Loyola University Chicago

MVSS: Military Veteran Student Services

Meet the MVSS Staff

Office of Military Veteran Student Services

Associate Director- Alex is originally from Phoenix, AZ, where after high school he joined the United States Marine Corps as an rifleman in the infantry. Upon completing his training, Alex deployed to Bahrain as a member of the 2nd Fleet Anti-Terrorism Team. Following his first deployment, Alex was sent to join "The Thundering Third" Battalion, Fourth Marines in 29 Palms, California. While with 3/4, Alex deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a team leader and squad leader, respectively.

Alex was honorably discharged from the Marines and returned to Phoenix to begin his academic studies. He has earned a bachelors in exercise science from Arizona State University, and a masters degree in exercise psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, he has worked a wide breadth of athletes from youth and high school to professional and US special operations. His research focused on the affects of exercise on PTSD in military servicemembers.

While he enjoyed working in a training facility, Alex missed the camaraderie and is thrilled to be working with student veterans. His door is always open, stop by, Sullivan Student Center 155.


Assistant Director- Oscar L. Barrera joined Loyola in May 2019 and enjoys working with faculty, staff, and students. He is a graduate of the Trinity Christian College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Oscar currently serves as an Assistant Director in the Financial Aid Office. In his role, Oscar works with MVSS: Military Veteran Student Services as a VA Certifying Official. He is also a member of ILASFAA (Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and B4E (Brothers for Excellence). His passion is empowering students to realize their potential and fulfill their personal and educational goals. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, grilling and spending time with family and friends.


MVSS Student Coordinator- Carly is a graduating senior Environmental Studies major at the School of Environmental Sustainability. Carly is originally from Worcester, Ma where after high school she joined the United States Navy as a damage controlman. After completing basic training and specialist school in Great Lakes, she carried out her remaining 4 years of active-duty onboard USS James E Williams (DDG 95) stationed out of Norfolk, VA. Carly served in the Naval Reserves during her first three years of attending Loyola University before being re-activated and deployed to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for COVID-19 efforts. As her 8 years of service has come to an end, she is now focused on obtaining her Master of Science degree within the School of Environmental Sustainability. As a student coordinator in the MVSS office she is constantly seeking out new ways to get the military connected community more involved and situated on campus. 


MVSS Student Coordinator- Alex Farkas is a senior Biology major at the College of Arts and Sciences, and on the pre-med track, pursuing her second bachelor's degree. She immigrated to the US, alone and without knowing English, 7 years ago. A couple of years after her arrival, she joined the US Army as a combat medic and is currently a member of the IL National Guard. During her years of service, Alex was mobilized to the northern California wildfires in 2018, and to a mass vaccination mission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, where she vaccinated several thousand people. As a student coordinator in the MVSS office she creates content for our social media channels to help students stay up tp date on events, news, and announcements.


MVSS Student Coordinator- Kimberly Davenport is a junior studying Psychology in the College of Ats and Sciences. She is the daughter of a retired Naval Aviator. She comes from a line of military veterans who have served in every major U.S. War. Kimberly's sister currently serves as a Naval Officer aboard a destroyer homeported in San Diego. While with MVSS and SVA, Kimberly hopes to increase the network of resources available to and increase knowledge of said resources for the military-conneced community.


MVSS Student Coordinator- Elena Zakolski is a sophomore studying Environmental Science with a concentration in Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture in the School of Environmental Sustainability. Chicago-born and Detroit-raised, she is the daughter of a retired Air Force Master Navigator. As a Student Coordinator, she composes the MVSS newsletter to distribute relevant news and information to Loyola’s military-affiliated community and assists SVA in their efforts to support Loyola’s veteran population through on-campus events. To help the military-connected community maximize their experience at Loyola, she hopes to build a toolkit of resources and foster opportunities for connection.


MVSS Student Coordinator- Mark Magdaleno is a graduating Senior studying Criminal Justice and Criminology at the College of Arts and Sciences. Mark is originally from the Chicagoland area, where after high school and some community college, decided to take the plunge into the United States Marine Corps as a Communications/Data Marine. After training, Mark was stationed aboard Combat Logistics Battalion 4 where he spent 2 years in Okinawa, Japan as well as Marine Corps Information Operations Center located in Quantico, Virginia for the remainder of his service. After being honorably discharged Mark has been receiving a wonderful education at LUC so much so that he plans on attending graduate school here at Loyola for a M.S. in Information Systems and Data Analytics. As a student coordinator, he hopes to foster an environment for the military-connected community to feel at home here on campus.


MVSS Student Coordinator- Sunny Singh is a United States Navy Veteran and a Junior studying Information Technology. During his Navy career, Sunny spent a most of his time overseas stationed in Japan. While in the Navy, he did Anti-Terrorism and Security, Combat Systems, and Medical work. As Student Veterans of America LUC chapter president, he hopes to continue the great progress made by prior SVA members. During the week, he can be found working in the MVSS office in the Sullivan Center.




Student Veterans Chaplain- David Herr SJ is a Jesuit studying social philosophy at Loyola. He originally comes from southwest Iowa where he grew up on his family’s farm. David comes from a family with many veterans. His father served in the Army for twenty years. His grandfather served in the US Army in Europe in WWII and his other grandfather served in the Marine Corps. David studied psychology at Creighton University where he was first introduced to the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. He earned a masters in clinical psychology from Missouri State and worked as a therapist before joining the Jesuits. His specialties in psychology include posttraumatic stress and existential psychology (psychology of meaning in life, death, identity, freedom and human connection.).

            David joined the Jesuits in 2019 and has since enjoyed a variety of experiences including tutoring, working in homeless and prison ministry, working as a hospital chaplain, and doing the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.    

            David is happy to serve as a chaplain to Loyola’s student veterans. As a chaplain, he offers spiritual and religious accompaniment to any student veterans who desires it and offers support and companionship for people of all faiths or none. If you see him hanging around the SVA, please say “Hello.” You can reach him at dherr2@luc.edu.