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GEAR UP/CD Team Mtg

Elise Buggs Sturdivant, MBA

Program Director, Academic Success Partnerships

301J Pierce Hall | [email protected] | 734.487.3294

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. 


Janis Strickland

Program Coordinator, Brotherhood and Sisterhood Scholars

301 Pierce Hall

[email protected] | 734.487.3289

Janis Strickland is a native of Detroit and was a first-generation graduate when she earned her BS in Psychology, Communications, and Theater Arts right here at EMU. Janis later acquired a MS in Technology Studies with a concentration in Information Assurance/Digital Investigations. She also holds a Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership. 

Janis is passionate about helping students navigate through life transitions while balancing their academic, personal, social, and financial goals. She brings over 10 years of work experience including: community college, career/vocational training, along with private and public institutions of higher learning.  Her concentration is on student support services and life coaching focused on the persistence of under-represented and often marginalized communities.


Janella Benson

Graduate Assistant, Brotherhood and Sisterhood Scholars 

301 Pierce Hall

[email protected] | 734.487.8413 

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.


Kendra Ollis

Graduate Assistant, Sisterhood Scholars 

301 Pierce Hall

[email protected] | 734.487.8413

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!



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