Sonja Pierson- Chair of the Board
Sonja Pierson is a recent alumnus of PNW’s College of Business, receiving her Master of Business Administration. She is currently enrolled in the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (CHESS) for her Master of Education: Clinical Mental Health Counseling with the Addictions and Expressive Arts Therapy Certifications. In addition to being the CHESS Student Advisory Board Chair; Sonja is an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honor society for AACSB accredited programs, Chi Sigma Iota-Psi Upsilon Chi, the international honor society promoting academic excellence and professionalism in the field of counseling, and is the student representative for PNW for the Indiana Counseling Association. She not only values being an active member throughout the university, but also being an active student advocate. Sonja has aspirations to continue her education on a doctoral level.
Martha Gallegos – Vice Chair
Martha Gallegos is currently a junior at Purdue University Northwest. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Her intended year of graduation is May of 2021.
In addition to being the Vice-Chair for the CHESS Student Advisory Board, Martha is a student worker in the CHESS Dean’s office. She is also engaged in many different clubs around campus. Outside of PNW, she loves to take part in doing volunteer work to give back to her community.
Martha is a 1st generation Latina college student and after graduation, Martha plans to attend The University of Chicago Law School in hopes of becoming an immigration lawyer.
Brenna Uporsky is a current undergrad in English Literature at Purdue Northwest. In addition to being the Secretary for the CHESS Student Advisory Board, she is a Writing Tutor for PNW Westville’s Writing Center and the President of its English Honor Society. She is also an author for PNW’s literary publication, Furnace, and for the Department of English’s pop culture blog, LitPop. Aside from her involvement at PNW, her favorite literature experience is through working the Great Books Summer Program at Stanford University. The heart and mission that PNW’s CHESS faculty, staff, and students embody has inspired her to pursue a career in Chicago’s publishing industry.
Giovanna Urbina-Communications Specialist
Giovanna Urbina is a senior majoring in Secondary English Teaching. In addition to being the Communications Specialist on the Student Advisory Board, Giovanna is the president of PNW Woke Feminist club, a member of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and an active member of Sisters With a Purpose (SWAP) club on campus. Giovanna is also a student worker in the Writing Center, along with her extracurriculars she has participated in the 2019 Clement S. Stacey Research Conference. Giovanna’s aspirations post-graduation is to pursue a Ph.D. in Urban Education.
Alicia Settles is a senior with a major in psychology at Purdue Northwest. In addition to being a member for the CHESS Student Advisory Board, she is a research assistant for roughly 6 professors at the university and member of Psi Chi Honor Society in psychology. She is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Alpha Pi, and she is a sister of Theta Kappa Pi. Aside from scholarly studies, she loves to play her instrument and has been playing the trumpet for 12 years now. She is an avid Purdue University sports fan, and enjoys spending time with her friends. Alicia plans on attending a Ph.D program for clinical neuropsychology with a specialization in mood and personality disorders.
Madeline Clement is currently a junior at Purdue University Northwest. She is majoring in English Literature with a double minor in Spanish and History. In addition to being a member of the CHESS Student Advisory Board, Madeline is the Social Media Director for the Spanish Club, and a member of the Leadership Team for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship where she leads a weekly Women’s Small Group Bible study. She is also a student worker for The Office of Global Engagement in the Education Abroad department. Aside from her involvement on campus, Madeline has participated in the following PNW study abroad programs: Oxford-London Program 2018 and Education Abroad in Spain 2019. Madeline’s high impact education across the world has inspired her to continue traveling and learn in every arena possible.
Rebecca Hasley is currently an ungraduate student at Purdue University Northwest, with a major in Psychology. In addition to being a member of the CHESS Student Advisory Board, she is Vice President of PSI CHI, the International Honors Society of Psychology, a research assistant, and a participating member of the Psychology Club – Hammond campus. Aside from scholarly participation at PNW, she strives to give back to her community in any way possible. Valuing the opportunity to be an active member throughout the university, she feels as if being a student advocate is a crucial component of developing balance in between students and faculty at PNW. Upon graduation, Rebecca intends to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Tarah Shaw is a junior at PNW and is majoring in English Writing with a minor in creative writing. Her ambition is to be a bestselling novelist and a librarian. During her spare time, she likes to read YA novels and engage in creative writing. She likes piano, gardening, and knitting. She is a member of Christian Intervarsity and NSLS (National Society of Leadership and Success). She is also in the Honors College and is currently holding the position of Academic and Cultural Coordinator. She has made the dean’s list every semester since her freshman year.
Kayla Vasilko is a junior in the Honors College majoring in English Writing. Writing is one of her greatest passions, and she has written over 14 novels, 4,000 poems, and dozens of short stories, nonfiction narratives, and songs. She currently has the pleasure of serving as Honors College senator in SGA, Honors College VP, ODK secretary, S.H.I.N.E president, and the vice president of the NSLS. She could not be more excited to work with and learn from all of the wonderful people on the CHESS Student Advisory Board!
Lori Utesch graduated from Purdue North Central, in 2015, with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. She returns to her home campus, in Westville, every semester to present her professionalism workshop to social sciences undergraduates. After working at the Westville Correctional Facility, for two years, as an Addictions Counselor in Training, Lori enrolled in the Purdue University Northwest clinical mental health counseling graduate program. Currently in her 6th semester, Lori is a graduate assistant at the Indianapolis Boulevard Community Counseling Center, President of PNW’s Chi Sigma Iota’s chapter Psi Upsilon Chi, and an advocate for prison rehabilitation and reform, victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and those recovering from the trauma of narcissistic abuse. Upon graduation, Lori will continue on to pursue her Ph.D. degree in forensic psychology.