Meet the Staff

At Aurora University, you will work closely with your Admission representative throughout the admission process. We are here to answer questions, share with you the benefits of an AU education and be your resource until the time you step foot on campus to begin classes.

Your Admission representative will coordinate completion of your application to the university, inform you of important deadlines and explain various ways to finance your education. Take a few minutes to learn more about our freshman Admission staff.

Shawna Armstronggonzales.jpg
Senior Athletic Recruiting Liaison

630-844-5468 | sarmstro@aurora.edu

Education Background: Bachelor’s degree in sports management from North Central College in 2009; Master’s in Sports Leadership/Administration in 2012.

What advice would you give to a first-year or prospective student? There are so many different opportunities to get involved on campus, take advantage of that. You never know what new activity you find that you love, what new friends you will meet and how much of an impact it can make on yourself and others!

What movie is in your DVD player: The Avengers!

Favorite quote: “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

What activities are you involved in outside of AU? Enjoying being a newlywed with my college sweetheart, Ryan, golfing, lifting, hanging with our rescue mutt, Marley and reading. 

Lauren Bernier
bernier-lauren.jpgFreshman Admission Counselor

630-844-7879 | lbernier@aurora.edu

What are some of your hobbies?  Playing video games with my fiance, Mike, participating in the adult soccer league in Chicago, and hanging out with my dog, Rex!

Favorite quote: "Don't look back. You're not going that way."

What advice would you give to a prospective student?  Visit! There is no better way to get to know a university than coming to campus. Being able to meet with faculty and staff, while seeing your potential second home will give you the best idea of which school is right for you. Be sure to ask whatever questions you may have. We are all here to help you!

Favorite book:  1984 

Taylor BradfordTaylor Bradford
Freshman Admission Counselor

630-844-3849 | tbradford@aurora.edu

What are some of your hobbies? Traveling! Meeting new people, cooking and Netflix.

What advice would you give first year students? To try as many new things as possible! Take advantage of all the organizations and activities on campus. Push yourself to try something you normally wouldn't, you'll be surprised at how much you learn about yourself. Especially if you are undecided with your major, joining clubs and participating in different activities will help you discover what you're passionate about.

What's your favorite thing about AU? Students and staff on campus are so friendly! Everywhere you go someone is bound to say hi to you.

What's in your DVD player right now? A toss up between Disney movies or Fresh Prince reruns.

Samantha ChmaraSam Chmara
Freshman Admission Counselor

630-844-5465 | schmara@aurora.edu

Education Background: I graduated from Aurora University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre. In 2018, I received a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University.

What advice would you give to a prospective student? Don’t think that your major singularly defines what job you get. There is a lot of variety in what you can do with a degree that isn’t the conventional route. Take this opportunity of college as a chance to build yourself, discover something new, and find what you enjoy most.

What are some of your hobbies? I love exploring, reading, baking, and gardening. But mostly, you’ll find me enjoying the company of my dog while writing poetry.

Favorite TV Show: Definitely a tie between Supernatural and Penny Dreadful.

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? The connections and friendships I built with my peers and the faculty. From theatre productions to the classroom to extracurricular groups, the community feel is my favorite aspect of AU.

Will CraigWill Craig
Freshman Admission Counselor

630-844-5293 | wcraig@aurora.edu

Education Background: Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Aurora University in 2018.

Words you would use to describe AU: Life-Changing, captivating, and challenging.

What advice would you give to a first-year or prospective student? Find what makes you happy and run with it – Wake up with purpose, be a life-long learner, and maintain real relationships. These are the things that will take you wherever you want to go in life. Enjoy your process and ultimately, have fun growing!

Favorite Quote: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” – John Lennon

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? There is something special about living in the residence halls. Every morning I had the privilege to wake up on a college campus with people all across the globe. Those people became my family and I loved every second of it; wouldn’t change it for the world.

Stacy Galanis Stacy Galanis
Assistant Director of Freshman Admission

630-844-5418 | sgalanis@aurora.edu

Educational Background: I graduated from Aurora University in 2015 with my degree in English/Secondary Education. I've also received my middle school endorsement from Aurora University as well.

What advice would you give to a first-year or prospective student? My biggest piece of advice to incoming students is to never be afraid to ask questions. Connect with your faculty members and ask them any and all questions; they are there to help you, so you should never be hesitant to go to them.

Words you would use to describe AU: Familial atmosphere, challenging and meaningful.

What are some of your hobbies? I absolutely love to read! I could go through (and have gone through) a book a day. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and trying my hand at various DIY projects.

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? The familial atmosphere; we really are a big family here, and this was the place where I truly felt that I belonged.

Allison KlotzAllison Klotz
Senior Freshman Admission Counselor

630-844-5298 | aklotz@aurora.edu

Education Background: I have a BS in Fitness and Health Promotion and a minor in Business from Aurora University.

What advice would you give to a first-year or prospective student? To be open-minded and to take advantage of all of the resources and activities AU has to offer.

Words you would use to describe AU: Personal, supportive, inclusive, competitive.

What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy doing anything active! Such as participating in races, playing sports, going for bike rides, or running around the park with my dog Zoe.

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? The personal academic experience I had in my classes throughout all four years and the lasting relationships I made and continue to hold with some of my closest friends.

 

Joel Ortega Joel Ortega
Director of Freshman Enrollment

630-844-3853 | jortega@aurora.edu

Education Background: Bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing from Aurora University in May 2013.

What advice would you give to a first-year or prospective student? Make sure to give it your all starting your freshman year. There are so many opportunities to make great connections both socially and professionally. Take advantage of your resources.

Words you would use to describe AU: Encouraging, Demanding, Relationships

What are some of your hobbies? I love the Outdoors! Things like camping, rock climbing, hiking, and taking road trips.

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? All the different student organizations that AU offered. I was able to build a great network and make some amazing friends.

Joseline ValdezJoseline Valdez
Freshman Admission Counselor

630-844-5145 | jvaldez@aurora.edu

Educational background: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing and a minor in Psychology from Aurora University

What advice would you give a first-year student? College is tough but every day is a new day to start over, don’t stress yourself too much and enjoy the experience. But also, I can’t say this enough, put yourself out there. Getting involved and taking that first step in being friendly and making friends everywhere will definitely enhance your college experience!

Words you would use to describe AU:
 Supportive, motivating, welcoming and fun.

Something interesting or unique about me: I played the saxophone since the 5th grade and was first chair in my high school band.

What was your favorite thing about AU when you were an undergraduate student? My favorite thing about AU while I was an undergraduate student was meeting my best friends and going through the different college phases together! Also my job at the admissions office as a student worker opened up the doors to a new passion that I now love: higher education and helping others.

Favorite quote: I actually have two favorite quotes, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce” and “Do your squats, eat your vegetables, wear red lipsticks, don’t let boys be mean to you”

What are some of your hobbies? I love hanging out with my family and friends, eating and watching dramatic Spanish Telenovelas!!

Open House and Visit Days
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Office of Admission and Financial Aid

Eckhart Hall 201
347 S. Gladstone Ave.
Aurora, IL 60506
630-844-5533
800-742-5281
630-844-6191 (fax)
admission@aurora.edu
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