I believe that you matter! While working with you, I aim for you to feel heard, understood, and affirmed. I honor where you are in your U of U adventure.
To share a little about myself… my journey began in New Hampshire – where I call home. In need of personal and academic exploration, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts where I earned a B.A. in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. Most recently, I earned an M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. In my free time, I enjoy spending time in coffee shops, snowboarding, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my dog, Buddy.
As a recent graduate, I relate to being in the classroom and trying to navigate the countless possibilities and resources available to you. You can count on me to meet you right where you are; I aspire to listen, understand, relate, and empathize with your experiences – whether similar or different than my own. I am invested in building a long-lasting relationship through your graduation date.
As a Student Success Advocate, I know your experiences are unique and I will work to develop and individualize a relationship with you, identify goals, and create an action plan for achieving each goal. Together we can help you succeed personally, academically, and professionally. Thank you for exploring the opportunity to work with a Student Success Advocate and I hope to talk with you soon!
Christine Contestable, M.Div., Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
What do you want to know about me?
I’m a teacher, and I’m a learner. I’m convinced that each of us is always in a state of becoming, that life is a journey, and that the best way to live it is to engage fully each opportunity that comes our way.
I’ve taught at the collegiate level since 2002. Before that, as an ordained minister, I worked with youth and young adults across the state of Utah. I hold a B.A. in English, a M.Div., and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah.
I grew up in southern Arizona and have lived some different places, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. I love growing things and preparing food to share. I also love hiking in slot canyons, watching birds, and anything that includes water. I agree with Isak Dinesen who said, “The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears, or the ocean.” My wife, Stacy, and I live in a beautiful brick Victorian built in 1896. I’ve learned many skills working on our home—electrical, indoor and outdoor plumbing, construction, landscaping—and take great pleasure in knowing every corner of it intimately.
I need to feel that the work I do matters. I’ve never cared about making a lot of money. I’m more interested in things of greater worth. To me, this life is about making connections. It’s about relationships and how we treat each other. That’s why I do this work. I am committed to supporting you wherever you are in your journey, whatever your particular situation, whatever your needs and aspirations. And if I’m not the best fit for you, we’ll figure out who is.
Jon Bernal, M.Ed. (he/him/his)
Throughout my professional career, my top goal has been to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Whether this impact was in my previous career in politics or through higher education, the goal has remained the same – make someone’s life better by removing hurdles, offer insight and guidance to solve problems, and eventually influence change on multiple levels.
A little about me…After graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science, I spent ten years working in politics in Washington, DC, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Utah. After my career in politics, I moved back to the Beehive State and obtained a Master’s in Education, Leadership, and Policy with an emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Utah.
In my spare time, I like to visit antique stores, watch movies at Broadway Theater, work in the garden, consume all types of food, meet interesting and engaging people, cheer for various University of Utah sporting teams, watch concerts at Red Butte Gardens, and spend time with family and friends.
Lisa Lewis, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)
Welcome to the next step on your academic journey! Whether you are a first-year student, a transfer student, or you are getting close to graduating, by contacting a Student Success Advocate you have found a great avenue for support.
I grew-up in Utah and am a graduate of the University of Utah where I earned a BA in both Anthropology and Art History. From there my journey has taken me across the west. I lived for several years in Montana, New Mexico and in the rural lands of Utah including Loa and Mount Pleasant. I love to be outside exploring the wilder places in the west. I find great peace and joy in mountains and deserts that surround us, and love to play in the snow, sand, and rocks. Skiing, floating rivers, hiking, running and biking are among my favorite activities. When I’m home I love to garden and create mixed media arts and crafts with found objects. I have two step-sons that keep me laughing and celebrating life’s gifts.
While in Montana, I earned my M.Ed. at the University of Montana. I worked for a few years in K-12 education, but found that my passion is in higher education. In New Mexico I worked for a two-year college as a grant director and an instructor. I help design and implement programs aimed at building student success for first generation, under-represented, and under-resourced students. Mentoring programs and supplemental instruction are examples of programs I worked with. I come back to the U of U with a great appreciation of how a connection with one caring person on campus can make a difference in a student’s academic experience.
Thanks for being curious and looking into the opportunities the Student Success Advocate program offers. It would be great to have the chance to meet you and hear the story of your journey.
Maggie Roque, M.S. (she/her/hers)
You matter. You belong. You are not alone.
I care deeply about your experience at the University of Utah—namely, I care about YOU. In meeting with me, you can count on me to ask you questions about who you are: your life, your experiences, your aspirations, your goals. I take my work seriously, but not myself. I will engage and be present in our conversations and in relationship building, and I hope that while we do some hard work, we can have fun along the way. I will honor the identities that you hold and share with me and will work with you holistically to connect you to resources and opportunities that create the signature, successful University of Utah experience that you envision and in which you can thrive.
So who am I? I’m Maggie Roque (phonetically pronounced “Ro-Kay,” like “Okay, Roque!”). I am a Midwesterner in upbringing. Originally from the Chicago area, I also spent time in Iowa and Kansas pursuing my degrees: a BA in Psychology and an MS in Counseling and Student Development. I have a dog who steals food from counters when I’m not home, a deep appreciation for live music, and a love for all things spicy. I moved to Salt Lake City in 2013 and I’m in Higher Education because I don’t believe in finding out what’s “wrong” with people, but rather in looking critically at our institution and how we can assist our students in developing into the best they can be. I care deeply about social justice and creating an inclusive and safe environment for underrepresented/minority students on campus. This includes advocating and supporting students of color (#BlackLivesMatter), DACA and undocumented students, LGBTQ folx, and many others. Dr. Cornel West shared that “Justice is what Love looks like in public,” and I put my heart, mind, and self toward living out this ideal.
Tramaine Jones, M.A.Ed. (he/him/his)
I am Midwest born and was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2013, I earned my Bachelor of Science in recreation and sport management with a minor in coaching at Indiana State University. From there, I moved to Ohio and earned my Master of Arts in education with a concentration in sport coaching in 2015. Now I am a Student Success Advocate at the U and am excited to work with you.
During the last half-decade, my life has been built around working with students. This journey started during my undergraduate years as a peer mentor and continued on to my graduate school years as a graduate mentor. What I have learned most about working with students is that you can be under a lot of pressure. I am here as a Student Success Advocate to help fill your journey with opportunities and experiences that can help take some of that pressure away. I am a Student Success Advocate because I want to pay it forward to you at the U. As a Student Success Advocate, I am here for you!
As a Student Success Advocate I will connect you to resources that will enhance your success. If I don’t know the answer to your questions, I will work my hardest to find the answers. I want you to know that I am here for your success and will support you in any way I can.
My advice to you is to stay open-minded. The U is a very diverse campus with many people from different backgrounds. Keeping your mind open allows the opportunity to hear everyone’s story.
Wazir Jefferson, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
Consciousness and equality have always been at the forefront of my being. As a “teacher and a learner,” I believe it is important to meet you right where you are.
As a Student Success Advocate, you can count on me to bring: 1) Passion – energy to meeting you right where you are and the time needed to get to know you; 2) Awareness – all of us (myself included) have experienced help, support, and encouragement along the journey to graduation; 3) Sensitivity – acknowledgement of all parts of your identities with no parts of your being left out; and 4) Knowledge – to connect you with the resources, people, and offices at the University of Utah who can offer additional support.
I graduated from Temple University with my Bachelor of Business Administration in Legal Studies and Human Resources. From there, I went to The George Washington University where I graduated with a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Human and Organizational Studies. I completed my Doctorate of Education with a Higher Education emphasis here at the University of Utah.
My advice to you: remain open to learning. You have a lot to give and receive. There are no arrival dates or shortcuts to learning – it is a lifelong process. I look forward to meeting you and sharing in your journey on the unwinding educational path.