Jerry Wright is the Director of Student Support Services at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. He has been in his current position for the past 16 years. He has also held TRiO positions as the Assistant Director of Upward Bound at NIU and Elgin Community College and Counselor with the Educational Talent search Program at Northeastern Illinois University. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Western Illinois University and a Bachelors' Degree in Community Health from Eastern Illinois University.
Jerry served as President of the Illinois Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (ILAEOPP) in 2000 and is a current Executive Board member. In 2006, Jerry was inducted into the Eastern Illinois Athletic Hall of Fame for his football playing career. He is the Treasurer of the DeKalb Youth Football League and Pastor of The Rock Christian Church in DeKalb.
Ramona Walton-Fykes is an Academic Counselor with Northern Illinois University, in Student Support Service department. Ramona’s introduction to the field of Counseling occurred in one of her first employment placements after receiving her Bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University. Ramona worked for two years as a program coordinator, with Upward Bound in 2000. Her role was to facilitate training for new staff. She administrated Individual Educational Plans for High School Students. Other duties consisted of developing workshops, class instructions, tutoring, and counseling sessions.
Later she furthers her education and received her Masters degree in Counseling with the emphasis in community and school counseling from Northern Illinois University. Ramona has worked in various departments at Northern Illinois University. In the Counseling Department, Ramona taught a three credit hour Career Development class. As a graduate student Ramona worked with the graduated school as a peer recruiter for the institution. In additional to Ramona’s experience with counseling she developed a pilot program designed to enhance academic performance for students who are transitioning to college and do not meet traditional academic admissions requirements for Educational Services and Programs (ESP-CHANCE), NIU.
Ramona’s Professional affiliations consist of faculty advisor for TRiO Association (student organization), College Parents’ Group, member of ASCA, American School Counseling Association, and ACA, American Counseling Association, and she is a committee member for NIU Judicial Board.
Ramona was raised in Chicago, IL. Ramona now lives with her husband and three children in DeKalb. Ramona has recently been honored by her sorority for program of the year and outstanding philanthropy (Raising and Giving). Something the audiences should know about Ramona is that her favorite color is Royal Blue and she has a diverse background working with people. Ramona is very excited and eager to work with the Student Support Services department utilizing the Change Management Model.
LaBrian Carrington was born and raised in Elgin Illinois, where he was born the last of eight kids. His Mom also adopted three more kids and took in her brother’s oldest son which added to the Carrington family. Of all the children in the family he was the only one to graduate with a four year college degree. It was May of 2003, when he graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Art in General Studies.
Shortly after graduating LaBrian started his first career working in Student Support Services at Roosevelt University (RU) in June 2003. He has always enjoyed working in TRiO because it made him feel like home. He feels he grew up in TRiO. His mentor is Pastor Jerry Wright also the Director of SSS. Mr. Wright has shown how to positively influence young people by being available, open and honest. As a college student working in Student Support Services he has learned also how to lead young college leaders. There is where he developed the "MAKE IT HAPPEN" philosophy. His years as a college student had not always been the greatest; but he never quit.
It is great to have Mr. Carrington back at NIU since November of 2010. After working at RU for almost eight years, he had an opportunity to come back to Northern Illinois University to work in SSS, as an Academic Counselor, to a program that has shown him so much. And even now being at NIU Mr. Carrington makes it his priority to connect with as many students as he can. He sees the role SSS plays in the lives of our young people. If you are ever in a bind he has always had and continues to have an open door policy and all students are welcome to visit.
Cheronda Everett joined Student Support Services at Northern Illinois University as Program Coordinator in May 2012. In November 2012 she became Academic Counselor. She manages technology (website, Blackboard, Twitter @TRiO_NIU, and computer lab), supervises student workers, trains graduate assistants, teaches CAHC 211 as well as advise over 100 students on majors, careers, graduate school, and other professional programs. Prior to her current position, she was an Advisor for Student Support Services at Robert Morris University-Illinois and Scholarship Specialist – Graduate Intern for Student Support Services at DePaul University. She has also held professional roles in education and non-profits as teacher, advocate, finance manager, and office manager.
Cheronda earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University in May 2007 and her Master of Science in Public Service Management from DePaul University in June 2011. She enjoys opportunities to engage and develop students and counsel students on careers, non-profit business startups, and next steps after undergrad. She also enjoys professional opportunities to create and improve office/department operations, systems, and policies that increase efficiency and level of services given to clients/students.