Loyola University Chicago

Student Accessibility Center

Student Academic Services

Our Staff

Karen Pettus, Director

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Karen graduated in 1976 from the University of Tennessee with a B. S. degree in Special Education. She completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Education (1996) and Ph. D. in Educational Psychology and Research (2006) from the University of South Carolina. Karen worked in higher education for the past 30 years as the Director of the Student Disability Resource Center at the University of South Carolina and was the Director of the Counseling, Career, and Disability Services Center at Midlands Technical College for three years. Her desire to see students included in all aspects of life led her to Disability Services at the University of SC in 1994. At the university, Karen educated faculty and staff on the importance of providing appropriate accommodations for students in all aspects of university life. She focused on using the CAS standards as one form of assessment in continuous improvement efforts and using data in decision making to lead the department. Karen was the Co- Principal Investigator for a $150,000 grant to begin the CarolinaLIFE program for students with intellectual disabilities on campus. She won the Student Affairs Diversity Award in 2021. Karen served on numerous campus committees regarding student success and retention, strategic planning committee, and the SACS accreditation committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She chaired the Student Veteran’s Committee and the Disability Affairs Committee. She also served on the Advisory Board for the Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s Degree program. She also served on the Advisory Board for the South Carolina Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children for 10 years. Karen is a member of the Association of Higher Education and Disability where she served as Co-chair of AHEAD’s DISC Knowledge Community and served as an AHEAD Mentor for new professionals from summer 2020 to spring 2021. She conducted numerous presentations and webinars on management of DS offices, assessment, diversity and inclusion. She was one of the first AHEAD Presidential Fellow Awardees of $1,000 research grant in 1999. AHEAD awarded her $500 for her presentation on Using Data to Develop Our New Student Disability Resource Center in May 2020.


Nathan Rider, Assistant Director

Pronouns: He/Him



Nathan earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearings Sciences at Purdue University followed by a master's degree from Bowling Green State University in Special Education with a certificate in Assistive Technology. He moved to Chicago following his undergraduate education and has quickly made Roger’s Park his home. With his role within the Student Accessibility Center (SAC), he is excited to advocate for the needs of Loyola’s student body. In his free time, Nathan likes to play games, watch (occasionally cheesy) horror movies, walk along the beach front and play/listen to music with his friends.  



Grace Hunter, Accessibility Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her



Grace obtained her undergraduate degree in Special Education at Purdue University-West Lafayette, IN, and a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Kansas with a focus on inclusive education.  Grace has diverse experience as an educator and case manager in public and private settings for individuals with disabilities and other health-related support needs. Grace recently moved to Wilmette with her husband and two children, and looks forward to bringing her past experience to her new role supporting the faculty and students at Loyola University Chicago. 


Brooke McArdle, Accessibility Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her



Brooke completed her bachelor's degrees in Classical Languages and History from Marquette University in 2020. In September 2023, she was awarded her master's degree in Classics from New York University. While at NYU, Brooke worked as a graduate assistant for the Moses Center for Student Accessibility. Her experiences at the center encouraged her aspirations to work in higher education supporting students with disabilities. In her free time, Brooke enjoys baking, running triathlons, and playing with her dog, Perseus. 


Mads Golding, Accessibility Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her


Mads earned her BA in English Literature from The University of Bristol (UK) and obtained her MA in Victorian Literature from Loyola University, Chicago. Having worked as a copywriter, and having lived and worked internationally at multiple universities, she is aware of the wide variety of barriers that students can face when trying to navigate higher education. She has experience with the linguistic, social, and psychological challenges that can appear throughout the educational journey, and she is excited to use her experience to empower Loyola students.


Sharai Orozco, Accessibility Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her


Sharai earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Elmhurst University. Sharai has experience working with individuals with disabilities across the lifespan in a variety of settings, including the educational and medical settings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, and learning to cook and bake. She is excited to support and empower students at Loyola University throughout their educational journeys.


Eric Perry, Testing Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him


Eric earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Purdue University, and his Master's degree in Information Systems & Analytics from Loyola's Quinlan School of Business. He has previously worked in Indianapolis with the Public Allies and AIDS United AmeriCorps programs, where he provided testing, counseling and case management services to people living with HIV/AIDS. After relocating to Chicago, he worked as a case manager, connecting people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS to medical care, before coming to Loyola. In his free time, he bartends in the Northalsted neighborhood, and also loves traveling, tennis, and concerts!


Sabrina Gludt, Administrative Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her



Sabrina earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of San Francisco in California, and is a current graduate student in the Higher Education program at Loyola. She has previously worked with first generation students and students of color, giving support and guidance throughout their college journey. She hopes to continue her work with college students as an advisor, and is looking forward to her new role in the Student Accessibility Center. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys reading, playing games with her friends, enjoying days by the lake, and listening to music. 


Graduate Assistants

Emilia Salcido



Emilia earned her bachelor's in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently attending both Loyola and Dominican University of a dual degree in both Public History and Library and Information Science. She looks forward to learning more about Chicago's history, experiencing museums, and getting to help her fellow students alongside the Student Accessibility Center. In her free time, Emilia likes to watch Youtube, go to concerts, and knit. 


Drew Patterson



Drew is a passionate and driven first-year graduate student hailing from the Northeast suburbs of Illinois. Having received a bachelor's degree in Biology, Drew is furthering his education to receive his master's degree in Bioinformatics. When not immersed in academic pursuits, Drew enjoys his time outdoors either hiking or walking, as well as spending time reading. This year Drew is looking forward to starting his new academic chapter as a graduate student learning more about his passion for both biology and technology.


Ivette Harris



Ivette obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology (Forensic Psychology)  from Arizona State University and is currently a graduate student at Loyola’s School of Social Work. In the past, she has volunteered her time working with low-income families to obtain government funding. Currently, she has spent the past year and a half volunteering as a Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Hotline. In her free time , she enjoys swimming , reading novel collections and watching cartoons with her toddler daughter.


Allison Redlich



Allison received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Louisiana State University in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is currently a graduate student at Loyola’s School of Social Work. She enjoys volunteering, recently as an English tutor for Ukrainian refugees and as a support specialist for the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault's crisis hotline. Allison deeply values empathy and service, eager to support students in any way. In her free time, she likes to play/listen to music, spend time in nature, explore the city, and watch college football.


Crystal Salgado



Crystal is originally from Chicago, but went to Syracuse University for undergrad, majoring in Neuroscience, Public Health and Economics. She is currently a first-year law student at Loyola. In her spare time, Crystal enjoys running, reading, drawing, traveling and learning new languages (as of now she can currently speak Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish). This year she is looking forward to meeting new people, getting reacquainted with the Chicago winter weather and a great academic school year!


Joy Gabala



Joy earned her bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in English with a Publishing emphasis and a Psychology minor. She is in the process of obtaining her School Psychology MEd/EdS from Loyola's School of Education. In her summers she enjoys mentoring students grades 4th through 9th in STEM activities. She spends her free time attending concerts, listening to audiobooks, and going on walks.


Bernard Boateng



Bernard, a versatile individual, shares a unique story shaped by his Ghanaian roots and South African upbringing. He earned his degrees in South Africa and is now pursuing a Master of Science in Data Science at Loyola University Chicago. Holding a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Johannesburg, he brings a blend of analytical rigor and computational prowess through his academic journey in mathematics and computer science. Bernard's global perspective, nurtured through experiences in South Africa and Chicago, adds diverse layers to his cultural tapestry. In his leisure time, he finds joy in watching sports, appreciating the thrill and excitement that games bring.


Tyler Compoz




Tyler earned his bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Northern Colorado. He is currently a graduate student in the Higher Education program at Loyola. In the past Tyler also had to use the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) at his old University and is hoping to pay it forward by helping those who seek help from others. In his free time Tyler enjoys going on hikes or walks around the city, going for drives and listening to music.


Gabriela Welham



Gabriela earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Adminstration at Baylor University. She moved to Chicago in order to pursue a master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work at Loyola University. Gabriela has experience working within a variety of treatment teams advocating for individuals in need of social and mental health related support. Some of these environments include working alongside the Department of Children and Family Services and also an Intensive Outpatient Program. In her free time, Gabriela enjoys reading, thrift shopping, and spending time with her dog.