Meet Our Staff

Dwayne Malone Dwayne Malone

 Interim Director

 dmalone@niu.edu

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Dwayne is currently in the dissertation phase of completing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Trident University. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and also a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Webster University. During a 20-year career in the Army, he performed several different jobs. Dwayne taught mountain climbing, he was Drill Sergeant, and an Equal Opportunity Advisor. He is an Iraqi Freedom and Gulf War Veteran. He has played a vital role in the success of thousands of student transitioning from high school to college. He also ensured that most of his soldiers in the Army transitioned into adult learners. His versatility is definitely one of his greatest assets. Dwayne has been married for 30 years and has two sons and two daughters. He consistently makes significant contributions to the learning and motivation of several students in Higher Education and at the lower level. He has the ability to motivate people in general and is also very effective at teaching students the importance of reaching their highest potential/goals. He can share things from a director, a former off-campus and non-traditional student, and a former military student’s perspective. He loves spending time with his family and one of his greatest joys is giving back to the community. Dwayne’s advice to the students at NIU would be to stay smart. He would tell them that “It’s not how smart they are but, how they are smart”. He would also tell them be smart, and stay the course to finish what they started. Opportunities look much better leaving than they do coming.


Jeffrey Salmon

Jeffrey Salmon

Assistant Director

jsalmon1@niu.edu

A native of Geneva, Ill., Jeffrey holds a Master's in Adult & Higher Education from NIU and a second Master's in Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma. Jeffrey joined OCNTSS as the graduate intern in June of 2013 before moving to his current role in February 2014. He enjoys helping students because he feels he was blessed with great academic experiences and wants to help students get the most out of their journeys. Jeffrey has worked with college students in one capacity or another for 10 years in academic and athletic settings. He’s worked as a teaching assistant, public relations practitioner, and an academic tutor. At the student affairs level, he has worked in TRiO and Admissions offices. The perfect day at work for Jeffrey is a day that is busy with students needing assistance and them leaving feeling they were better because of his efforts than when they came into the office. The best advice Jeffrey would give to a NIU student is “Enjoy and take advantage of every moment possible here on campus. You are not only investing in an education at NIU, you are investing in yourself!”


Jessica AlfordJessica Alford

Graduate Assistant

jalford4@niu.edu

Jessica is a second-year graduate student from Chesapeake, Ohio, studying in the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education seeking a Master’s degree in School Counseling. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Ohio University in Theater and Stage Management. When it comes to working with students, Jessica loves broadening her horizons by meeting people with experiences different from her own. She states “I am a helper by nature. I specifically enjoy helping students because I remember having very little direction and help as an undergraduate student.” She is hard working, responsible, witty, sensitive, and appreciative. The perfect day at work for her is being able to answer questions that were posed, being proud that she made progress on projects and looking forward to the next one. Jessica’s advice to NIU students “Be proactive regarding your curiosities. Don’t wait for experiences to present themselves.”


Dan Thetford

Dan Thetford

Graduate Assistant

dthetford1@niu.edu

A native of Tinley Park, Ill., Dan is a second year law student at NIU. He also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Illinois State, and is a veteran of the United State Navy. Dan has been a non-traditional student for several years, and knows very well the specific issues and challenges those students face. One particular passion of his is working on campus and in the community to insure students are able to find fair housing practices and responsiveness to tenants’ rights and the special needs of off-campus students. He describes himself saying, “I know the enormous value of a higher education, and helping students achieve that is a large part of why I chose to work in this office.” The perfect day at work for him is being able to improve the NIU experience, whether simply by putting students at ease by giving helpful answers to questions, or by working to constantly improve the student housing situation in the DeKalb community.  Dan’s advice to students: “Focus on your studies because they truly will pay huge personal and professional dividends in the long run; but also make certain that you take adequate time to experience all the richness of life at a university.”


Roy Rosales

Roy Rosales

Student Intern - Non-Traditional Student Initiatives

rrosales1@niu.edu

Roy is a senior from Leland, Ill., studying for a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. He supports non-traditional students by providing comprehensive information, tending to students and their needs by organizing programs and having one-on-one consultations to better understand and deal with their issues. The perfect day at work for Roy would be talking with students and staff while creating fun programs and giving students peace of mind. Roy’s advice to NIU students is “Get involved! The world is filled with amazing experiences and opportunities. Take advantage of them.”


Sophia MartinelliSophia Martinelli

Student Intern

smartinelli1@niu.edu

Sophia is a senior from Bainbridge, Ga., majoring in Public Health with an emphasis in General Public Health and a minor in Spanish. Sophia is a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and also S.I.S.T.E.R. S., a community service based organization on NIU Campus. She enjoys helping students because she can relate to them. The perfect day at work for Sophia would be a busy, fun-filled day of assisting students with their off-campus housing needs and updating the decorations on the information boards. She is a creative and diligent hands-on worker who enjoys laughing, hard work, and a nice cup of coffee to start her day. The best advice Sophia has received while at NIU is “Stay organized, prioritize, and remain proactive!” After she graduates from NIU, she wants to obtain a Master’s degree. Sophia’s advice for NIU students would be, “Understand that your academic journey is your own and that you are only in a race with yourself! Do not compare your path to that of anyone else’s because you’ll lose sight of your own dreams and aspirations. Let no one determine your growth and do not seek other’s approval, instead love the twists and turns that make your journey your own”.