Meet Our Staff
Christine Deacons, Ph.D., ABD
Christine has served as Director of Academic Support Programs and the Holman Success Center since June 2013. Since that time, HSC services have expanded from Success Coaching, Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction to include Peer Mentoring, Eagle Study Tables, coordination of our UNIV and Edge Programs, and a very successful Rewards Program.
Known for having an innovative approach to academic support and problem solving, Christine has presented at retreats and conferences and has been recognized as an expert in the field of academic support. In April 2017, Christine received a Distinguished Achievement Recognition Award for Student Engagement and Success.
Tracey Sonntag, M.A.
Tracey has earned a B.S. in Professional Writing with a minor in business, an M.A in Written Communication: Teaching of Writing, and a graduate certificate in Higher Education: Academic Advising; all from Eastern Michigan University.
At Holman Success Center she has the opportunity to interact with hundreds of first-year and at-risk students. She is fulfilled by those small moments of celebration when she can assist a student in their path to degree completion.
Amelia Parnis, M.A.
Amelia Parnis holds a master's degree in Educational Leadership. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science at EMU in English Language, Literature and Writing, minoring in Psychology. In addition to her role as a Success Coach, Amelia teaches UNIV courses and coordinates HSC’s Supplemental Instruction (SI) and Drop-In Tutoring programs. She finds joy in helping students discover their unique skills and abilities that will help them succeed in life.
In her free time, she likes to travel and attend concerts. She loves coffee, cacti, and Taco Tuesday.
Cesar Vargas has a master's degree in higher education/student affairs from Eastern Michigan University and earned his BA in sociology and Latino studies from the University of Michigan in May of 2015. He is fully dedicated to helping students understand, maneuver and ease the transition from high school to college by using his experience as a first-generation college student. His ultimate goal is to help individuals find themselves as students. Overall, he was very involved on campus as an undergrad, ranging from becoming a brother of Lambda Theta Phi to becoming a leader through PILOT, both student organizations at the University of Michigan. Some of his interests include playing soccer, spending time with his friends and family, and meeting new people.
Dar Mayweather serves as the 4S Coordinator of the Edge program. His pronouns are he, him and his. He helps his students confidently engage in tough decision making around academic and social life. Dar is a first generation college student who earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Science in Education and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership while teaching undergraduate students at Eastern Michigan University.
Dar's professional journey began in corporate, then mental health, and now higher education. Dar has over 10 years of professional leadership experience in Higher Education, Business, and Diversity & Inclusion training. He received the King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellow Award from the State of Michigan, the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Pan African Network Sawubona Award, multiple Residence Life's Hall Council Advisor of the Year Awards, and many other nominations. Also a father and husband, you'll often find him watching superhero shows with his son and reality TV with his wife.
Kimberly Jones has earned her Master's in Educational Leadership: Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA), a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education: Academic Advising, a bachelor's degree in Psychology, and a bachelor's in Literature; all from Eastern Michigan University. Kim has spent over 10 years working with the EMU Alumni Association and has spent the past two years as the Eastern Michigan University Black Alumni Association (EMUBA) President. Kim is dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and professional goals in life while maintaining a fun and engaged work-life balance. In her spare time Kim is a devoted mother to her children and works on the board of her high school alumni association.
Janis Strickland, Ed.S.
UNIV Instructor and Success Coach
Janis is a native of Detroit, Michigan and is a First Generation College student. She earned her B.S. from Eastern Michigan University in the areas of Psychology and Communication, Media, and Theater Arts. She then went on to complete an M.S. in Technology Studies with a concentration in Information Assurance/Digital Investigations. Janis also holds a Specialist of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership. She developed a passion for student support services and helped students navigate through life transitions and worked with students to address and manage their academic, personal, social, and financial concerns.
Janis has over nine years of experience working with at risk students, from all sectors of post secondary education (Community College, Career Training/Vocational, Private and Public) and is a Life Coach for students.
Dawn brings over 30 years of experience at Eastern Michigan University to her role as our Office Supervisor and she is the engine that makes the Holman Success Center run.
During her tenure, she has developed and advanced her skills and abilities within the World College, Leadership and Counseling, Halle Library and Information Technology departments. She has also served as the Recording Secretary and member of the Bargaining Grievance Committee for UAW 1975, negotiating three contracts for the Clerical/Secretary unit at EMU.
Dawn's coordination of office operations focuses mainly within the areas of customer service, assisting in the development and implementation of internal policies and procedures, and serving as the liaison to other campus offices, EMU students and their parents.