Meet Our Staff

Jarvis PurnellJarvis Purnell


Jarvis Purnell is a true Huskie at heart receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering & Engineering Technology as well as his Masters of Science degree in Adult & Higher Education both from Northern Illinois University. Jarvis brings a wealth of experience to OCNTSS having worked within Student Affairs areas such as Career Services, Student Involvement, Housing & Dining, as well as Retention. Outside of work Jarvis enjoys spending time with family and friends, staying active by playing sports, and volunteering locally within his community.  As an alumnus of NIU, Jarvis says he hopes new, current, and future Huskies “take an active approach in designing their future by seeing every new experience as an opportunity to teach and learn. This can help leave a lasting impact and legacy on NIU’s campus and the world beyond.” 

Bryan SiscoBryan Sisco

Graduate Assistant - Off-Campus Student Specialist

Bryan is in his second year as a graduate student in the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education graduate program. He is originally from San Lorenzo Calif., and served our country as a member of the United States Air Force.  As the Off-Campus Student Specialist, Bryan works to help ease the transition for NIU students who are searching for safe, affordable, and amiable off-campus housing options. This helps create a valuable bridge between NIU students, property owners and other supportive community agencies. Bryan also serves as a valuable resource to students who commute to NIU outside of the DeKalb/Sycamore area. He enjoys helping NIU students because he can personally identify with how difficult it can be transitioning into a new area or chapter in one’s life. As a former commuter student himself, he took a particular interest into ensuring he actively plays a role in helping our Huskies who choose not to live on campus. Bryan’s advice to NIU students is “Make connections! The more people you make a connection with, the more opportunities you will have. Opportunity is abundant here at NIU, so take full advantage of it.” 

Jessica AlfordJessica Alford

Graduate Assistant

Jessica is a first 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.”

Roy Rosales

Roy Rosales

Student Coordinator - Non-Traditional Student Initiatives

Roy is a junior 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.”

Dinasha WalkerDinasha Walker

Student Coordinator

Dinasha is a transfer student studying Family and Child Studies in the school of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences. She is originally from Chicago, Ill., and is a member of the Army National Guard, serving one tour of duty in Kuwait/Iraq. She has always enjoyed helping people because she finds satisfaction in knowing she was able to be there for someone and possibly made a difference in their lives. Dinasha likes to provide resources to help students that they may not have known were available.  After she receives her degree from NIU she plans on getting her master’s in social work. Dinasha’s advice for NIU students is “Never give up on yourself and your goals. The quickest way to fail, is to never try.” 

Jeffrey SalmonJeffrey Salmon

Interim Assistant Director

A native of Geneva, Ill., Jeffrey is a second-year graduate student in the Adult & Higher Education Program with an emphasis on Student Affairs. Jeffrey joined OCNTSS as the graduate intern in June of 2013 and was named the interim assistant director 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 nearly 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!”

Sophia MartinelliSophia Martinelli

Student Coordinator

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”.