Meet Our Team

Photograph of Dhanfu ElstonDhanfu E. Elston, Ph.D.
Executive Director for Student Success and Transition

Office Location: Lawshe 105
As a higher education leader and scholar in academic and student affairs, with over two decades of progressive experience, I continue to be honored to serve students. Purdue University Calumet is a gem of an institution where I am allowed to pursue my passion of creating accessible and supportive college and university environments. A college education still continues to be one of the best investments that a student and family can make. What we do on a daily basis, not only helps individuals, but changes the lives of families and enhances communities in Northwest Indiana.

Chancellor Thomas Keon has communicated that retention and student success is a university-wide effort. As the chief retention officer within the Division of Academic Affairs, I lead the university in increasing retention and graduation rates at both strategic and operational levels. I have the pleasure of working with and coordinating the efforts of staff in the Center for Learning and Academic Success, which serves as the hub of campus-wide student success initiatives. In addition, we work to enhance the quality of academic advising throughout the campus. It is an honor to be a key team member in developing the most ideal, efficient, and data-driven approaches to student success.

Photograph of Deborah BealDeborah Beal
Manager of Student Academic Support

Office Location: Gyte 100

Photograph of Linda PetteeLinda Pettee
Academic Advisor

Office Location: Lawshe 122-C

Photograph of Charnell ThomasCharnell Thomas
Retention Advisor

Office Location: Lawshe 122-F
I have been in the field of education since 1998 after completing by Baccalaureate degree from Illinois State University. Enjoying the art of education and the many possibilities within the field I began to embark on new endeavors in adult learning and higher education. Upon completing my Master’s degree at Northern Illinois University I knew student success is my primary focus to usher in a new generation of lifelong learners through engagement, best practices, and technology.

Oshunda WilliamsOshunda Williams
Retention Advisor

Office Location: Lawshe 122-E

Oshunda Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts degree from Governors State University. She believes that with guidance and effort, every person aspiring to be better in any area will succeed. As education is her passion, it is her philosophy that “educating means helping learners make a connection between what is being taught and what they experience everyday”. She feels it is her job to show people how to apply what is learned in an effort to retain and utilize new information.

“I welcome you to CLAS. It is always a pleasure to help people develop themselves academically to realize their goals. Enjoy your time at Purdue; take full advantage of advising, tutoring, workshops and everything our institution has to offer. Seek to understand how everything you learn applies and it will be easy for you to use what you know, now and later in life.”

Photograph of Jennifer MadgiakJennifer Madgiak
Coordinator, Student-Athlete Academic Support Program

Office Location: FNRC 116
Jen currently serves as the Athletic Academic Coordinator for all 12 intercollegiate athletic programs at Purdue Calumet. Some of her responsibilities include monitoring academic progress, assisting in the advising process, developing and presenting workshops, and advising the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). One of her goals is to assist student-athletes in being successful as they transition from high school/their previous school, to Purdue Calumet and from Purdue Calumet to their first job or graduate school. Jen previously served as an Athletic Academic Coordinator for women’s soccer, swimming, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis at Illinois State University (2011-2014) while coordinating the Athletic department’s community service efforts. She served as a graduate assistant at ISU from 2009-2011 teaching kinesiology classes, assisting with the swim team, and supervising the men’s basketball study halls. Jen was a member of the swim team at Western Illinois University where she still holds top-ten times in multiple events.

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Captain Josette Perkins
Office Location: Entrepreneurship Center

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Michael Wilk
Secretary, Student Academic Support
Office Location: Gyte 104

CLAS Lecturers

Branch, Leah

Castillo, Gerardo

Krumrie, Cody

Leeson-Oldenburg, Linda

London, Lisa

Williams, Fred