Jarvis Purnell

Jarvis Purnell


Jarvis Purnell is a true Huskie at heart, having received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering & Engineering Technology, as well as his Masters of Science degree in Adult & Higher Education, from Northern Illinois University. Jarvis is concurrently serving as Director of Off-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services. 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.” 

Bridget McMahon

Assistant Director

Bridget, who is originally from F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, acts as the Assistant Director of Military Student Services.  Bridget graduated as a military student from NIU with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics.  Throughout her undergraduate studies at NIU, Bridget worked as a military benefit counselor for MSS and also served (and continues to serve) in the Illinois Air National Guard as an Aircraft Fuel System Specialist.  Bridget works to ease the transition for veterans into college and to support and advocate for veterans, military members, and their families.  She enjoys organizing social, academic, and career-focused events for the veteran and military population attending NIU and within the NIU community.

Michael Safarik

Assistant Director, Educational Benefits

Michael is originally from Hanover Park, Illinois, and is currently serving in the role of Assistant Director of Educational Benefits for Military Student Services.  Michael originally attended Elgin Community College and transferred to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.  Michael started working in Higher Education in 2005; he was responsible for helping students find funding for school and for processing military benefits and financial aid.  Besides helping students reach their goal of graduation, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Cheryl Murray

Office Support Specialist

Cheryl Murray is originally from Chicago, Illinois.  She received her Bachelor's degree in Finance from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Joshua Reed

Graduate Assistant

Joshua Reed was born and raised to be a Huskie, growing up in DeKalb and receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences, emphasis in Physical Therapy, here at NIU.  In addition to being a graduate student in pursuit of a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Joshua has a personal interest in NIU's military student population as he is a Marine.  While on active duty, Joshua participated in two fourteen month combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Joshua works closely with the assistant director of Military Student Services to ease the transition for veterans into college and to support and advocate for veterans, military members, and their families.