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Meet Our Coaches

Meet our Student Success Coaches and Manager.

Lisa Richardson, Student Success Manager

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Education:
B.A. in Writing-Intensive English and English Literature, Marquette University
M.Ed. in Middle/Secondary English Education, Valparaiso University
M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Indiana University

Hometown:
Elgin, IL 

What brought me to Waubonsee?
I came to Waubonsee for the opportunity to help build the Connect4Success coaching program to serve the students of this community.  I have a background in student success coaching programs and have seen how students benefit from having a coach who can support them as they transition from high school to and through their college experience.

Advice to college students/why should students take advantage of C4S coaching?
College is tricky to navigate, and there are a lot of times where students will ask things like, “What do I need to do?  Who do I need to see?  Where do I need to go?”  Connect4Success coaches can serve as that point of contact to help students figure out the answers to those questions, saving time and being prepared to utilize the resources that are available to them to be successful.

When I’m not at Waubonsee, you can find me…
Enjoying the outdoors walking or playing tennis, practicing yoga, reading books, spending time with my family, or traveling.

Iris Castellanos, Student Success Coach

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Education:
B.S. in Psychology from Concordia University Chicago

Hometown:
Aurora, IL

What brought me to Waubonsee?
What brought me to Waubonsee is the commitment the college has to the communities it serves; my own community being one of them. My goal after graduating from Concordia University was to return to my community, and link myself to an organization whose purpose was to promote lifelong learning. I was drawn to WCC because I wanted to be a part of a team who values and engages the students they work with. Coaching is my calling; I enjoy motivating, supporting, and guiding students through their journey, and directing their passions and dreams into careers.

Advice to college students/why should students take advantage of C4S coaching?
We all need a “Cheerleader” in our corner, and there can’t ever be too many of them, so why not add one more to your squad. Someone who will help guide, and encourage you through your new beginnings so that you are not going through them alone. A new journey can be intimidating, and overwhelming so take advantage of the support systems around you whether it be family, friends, or a success coach.

When I’m not at Waubonsee, you can find me…
In the outdoors playing volleyball, at the dog park with my boxer Bronx, at Chuck e Cheese with my goddaughter, or riding my motorcycle when the weather is nice. You can also find me working out, catching a movie at the theatre, and spending time with my ginormous family.

Natalie Dresden, Student Success Coach

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Education:
I received my bachelor's degree in Psychology from Lewis University in 2009. I will be obtaining a master's degree from Lewis in Counseling Psychology in June 2016.

Hometown:
I grew up in Plainfield, IL but currently live in Oswego with my husband and our furry baby, Gabriel.

What brought me to Waubonsee?
I have always felt that coaching is my calling. There is nothing more rewarding to me than playing a part in a successful trajectory. When I heard about this great Connect4Success program, it was as if the universe plopped a giant neon sign in front of me saying, "Make A Difference HERE!" The position is comprised of all the best parts of counseling for me; connecting with students, making a difference, getting involved. I am very excited to help students achieve their dreams and I already feel right at home at Waubonsee!

Advice to college students/why should students take advantage of C4S coaching?
I remember what it's like to be a student...it's exciting but also very, very overwhelming! I believe that these are the best years of your life so why not let us help you with the stressful, overwhelming parts so you can focus on becoming the best you that you can be? Allow a team of people who care for you and your success to guide you through the sometimes tumultuous waters of this stage in the game.

When I’m not at Waubonsee, you can find me…
Most likely at home! I just got married about 6 months ago and we are still working on uniting our two kingdoms for our perfect happily ever after! We have a beautiful Akita/German Shepherd mix named Gabriel and he definitely demands most of our time and attention...both of which we give to him happily! When I do want to go out, it's usually to the movies. I love superhero movies and anything Disney!

Favorite quote:
"Always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." — Winnie the Pooh