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Mentoring and Persistence to Success Staff

Jack Kelly

Director
828.227.7127
jjkelly@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Windom, Minnesota

Joined WCU:
2016

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Minnesota

Graduate Institution:
University of North Carolina- Wilmington

Hobbies:
Hiking, reading, and home improvement

Why did I become an advisor:
I love working with students to help discover their passion and path!

Favorite quotes:
"A vacation is external. A pilgrimage is internal. An adventure combines them." ~Eddy L. Harris, Mississippi Solo


Tim Holloran

Tim Holloran photo

 

ASP Coordinator
828.227.7123
tholloran@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Haverhill, Massachusetts 

Joined WCU:
2018 

Undergraduate Institution:
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Graduate Institution:
The Citadel

Hobbies:
Reading, working on my house, hiking

Favorite Quote:
"Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks." ~Warren Buffett


Jasmine Kendrick

Jasmine Kendrick photo

 

Academic Advisor
828.227.2217
jkendrick@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Joined WCU:
2019

Undergraduate Institution:
University of North Carolina - Greensboro

Graduate Institution:
University of North Carolina - Greensboro

Hobbies:
Reading, shopping

Why did I become an advisor:
"I was very conflicted with the direction of my life in undergrad. With the support of mentors, I was able to find my purpose in life and find a better sense of direction. This was when I decided getting a degree Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, because I wanted to obtain the tools to help students who were like me navigate college life. I would like to be a support system for students and help them find their way during their time at WCU."

Favorite quotes:
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” ~ Audre Lorde


Elinda Forster

Elinda Forster photo

 

Administrative Support Specialist
828.227.3895

swu@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Hong Kong

Joined WCU:
2020

Undergraduate Institution:
Western Carolina University

Hobbies:
Travel and learn their culture. Read for new knowledge. Enjoy time with my family.

Favorite quotes:
"You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated." -Maya Angelou 


Thomas William Newkirk

Thom Newkirt photo

 

Graduate Assistant
828.227.7127
tnewkirk@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Charlotte, North Carolina

Joined WCU:
2020

Undergraduate Institution:
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Graduate Institution:
Western Carolina University

Hobbies:
Phone Photography, Daydreaming, and Cooking

Why did I become a Graduate Assistant?
The MAPS graduate assistantship aligned with my intention and mission as a higher education practitioner to enhance the first-year experience of diverse first-generation students through advisement, mentorship, leadership development, and guided personal reflection.

Favorite quotes:
"All People - Especially Young People - Need the Same Ten Things: Meaning, Adventure, Community, Power, Respect, Structure, Challenge, Opportunity, Joy, and Love." ~ City Year Inc. 


Jessica Minch

Jessica Minch photo1

 

Graduate Assistant
828.227.7127
jminch@wcu.edu

Hometown:
Mooresville, North Carolina

Joined WCU:
2020 as a member of the 2022 Masters of Higher Education Student Affairs program cohort

Undergraduate Institution:
Appalachian State University, where I studied broadcast media and Spanish

Graduate Institution:
University name

Hobbies:
Playing and walking with my dog, photography, cooking, listening to music, reading, traveling to new places.

Why I became a graduate assistant/intern?
I chose MAPS for my internship because academics are the center of a quality college experience. When students are engaged and perform well in the classroom, they also have the ability to engage and perform well in their residential living communities, campus organizations, and life after college. This internship allows me to gain professional work experience while putting into practice the skills and competencies I’m learning about in the classroom. I will gain experience in building rapport with students, supporting them in working through academic and personal challenges, and celebrating their successes, all of which are skills that will allow me to be successful in any area of student affairs after graduation. 

Favorite quotes:
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

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