Meet the Staff

Brian Smith, MSW, LCSW

815-753-6039 |

As the Director, Brian will provide Employee Assistance Counseling, Consultation, and Customized Training to employees, their families, and university staff.

Brian's background includes over 25 years of counseling experience serving all age groups with a wide variety of personal, family and work related difficulties. His specialties include trauma recovery; anxiety and depression; work place concerns; family and relationship difficulties; alcohol and drug concerns; grief, loss and bereavement; and life transition challenges.

Lesley Gilbert, M.A.

Assistant Director, Training and Development
815-753-9196 |

As the Assistant Director, Lesley is able to assist employees by enhancing their skills in customer service, communication, coping, problem solving, and team work. She is available to provide Customized Departmental Training, Coaching, and Coping services.

Prior to coming to NIU, Lesley worked with campus student organizations and was an Early Intervention Specialist. Lesley has been a member of the NIU community for nearly two decades and has experience working with student leaders, parents, and university employees. Lesley has completed numerous trainings and received certifications in counseling, specialized student services, and customer service.

Savili Ngovo Williams, MSW, LCSW

815-753-1616 |

As Counselor, Savili provides Employee Assistance Counseling and Consultation to employees, retirees and their families. The service can address a wide range of needs including anxiety and depression; work place concerns; family and relationship difficulties; alcohol and drug concerns; grief, loss, and bereavement; and life transition challenges.

Savili has over 15 years of varying clinical experience including time spent working with adults, children and families in therapeutic residential treatment centers, substance abuse and co-occurring diagnosis treatment centers and behavioral health agencies. She provided direct care, counseling, case management and care coordination services.

She holds a Bachelors in Community Health Education from the University of Arizona and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is currently licensed to practice independently in the state of Illinois.

Karen Smith

Program Specialist
815-753-9191 |

Karen Smith, Service Specialist, is an intake and employee relations specialist. She provides information; completes assessment and referral services; and does brief counseling as a paraprofessional. Karen has attended workshops through the Northern Illinois Employee Assistance Program Association dealing with substance abuse, eldercare and other EAP related issues. She will listen to your needs, help you consider options and solutions, schedule appointments, and make necessary referrals within and outside the university to assist all employees, retirees and university departments.

Karen coordinates all Health Events, Brown Bag training workshops, Family Support and Fitness initiatives. Karen also functions as the Training Administrator for Ethics Training on campus and does individual training assistance.

Previous to joining NIU, Karen worked in the counseling field as an intake specialist for over 18 years, as well as in the HR and Employee Relations field for more than 20 years. Karen has completed training courses and has experience in budget counseling, eldercare, grief, and crisis intervention.

Susan A. Swegle, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Training and Development Specialist
815-753-5802 |

As Training and Development Specialist, Susan will provide Advisement services in the form of Career and Education Development as well as Training to employees, retirees and their families. This includes perfecting interviewing skills; writing resumes and cover letters; exploring educational and career opportunities and ways to pay for college. Susan also administers the L.E.T.S. (Leading Employees to Success) New Employee Program, guiding new employees and supervisors through the onboarding process.Susan's background includes 20 years in Human Resources. She maintains two nationally recognized HR certifications that enable her to guide employees and supervisors through the work environment with the most up-to-date information. She also holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences and a Masters degree in Adult Learning and Higher Education with an emphasis in college teaching/training.

Contact Us

Employee Assistance Program
Holmes Student Center 709
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