Eric Armstrong, M.B.A.
A native of the southside of Chicago, Eric holds an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelors in Science and Technical Management (Human Resources concentration) from DeVry University. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1999-2003 and deployed into Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and deployed into Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Eric has worked in higher education for 10 years in various capacities from admissions to the registrar, to academic advising and for the past 4 years, working with student veterans. He loves working with students and can be found interacting with students on a daily basis on campus. He enjoys watching almost any sport, but football is king. Eric has an open door policy for all students who need to talk or exchange ideas that would help all students at NIU.
Jeffrey Salmon, M.A., M.S.Ed.
A native of Geneva, Ill., Jeffrey holds a master's degree in adult & higher education from NIU and a second master's in mass communication from the University of Oklahoma. Jeffrey joined MPTSS 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 athletics settings. He’s worked as a teaching assistant, certifying official, 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!”
Office Support Specialist
Terri comes to MPTSS from the Convocation Center. A native of Aurora, Ill., she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Landscape Architecture. She worked as a Park Planner in the western suburbs and in central Illinois for 30 years. She recently moved to Sycamore, Ill., and decided to take her career in a different direction--working in office administration assisting colleagues, students and the general public. Terri enjoys helping students (and, sometimes, their parents!) navigate through their questions in order to have a successful college experience. In her free time, Terri is involved with the Sycamore History Museum, the Sycamore Park District and St. Mary’s Church. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, gardening, watching movies and traveling. Her advice to students: “Follow your passion with persistence and do not hesitate to ask for assistance along the way. Enjoy your college journey!
Stephen is a first-year law student, as well as a double Huskie receiving his B.A. and Masters from NIU, and now embarking on the trifecta. He is originally from Chicago, and a graduate of DeKalb High School. He has been involved in the NIU community since 2009 and now joins the MPTSS team. Stephen has been an instructor, advisor and research assistant in the past years but now is excited to work for Military & Post Traditional Student Services. He is a man of service and loves to foster growth while helping others strive to succeed. Stephen loves reading, doing yoga, and listening to and playing music in his spare time.
Emily comes to our office from Westville, Ill. This small farm town is located 40 minutes east of Champaign-Urbana, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Illinois. Currently, Emily is a third-year graduate student in the Counseling program. While she has never served in the United States military branch, she describes herself as a “huge supporter of the Armed Forces.” She hopes to best serve NIU’s military veteran student staff by providing resources for their specific needs, aiding in the production of events that cater to their interests and overall contribute to their successful college experience. Emily considers a perfect day at work as one that has excitement, hard work, and lightheartedness perfectly integrated into each shift. She likes knowing that she “makes someone’s NIU experience a little better with each interaction.” Emily’s advice to students: “As hard as it is to maintain a healthy balance between academia, work, a social life, and personal time, it is so imperative that you try your best in dedicating enough time and effort into each one of them. Time management is key!”
Laura Vivaldo Cholula
Laura, a senior from Elgin, Ill., is studying for a bachelor's in political science with a minor in latino & latin american studies. Her goal is to attend law school after graduating from NIU. Prior to becoming a staff member, Laura used the MPTSS lounge and support services. Her wish is to share everything that MPTSS has to offer to post-traditional students like herself. A perfect day at work for Laura is being able to successfully assist with any student issues. Laura's advice to NIU students is, "Students must remember to practice self-care and to take advantage of all the resources and research opportunities available on campus." Her hobbies include journaling, collecting plants and playing the violin.
Sarah, a junior from St. Charles, Ill, is studying for a bachelor’s in middle school mathematics and science education. Prior to becoming a member of the staff, she made frequent use of the MPTSS lounge, spending long hours there between classes. Her wish is to share the experiences and lessons she has learned from being both a transfer student and a commuter with other students who are in the same situation. A perfect day for Sarah is being able to help students in any way that she can. Her advice to NIU students is, “Go to class! Pay attention in class! I cannot talk enough about the importance of this.” Her hobbies include video games and blogging.
Student Intern - Non-Traditional Student Initiatives
Krystal, a senior from Rockford, Ill., is studying for a bachelor's in pre-professional chemistry with a minor in biology. As a non-traditional student herself, she frequently utilized the office's services prior to becoming a staff member. Her wish is to extend the favor to students who are currently under the office's care. The perfect day at work for Krystal is being able to transpose students' issues and concerns into dynamic solutions. Krystal's advice to NIU students is, "Ask questions! The answers will lead to numerous possibilities."
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Myles is currently pursuing a B.A. in Political Science-Public Law with a minor in Psychology. He is currently serving in the Illinois Air National Guard with ambitions of enlisting in the Army after graduation. Myles comes from a large military family. He was born in Bamburg, Bavaria, Germany, as a natural-born American citizen. He plans to enlist in law enforcement upon graduation and hopes to one day be a detective in Homicide or DEA. He is a member of the NIU Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club and is also a competitor in the sport. He joined the MPTSS team in fall of 2016.
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Cynthia is a senior from Cary, Ill. She is currently serving in the Illinois Army National Guard as a Motor Transport Operator. She is pursuing a degree in Community Leadership & Civic Engagement and double minoring in Art and Sociology. After graduation, she wishes to go active duty in the Army and transfer to the Civil Affairs component. Upon leaving the military, she wants to work in community development and disaster relief. In her free time, she enjoys art, physical fitness, hiking, rock climbing, art and takes advantage of every opportunity to travel. Cynthia’s favorite quote is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Chris is pursuing a B.S. degree in athletic training with minors in coaching and nutrition. From 2009-13, he served in the United States Marine Corps and then returned home to Yorkville, Ill., to begin school at NIU. He started at Military Student Services in August of 2013 and has continued to increase his knowledge of military benefits ever since. He enjoys pretty much any activity that helps him stay healthy and in shape. Recently he started an internship at Sycamore CrossFit and has really enjoyed gaining the knowledge and experience.
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Mark has served six years in the Illinois Army National Guard and has recently re-enlisted for another two years. Mark is pursuing a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences with minors in Chemistry and Art. Upon graduation from NIU, he plans to attend Dental School and to further his commitment to his country as a dentist in the military. Mark has worked for Military Student Services since August of 2013, with a year of absence to expand his leadership skills as a Community Advisor at NIU. When not working or studying, he enjoys spending his time with his family, traveling, and riding his motorcycle.