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Student Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC) Committee

ARC is a committee to our campus community. Committee members have worked on the development of new strategies, strengthening current strategies and practices, and on their implementation to support students experiencing basic needs and housing insecurity.

The ARC model has been implemented by various colleges and universities across the U.S. with a positive impact in retention and graduation rates of students by addressing the barriers caused by basic needs insecurity and housing. NEIU’s establishment of a consortium to support students that are disproportionately impacted by basic need insecurities is an item included in NEIU’s Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative and in the NEIU’s Illinois Equity Plan.

The Division of Student Affairs thanks the committee members for their commitment to support our students and look forward to the initiatives that will be brought forward. We ask the NEIU community to actively engage in the work of this committee.

ARC Committee Members

  • Terry Mena, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Committee Chair
  • Annette Brandt, Director, K(NO)W MORE Program
  • Mimi Crespo, Senior Coordinator, El Centro
  • Evelyn Gonzalez, Academic Advisor, Proyecto Pa’Lante
  • Cristina Hidaka, Director, Child Care Center
  • Casey Holtschneider, Associate Professor, Social Work
  • Ebony Jiminez-Lee, Staff Psychotherapist/Case Manager, Student Counseling Services
  • Jennifer Knuepfer, Interim Assistant Director, Student Counseling Services
  • Tim Libretti, Acting Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Erin Long, Assistant Director, TRIO Student Support Services
  • Michelle Morrow, Director, Scholarships and Retention
  • Katy McGuinnis, Director, Career Development
  • Aidon Perera, Health Education Coordinator, Student Health Services
  • Kim Ramirez Tasigchana, Nurse Practitioner, Student Health Services
  • Quintiliano “Quinti” Rios-Perez, Interim Assistant Dean of Students, Student Affairs
  • Nathan Rouse, Program Support Specialist, Student Disability Services
  • DeWitt Scott, Director, Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
  • Kendra Stern, Academic Advisor, Advising Center and FAST Fund Committee Chair"
  • Sharon Terry, Community Relations Officer, Campus Police
  • Nekenya Walker, Admissions & Program Advisor, Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies
  • Rachel Birmingham-Hoel, Associate Professor, Justice Studies
  • Mary Arreguine-Casimiro, NEIU Student
  • Lissette Zabadneh, Program Assistant, Veterans Services
  • Paola Vargas, Interim Associate Dean of Students, Student Affairs
  • DeMara Campbell, CRM Manager, Enrollment Services
  • Erica Brown-Pierce, Project Success, Director 

  • Sarah Noorian, Assistant Director, Student Leadership Development
  • Sandra Mizhquiri Panora, NEIU student

Student Basic Needs Survey

One of the Student ARC Committee’s initiatives has been the release of the Basic Needs survey with the goal of collecting data directly from NEIU students related to their basic needs. The survey is currently open and we encourage all students to complete it. Participants will have the opportunity to be entered in a drawing to receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Student Basic Needs Survey

Students experiencing housing insecurity/homelessness

If you are a currently enrolled NEIU student experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness, please contact the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Office at saffairs@neiu.edu or (773) 442-4600 or visit at our office located in Building C, Room C 324.

Homelessness Resources-Chicago

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, please direct them to the nearest hospital or police station for assistance with shelter, or call Chicago City Services at 311 or (312) 744-5000. Regular call hours are 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. If calling after hours, press “” to talk to an operator. Tell the staff or operator that you are homeless and in need of shelter. You will be directed to the nearest pick-up point to be taken to a shelter.

If you’re currently housed but worried that you will lose your housing, call 311 and tell the staff or operator that you need “short term help.” Your call will be transferred to a homelessness prevention call center. Managed by Catholic Charities, the call center can assist in multiple languages. A provider may be able to help you apply for a homeless prevention grant.

Homeless Shelter Directory

Chicago Suburbs

View a list of Warming and Cooling Centers in Chicago, along with other helpful resources.
In suburban Cook County, Catholic Charities also offers shelter and housing assistance by calling at (877) 426-6515. For information on emergency housing resources in suburban Cook County, visit the Cook County Continuum of Care website.

How to Connect to Entry Point Suburban Cook County Call Center

Visit the Entry Point website

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Tuesday

Basic Needs External Resources call 2-1-1

This free, easy-to-access helpline is an information and referral resource, helping connect people to food, housing, utility payment assistance, health care, transportation, childcare, employment, mental health, disaster information and assistance, and more

A go-to resource for any essential health and social service needs, using comprehensive, accurate information, and delivering a user-friendly experience

Student Care

HOUSE Liaison

Dr. Terry Mena

Dr. Terry Mena
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students 
Room C 336
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
United States
(773) 442-4600
Office Hours: By appointment

Beginning Aug. 1, 2022, Illinois Public Act 102-0083, the Higher Education House and Opportunities Act, requires each institution of higher education to designate a member of staff to serve as the Housing and Opportunities that are Useful for Students’ Excellence Liaison (HOUSE Liaison).

HOUSE Liaisons provide assistance and resources to any homeless student or student in foster care enrolled at the institution. HOUSE Liaisons are also required to undergo annual training and collect certain data on the institution’s homeless population as part of this role.

For more information, visit the IBHE House Liaison website.

Undocumented Student Liaison and Benefits Navigator

Quintiliano Rios Perez

Quintiliano Rios Perez, M.A.
Pronouns (he/him/el)
Interim Assistant Dean for Undocumented Student Resources and Student Care
Room C 328
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
United States
(773) 442-4601
Office Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and by appointment

Undocumented Student Liaison 

According to Illinois Public Act 102-1045, beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year, each public institution of higher education in Illinois is required to designate an employee as the Undocumented Student Liaison. Undocumented Student Liaisons must be available on campus to provide assistance to undocumented students and students from mixed status families. An Undocumented Student Liaison’s primary duties are to streamline access to financial aid and provide academic support to students, which will allow the student to successfully matriculate to degree completion. 

For more information, please visit the IBHE Undocumented Student Liaison page.

Benefits Navigator

According to Illinois Public Act 102-0475, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, each public institution of higher education in Illinois is required to designate a member of staff to serve as a Benefits Navigator to help students in need to determine eligibility for benefit programs and identify campus wide and community resource support. The designated staff member will participate in a Communities of Practice (CoP) held by IBHE to coordinate with Benefits Navigators at other public institutions of higher education to develop best practices. 

For more information, please visit the IBHE Benefit Navigator page.

Veterans and Military

Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services
Veterans Services Office, Room D 130
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
(773) 442-4005

According to Public Act 102-0295, the Coordinator of Veterans and Military
Personnel Student Services are tasked to be the central point of contact for all veterans, service members, and dependents at universities and colleges. Veteran applicants and student veterans are encouraged to contact these staff to learn about eligibility to veteran education benefits, benefit application processes, academic counseling, financial aid counseling, and student support services.
For more information please visit: