University College

Our Success Coaching Team

First-Year Students



Hey! My name is Roxie Deer and I serve as a Student Coach and Counselor in the University College. In this role, I meet and connect with freshman students who are setting goals and planning for their future. This role will allow me to be your cheerleader AND still help you keep your goals in focus!

I am from the Richmond community and graduated from RHS in 2009. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The College of Wooster, graduating in 2013! I moved back to Richmond and taught at The Excel Center, focused on career certification courses! I finished my Master’s Degree in 2016 in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland!

During my free time, I can be found on the golf course, doing crafts (including pottery), spending time with family and usually eating delicious new recipes! My mom and I also put a lot of effort into raising awareness about breast cancer in the Wayne County community during our free time! I have one puppy, her name is Mischa and she spends her day being a spoiled little princess who loves to go on long car rides and give plenty of kisses!

I look forward to meeting all of the students and cannot wait to work with you as you navigate through college! Feel free to call, text, or stop in anytime and set up an appointment with me!


Hi! My name is Blake Gooch, and I’m a Student Coach and Counselor within University College. Think of me as your personal compass! I’m here to guide and support you as you navigate the world which is IU East. I will be working with our freshmen students as well as our student athletes to make sure that the transition into college goes as smooth as possible!

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I received my Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from THE Ohio State University in 2009. Next, I continued my journey to Dayton, Ohio to receive my Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education on April 2017!

Outside of work, I enjoy having fun with my friends as we play videogames, have board game nights, or go on random trips! I was even able to go out of the country once to Mexico, so that was a very exciting trip! Another thing to know about me is that family is important to me. I come from a big family, and they are one of the factors to my success!

I look forward to meeting all of you as we progress through the school year, so remember to come into the office and let’s create YOUR path to success! As we begin the new school year, I will leave a piece of advice my dad told me… “Do what you got to do now, so you can do what you want to do later.” See you soon and go Red Wolves!!!        

Online Students


Hello! My name is Danielle Nuss and I am a Student Success Coach for online students. I am here to support and assist you in finding answers that relate to navigating the campus and its resources, and to discuss your academic goals that will attribute to your personal and professional success throughout college. As an Indiana University East alumni with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship, I am excited to be serving online students at the place that has become my home away from home.

When I am not working at IU East you can find me enjoying time with my friends and family, DIY projects, live music, curling up with a good book, spending time outdoors, nabbing an apple cider slushie at the local orchard, and hanging out with my awesome dog Cloe-E.

I love being a part of the IU East Community. It is a great place to be a student, faculty and staff member. As a former student, I am grateful that I have had some key people at IU East that have taken the time to invest in my life, that have made all the difference in propelling me forward in aiming towards the future. I hope to be able to encourage all of you in this same way.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to be working with all of you this year, and cannot wait to share with you in the experience of what it means to be part of the great community of people that is Indiana University East! Please feel free to call, email, and make an appointment. I am looking forward to meeting all of you.


Hello! My name is Jordan Heiliger and I am here to help online students have the best experience possible at IU East through my role as a Student Success Coach. I have a passion for helping students navigate their college career by providing support and guidance along the way, from accessing resources to developing goals and strategies for success. It can be difficult to feel connected to campus when you are taking courses from a distance, so it is my goal to help students feel like part of the IU East family.

I am originally from Goshen, Indiana but I received both my Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication Studies in 2014 and my Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Leadership in 2017 from Defiance College, located in Ohio. I have three years of professional experience advising students within higher education from my previous role directing a service learning scholarship program.

I love to travel and have been to five countries (Italy, Belize, London, Tanzania, and Nicaragua) to complete research and/or service projects. I also enjoy reading, going to concerts, and playing with my goofy cat, Echo. Please feel free to call or email me! I would love to get to know you and assist you in any way possible!


Hi! My name is Emma Harmon, and I am a Student Success Coach for online students! My job is to help our online students navigate their degree program and complete their goals successfully. I’m originally from Bidwell, a small town in southeastern Ohio, but left in 2006 to pursue my Bachelor’s degree – and I’ve been all over the place since! I have a dual Bachelor’s Degree in English and Psychology from the Ohio State University, and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Virginia Tech.

During my time in college, I was lucky to have a group of supportive friends and professionals who helped me stay on course to graduate, and who ultimately inspired my love for helping students. I was a very isolated student during my first year, but as I went on through the rest of college and grad school, I got involved by being an RA, serving on university committees, and being employed in other areas on campus. I hope to be able to be a support for our online students and find ways for them to find that connection with others as they move through their education.

When I’m not working, I find ways to nurture my inner nerd. I enjoy listening to audiobooks, playing video games and MMORPGs, keeping up with the latest tech gadgets and news stories online, and occasionally when I stop being afraid of the sun’s deadly rays you might even get me to go outside to go swimming! Every weekend since grad school, I also meet up with a group of friends to play Dungeons & Dragons – there’s nothing I’d rather do on a weekend!

I want you to know that regardless of your situation, I want to help you. Please don’t be afraid to send me a text, email, or phone call. I view my job as getting paid to do what I used to do for free – being a support and mentor for other people. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you!

Twenty First Century Scholars


With a background in student development, residence life, and gender violence education and support services, Kimmy Benson brings passion, humor and insight to her position as a Scholar Coach. Kimmy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Whitworth University and a Master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Denver. Outside of work, Kimmy enjoys exploring coffee shops, frequenting local farmers markets, and relaxing on her front porch with a good mystery novel.


Hello!  My name is Latishea Varnesdeel and I serve as the mentor for on-campus students, with a particular focus on Twenty-first Century Scholars, as well as returning and re-admitted students, and minority students.  This includes assistance with study skills, working with faculty and other students, personal finances, time management, work/school conflicts, sense of purpose and career direction, engagement on campus, and connecting students with the many resources offered by IU East and the community. 

I also serve as the campus Chief Diversity Officer.  In this role, I assist with coordinating diversity events for the campus and community, act as a liaison between IU East and the Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs Office at IU Bloomington, and advise faculty, staff and students on diversity related issues. 

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a minor in Political Science in 2006.  I went on to earn a Master of Public Affairs, with a concentration in Non Profit Management in 2013, both from IUPUI.  While working at the Indiana House of Representatives for 10 years, and serving as the director of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, I found my passion working with young adults and ensuring both equality and equity.  Assisting young adults to become better versions of themselves, while also connecting them to resources, helps to ensure their success.

I look forward to getting to know and mentoring students.  Let’s get together and work on your goals and dreams!  Please feel free to contact me today!