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Meet the Staff: Resident Student Advocate Office

Jeremy Breaux

Director of Retention

I was born and raised in Denham Springs, Louisiana. When I was eight years old, I accepted Christ at a summer camp, and I continued to grown daily in grace and faith. It is the goal of my life to assist people on their personal discipleship the way others have done for me. I began working at Liberty University as a Residential Admissions Counselor in November 2012. God has given me a passion to help students realize and fulfill their God-given purpose in life.

I have served eight years as a Youth Pastor and eight years as Pastor in various churches. I graduated from Liberty University with a B.S.. in Religion and an M.A.. in Pastoral Counseling. I am currently working on an MDiv with a Pastoral Counseling Cognate. It is truly a privilege to serve at a University that means so much to me and support a student body that is focused on engaging the world for the cause of Christ.

Favorite Food: Jambalaya
Favorite Hobby: Playing Call of Duty with my sons
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Favorite TV Show: Last Man Standing

 jabreaux@liberty.edu


Jason Brake

Assistant Director

I grew up in Northeast Ohio, where at the age of 11 I accepted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior in my home church. Each step in life I have grown in my faith by God's grace.

I graduated from Grove City College in 2000 with a degree in Mathematics & Computer Science and in the same year I married Jennifer. Out of college I worked customer service in industrial supply and insurance fields. We have two boys, Daniel and Josiah whom we homeschool, and as a family we have been on an adventure serving God. In 2009 Jennifer and I graduated from seminary in The Salvation Army and we were commissioned as officers sent to work in Maine and Vermont. We had many wonderful and interesting experiences while serving in this capacity doing the most good.

Having moved frequently, my family is thankful for living in Virginia and placing our roots here in Lynchburg. Jennifer is a graduate of Liberty University Online and she has brothers who are currently attending and working on campus. I am very blessed and excited to be a part of the Liberty family. It is my desire to bless and serve students and their parents as the Assistant Director of Retention.

Favorite Food: Italian food
Favorite Hobby: Going to new places
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings
Favorite TV Show: College football

 jrbrake@liberty.edu


Courtney Richards

Senior Student Advocate

As a native Virginian, I grew up in the Hampton Roads area, where my family still resides. In 2010, I began my studies as a Freshman at Liberty University. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I set out to accomplish a unique goal of meeting every person on campus! Of course, I realized shortly thereafter that I may have been biting off more than I could chew. Despite not meeting 10,000+ people, I thoroughly enjoyed pursuing my bachelors degree.

My freshman year of college, I was called in to speak with my RA’s and SLC's. As you can imagine, I was nervous.  As I sat in the small residence hall room on M21-2, my mind was racing. To my surprise, my leadership team began to explain why I was summoned. Unfortunately, my mom had reached out to inform them that my grandmother (66 years-old) had opted to go on hospice. After battling cancer for 3 years, my grandmother passed away during Thanksgiving break. Losing a loved one is never an easy challenge to face, but the grieving process is bearable when people extend care and compassion.

The Student Advocate Office representatives at that point were the hands and feet of Jesus to me. In the face of difficulty, they provided much encouragement and optimism. Since then, I strive to show that same care and compassion towards those who find themselves in the midst of tough times. For this, I am thrilled to be a part of such a vital department where we have direct access to uplift and encourage the downtrodden and those in despair.

Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo
Favorite Hobby: Language learning
Favorite Movie: Crash
Favorite TV Show: House of Cards

crichards3@liberty.edu | (434) 592-5263


Timi Plyter

Student Advocate

I am a native upstate New Yorker. I accepted the Lord at the age of 26 and have had a wonderful walk with my Lord ever since. My husband, Richard and I have been married almost 45 years! We have 3 happily married sons, seven granddaughters, and two grandsons and they are all walking with the Lord!  They are my delight. My two younger sons served in the military: one is retired Navy, one served 8 years in the Army. My oldest son serves in the Lord’s army here in Lynchburg.

We moved to Lynchburg in 1996 because our youngest son, through one of God's miracles, was going to attend Liberty University. My husband and I both began working here in 1997. He is now retired but worked for years in Admissions and I worked as the receptionist in the Registrar's Office for 7 years. I now have the honor of serving students as a Student Advocate since the office’s inception in 2004.

The Lord has given me a phenomenal love for all of the students here and I deem it an honor to serve His Kingdom members at this university. Liberty University is a wonderful place to have your faith undergirded and strengthened!  I give a mustard seed to each student with whom I meet and ask them to memorize Matthew 17:20.  We have started an unofficial Mustard Seed Club with 20 students so far who have actually come back and quoted the verse for me.

Favorite Food: Roast chicken dinner and pumpkin pie
Favorite Hobby: Sewing and scrapbooking, baking and cooking
Favorite Movie: War Room
Favorite TV Show: Mysteries at the Museum, Castle, Monument

 tplyter@liberty.edu | (434) 592-3984



Holly Nickerson

Student Advocate

I haven't always called Lynchburg my home. I am a Canadian citizen by birth and came to Liberty in 2010 all the way from British Columbia! Attending Liberty was a leap of faith. I remember the excitement and shock of driving onto campus for the first time as a freshman having never seen the campus and knowing that my family would be returning home thousands of miles away. Six years later, I couldn't be more grateful for this school. I gave my life to Christ my senior year in high school and the spiritual development that has occurred in my life since then has largely been fostered by the personal discipleship, spiritual programs, and environment that Liberty provides. I am passionate about our student body and believe in what our University has sent out to accomplish.

My desire as a Student Advocate is to assist students in successfully completing their degrees so that they can continue to have the opportunity grow in this incredible place. I graduated from Liberty in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Pre-Med Biology and am currently pursuing a Master's degree in Public Health. When I arrived on this campus I would have never guessed that I would meet and marry my husband, Jordan, or that I would develop some of the most edifying and deep relationships with others that share my faith. I didn't know that I would work in student ministry as a PLGL, RA and RD wife or that I would be working eventually in the Student Advocate Office. I am unsure of what my future holds but I trust that the Lord is in control of every situation just as He is in each student's life at Liberty.

Favorite Food: Raspberries
Favorite Hobby: Running
Favorite Movie: I don't have a favorite. There are too many!
Favorite TV Show: Rehab Addict and Fixer Upper

 haanthony@liberty.edu |  (434) 582-2355


Isaiah Isaac

Student Advocate

I was born in Paterson, New Jersey, but moved to Virginia at the age of ten. I gave my life to Christ at an early age. Growing up, I never attended a Christian school until I came to Liberty University. I thank the Lord for establishing Christians around me while attending public schools as well as in the environment I was living to better my focus toward the Lord. I attend Dan River Bethel Baptist Church in South Boston, Virginia.

My favorite sport is football. I enjoy other sports but consider football my favorite. Fantasy Football is something I enjoy as one of many hobbies. I enjoy watching sports as it motivates me to work out and live a healthier lifestyle. I hold a Bachelors in Business with a concentration in Human Resources. One day I hope to work as a Human Resource representative in a professional environment.

I look forward to working as a Student Advocate as it will allow me to assist students to successfully complete their degree at Liberty University. The experiences I have gained through a variety of life situations will assist me in motivating students to pursue their goals in life. I will do my best to help you succeed here at Liberty University.
 

Favorite Food: Seafood
Favorite Hobby: Bowling
Favorite Movie: The Fast & the Furious movies
Favorite TV Show: The Walking Dead

iisaac2@liberty.edu (434) 582-2767


Kristie LeoGrande

Student Advocate

I was born on Long Island, New York, but moved to Virginia before I was a year old. I have grown up outside of Lynchburg ever since then and currently reside in Bedford County where I live on a family farm and vineyard. I graduated high school locally, at Jefferson Forest High School, and played competitive tennis while there. After high school I attended Lynchburg College for a year before transferring to Liberty University where I obtained my degree in Government Pre-Law.

Shortly after graduating, I realized that law school was not in the plans for me. I worked for my family's vineyard before working full time at Nationwide for a little over 5 years. Having graduated from Liberty and knowing what a great place it was to be a student, I knew that I wanted to come back and work at Liberty.

I am now getting ready to start my Masters in Business Administration Project Management here at Liberty in the Fall of 2016. I am very excited to be working with students in the Student Advocate Office, and to be starting the next chapter in my own academic career at the same time. I look forward to meeting with students and helping them navigate their college careers!

Favorite Food: Coffee and Buffalo Wild Wings
Favorite Hobby: Photography
Favorite Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Gone in 60 Seconds, Breakfast Club
Favorite TV Show: Bones, NCIS, Fast and Loud

 cmleogrande@liberty.edu |  (434) 592-6149

   

Julia Yoda

Student Advocate

I grew up in the beautiful state of Maryland, where at a very young age I accepted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.  I felt the need to get baptized and truly follow GOD’s calling for my life when I was a junior here at Liberty University.

I graduated from Liberty University with a degree in International Business and Healthcare Management. I worked at the Dunkin Donuts on campus until I received a position as an Admissions Counselor within Resident Enrollment.  I was then blessed to move on to be a Student Advocate in February of 2016.  I married my amazing man of GOD, my husband on June 7th, 2012 and we have grown to love each other more and more every day. He has a huge passion for coaching football and played for the Liberty Flames football team as a strong safety.  The adventure with him here in Lynchburg has been a wonderful journey and GOD has stayed so faithful. I have a strong passion for family so I am continuing to pursue my Master’s in Human Services: Marriage and Family Counseling.

I am so excited to be a part of the Liberty University Student Advocate family. As an advocate it is my passion to help those who need help and show the love of Christ to all who walk through the door.

Favorite Food: Mexican Food
Favorite Hobby: Watching Movies and TV Series on Netflix with my Husband or Exercising
Favorite Movie: Safe Haven
Favorite TV Show: Blacklist

 jcmelvin@liberty.edu |  (434) 592-7213


Quan McLaurin

Student Advocate

I have not always lived in Lynchburg, but have come to call this beautiful city home. I came to Liberty University in the fall of 2012 to start my Bachelors in Psychology, and immediately was sure that this was in fact the place that the Lord intended for me to be. I was saved at an early age, but had never attended a Christian school before coming to Liberty. It was extremely refreshing to have professors who truly care for the individual student, and take individual prayer requests to heart. I have greatly appreciated the opportunities that God has provided me to really grow and stretch myself through my time here.

As a student here I faced a couple of hardships that I thought would prevent me from returning to Liberty. I worked full time and was a full time student in addition to extra-curricular activities, and it just seemed like no matter how hard I worked I just could not figure out how to stay here at Liberty. That is when my mom and I came across the Student Advocate Office and were encouraged to know about all of the different opportunities that are available out there for college students. If it were not for God putting the Student Advocate Office in our path, I do not believe that I would have been able to graduate from Liberty.

Being someone who has been greatly helped by the Student Advocate Office I understand the importance of being the best advocate that I can be for each student who comes through our office. I want each student who may feel hopeless, and as though they have no other options, to know that we are here for them and that we will try and help them out the best way that we can. Sometimes that may just be simply praying with them and for them, but we are here for every student on campus.

Favorite Food: Asian
Favorite Hobby: Hanging out with friends
Favorite Movie: The Lion King, Secondhand Lions, and War Horse
Favorite TV Show: Parks and Rec

 lmclaurin6@liberty.edu |  (434) 582-8711


Kat Rippy

Student Advocate
 

I was raised in a military family so "home" was constantly changing with the seasons, or so it seemed. But currently if you ask me where I am from I would tell you New Bern, NC, where my parents have retired and now raise sheep and chickens on a tiny farm in Eastern North Carolina. I now call Lynchburg home where I live with my husband Stephen and our little puppy Bentley, who keeps us constantly entertained!

I had the awesome experience of attending the Word of Life Bible Institute for two years before transferring to Liberty University where I completed a degree in Biblical Studies. I can say with complete confidence that Liberty provided the BEST education and student life experience during my undergraduate years. During my senior year at Liberty I was allowed to service the student body as a Resident Assistant on East Campus, and now am honored to be working with students again through the Student Advocate Office. The Lord has truly stretched and grown my faith exponentially while at Liberty by teaching me to pray with determination, serve with integrity, and step out in faith and trust him wholeheartedly! I believe the Bible teaches there are only two things that continue on into eternity, and they are the Word of God and the souls of men. Therefore, my wish is to invest time in His Word and service the students here at Liberty and the Lynchburg community.

Favorite Food: Anything and Everything from Cheesecake Factory
Favorite Hobby: Painting, Cooking, and Water sports
Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain and About Time
Favorite TV Show: Gilmore Girls, Fixer Upper, and Andy Griffith

 kguion@liberty.edu |  (434) 592-5865


Rosemary Shakro

Operations Coordinator

Born and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, I grew up in a Christian home with three younger brothers, accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of four. Since grade school, I attended private Christian schools which supported my foundation in Christ. My parents taught me the importance of family through our American-Lebanese heritage, and, most importantly, taught me morals and values based upon the Bible. Attending one of Connecticut’s largest public high schools, I shared my faith with others by example as a leader of Youth Alive club.

I earned my Bachelors degree at Liberty University, where I grew spiritually, academically, and emotionally, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Elementary Education. I went back to Connecticut after graduation, but the more I prayed for direction, I lived with that sense of “You belong back at Liberty.”

In the meantime, I recruited two of my brothers to attend here. Once my youngest brother graduates from high school, he’ll be heading this way and we’ll be a true Liberty family!

Looking forward to this new opportunity to begin my career, I bring with me a heart to serve, support, and encourage each student to attain his or her full potential. As God has opened the door for me to return to Liberty, I am blessed and grateful to be a part of the Student Advocate team. I’m eager to assist Liberty students to have the best experience here at the world’s largest, most exciting Christian university, just as I did.

Favorite Food: Lebanese, Mediterranean, or Italian food
Favorite Hobby: Singing
Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music, Courageous, and War Room
Favorite TV Show: Full House

 rjshakro@liberty.edu |  (434) 592-4844

 


Tylar Kirkpatrick

Office Assistant

I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, and have lived in the same house since birth. Moving to Liberty was a very big change for me. I had attended a private Christian school from Freshman to Senior year, being involved in the Fine Arts department, sports, and honor societies such as National Honors Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. I was the treasurer of Key Club for three years, worked at Chick-Fil-A and was involved in much community service including singing with my choir at different events and charities. I love to travel and have been multiple places in Europe, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.

I am a freshman here at Liberty as of the fall semester of 2015, and my major is Business Administration: Marketing-Sales Mngt. and Prof. Selling, with a minor in Graphic Design. While working in this office, I also work at Chick-Fil-A. The Lord blessed me in many ways with getting here and I'm so excited and thankful to be starting my college career as a part of this office.

P.S: My name is spelled with an A, but is pronounced Tyler!

Favorite Food: Chicken Tenders (Especially with Buffalo Sauce)
Favorite Hobby: Singing; Arts and Crafts
Favorite Movie: Frozen
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy

studentadvocate@liberty.edu |  (434) 582-7200