Eastern Michigan University
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Staff and Hours



Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm


Meet the MAGIC Staff!


Elise Buggs 

Director of Academic Success Partnerships Elise pic


Elise Buggs joined the realm of higher education and Eastern Michigan University in September 2010 as the founding program director of the Keys to Degrees Single Parent Program. In November 2011, she transitioned into the Director of Academic Success Partnerships. As Director, Elise designs, plans, and provides overall leadership for programs focused on enhancing student access and success. In addition to guiding Academic Success Partnerships, Elise is the Regional KC Representative for Adult Learners and Students with Children and Regional IV-East Board Member for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).  She is also a member of the Higher Education Alliance of Advocates for Students w/ Children, the College and University Work-Life-Family Association, and the American Association of University Women.

Elise holds a Master of Business Administration from Davenport University and a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and Communication from the University of Michigan. Elise embarked on her educational pursuits while raising her son, Gary, and successfully balancing full course loads, work, and parenting.


Joi Rencher
Joi pic

Head Independent Living Skills Coach &

MAGIC Coordinator


Joi Rencher received her undergraduate degree in Sociology, with a focus on issues of race, class, sexuality, and gender inequalities, as well as her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.  She has ten years of social work experience, serving a socio-culturally diverse population of youth, young adults, and families.  She is currently the Coordinator and Independent Life Skills Coach for the Mentoring, Access, and Guidance in College (MAGIC) program at Eastern Michigan University.  Within this role, Joi supports students that have experienced foster care or homelessness and attending the university.  Joi specializes in program development, crisis intervention, group and individual therapy, and actively facilitating empowerment through empathy and advocacy.


Megan DeVoe

MAGIC Graduate Assistant

mdevoe2@emich.eduMeg pic

Megan DeVoe is a Masters of Arts graduate student working as the MAGIC graduate assistant. Currently a student of Women's and Gender Studies and Nonprofit Organization Management, Megan graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2013 with a BBA. She is a fervent advocate of youth who identify as LGBT and have or are experiencing homelessness and/or foster care. Megan is also a direct care worker at Ozone House in Ann Arbor, working with young people in both the SafeStay shelter and transitional living program. Working with MAGIC has provided Megan with opportunities to meet and work with incredible professionals who are also looking to improve the experiences of students who have experienced foster care. Megan works on website development, volunteer and donation opportunities, and communications for the MAGIC program. For fun Megan enjoys longboarding, salsa dancing, and spending time with friends. 


Courtney Smith

MAGIC Graduate Assistant
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Courtney Smith is a Masters of Public Administration student working in the Department for Academic Success Partnerships as a graduate assistant for both MAGIC and SIP. Courtney graduated from EMU in 2014 with a Bachelors in Sociology with minors in Social Work and Communication.  Courtney comes to MAGIC with a strong desire to help end youth homelessness, human trafficking and increase policy awareness and resources for youth who are underserved. Courtney is also a Graduate Fellow for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Youth and Children and a Program Instructor for the EMU Bright Futures Program at Ypsilanti Community High School. She has tremendous success in advocacy and mobilizing individuals to do “boots on ground” work within their communities. Her talents range from public speaking, youth development and donor relations. Courtney’s favorite part about working for MAGIC is having the opportunity to work with passionate colleagues, meet empowered students and give back as an alumna of the program. In her downtime, she enjoys going to plays, spending time in nature, volunteering and hanging out with friends.


Brittany Bartkowiak
Britt pic MSW Intern


Brittany Bartkowiak is a University of Michigan MSW Candidate interning with the MAGIC program. An EMU and MAGIC program alum, Brittany graduated summa cum laude with her BSW in 2014. She is passionate about advocating for students who have experienced time in foster care and increasing awareness of barriers students face while pursuing higher education. Brittany also works as Fostering Success Michigan's Student Ambassador and with Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity Project. Brittany's favorite part about interning with the MAGIC program is getting to work with such amazing, inspiring colleagues who constantly showcase passion and commitment to MAGIC program and students. In her free time, Brittany enjoys reading novels, spending time with her cats, and kayaking.



MAGIC is part of Academic Success Partnerships (within Academic and Student Affairs), 301 Pierce Hall, 734.487.0899 facebook