Meet the Staff: Resident Student Advocate Office

Jeremy Breaux

Director of Orientation and 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 grow 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 for helping 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 of Retention

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 my bachlors degree and in the same year, I married Jennifer. Out of college, I worked customer service in the industrial supply and insurance fields.  In 2009 Jennifer and I graduated from the College for Officer Training 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. We have two boys who attend high school at Jefferson Forest, and as a family, we have been on an adventure serving God.  I have my Masters degree from Liberty and my wife is also a graduate of LU along with two of her brothers.  I am very blessed to be a part of the Liberty family. It is my desire to serve our students and their parents as the Assistant Director of Retention.

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

jrbrake@liberty.edu


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 all three of my younger brothers to attend here. We are a true Liberty family! 

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, while pursuing my Master’s of Education. I’m eager to assist Liberty students to have the best experience here at Liberty University, just as I did.

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

rjshakro@liberty.edu | (434) 592-4844


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


Julia Yoda

Student Advocate

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, Joshua Yoda on June 7th, 2012 and we have grown to love each other more and more every day. He has a huge passion for Youth Sports, personal training, 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/Chocolate
Favorite Hobby: Watching Movies and TV Series on Netflix with my Husband/Exercising
Favorite Movie: Safe Haven
Favorite TV Show: Reign

jcmelvin@liberty.edu (434) 592-7213


PJ Schwartz 

Student Advocate

Originally from western Pennsylvania, I came to Virginia right before the beginning of my senior year of high school.  I was raised in a Christian home and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ at the age of 14.  God used the move to Virginia to truly ignite a passion in me for Him, His Word, and His people that is continually growing.

I intended to pursue a Computer Science degree at Liberty University, but through the increased passion for God, He stoked an increasing passion for ministry.  Four years later, I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Biblical Studies along with two minors in Youth Ministries and Global Studies. I was blessed with the opportunity to serve not only on Student Leadership all four years, but also went on two mission trips to Italy during my time at Liberty.  In addition to those blessings, God introduced me to my wife, Jenny. A few months following graduation, I began working for Liberty in the Custodial Department.  Having served in that department for two and a half years, I gained some invaluable experience that I will carry for the rest of my life.

Continuing my service at Liberty, it is exciting to imagine all that God is yet to do.  It would be a joy for me to help students have the best experience possible so that during their time here and beyond graduation, the Great Commission will be lived out in a magnificent way.  As a Student Advocate, I am thrilled to assist others in their pursuit of becoming champions for Christ.  As a Christ follower, I am truly blessed with a beautiful Savior, beautiful wife, and beautiful family, and I am excited to minister to anyone I can with the love and truth of Jesus.

Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Hobby: Learning Italian
Favorite Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (New Version)
Favorite TV Show: Doug

pjschwartz@liberty.edu | (434) 582-7527


Katherine Burklin  

Student Advocate

I was born and raised in South Florida where I developed a love for sunshine, swimming, and eating Publix subs. I grew up in a Christian home with amazing parents and two wonderful sisters who helped me develop my love for Jesus and for people. I accepted Christ pretty early on but decided to follow him wholeheartedly during high school. It was around that time I decided I would attend Liberty University.

I came to Liberty in the Fall of 2012 as a Theatre Major and enjoyed my first year being a part of LU productions both on and off stage. Eventually, I changed my major to Communications and talked my way to a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Advertising. I graduated December of 2015 and worked locally for the next year and a half before returning to Liberty as a Student Advocate.

My favorite part of moving to Lynchburg has been meeting so many amazing people. Whether I’m at church, the rock wall, or getting a smoothie, almost everyone I meet is friendly and kind-hearted. And most importantly everyone lets me pet their dog when I ask, which is great.

P.S. My favorite animal is a Sea Otter!  

Favorite Food: Subs and Fruit Smoothies
Favorite Hobby: Rock Climbing
Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain 
Favorite TV Show: Scrubs 

kburklin@liberty.edu | (434) 582-7692


Tim Hamlette  

Student Advocate

Student Advocate - Tim HamletteI was born and raised in the small one-stoplight town of Brookneal, VA, about an hour away from Lynchburg. I was raised in a Christian family and my dad has been a pastor ever since I was born. I was introduced to Jesus and the gospel at an early age. Though I grew up around and in the church, I know that God saved me at the age of 19, while attending Liberty University. I received my Bachelor’s in Sport Management (2013) and my Masters of Arts in Theological Studies (2015), both from Liberty University. Ever since God saved me he has placed a burning passion in my heart for helping and ministering to people.

This passion that God has given me has led me to be a Youth Pastor for two years at my dad’s church. I have done a lot of urban ministry and missions trips to inner cities of America. I currently serve as an elder at Hill City Community Church, here in Lynchburg, where we focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing reconciliation through his blood shed on the cross. That is first vertically, between God, and secondly, horizontally, between man and man regardless of ethnicity, economic status, age, and etc. In the future I look to plant a church with that same vision and mission to reach the lost in the urban context of America.

. This has also led me to love the position as a Student Advocate. I look forward to being able to help students in any way that I can. I pray that I can be the help to the students that I wish that I would have had while I was in college. I look forward to seeing God move, bless and use us Student Advocates in the lives of the students, faculty, other staff, and anyone we come into contact with, living like Christ! Grace and Peace!

Favorite Food: Buffalo Chicken Wings
Favorite Hobby: Playing video games and watching sports 
Favorite Movie: Forest Gump, Remember the Titans, and Black Panther 
Favorite TV Show: Black-ish, Martin, and Friday Night Lights

dthamlette@liberty.edu | (434) 582-7691


Tylar Tucker

Student Advocate

I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. I moved up to Lynchburg to attend school here at Liberty and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies: Business, Health Promotion and Psychology. I accepted Christ when I was in 8th grade with my whole immediate family, it was truly a remarkable moment that changed my entire life.

I was recently married to my High School sweetheart, and I’m excited to see where God takes us on our new journey together. Some of my favorite things to do is singing and playing guitar, traveling and seeing new places, being with family and friends, and just being creative. Something new I have started in a YouTube channel, which definitely helps me show creativity and has given me a new hobby to have fun with.

I used to work in SAO as the Work Study, and now have the amazing opportunity to be a full-time Student Advocate, which is truly a blessing. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways, and I am only excited now to see where He leads me on my path.

Favorite Food: Mexican and Buffalo Wings
Favorite Hobby: Singing and Baking Goodies
Favorite Movie: Anything Disney
Favorite TV Show: This Is Us and The Vampire Diaries

trkirkpatrick@liberty.edu | (434) 592-3072



Karen Upson-Adams

Student Advocate

My roots and my raising started in the Washington, DC area and my branches of life extend beyond the USA.  Although my family raised me in a Christian environment, I truly understand and believe that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior on March 5, 2005, and my love for the Lord has grown tremendously since this time. I’ve learned that the more I pray, the more I follow Him, and the more I help serving others, the more fruitful my life becomes.

I unfortunately did not have the pleasure of attending Liberty University for my undergraduate degree of study, but I did have the honor of graduating from Averett University in Danville VA, where I received my Bachelor of Business Administration.  With this degree and my mindset for business and entrepreneurship, I have had the most amazing experiences and opportunities learning different avenues for my career and learning how to run my own MLM businesses.  I have sold cosmetics, jewelry, fuel additives and wine. I have been a travel agent, and most recently I have dedicated my life to learning about the stock market and investments.

In my personal life, I was married to my high school sweetheart and we have a beautiful daughter and a handsome son. I was a cheerleader growing up and every day is a good day because I’m alive. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled the world and lived in Japan for 3 years and loved it. I love all animals (especially cats and Tegu Lizards) and I’ve lived in multiple cities throughout the U.S. Now God has another extraordinary plan for my life here in Lynchburg VA, because each and every day I get to help make the sun shine a little brighter in the lives of the students here at Liberty University.

Favorite Food: Seafood (Future Pescatarian), Sushi, Asian, African, German, Korean
Favorite Hobby: Traveling, playing pool, swimming, cooking, fishing, relaxing and reading
Favorite Movie: Transformers, Jurassic Park, Forest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, Marvel
Favorite TV Show: Frasier, Chopped, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, and Top Chef

kmupsonadams@liberty.edu | (434) 592-6165


Christina Olsen

Student Advocate

I was born and raised in Amherst, Virginia, and stayed in the area my entire life. My family and I, who at one time had never been to a church service, all came to know Christ within the year after my brother and I attended our first VBS at the age of 11.

I graduated from Lynchburg College in 2013 with a degree in Music Education, and was given the opportunity to return to my hometown of Amherst and teach middle school band for five years. After learning of my position being cut, my husband Joe and I prayed for direction into the next chapter of our lives. It was within the week that the Student Advocate Office posted for an open position, and I knew I was being led here.

Although I am not a Liberty graduate, I have seen throughout my life the wonderful impact that the university has had for Lynchburg and the people who live here. I have also seen the impact the Student Advocate Office has in the lives of the students. As I tell everyone I meet, I feel God’s purpose for me in life is to help others any way I can, and I am so excited to continue that purpose here as a part of the Student Advocate Office.

Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Hobby: Playing board games
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite TV Show: The Office

cmolsen1@liberty.edu | (434) 592-3075


Sam Fedorko 

Office Assistant 

I was born and raised in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. I grew up in a Christian home, and accepted Christ at the age of ten years old. I enjoy traveling, camping, and doing anything outdoors! I went to a very small public high school with a graduating class of around sixty students. When I came to Liberty, I was amazed by the size of the school! It was a difficult transition, but I grew to absolutely love Liberty! I am currently a sophomore and I am pursuing a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I hope to attend a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine School after I graduate with my Bachelor’s. As an end result, I plan to become a physician, but I will go wherever God calls! He has shown me time and time again that His plans are so much better than mine!

I am excited to be a student worker here in the Student Advocate Office, because I know, firsthand, how helpful this office is! I utilized the SAO in the fall of 2017 due to unforeseen medical issues which lead to a medical withdrawal. God used this situation to draw me closer to Him and remind me how He is in every detail!

Favorite Food: Italian
Favorite Hobby: Being outdoors!
Favorite Movie: Princess Diaries
Favorite TV Show: Blacklist, Bones, and Madam Secretary 

sao@liberty.edu | (434) 582-7200


Contact

(434) 582-7200
(434) 582-3827 (fax)
SAO@liberty.edu

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DeMoss Hall, Room 2312


Hours

Monday–Friday
8 a.m.–5 p.m.

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