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Candidate Welcome & Professional Panel

Candidate Welcome

Get excited for OPE! Join members of the OPE leadership for an energizing welcome to your placement experience and a few fun giveaways. Our keynote speaker will welcome you to OPE and kick off your OPE experience. Then, our staff will help you will feel more confident and prepared with a brief review of services and resources available to candidates. Following the brief review, our distinguished panel of professionals will share their experience and take questions.

2018 Keynote Speaker: JM Alatis

JM Alatis serves as the Assistant Director of Training Programs for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and is a master trainer and manager of the 12 hour, 8 module Certified Peer Educator (CPE) Program. JM received his undergraduate degree in Sociology & Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he was involved with NASPA as a two-year NUFP Fellow. After attending OPE in 2013, he received his MA in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in College Student Development at the University of Denver, focusing his research on student affairs pipelining. As someone who has always wanted to “find a job where he could do icebreakers for a living”, he is excited to be able to work with students and student affairs leaders on campuses throughout the country!


Candidate Roundtable

Put OPE’s network to work for you! Immediately following the Candidate Welcome, our panelists will break off and lead small, roundtable discussions. These conversations are your opportunity to ask questions about search processes, resumes, cover letters, job transitions, and much more! This session is ideal for all candidates.

2018 Professional Panel


M Janz


Mary Janz, Panel Moderator

Mary Janz serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Residence Life at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She is a long-time attendee of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange, and will serve as this year's panel moderator.





J Bollinger



Jacque Bollinger

Jacque Bollinger serves as the Director of Residence Life at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Jacque received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Illinois University. She completed a Master of Science in Counselor Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.





K Cook

Dr. Kevin Cook

Dr. Cook is currently in his 18th academic year as a full time professional.  He began his career as a residence hall director at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  After working at Mac for 3 years, he has been at Kansas State University, where he is now an Associate Director for Student Living.  He also currently serves as an adjunct faculty in the College Student Development program at K-State.  He has been professionally involved in UMR-ACUHO and ACUHO-I.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Southeast Missouri State University, his master’s in student affairs administration in higher education at Ball State University and his doctorate at Kansas State University.



C Hurtado


Christina Hurtado

Christina Hurtado has 18 years of experience in the field of Residence Life and currently serves as the Director of Residential Life at Fort Hays State University.  She has her M.A. in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University, and her B.A. in Biology from Southwestern College.  She is passionate about working with student staff, particularly in the areas of equity and inclusion.  In her free time, she loves to spend time knitting, going to coffee shops and walking her Corgi, Walter.





J GutierrezDr. Javier Gutierrez

Javier has worked in the field of Residential Life for the past 21 years.  He joined Hamline University in 2001, and is currently an associate dean of students.  His journey in Residential Life started at Northern Illinois University as a Hall Director.  He then went on to work at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado.  He is currently working at Hamline University and over the past 17 years at Hamline, he has had the roles of hall director, assistant director, associate director and director.  Javier has taught first year seminars and student development theory courses that focus on social justice and identity, and partnered with faculty and staff across the campus by facilitating trainings such as Green Dot (a bystander intervention program to prevent sexual violence), conduct board training, and various social justice issues. Javier was a co-creator of the Safe Zone program at Hamline. Javier has advised student groups most recently the Hispanic and Latino Student Organization.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from Northern Illinois University, Master of Education from the University of St. Thomas, and his Educational Doctorate from Hamline University.  His research focused how his identity as a latino male shaped his experience in the field of residential life.


B Mueller


Bill Mueller

Bill started his career in for-profit higher education before going back to school for his master's degree in Student Personnel Administration at Concordia University Wisconsin.  From there, he worked for CUW as a graduate admissions counselor before leaving for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  AT UWM, Bill works as an academic advisor int he College of Health Sciences.





Dr. Dianne Timm

Dianne Timm is an Associate Professor in the Counseling and Student Development department at Eastern Illinois University.  She has over 20 years of experience working in higher education, primarily in the area of residence life.  She has spent time at a variety of different institutions in the Midwest at Southeast.  Over the past 10 years she has spent time researching assessment in higher education, college student sense of belonging, and perceptions of the college experience.  When she's not active on campus at EIU, you will find her volunteering in the Charleston, Illinois community.