Student Academic Affairs leadership
Isabel Molina-Guzmán works to ensure policies and practices across LAS enhance opportunities for excellence through achieving equal access, diversity, and inclusivity. She is a professor in Latina/Latino Studies, Media & Cinema Studies, and a faculty affiliate of Gender & Women's Studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. She graduated from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a master of arts in communication in 1994 and a doctorate in 2000. She previously served as chair of the Department of Latina/Latino Studies and as associate dean of assessment and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Graduate College.
Bob Steltman oversees the college-level advising and records for the Student Academic Affairs Office. He earned bachelor’s degrees in English and history from DePaul University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Illinois. Bob has taught high school English and religion and taught as an adjunct instructor at the college level. He also worked as an academic advisor for eight years.
As assistant dean of Student Academic Affairs, Gretchen Pein manages student information systems, online forms and processes, and student support services, as well as advising students. She received a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and master of education degree at the University of Illinois. Gretchen has worked in Student Academic Affairs since 2000 and loves creative-problem solving and being a friendly resource for students.
Julia Panke Makela is the director of career development for the Student Academic Affairs Office. Julia brings more than 20 years of experience in career development, education, research, and evaluation to her work. She has a passion for inspiring and empowering individuals in their education and career pursuits. Julia earned a BS in computer science from Cornell University, a MS in counseling from Florida State University, and a PhD in higher education from the University of Illinois. She is a Certified Career Counselor and a National Career Development Association Fellow.
Kristy Valentin leads the Access and Achievement Program (AAP), the college’s diversity initiative. AAP provides support for students in the President’s Awards Program and the Educational Opportunities Program. Kristy has earned a bachelor’s degree in human development family studies and a master's degree in higher education/academic advising, and she has many years of experience in academic advising and higher education.