New Staff in Student Development

Announcements & Updates

This summer, several new staff joined Student Development. Take a moment to get to know more about them here.

Dustin Brentlinger

Dustin Brentlinger

Polk Family Executive Director of Student Health & Wellness

I oversee Counseling, Health Services, Religious & Spiritual Life, and Wellness Education. I provide direction and support in the development, implementation and evaluation of wellness initiatives and am working to foster a holistic approach to wellness. I also will take the lead as we move toward the final design and future construction of Denison’s new Student Wellness Center.

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Education:

  • B.S. Interpersonal Communications - University of Evansville
  • MBA - Heidelberg University

Office Location: Whisler Center for Student Wellness

Favorite Quote: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Juliana Burch

Juliana Burch

Community Coordinator, Residential Communities

Community: East Quad (Huffman, East, Shaw, and Gilpatrick)

As one of the Community Coordinators of the East Quad, I’ll have the opportunity to create a supportive, inclusive, and safe environment that caters to the unique needs of the sophomores and juniors living there. Through my position as a liaison between Residential Communities and Wellness Education with the Whisler Center, I’ll be able to assist in the education and promotion of wellness within the residence halls. My hope is to help all students learn how accessible and diverse wellness really is!

Hometown: Hancock, Maine (it’s across the harbor from Acadia National Park!)

Education: B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Literature and Film, and a minor in International and Global Studies

Office Location: Huffman Hall

Favorite Quote: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” -Jennifer Lee

Hobbies: Beach combing, playing instruments, reading, analyzing horror movies, writing

Nick Gilbert

Nick Gilbert

Assistant Director of Residential Communities

In my role as Assistant Director of Residential Communities, I provide leadership for West Quad (Shorney, Curtis East, Curtis West, and Smith). I work closely with the Community Coordinators and Community Advisors in order to cultivate inclusive communities that focus on academic and personal success.

Hometown: Westerville, OH

Education:

  • B.A. in International Studies and Sexuality Studies - The Ohio State University
  • M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration - University of Georgia

Office Location: Curtis Community Center

Favorite Quote: “Everybody knows what you’re against. Show them what you’re for” - Andrea Gibson

Hobbies: Cooking, board games, hammocking, reading

Alex Green

Alex Green

Community Coordinator, Residential Communities

Community: North Loop

I work directly with a staff of eight Community Advisors (CAs) to help facilitate the development of community within the North Loop residence halls. As North Loop is the only residential area on campus to house students of all class years, I get the distinct privilege of working with students in a variety of stages in their college careers. I also have a collateral assignment with CLIC where I will be helping connect Denison students to community service opportunities.

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Education: B.S. Psychology - College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Office Location: Taylor House

Favorite Quote: “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fall.” - Serena Williams

Hobbies: Playing and watching tennis, reading, traveling, playing with my dog, watching TV

Leslie Hoover

Leslie Hoover

Associate Director, Career Preparation at the Knowlton Center

I work Denison students who are in all stages of their career development process from exploration to landing their first job post-college. My position focuses specifically on building relationships with students who are interested in careers in the finance and consulting industries.

Hometown: Coshocton, OH

Education:

  • B.A. Human Resource Management - Marietta College, Marietta, OH
  • M.B.A. - The Citadel, Charleston, SC

Office Location: Burton Morgan 302

Favorite Quote: “ “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”-Wayne Gretzky” - Michael Scott”

Hobbies: Gardening, true crime podcasts, hiking with my dogs, reading

Erika N. Jefferson

Erika N. Jefferson

Assistant Director of Conflict Resolution

As a member of the Conflict Resolution team I will assist students and the larger community with dispute resolution in a variety of ways. Through education and facilitation, informal processes such as mediation and restorative justice, or more formal administrative processes, my goal is to help build healthy problem-solving strategies that can meet individual interests while restoring the community as a whole. You don’t have to wait to have a conflict before you visit us in Huffman Hall, lower level - we’re happy to have a dialogue with you any time!

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Education:

  • B.A. Communication Management - Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
  • M.S. Conflict Management - Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

Office Location: Huffman Hall - Lower

Favorite Quote: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

Hobbies: Karaoke, dancing, fishing, road trips

Torrance Powell

Torrance Powell

Associate Director of the Academic Resource Center

I coordinate the ARC tutoring program which entails administrative oversight and training of the 130+ student tutors and Head Tutors. I review documentation, work with families, and provide disability services for students. I will co-facilitate Back on Track efforts to help students achieve academic success.

Hometown: Painesville, OH

Education:

  • B.S. Environmental Science, Philosophy - Heidelberg College
  • M.A. College Student Personnel - Bowling Green State University

Office Location: Higley 020

Hobbies: Listening to podcasts, attending sporting and live performance events, traveling with family.

Ashley Rastetter

Ashley Rastetter

Associate Director, Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center

In my role I will primarily provide leadership to, and advise, the fraternity and sorority community. Through personal interactions with chapter members and officers, programmatic efforts, and leadership development, I hope to promote inclusive environments, creative thinkinking and problem-solving, and health/wellness within the FSL community. My work will also include building and strengthening positive relationships with campus partners, alumni, and chapter advisors, to support the operations and membership of the FSL community.

Hometown: North Canton, Ohio

Education:

  • B.A. Art History- The University of Akron
  • M.Ed. Higher Education Administration- The University of Akron

Office Location: Slayter 308

Favorite Quote: “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’”- Mary Anne Radmacker

Hobbies: gardening, hiking, kayaking, traveling, reading

Thea Smekens

Thea Smekens

Assistant Director of Residential Communities

In my role as Assistant Director of Residential Communities, I provide leadership for the Sunsets and Brownstones, North Loop, and South Quad. I look forward to working closely with Community Coordinators (CCs) and Community Advisors (CAs) to support the development of vibrant, inclusive residential communities where students feel valued and cared for.

Hometown: Bluffton, Indiana

Education:

  • B.A. in English Literature - University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, IN
  • MAEd in Higher Education Administration - McKendree University, Lebanon, IL

Office Location: Curtis Community Center

Favorite Quote: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” - Zora Neale Hurston

Hobbies: Spending time with my dog, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, cooking

Johnny Sharp

Johnny Sharp

Community Coordinator, Residential Communities

Community: Stone and King Halls

As a Community Coordinator, I have the opportunity to work directly with the CAs and residents of South Quad to help develop an inclusive and inviting community. Through programming, direct resident interaction, and personal immersion in the community, I hope to promote wellness and learning in our residence halls. I will also be a liaison for the Residential Communities office within the Red Frame Lab, where I will encourage the use of design thinking and practices inside and outside of our residence halls!

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Education: B.S. Human Development and Family Sciences - The Ohio State University

Office Location: Stone 102

Favorite Quote: “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” -Batman Begins

Hobbies: Camping/Backpacking, Home Renovation, and Stand Up Comedy

Jordan Smoot

Jordan Smoot

Community Coordinator, Residential Communities

Community: Beaver, Sawyer, and Shepardson

As a Community Coordinator in Beaver, Sawyer, and Shepardson I work directly with a staff of Community Advisors (CAs) to support some of the Sophomore and Junior communities on East Quad. My staff and I build community through relationship building with students, as well as programming initiatives throughout the year. I will also be working as a liason to the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, where I will support students in exploring their passions at and beyond Denison.

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Education: B.A. in Political Science, The Ohio State University

Office Location: Huffman Hall

Favorite Quote: “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.” - Brené Brown

Hobbies: Hiking/camping, writing/playing music, cycling

Tyaira Smith

Tyaira Smith

Community Coordinator, Residential Communities

Community: Shorney Hall

As a Community Coordinator for Shorney Hall, I work closely with first-year students on West Quad. I will foster community through seeking campus partnerships, intentional conversations and advocating for all community members. I will also be a liaison for Residential Communities within the Whisler Center for Student Wellness.

Hometown: Adrian, MI

Education: B.A. Criminal Justice - Adrian College

Office Location: Shorney Glass Lounge

Favorite Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

Hobbies: Traveling, Journaling

Posted Date 
Monday, August 26, 2019

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Denison’s Wellness Center creates and updates support and programs for students and faculty while the college engages as a remote-learning community.

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