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Meet Our Staff
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.”
Graduate Assistant - Office Specialist
Originally born in South Korea, Aerin Hickman joins the OCNTSS team as a second year graduate student in the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education program here at NIU. As the GA Office Specialist, Aerin serves students by ensuring that OCNTSS runs smoothly, and spends a good amount of her time researching immerging trends related to off-campus and non-traditional students and assisting with a number of administrative functions. Aerin also supports students with academic and personal concerns. Colleagues describe Aerin as a “jubilant person who is always a pleasure to work with.” When asked what she enjoys about working with students, Aerin responded “I sincerely love helping students succeed and motivating others in hopes that they pay it forward to others in the community.”Aerin has career aspirations to continue to work with non-traditional students or within an advising role within Student Affairs.
Graduate Assistant - Off-Campus Student Specialist
Bryan joins NIU this year as a first year graduate student in the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education graduate program. He is originally from San Lorenzo California 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.”
Graduate Assistant - Non -Traditional Student Specialist
Sunsea, who is originally from South Bend, IN is also first year graduate student in the Counseling, Adult and Higher Education graduate program here at NIU. As a former Homecoming Queen and member of the NIU Women’s track team, she brings a wealth of experience, information, and insight gathered from her undergraduate career as a Huskie. Colleagues describe Sunsea as personable, caring, and a true team player. Her work within the department is invaluable as she helps identify supportive resources for students who identify as non-traditional, which is one of the most diverse populations here at NIU. Her advice to future and current Huskies; “To achieve the impossible you must attempt the impossible! Your experience at NIU will be what you make of it.”
Student Coordinator - Research & Administration
Jody is originally from Elgin, IL and graduated from Elgin High School in 2008. He is a senior majoring in Actuarial Science with a minor in Finance. To put it simply, Jody likes to be involved on campus. He is currently a member of Delta Chi Fraternity, Actuarial Club, and would also like to get involved with the Student Association. This past summer, Jody had an internship at the Public Building Commission of Chicago where he worked in the Finance department. In his spare time, Jody enjoys being socially and physically active.
Darrell Nelson II
Student Coordinator - Non-Traditional Student Initiatives
Darrell is originally from Chicago IL. He came to Northern Illinois University to pursue his degree in Sociology. Darrell is most proud of helping his 2 younger sisters apply and enroll at NIU, as well as becoming a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and having leadership roles within the Student Association and the Black Student Union. He is now a senior and has been with the Off-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services office since the summer of 2012. Darrell enjoys helping students reach their goals and fulfill their dreams. He enjoys working with students because he understands the importance of supporting and mentoring students.
Student Coordinator - Programming
Nneka is originally from Maywood IL. She is a non-traditional student and a mother of a beautiful girl. Nneka graduated from Triton Community College with her Associates of Science degree, and since transferring to NIU, has dedicated her time, skills and talents to NIU on a number of levels. She currently serves as the Believing in Cultures Coordinator for R.H.A., and has represented students on a number of University committees. She enjoys helping students get the support and resources they need in order to succeed here at NIU.
Student Coordinator - Off-Campus & Commuter Initiatives
Faraz joined NIU as a transfer student, studying within the College of Business. He currently supports students within OCNTSS by helping them locate and identify housing options and by conducting outreach to transfer and commuter students. He is highly dedicated, energetic and displays his care and concern for others with the work he does both within his work, and through a number of volunteer opportunities within the NIU and surrounding communities.