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!”
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Eduardo is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Operations Management and Information Systems. His parents immigrated into the United States from Mexico for a better life. Eduardo joined the Army National Guard in June of 2016. He is a field artilleryman. With the National Guard paying for his school he hopes to get his B.A., work for some time and return to college to get his master’s degree. One of his favorite quotes is from Muhammad Ali "I hated every minute of training, but I said don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
Angelia is pursuing her masters in school counseling. She earned her bachelor’s degree from NIU majoring in art with a minor in psychology. Over the past few years, Angelia has lived in several states including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. She is very excited to be entering the field of counseling and enjoys helping people. As a nontraditional commuter student, she is familiar with the planning and challenges of being a parent and a student. Time management is key! Angelia volunteers at animal shelters, loves hiking, camping, kayaking, trail running and cooking. Her favorite quote is from the book Wild, “My mom said there’s a sunrise and sunset every day and you can choose to be there or not. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.” - Cherl Strayed.
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!
Fermin comes to the MPTSS office from Hanover Park, IL. He completed his bachelor's in Spanish with an emphasis in business translation at Northern Illinois University. He is continuing his trajectory as a Huskie by pursuing a master's degree in business administration and international management. His goal is to eventually run a business and positively influence the people that surround him. Working with the MPTSS office allows Fermin to communicate with diverse groups of individuals seeking for resources that will aid in their transition to campus. His involvement around campus and the network that he has established throughout his time at NIU makes him a great resource for his fellow Huskies.
Chris is pursuing a master's degree after completing his B.S. in athletic training at NIU in the spring of 2018. From 2009-2013, 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
Justin is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology. After completing his B.S., he plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. During the years of 2007-12, he served in the United States Marine Corps and then returned home to Illinois. He completed his Associates in Science at College of DuPage before transferring to Northern Illinois University and starting work as a benefits counselor with the Military and Post-Traditional Student Services in October of 2017. Experienced as a family readiness officer’s assistant, he comes into the office with a good background in military family services and is excited to learn about student military benefits. Justin enjoys staying active and the outdoors whenever he has free time and trains for triathlons year around. Active on the executive board of the NIU Exercise Science Club, he is also looking forward to seeing the growth of the club over the next year.
Princess is currently pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Computer Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to enlist in the Army and join the Army Corps of Engineers. Princess was born in Landstuhl, Germany, as a natural-born American citizen. She is a member of Society of Women Engineers and Engineers without Borders. She joined the MPTSS team in the fall of 2017.
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Yaroslav is a junior at NIU and is currently pursuing a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on policy. From 2010-13, Yaroslav served in the U.S. Army, and continues to serve in the Illinois National Guard today. During Yaroslav’s active military time, he was stationed overseas in Germany, Latvia, and spent a year-long deployment to Paktika province Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His hobbies are outdoor activities such a cycling, camping and hiking. His goal is to provide vital information to post-traditional NIU students to aid their transition to the Huskie family and provide sustainable support to students enhancing their NIU experience.
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.
VA Student Benefits Counselor
Nicholas is currently pursuing a B.S. in computer science and psychology. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) NCO from 2005–2014. During his time in the military he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicholas has worked as a tutor for the Student-Athlete Support Services and continues to work with the Department of Computer Science as a teaching assistant. He is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) chapter as a webmaster. He started working with the Military and Post-Traditional Student Services in June of 2018 and has continued to learn from the experience ever since. His hobbies include reading, programming and biking.