Residence Life

mary.jpg Mary Oakes 
Director of Residential Operations
Mary earned her Masters Degree in College Student Personnel from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She has served the Residence Life Department here at Columbia for 10 years, but has worked in Residence Life for a total of 20 years professionally and on a student staff level. She enjoys supporting and challenging students while they live on campus and experience their transition into College life.

kelli.jpg Kelli Collins 
Director of Residence Education
Kelli earned a M.S.Ed.with a concentration in community counseling from Eastern Illinois University. She has served in Columbia's Residence Life Department for nearly 20 years, but has worked in Higher Education for approximately 27 years professionally. Kelli's professional philosophy is that there is a great deal of learning that can take place outside of the classroom, and that is what she likes to promote with the students that she interacts with on a daily basis. She strives to provide an experience that will help the students that she comes into contact with leaving the interaction better than they were previous to interacting with her.It is refreshing to know immediately, or years later that something you did or said helped to improve the life of the student that you worked with. There are so many challenges that can become blockades for students as they are progressing through college and beyond, it is Kelli's life work to help to ease some of those challenges.

christie.jpg Christie Lewis
Assistant Director of Training & Community Relations
Christie has a Masters of Science in College Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University. She joined the Residence Life team at Columbia College Chicago in January 2016 and has been in Residence Life for 8years. Prior to coming to Columbia she worked at Illinois Wesleyan University and Saint Xavier University. Christie enjoys supporting student development while challenging them to reach their highest potential. 

Quote: Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about" - Winston Churchill 

Fun Fact: I have a twin brother and am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC 

adam.jpg Adam Kubiak
Assistant Director of Community Standards & Programs
Adam joined Residence Life at Columbia College in January 2017. Prior to coming to Columbia, Adam worked as a Residence Life Coordinator at Elmhurst College in the west suburbs of Chicago. He received his Master of Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership from Western Michigan University. Having received his undergraduate degree in Art History and sharing a love for the creative arts, Adam is very excited to be working with such creative, talented, and diverse students at Columbia.

Quote: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” - Unknown

Fun Fact: Adam’s favorite color ( Pantone 448C, "opaque couché") also happens to be considered the world’s ugliest color.

ron-jovi.jpg Ron Jovi Ramirez
Coordinator of Programming

Ron Jovi was a Resident Director at Manhattan College in New York before he joined the Columbia College Chicago team in January 2019. He got his Masters in Elementary & Special Education from Manhattan College and his BA in Mathematics and Philosophy of Law from Lewis University. He was a high school math teacher before focusing on the development and effects of educational programming outside of the classroom as it pertains to the higher education setting. Ron Jovi enjoys creating and fostering creative, educational programming in the halls to help residents grow and flourish at their time at Columbia. 

Quote: “Beauty in things exist in the mind which contemplates them” – David Hume

Fun fact: I was named after Bon Jovi, rock legend from the grand city of Sayreville, NJ!

alicia.jpgAlicia Beach

Coordinator of Community Relations
Alicia holds a Master of Christian Education from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Alicia began her career in residential services at Uspiritus and Home of the Innocents as an advocate and educator for vulnerable adolescents and young adults. She has worked as a Resident Director at Northampton Community College and Savannah State University prior to moving to the windy city. She enjoys mentoring young adults as they discover their professional strengths and define their talents. Alicia is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Quote: “We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” -Evelyn Mary Dunbar

Fun Fact: I love to write by candlelight and I am a bibliophile. One can never have too many books!

naimah.jpgNa'imah Muhammad
Coordinator of Assignments & Operations
Na'imah graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater with a B.A in Media Arts & Game Development in December 2016. She joined Residence Life in February 2017 and really enjoys working with the students. She takes pride in keping the Residence Life website up to date and answering all email inquiries. 

Quote: "Going into the unknown, without fear or expectation, is the ultimate adventure" - Akin Olokun 

Fun Fact: During my freetime I love to: play video games, read manga & watch anime

james.jpgJames deJesus

Coordinator of Communications & Operations
James joined Residence Life in May 2019. He previously worked at Columbia College Admissions Office as a Counseling Associate in 2016. He also graduated at Columbia College Chicago back in May 2006. 

Quote: “Chookity Pop” - Mooncake

Fun Fact: I played bass in a local bluegrass band in 2010.