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Elise Buggs Sturdivant, MBA

Program Director, Academic Success Partnerships

301J Pierce Hall

734.487.3294 | [email protected]

Elise Buggs Sturdivant joined Eastern Michigan University in September 2010 as the founding program director of EMU’s Keys to Degrees Single Parent Program. In November 2011, she transitioned into the additional role as Director of Academic Success Partnerships, while continuing to oversee the Keys to Degrees Program through this office. As Director, Elise designs, plans, and provides overall leadership for programs focused on enhancing student access and success, such as Mentorship, Access, and Guidance in College (MAGIC), Brotherhood and Sisterhood Scholars, the Wade H. McCree Jr. Scholarship Program, KCP MICUP-BEAT, and KCP College Day. 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. 


Janella Benson

Brotherhood and Sisterhood Scholars Graduate Assistant

301 Pierce Hall

734.487.8413[email protected] 

Janella Benson is a second-year student in the Educational Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs program. She is a Detroit Native, and lover of all things Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 (Go Blue!) and spent her last few years in and around Detroit working with youth. The most impacting experiences she has had were College Advising at a Detroit High School and currently, teaching Life Skills and College/Career Readiness to adjudicated youth at the Detroit Detention Center. Through these positions (as well as her own personal upbringing), she is an advocate for students from marginalized backgrounds and she embraces the mantra "giving a voice to the overlooked, unheard." She is passionate about assisting students on their collegiate journey of self-discovery through academic and psychosocial transitions and she looks forward to opportunities to work with the students at EMU.


Terry Bracken II

Brotherhood Scholars Graduate Assistant

301 Pierce Hall

734.487.8413[email protected] 

Terry Bracken II is a first year student in the Ed. Specialist program, Educational Leadership: Higher Education/Student Affairs. He is a Saginaw Native. Terry graduated from the University of Phoenix with his BA in Communications via Culture and his Masters in Science: Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He has worked with an array of students from K-12 for the past 8 years. While working in the lower Ed areas and with marginalized backgrounds, he was able to dedicate himself to mentoring countless students, work in multiple areas from athletic areas, and guide students to their next journey in life. He looks forward to working with future EMU students.

Fun Fact: He loves to travel, experience new things (cities, restaurants, etc.), and loves baseball and football (Steelers Fan).


Kendra Ollis

Sisterhood Scholars Graduate Assistant

301 Pierce Hall

734.487.8413 | [email protected] 

Kendra Ollis is a first year student in the Higher Education/Student Affairs program. A Detroit native and Grand Valley State University alum, she has spent the past few years dedicated to serving students in underserved high schools in various capacities (college advising, academic success coach, mentor, community organizer). More recently, Kendra was a College Adviser assisting high school seniors with College and Career Readiness as they prepared to transition from high school to their post-secondary plans (community college, 4-year college, trade school or military). Through her time as a mentor, academic success coach and non-profit organizer, Kendra has continuously been an advocate for providing students with equitable resources to provide for her students. She plans to continue this work at EMU as she completes the Higher Education program!


Raul Leon

Faculty Associate

Dr. Raul A. Leon is an associate professor of higher education and student affairs at EMU. Dr. Leon is an expert on strategic diversity management and his work has been nationally recognized as influential in effectively guiding retention and degree completion initiatives. Dr. Leon is an active researcher with over 35 scholarly contributions.  His policy-relevant work continues to be disseminated and applied locally, nationally and internationally.  At EMU, Dr. Leon teaches courses in student affairs related to contemporary college students, student development theory and diversity leadership. Dr. Leon has received numerous awards for his scholarship, teaching and service. Additionally, he directs one of few study abroad programs in the nation aimed at preparing current and future student affairs practitioners with an emphasis in international education.


Supporting Staff

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