission and Mario’s passion for assisting others is what ultimately drew him to want join Loyola University Chicago.