Our Team

A world class university demands a world class advancement program. We have embarked on our most ambitious campaign to date in support of our students, faculty, and programs. Our centralized advancement team works in conjunction with advancement professionals throughout the colleges and units on campus. Meet our team below and use the Illinois campus directory to search for anyone on campus.

Advancement Leadership

The Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement works in partnership with the University of Illinois Foundation to manage all aspects of the fundraising operations on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Barry Benson

Barry Benson

Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Senior Vice President for Development, UIF

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-5671

bensonb@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Melissa Engel

Dale Wright

Dale Wright

Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-0604

dlwright@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Debi Knight

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Karen Aarestad

Associate Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-4273

aarestad@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Debi Knight

Alex Schmidt

Alex Schmidt

Associate Vice Chancellor of Advancement Operations, Chief of Staff

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 265-5711

kaschmid@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Kelly McCleary

Sarah Morris

Sarah Morris

Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

(217) 300-7120

scm@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Cynthia Lesley

Dale Wright

David Bruns

Senior Executive Director of Principal Gifts

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(312) 575-7850

dbruns@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Melissa Engel

Melissa Engel

Director of Internal Operations for Institutional Advancement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-6647

engelm@uillinois.edu
LinkedIn

Debi Knight

Debi Knight

Administrative Aide

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-6297

ddknight@illinois.edu
LinkedIn


Campaigns and Strategic Engagement

The Strategic Engagement team leads the strategic efforts in the areas of event strategy, annual giving, stewardship, data analytics, and marketing/communications.

Alex Schmidt

Alex Schmidt

Associate Vice Chancellor of Advancement Operations, Chief of Staff

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 265-5711

kaschmid@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Kelly McCleary

Kristen Costello

Kristen Costello

Associate Director of Strategic Engagement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-9608

kcostel2@illinois.edu

Kristin Burnette

Kristin Burnette

Senior Director of Advancement Operations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-4454

klang2@illinois.edu

Jason Quackenbush

Jason Quackenbush

Associate Director of Annual Giving Communications

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-5686

jvq@illinois.edu

Lisa O'Banion

Lisa O’Banion

Associate Director of Annual Giving Programs

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-9174

lobanion@illinois.edu

Kelly McCleary

Kelly McCleary

Office Administrator

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-9174

mcclery2@illinois.edu

Audrey Legrande

Audrey Legrande

Associate Director of Event Strategy

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-1783

alegrand@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Rachel Hull

Rachel Hull

Associate Director of Strategic Engagement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-9866

rhull3@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Jamie McFarling

Jamie McFarling

Senior Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-3755

jmp@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Ashley Gorman

Ashley Gorman

Associate Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-1916

agorman3@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Justin M. Brauer

Justin M. Brauer

Assistant Director of Strategic Engagement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-3698

brauer4@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Danielle Runyon

Danielle Runyon

Associate Director of Strategic Engagement (Health Sciences & Research Initiatives)

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-2952

drunyon@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Nicole Cazley

Nicole Cazley

Assistant Director of Strategic Engagement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

npevans2@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Kim Schmidt

Kim Schmidt

Director of Storytelling

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 265-6391

kimsch@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Joseph Brumleve

Joseph Brumleve

Art Director

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-0847

jtbrumle@illinois.edu

Abigail Bobrow

Abigail Bobrow

Associate Director of Storytelling

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-8737

abobrow@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Rebecca Schultz

Rebecca Schultz

Graphic Design Associate

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-7490

rns18@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

Graphic Design Associate

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

mnguyen7@illinois.edu


Research Initiatives

Erin Kirby

Erin Kirby

Senior Director of Advancement, Research Initiatives

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-1901

ekirby2@illinois.edu

Betsy Rodriquez

Betsy Rodriquez

Director of Advancement for Research Initiatives

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-9713

epowers2@illinois.edu
LinkedIn


Regional and Global Advancement

The Regional Development Directors serve as a point of contact for alumni, donors and friends throughout the United States. They are assigned different regions and build relationships through personal visits and events.

Sarah Morris

Sarah Morris

Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

(217) 300-7120

scm@illinois.edu
LinkedIn
Support: Cynthia Lesley

Olivia M. Koenig

Olivia M. Koenig

Senior Director of Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

(217) 244-1412

okoenig@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Kitty Snow

Kitty Snow

Director of Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

kesnow@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Erin Marker

Erin Marker

Senior Director of Advancement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(415) 227-4040

emarker@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson

Associate Director of Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

(217) 300-4409

mjnelsn2@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Joe Melisi

Joe Melisi

Associate Director of Advancement

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

(217) 333-1044

melisi2@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Cynthia Lesley

Cynthia Lesley

Office Administrator

Illini Center Chicago, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

clesley@illinois.edu


International Advancement

Erin Nelson

Erin Nelson

Senior Director for International Advancement

Illini Center, 200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606

enelson8@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Jess Strong

Jess Strong

Director of International Advancement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

jmstrong@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Emily Harrison

Emily Harrison

Associate Director of International Constituent Engagement

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-7424

emilyh@illinois.edu
LinkedIn


Principal Gifts

Dale Wright

David Bruns

Senior Executive Director of Principal Gifts

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(312) 575-7850

dbruns@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Julie Jackson

Julie Jackson

Director of Principal Gifts Strategy and Communications

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-1736

filip@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Samantha Hendon

Samantha Hendon

Associate Director of Operations and Stewardship, Principal Gifts

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-6331

shendon@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

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Erica Finiak

Administrative Aide

1304 West Green Street, Room 203, MC 246, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-4421

ejhenry@illinois.edu


Foundation Relations

The Office of Foundation Relations is a campus-wide resource for faculty and administrators seeking to advance relationships with national and selected regional private foundations.

Elizabeth Birlet

Elizabeth Birlet

Senior Director of Foundation Relations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-3606

e-birle@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Barlow LeVold

Barlow LeVold

Director of Foundation Relations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-8146

jbl@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Laura Clark

Laura Clark

Associate Director of Foundation Relations

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 206-6058

lclar01s@illinois.edu
LinkedIn


People & Culture

People & Culture partners with colleges and units on campus to attract, retain and engage top-level employees in Advancement at Illinois.

Katie Walker

Katie Walker

Director of Employee Experience

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-7178

walker74@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Marcus Kelley

Marcus Kelley

Director of Team Development

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-7841

mkelley7@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Chris Brunson

Chris Brunson

Assistant Director of Employee Engagement & Development

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

cdb2@illinois.edu

Roberta Jorge

Roberta Jorge

Associate Director of Employee Engagement & Development

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-4187

rjorge2@illinois.edu

Brenda Morris

Brenda Morris

Senior Human Resource Associate

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-2704

bcmorris@illinois.edu

Julie Smith

Julie Smith

Office Manager

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-1686

jsmit@illinois.edu

Jennifer Kresin

Jennifer Kresin

Business Manager

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-3487

jkresin@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Zsayla Brummett

Zsayla Brummett

Recruitment & Onboarding Associate

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 206-6058

zbrummet@illinois.edu
LinkedIn


Strategic Planning & Organizational Development

People & Culture partners with colleges and units on campus to attract, retain and engage top-level employees in Advancement at Illinois.

Katie Harrell

Katie Harrell

Senior Director of Strategic Planning & Organizational Development

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-7312

harrell8@illinois.edu
LinkedIn

Trevor Jennings

Trevor Jennings

Director of Data Management, Visualization & Analysis

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, MC 079, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 300-2879

trevor@uillinois.edu
LinkedIn


We’re Looking for Talent

Find a home at Illinois with a career in Advancement.