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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.

    ABraziel.jpgAlexis Braziel

    (813) 226-4904
    alexis.braziel@saintleo.edu

    Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
    Education: BS. University Studies, Texas Tech University; MBA: Sports Business, Saint Leo University
    Years at Saint Leo: 2

    Favorite Food: Chicken wings

    Alexis first became interested in advising while working as a Student Advisor Intern with the Louisiana State University Football Team. Alexis likes to see the core values of Saint Leo University in practice. In her experience, Alexis has found that the faculty and staff at Saint Leo are willing to work beyond the scope of their role to best meet the needs of students. Alexis now strives to be the advisor she needed when she was in school. Her favorite part of the role is hearing the genuine excitement in the voices of her students.


    RMerzius.jpgRenelda Merzius

    (813) 226-4909
    renelda.merzius@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Miami, Florida
    Education : B.S. Sports Entertainment and Event Management, Johnson and Wales University; M.B.A., Saint Leo University
    Years at Saint Leo : 4

    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.

     

    CKlossner.pngChris Klossner

    (813) 226-4973
    christopher.klossner@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : St. Paul, Minnesota
    Education : Bachelors in Mass Communications with a minor in Marketing, St. Cloud State University
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    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.

     

    ATerwilliger.jpgAmantha Terwilliger

    (813) 226-4912
    amantha.terwilliger@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Cortland, New York
    Education : A.A. Early Childhood, Tompkins Cortland Community College; A.S. Medical Billing and Coding, Everest University; B.S. Higher Education Management, Everest University; M.Ed. Dual Concentration of Distance Learning and Mathematics Instruction, Ashford University; B.S. Psychology, Saint Leo University
    Years at Saint Leo : 3

    Hobbies : Reading, going to amusement parks with her husband and children, playing board games, Wii, karaoke, going to concerts

    The phrase “pay it forward” means giving a gift or advantage you once received from someone else. Amantha had an amazing experience and relationship with her degree advisor, and she now strives to pay it forward to the students she advises. A current online student herself, Amantha worked in online higher education for six years before joining Saint Leo. If she did not work in student advising, Amantha would choose to be an online algebra instructor.

     

    DBleiler.jpgDonna Bleiler

    (813) 226-4839
    donna.bleiler@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Queens, New York
    Education : B.A. Communication Studies, SUNY at Oswego; M.Ed. Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    Years at Saint Leo : 6

    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.

     

    SHirschbein.jpgSteve Hirschbein

    (813) 226-4859
    stephen.hirschbein@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Chicago, Illinois
    Education : B.A. Corporate Communication, Northern Illinois University
    Years at Saint Leo : 3

    Hobbies : Sports, road biking, beach volleyball, growing his music collection, extensive travelling, hiking 14ers, keeping up on health and wellness trends

    Staying fit and healthy is something Steve takes very seriously in his personal and professional life. Steve spent four years in the Navy and is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. He has worked in online education for about 10 years. He enjoys his work and enjoys seeing students overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Steve enjoys the working in the team environment in his office. He is competitive, detail-oriented, and analytical. Students can be sure that Steve will help keep their educational journey in good shape at Saint Leo. 

     

    JPlummer.jpgJohnathan Plummer

    (813) 226-4967
    johnathan.plummer@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Cedar Grove, Jamaica
    Education : B.S. Education, University of South Florida
    Years at Saint Leo : 2

    Hobbies : Playing basketball, flag football, and reading

    Johnathan brings three years of advising experience to Saint Leo University and he recently served as the Program Director for the Tampa YMCA. Becoming an advisor has enabled Johnathan to pay it forward and become a positive part of someone’s success story in the same way that others have done for him. Johnathan takes a business approach to student advising and if he wasn’t an advisor, he would be an entrepreneur. Johnathan thins outside of the box to create strategies that turn apprehensive students into success stories. A fun fact about Johnathan is that he loves to sing even though most people don’t appreciate his singing talents!

     

    DRumsey.jpgDeborah Rumsey (Debby)

    (813) 226-4936
    deborah.rumsey@saintleo.edu

    Hometown: Deerfield, Illinois
    Education: BS in Marketing and a BS in Education from Indiana University, Master in Education from USF
    Years at Saint Leo: 2

    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!

    MTavarez.jpgMayra Tavarez

    (813) 226-4847
    mayra.tavarez@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Isabela, Puerto Rico
    Education : B.S. Biochemistry and Nutrition, Penn State University; MBA Human Resources, Saint Leo University
    Years at Saint Leo : 5

    Hobbies : Reading nonfiction, traveling, refurbishing furniture, wine, cheese, coffee

    Mayra had a supportive academic advisor that helped her succeed, and now she wants to have that same impact on the students she advises at Saint Leo University. Mayra feels strongly that it takes hard work to earn a degree. Students will find their courses at Saint Leo to be challenging as well as rewarding. Having gone through college as a nontraditional student (she had her son while she was in college), she feels that if she can earn her degree, anyone can. The word “no” is generally absent from Mayra’s vocabulary. She strives to keep her students on track to be successful. Mayra describes herself as positive, fashionable, colorful, and caring.

    CCaton.jpgCourtney Caton

    (813) 226-4818
    courtney.caton@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Orlando, Florida
    Education : B.A. International Affairs, Rollins College
    Years at Saint Leo : 6

    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.

    MRandall.jpgMatt Randall

    (813) 226-4918
    j.randall@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : New Fairfield, Connecticut
    Education : B.A. in Organizational Communication, MBA with a Human Resource Management concentration
    Years at Saint Leo : 3

    Hobbies : Spending time with family and watching sports

    Matt has served Saint Leo University for over three years as an advisor for graduate students. With a background in recruiting, sales, and customer service, Matt works well in the fast-paced style of student advising. Matt appreciates the opportunity to assist students with their educational journey. A proud advising moment for Matt was to help a student in extreme circumstances to come up with a plan for success and to watch that student graduate with an excellent GPA. Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with family and watching sports. If he was not a student advisor, Matt might pursue a career as a food critic.

    LRamirez.jpgLeslie Ramirez

    (813) 226-4920
    leslie.ramirez@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Bronx, New York
    Education : B.S. in Management Information Systems, MBA with concentrations in Human Resource Management and Sports Business
    Years at Saint Leo : 3

    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!

    MPannito.jpgMark Pannitto

    (813) 226-4921
    mark.pannitto@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Cleveland, Ohio
    Education : B.A. in English Literature, MBA
    Years at Saint Leo : 2

    Hobbies : Live music, dogs, and watching/attending Cleveland sporting events

    Mark is energetic, fun, and is focused on student service. With a background in sports and customer service, Mark found his calling in higher education. Mark has been an advisor for over four years, of which the last two years were at the graduate level. He was drawn to advising because he enjoys helping students achieve their individual academic goals as well as watching them complete the journey at commencement. One of Mark’s most meaningful success stories was watching a student who returned from suspension in Fall graduate and earn her MBA the following Spring. If Mark was not an advisor, he would like to manage a dog adoption agency.

    SMarshall.jpgSophina Marshall

    (813) 226-4922
    sophina.marshall@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Tampa, Florida
    Education : B.A. in Sociology, M.S. in Human Services with a Counseling concentration
    Years at Saint Leo : 3

    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.

     

    AKulawsky.jpgAlex Kulawsky

    (813) 226-4911
    alexandra.kulawsky@saintleo.edu

    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)
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    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.

    ATuttle.jpgAaron Tuttle

    (813) 221-6374
    aaron.tuttle@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Sacramento, California
    Education : B.A. in Organizational Management and Dramatic Art from University of California, Davis, M.F.A. in Theatre Directing from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently pursuing an M.B.A. in Project Management at Saint Leo University
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    Hobbies : Grilling, fantasy football, watching movies

    Aaron may be new to Saint Leo, but he is no stranger to higher education. He brings over a decade of experience in higher education from his experience as a program director, professor, and academic advisor. Aaron decided to join the Saint Leo team because he loves the core values that the university emphasizes. In addition to his background in higher education, Aaron is an award-winning producer and director of theatre, videos, television and radio commercials that have been used for companies such as Disney and Microsoft.

    SPhan.pngSang Phan

    (813) 221-6386
    sang.phan@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Garden Grove, California
    Education : A.A. Sociology, Orange Coast College; B.A. Sociology and M.A. Sociology, California State University, Fullerton
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    Hobbies : Basketball, lazy Sundays with my girlfriend and 50lb pit bull named Abbi, Fantasy Football, sneaker shopping and collecting.

    Sang comes from an extensive background in higher education, including faculty and administrative roles. As both a former Sociology instructor and an enrollment advisor, Sang genuinely has a passion for student success because he understands the social, economic, and political hurdles students face when entering the workforce. Sang is firmly dedicated to helping others reach their full potential, encouraging students to use their academic knowledge and put it into action for the betterment of themselves and their families.

    LSepulveda.jpgLaura Favela Sepulveda

    (813) 221-6350
    laura.favelasepulveda@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Las Vegas, Nevada
    Education : A.A. Psychology- College of Southern Nevada; B.A. Psychology-University of Nevada, Las Vegas; M.Ed.- University of Nevada, Las Vegas; M.A. International Education-Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain.
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    Hobbies : Candy-making

    Before she came to Saint Leo University, Laura worked as a mental health professional and provided psychosocial rehabilitation to children in foster care. Laura was inspired by her clients to pursue a career in higher education. She found that some of her clients did not feel they had enough information or skills to effectively enter college. Laura decided to guide students toward resources and to empower them to seek out this information on their own. After she earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education and worked as an advisor, Laura decided to take a leap of faith and moved to Spain to earn a M.A. in International Education while she taught English.

    CPark.jpgChris Park

    (813) 221-6355
    christopher.park02@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Salt Lake City, Utah
    Education : A.S. General Studies from Salt Lake Community College; B.S. Communications through the Strategic Communication Sequence from the University of Utah.
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    Hobbies : Coaching soccer, playing in adult soccer leagues, mountain biking, snowmobiling, constantly trying new restaurants with my wife

    Chris was born and raised in Utah, and although he works in Las Vegas now he considers himself a lifelong Ute sports fan. Chris is more than just a casual fan though - he has played soccer for over 25 years and has coached high school soccer. Chris and his wife recently welcomed their first baby girl in 2017! When not kicking a ball around, Chris can be found spending time with his wife and daughter, and enjoying life to the fullest.

    DMazon.jpgDerek Mazon

    (813) 221-6351
    derek.mazon@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Flagstaff, Arizona
    Education : Bachelors in Management, Northern Arizona University/UOP
    Years at Saint Leo : 1

    Hobbies : Crossfit, Offroading, Camping, and Traveling

    Derek has more than five years of higher education experience in enrollment, advising, and recruiting students for online and campus-based programs. Derek enjoys helping motivate and encourage students to see their dreams come to fruition. Derek has recently started working on an education goal of his own by pursuing a Masters in Business Administration with a Project Management specialization. In his free time Derek enjoys outdoor activities, working out, and spending time with his family.

    AGuy.jpgAdrianne Guy

    (813) 221-6387
    adrianne.guy@saintleo.edu

    Hometown : Las Vegas, Nevada
    Education : A.A. Social Science, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), MBA
    Years at Saint Leo : 2

    Hobbies : Spending time with my children, roller skating, playing board games, being adventurous.

    Adrianne brings over eight years of higher education experience and ten years of healthcare experience to Saint Leo University. She brings a positive, up-beat and energetic attitude to advising and encourages all of her students to ask questions and utilize their resources in order to be successful.


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