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simpson-portrait Patricia Simpson
105 Noyes Lab
(217) 333-1051
(217) 333-7390 fax


Patricia Simpson joined the University of Illinois’ School of Chemical Sciences in August 2007 and now serves as the Director of Academic Advising and Career Services.  Prior to that, she served as the Director of Career Services for the University of North Alabama for eight years.  After obtaining a BA in Communications and English, she worked as an Admissions Counselor in South Dakota and as a Career Counselor at Azusa Pacific University in California where she also acquired her M.Ed. in College Student Affairs.  Patricia serves as the ACS Webinars Careers Channel Moderator and on the board with the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers.

In her (limited) free time, Patricia serves as an Etiquette Consultant and she and her husband volunteer with their church, Champaign Parks & Rec and The Virginia Theatre.  She is passionate about helping students find their unique strengths and serving as a connection for them to others to enable them to achieve their professional goals!



Gayle Nelsen
Recruiting Coordinator
105 Noyes Lab
(217) 333-1051
(217) 333-7390


From: Monticello, IL

Education: Bachelor’s of Arts from Eastern Illinois University.

Hobbies: I love to learn and have lots of hobbies.  My all-time favorite is reading, but I also enjoy gardening, watching my hummingbird friends, and snuggling with my cat Baby.

Best piece of advise for students:  On campus, you always have someone to turn to for help.  If you can’t find the right person/office ask your advisor, TA, or other faculty/staff member for assistance.

Interesting Facts: I have lived and travelled internationally getting the opportunity to learn about other cultures.  These experiences give me an appreciation of the culture shock international students feel when first arriving on campus.  So, I enjoy helping our students feel welcome.



WolaliWolali A. Dedo
Academic Advisor
(last names beginning with A-G)
110B Noyes Lab
(217) 244-8531


From: Shaker Heights, Ohio

Education: Bachelor’s of Arts in Law and Social Thought, Double Minors in Women’s and Gender Studies, Philosophy from the University of Toledo. Master’s of Arts in African American Studies, with a concentration in Sociology from the University of Los Angeles, California (UCLA).

Hobbies: I love going to the movies, playing board games, reading, bicycling and listening to various types of music.

Best piece of advise for students:

  • Ask questions
  • Utilize the numerous resources here at Illinois
  • Frequent professors’ and/or TA’s office hours
  • Actively participate in a student organization, gain internship and/or co-op experiences, volunteer for positive social causes and become involved in study abroad opportunities
  • Explore, Discover, Learn and Grow!

Interesting Facts: My father is from Togo, West Africa, and my mother is from Cleveland, Ohio. My parents met in a cafeteria at a university in Paris. At the time, my mother had travelled to France to  study French literature for a semester at Sorbonne University and my father was completing the last years of his PhD.  I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Togo, West Africa. My parents, siblings and I moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, when I was eleven years old. I am multicultural and trilingual, speaking English, French and Ewe.


Kimberly Powers
Academic Advisor
(last names beginning with H-N)
110C Noyes Lab
(217) 244-0263


From:  Louisville, KY

Education:  University of Michigan – Master of Arts in Anthropology & History focusing on 19th century Russian and Central Asian history. University of Louisville – BA in History, BFA in 2D Design, and minor in Russian Studies.

Hobbies: Listening to podcasts about design, history, and politics; playing indoor soccer; travel; animal rescue; watching too much HGTV and Food Network.

Best piece of advice for students: Get involved outside of the classroom – there are a variety of ways to develop your personal and professional skills on campus. You can find leadership positions in RSOs; improve your communication and academic skills as a TA, tutor, or mentor; gain valuable academic experience conducting research with faculty; and get hands-on learning through internships and co-ops. These activities will help you explore and confirm what path in SCS will be best for you!

Interesting Fact: One of my cats grew up on the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan. I nursed her back to health after she fell from the 4th floor of an apartment building and we traveled from Kazakhstan to Russia to the US. She lives with me, my partner, and our other two cats and two dogs in Champaign. She is happy, healthy, and glad she doesn’t have to take any more transatlantic flights in her lifetime.


spinner-portraitTodd Spinner
Academic Advisor
(last names beginning with O-Z)
110A Noyes Lab
(217) 244-6605


From:  Taylorville, IL

Education:  Master of Science in Education in Guidance and Counseling with an emphasis in College Student Personnel

Hobbies:  Bicycling, camping, outdoor sports, organic gardening, computers & Designing Websites

Best piece of advice for students:  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of resources that can help students succeed but you have to ask as they will not seek you out.

Interesting Fact: I have played college tennis and was coach of three different sports at two different colleges.