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WorldWide Student Advising

    Student Advisors

    Student Advisors are a key resource to you while you are a student at Saint Leo. These professionals are committed to helping you on your journey to earn your undergraduate degree. All Student Advisors hold either undergraduate or graduate degrees, many of them earned in online learning environments. So they know what you’re going through and how to help. Consider them your main contact person for all things Saint Leo.

    Main Advising Contact
    Undergraduate Online Advising  877-856-2144  Email: Coladvisor1@saintleo.edu
    Graduate Online Advising  877-882-3612 Email: GraduateAdvising@saintleo.edu

     

    Bianli Abreu

    Bianli Abreu


    Phone: (813) 226-4931

    Email: bianli.abreu@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: New York, New York

    Education: Bachelors in Political Science, MS in Criminal Justice

    Hobbies: Yelping, shopping, traveling, dogs, listening to true crime podcasts


    Bianli is passionate about higher education and assisting students throughout their educational careers. She started off as an undergraduate enrollment counselor and is now a graduate advisor at Saint Leo University. The best part of the job for Bianli is getting to meet new students and becoming part of their educational journey. She enjoys helping others see their potential and overcome obstacles, and is very much looking forward to attending the commencement ceremonies of her students. If Bianli was not an advisor, she would be a travel and food documentarian, à la Anthony Bourdain.

    Ashley Arthur

    Ashley Arthur


    Phone: (813) 226-4807

    Email: ashley.arthur02@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Tampa, Florida

    Education: BA Religion (Minor in Child Development), Florida State University; MA, Notre Dame; MTS, Boston College

    Hobbies: Music (playing guitar, drums, bass, singing), sports (watching and playing, GO SOX!), Disney, volunteering with LGBTQ+ youth/young adults, Chillin’ at St. Pete Beach


    Ashley joins Saint Leo after teaching, coaching, and mentoring high school students in Cambridge, MA. Prior to teaching, Ashley worked with college students for over 10 years as a Campus Minister, Advisor, and Director working at Florida State, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Boston College. She is very familiar with working in and attending both public and private schools from K-12 to Grad. Ashley’s educational background is in religion, psychology and culture, promoting healthy communities of love and respect. She hopes to go back and get her PhD in that field someday. Ashley is most passionate about serving others, especially those most in need. She is excited and happy to walk alongside students in their journey at Saint Leo!

    Donna Bleiler

    Donna Bleiler


    Phone: (813) 226-4839

    Email: donna.bleiler@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Queens, New York

    Education: B.A. Communication Studies, SUNY at Oswego; M.Ed. Southwestern Oklahoma State University

    Hobbies: Candy-making


    As an army wife of 24 years, Donna lived in about a half a dozen states before coming to Florida. She previously served as a K-12 special education teacher and Florida Career College educator before joining the team at Saint Leo. She is quite proud of the service she provides to associate and bachelor degree-seeking students in the criminal justice field. In addition to her students, Donna enjoys her co-workers at the university. Her co-workers love her too, especially when she brings in homemade candy to share.

    Chase Browning

    Chase Browning


    Phone: (813) 221-6363

    Email: chase.browning@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Brighton, Michigan

    Education: B.A.A in Sport Administration. Currently pursuing his M.B.A in Sport Business at Saint Leo University

    Hobbies: Singing, Playing guitar, Sports, and Cooking


    Chase decided to become a student advisor because he enjoys building positive relationships with students and helping them reach their educational goals. Chase has worked in Admissions, Testing and Advising at other institutions before becoming an Undergraduate Student Advisor. If Chase is not in the office, he is probably playing his guitar or watching sports.

    Lisa A. Burnham

    Lisa A. Burnham



    Biography

    Hometown: Jasper, Florida

    Education: BA in Human Services Administration and MS in Human Services Administration – both from Saint Leo University

    Favorites: Food – Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing; Music – All genres, especially Rap music! Movies – Anything scary and nothing that will make me cry! TV Show – Anything with crime and suspense and a little bit of reality.

    Hobbies: Volunteering, golf cart riding, attending car shows, spending time with family and friends, and sleeping when I can.


    Before transitioning to the Center of Online Learning in June 2020, Lisa worked with Saint Leo University’s Madison Education Center since 2007. Lisa enjoys serving her community, assisting her students on their journey to graduation, and being a cheerleader to anyone who wants to pursue higher education.

    Courtney Caton

    Courtney Caton


    Phone: (813) 226-4818

    Email: courtney.caton@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Orlando, Florida

    Education: B.A. International Affairs, Rollins College

    Hobbies: Photography


    Years ago, when Courtney caught the adventure bug, she traveled to Japan to teach English for one year. Her classes were comprised of diverse, adult Japanese people looking to strengthen their English language skills to better themselves in their work environment. In the same spirit of educating students and helping them succeed, Courtney joined Saint Leo hoping to lay a path for students to follow to help them earn their degree. She understands the limited time of her students and does her best to make sure they are on track to graduation. The sense of community that is alive and well at Saint Leo is Courtney’s favorite aspect of her job. Courtney is nurturing, optimistic, and off-the-beaten path with creative projects.

    Diane Crespo

    Diane Crespo


    Phone: (813) 221-6350

    Email: diane.crespo@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Saddle Brook, New Jersey

    Education: MA Mental Health Counseling, Caldwell University, Caldwell, NJ

    Hobbies: Tap dance, eating, reality TV


    Prior to Saint Leo, Diane helped students on their career paths as a career counselor. Being a student for many, many years herself, Diane loves working with students in any capacity. Her favorite part of assisting students is being able to help them accomplish their academic goals while being a support and resource in any way she can. If Diane is not in the office, she is probably on a flight to New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

    Thomas Deaton

    Thomas Deaton


    Phone: (813) 221-6355

    Email: samuel.deaton@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Chesapeake, VA

    Education: BA – Speech Communication/Marketing, Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Management

    Hobbies: Drumming, listening to music, landscaping, reading, surfing (not in a while), driving his convertible Mustang


    Thomas has been in the educational field for over 20 years, all being in admissions until he began his role as an undergraduate student advisor with Saint Leo University. He has a passion for education and helping people obtain their educational objectives. While working on his Master’s degree, he played two nights a week with his band, took two night classes and had a late night at work; he definitely empathizes with the juggling of many hats by the professional student!

    Cheryl Edwards

    Cheryl Edwards


    Phone: (813) 226-4914

    Email: cheryl.edwards@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Palm Harbor, Florida

    Education: BS Educational Studies and Community Leadership, St Petersburg College

    Hobbies: Spending time with her 2 kids, live sporting events, concerts and comedy clubs.


    Cheryl Edwards came to Saint Leo University from her alma mater, St. Petersburg College where she was an Academic Advisor in the Student Support Services Program. Cheryl has always worked in education in one capacity or another; starting out as an interpreter for the deaf in the Pinellas County School System many years ago. Cheryl has two children, and in her free time she enjoys going to comedy clubs, concerts, and experiencing fine dining. Cheryl is an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Boston Celtics and Florida State football and basketball, and she enjoys going to live sporting events any time she has the chance!

    Rhonda Gillylan

    Rhonda Gillylan


    Phone: (813) 226-4847

    Email: rhonda.gillylan@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts

    Education: B.S. Business Administration with a Major in Human Resources and Minor in Psychology – American International College

    Hobbies: Arts and crafts, DIY home projects, and spending quality time with family.


    Rhonda brings to Saint Leo 6 years of student advising experience in higher education in addition to a background of 6 years in career placement services, assisting individuals of diverse backgrounds with barriers to employment and education. She also serves as a youth instructor in her local church community. Her love of learning and serving others is what gives her the tenacity to encourage students to believe in their potential to be successful in spite of the challenges they may face while pursuing their educational goals.

    Jasmine Hamilton

    Jasmine Hamilton


    Phone: (813) 226-4876

    Email: jasmine.hamilton02@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Lakeland, FL

    Education: B.A Behavioral Healthcare, M.S Higher Education

    Hobbies: Traveling, shopping, and exercising


    Jasmine was motivated to pursue education after working in the classroom setting with children and young adults diagnosed with behavioral disorders. While earning her Master’s degree, Jasmine worked as a Career Services advisor eventually transitioning to become an Academic Advisor for a healthcare institution. Jasmine has a passion for helping individuals overcome barriers being that she has the ability to empathize with others. She enjoys team building activities, and creating a fun work environment. If she was not a student advisor, Jasmine would have her own daycare center.

    Alyssa Harmon-Salter

    Alyssa Harmon-Salter


    Phone: (813) 221-6361

    Email: alyssa.harmon-salt@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Tampa, Florida

    Education: EdD in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, M.S. in Higher Education from Florida State University, B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Hobbies: Traveling, spending quality time with family and friends, going to the beach, walking and pet-sitting dogs, trying new wines


    Before taking on the role of Undergraduate Student Advisor at Saint Leo, Alyssa worked as an Academic Advisor, Senior at Northern Arizona University where she concurrently completed her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. For Alyssa, the best part of being an advisor is forming relationships with students and assisting them with achieving their educational goals. If she did not work in student advising, Alyssa would most likely be traveling the world.

    Chris Klossner

    Chris Klossner


    Phone: (813) 226-4973

    Email: christopher.klossner@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

    Education: Bachelors in Mass Communications with a minor in Marketing, St. Cloud State University

    Hobbies: Weightlifting, biking, playing tennis, going to the beach, watching TV shows about nature and survival and I’m a huge Minnesota Vikings fan.


    Chris brings more than six years of advising experience to Saint Leo University. Chris enjoys helping online adult learners achieve their goal of earning their degree. His interest in motivating students drew Chris to the advising industry, where he discovered that he is equally inspired by the students he advises. If Chris wasn’t a Student Advisor, he would likely be the Minnesota Vikings mascot.

    Alex Kulawsky

    Alex Kulawsky


    Phone: (813) 226-4911

    Email: alexandra.kulawsky@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Queens, New York

    Education: BFA in Broadcast Journalism, MS in School Counseling, certifications in MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and SII (Strong Interest Inventory)

    Hobbies: Adventure-seeking activities, travelling, reading, and trying new wines.


    Alex has worked in higher education for more than 14 year as a career advisor, an undergraduate advisor, and now graduate advisor at Saint Leo University. For Alex, the best part of working with students is to become part of their educational journey. She enjoys helping students identify career and academic needs and strives to be a resource to them as well as a support system throughout their academic studies. One of her most rewarding moments as an advisor was to help a student challenged by an event in the past to overcome the obstacle and find a better job than they previously envisioned! If she was not an advisor, Alex might be found traveling the world, enjoying the chance to experience new cultures, people, foods, and lands.

    Sophina Marshall

    Sophina Marshall


    Phone: (813) 226-4922

    Email: sophina.marshall@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Tampa, Florida

    Education: B.A. in Sociology, M.S. in Human Services with a Counseling concentration

    Hobbies: Exercising, reading, shopping, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with family


    Sophina is driven to help her students succeed through her work as an enrollment counselor and now an advisor for Saint Leo University. Her outgoing personality, sensible outlook, and humor have been beneficial to the graduate students she serves. Sophina loves helping others and can empathize with the challenges grad students face on their education journey. The best part of the job for Sophina is getting the chance to meet new students and to build rapport with them. She enjoys the friendly atmosphere as well as the core values exemplified through the university, and takes pride in watching students overcome obstacles to persist in their education. If she was not a student advisor, Sophina would like to be a teacher.

    Renelda Merzius

    Renelda Merzius


    Phone: (813) 226-4909

    Email: renelda.merzius@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Miami, Florida

    Education: B.S. Sports Entertainment and Event Management, Johnson and Wales University; M.B.A., Saint Leo University

    Hobbies: Traveling, working out, nature


    Renelda will tell you she didn’t have a life when she was earning her M.B.A. at Saint Leo University. She worked full time and completed class work during lunch hours. She learned to manage her time well to remain dedicated to her studies. Because of her experience, Renelda hopes to motivate and help her busy students succeed regardless of their life stage or work load. She believes that nothing in life is easy and that dedication and hard work will pay off. Consider Renelda your own motivational speaker, a role she enjoys in addition to student advising.

    Christina Patton

    Christina Patton


    Phone: (813) 221-6312

    Email: christina.patton02@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

    Education: Bachelors in Advertising/Public Relations, Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

    Hobbies: Busch Gardens, Beach, Traveling, Family time.


    Christina is a proud mama bear of 3 beautiful children. Before joining the pride at Saint Leo University, Christina worked as an Administrative Assistant & Admissions Counselor in higher education. Her successful educational background and immense administrative work experience, motivates Christina to continue learning, as students do. Christina decided to become a student advisor because she loves to help students succeed, provide friendly help and remain a raving fan of her students’ achievements. If Christina did not work in student advising, Christina would most likely be traveling to Tennessee, to soak up the sun in her family’s lake house.

    Renee Poteet

    Renee Poteet


    Phone: (813) 226-4872

    Email: juanita.poteet@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Jonesville, Virginia

    Education: B.A. History, Berea College, Berea, KY.

    Hobbies: Reading, playing video games, making planner templates and stickers, bowling.


    Renee has worked in higher education for almost 20 years in both Admissions and Advising. Renee enjoys working with people. Assisting students and their families throughout their higher educational experience is why she choose her career in education. If she did not work in student advising, Renee would enjoy working as a museum curator.

    Leslie Ramirez

    Leslie Ramirez


    Phone: (813) 226-4920

    Email: leslie.ramirez@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Bronx, New York

    Education: B.S. in Management Information Systems, MBA with concentrations in Human Resource Management and Sports Business

    Hobbies: Personal training, CrossFit, anything health and wellness related, and spending time with family


    Before coming to Saint Leo, Leslie worked in the health care field where she became passionate about customer service. Leslie enjoys assisting students on their journey of education, and strives to be a support system throughout their entire journey. She appreciates working with students and helping them find solutions when problems arise. She is especially proud of one tenacious MBA student who overcame many hurdles, including job loss and a car accident, to persevere and graduate on time. Leslie truly gets to know her students and does whatever she can to make sure they reach their educational goals. If Leslie was not an advisor, she would entertain as a singer!

    Deborah (Debby) Rumsey

    Deborah (Debby) Rumsey


    Phone: (813) 226-4936

    Email: deborah.rumsey@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Deerfield, Illinois

    Education: BS in Marketing and a BS in Education from Indiana University, Master in Education from USF

    Hobbies: Scuba diving, gardening, going to the beach, reading, and hiking


    Before taking on the role of student advisor, Debby worked in management, secondary education, and university enrollment. Debby greatly enjoys helping students realize and achieve their dream of earning a degree from a fantastic university. She appreciates that everyone on the advising team is willing to pitch in and help one another, a display of the core values of Saint Leo University. If Debby were not advising students, she would love to be a Dive Master. Debby is already a Master Diver, which is the highest level a diver can achieve without becoming a Dive Master – and she’s pretty proud of that!

    Lavell Seale

    Lavell Seale


    Phone: (813) 226-4910

    Email: lavell.seale@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Education: Business & Management, University of Maryland University College; Currently pursuing his Masters of Education at Northcentral University.

    Hobbies: Going to the movies, Surfing the Internet, Gaming, and Hanging out with family and friends.


    Lavell has a passion for sports and supports all of his hometown teams. Lavell has served in the United States Army for 3 years and has traveled from Germany to France, Poland, United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Kuwait, Africa, and Afghanistan. Lavell is laid-back, positive, friendly and is a true believer of Karma. Lavell has worked in higher education for over 20 years, and relishes at the opportunity to help students reach their educational goals.

    Shontay Siders-Allen

    Shontay Siders-Allen


    Phone: (813) 221-6351

    Email: Shontay.siders-all@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Walterboro, South Carolina

    Education: B.S. Family & Consumer Sciences Business; South Carolina State University & M.S. in Mental Health Counseling; Walden UniversityCurrently pursuing a M.S in Psychology at Saint Leo University and Ph.D. in Education, Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy

    Hobbies: Reading, learning new material in education, researching, shopping, meditating, traveling with her family, and spa treatments


    Shontay has over 15 years of an educational background from teaching and counseling. Shontay was a School-based Mental Health Counselor before joining the Saint Leo University’s advising team. Shontay is currently a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. where she promotes sisterhood, advocate for youth education, and provides community services. Shontay loves high education and seeing others achieve their advancement within their educational goals. Shontay pride herself as she is currently working on her doctoral degree in education. Shontay gets overly excited when she congratulates students when they are nearing the end of their degree program.

    Maria Snow-Hernandez

    Maria Snow-Hernandez


    Phone: (813) 226-4919


    Biography

    Hometown: Spring Hill, Florida

    Education: B.S. Broadcast Journalism, Brooklyn College

    Hobbies: Eating all the foods, reading novels on the beach, relaxing in a hammock while watching movies, and watercolor/crafting.


    Before taking on the role of Graduate Student Advisor at Saint Leo, Maria worked in secondary education for five years, where she wore many hats as a teacher to students with learning differences. Beyond that, Maria has devoted her energies towards community outreach, focusing on accessibility for the disabled and visually impaired. Maria loves building connections with students and looks forward to being a part of their journey to success! If she did not work in student advising, Maria would most likely be running a worldwide educational program for students interested in community building, sustainability, and art therapy.

    James Walker

    James Walker


    Phone: (813) 226-4859

    Email: James.walker03@saintleo.edu


    Biography

    Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

    Education: B.A. Political Science/International Relations and Global Affairs, Eckerd College; M.A. Political Science, University of South Florida

    Hobbies: Tennis, gaming, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.


    Before taking on the role of Undergraduate Student Advisor, James served in many different roles at Hillsborough Community College for the past 5 years.

    James decided to become a student advisor because he is passionate about assisting students in achieving their academic goals. His diverse experiences as an undergraduate at Eckerd College in student government and athletics in addition to his graduate work at the University of South Florida have endeared him to higher education and student success.


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