Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller. This is my favorite
quote, and I like to think of all the ups, downs, and sometimes circuitous routes
of college life as a grand adventure. I am here as a guide to assist you on your collegiate
journey. There are so many amazing opportunities to explore at the University of Utah,
and I want you to take full advantage of all your options.
A little bit about me...I grew up in Provo, Utah, and I enjoy backpacking, mountain
biking, and swing dancing. I went to the University of Oregon for my B.S., and after
I graduated went on an LDS mission. Five years later, I made my way to the University of Utah for my M.S. I’ve worked with college students in Utah and Colorado, and I look forward to connecting
Jeilani Athman, M.Ed. (he/him/his)
We all have our unique experiences, stories and life journeys that contribute to who
we are today. In working with you, I believe in upholding your human dignity as an
integral factor towards success.
I grew up in the coastal region of Kenya in Africa where I completed my undergraduate
degree at the University of Nairobi, majoring in Education and Religious Studies.
Upon graduating, and after teaching in public school for years, I traveled to Malaysia
to pursue my masters in Educational Leadership and Management, a degree that I did
not complete because I reunited with my family in the U.S.A on an immigrant visa.
I recently graduated from the U with my master’s degree in Educational Leadership
and Policy and a concentration in Student Affairs.
My experiences have revolved around students. A teacher by profession, I have taught
students from diverse backgrounds, and countries – and in the process, I learned a
lot which I am excited to share with you. As a lifelong-learner and previously as
a student, I was involved with different leadership roles and activities. Throughout
my academic journey, I was mentored by many people – I would love to serve as a mentor
to you and share what I have learned.
During my free time, if I am not watching soccer then I am playing competitively with
friends. – By the way, I am a fan of Chelsea in English Premier League, and a Real
Madrid fan in the Spanish league, with Real Salt Lake being my favorite local team.
Initially, swimming was a necessary skill to survive in Kenya and now I enjoy it
leisurely. I love meeting new people and making and maintaining friendships.
As your Student Success Coach, together we will build a relationship and further support
a campus environment that affirms your holistic development as a college student.
I will connect you to the unique opportunities and the appropriate people the U has
to offer and nurture your sense of efficacy, belonging, and success. Remember, your
success in all its forms and shapes is my upper most priority. I am here to meet,
connect, interact and learn about your experiences at the times, location(s), and
spaces that are most convenient for you!
Lisa Lewis, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)
Welcome to the next step on your academic journey! Whether you are a first-year student,
a transfer student, or you are getting close to graduating, by contacting a Student
Success Coach you have found a great avenue for support.
I grew-up in Utah and am a graduate of the University of Utah where I earned a BA
in both Anthropology and Art History. From there my journey has taken me across the
West. I lived for several years in Montana, New Mexico and in the rural lands of Utah
including Loa and Mount Pleasant. I love to be outside exploring the wilder places
in the west. I find great peace and joy in mountains and deserts that surround us,
and love to play in the snow, sand, and rocks. Skiing, floating rivers, hiking, running,
and biking are among my favorite activities. When I’m home I love to garden and create
mixed media arts and crafts with found objects. I have two step-sons that keep me
laughing and celebrating life’s gifts.
While in Montana, I earned my M.Ed. at the University of Montana. I worked for a few
years in K-12 education but found that my passion is in higher education. In New Mexico,
I worked for a two-year college as a grant director and an instructor. I help design
and implement programs aimed at building student success for first generation, underrepresented,
and under-resourced students. Mentoring programs and supplemental instruction are
examples of programs I worked with. I come back to the U of U with a great appreciation
of how a connection with one caring person on campus can make a difference in a student’s
Thanks for being curious and looking into the opportunities the Student Success Coach
program offers. It would be great to have the chance to meet you and hear the story
of your journey.
Stan Rodriguez Drasutis, M.A.C.L. (he/him/his)
My name is Stan Drasutis (pronounced draw-soo-tis). I've lived in several states other
than Utah including: California, Texas, and New Mexico. I love to travel, meet new
people, and experience new cultures. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to
return to school after working several years as a professional in the private sector.
My experience growing up working in the restaurant business helped me learn the hard
way, that sometimes one can only go so far without a formal education.
My educational journey was by no means a straight path. I had many roadblocks and
detours along the way. The real turning point was when I set foot on the University
of Utah campus in 2014. I was surrounded by people that took an interest in me as
an individual, and gave me the support I needed to steer myself in the right direction.
I graduated from the University of Utah in August of 2016 with degrees in Sociology,
and Peace & Conflict Studies. I continued at Westminster College, and earned a Masters
of Arts in Community Leadership in 2019.
My role as your Student Success Coach is to listen to you, to ensure that we put together
a solid plan that keeps you on the road to academic success, while also maximizing
your college experience.
Sierra Whipple-Padgen (she/her/hers)
I’m a firm believer that this life holds extraordinary opportunities- the hardest
part can be knowing where to begin. As your Student Success Coach it is my privilege
to work with you to develop your network of resources and skills so you can access
these opportunities! I’m here to create a safe environment where you can explore your
interests and build a rad undergraduate experience tailored to YOU.
I’m a Utah native and a first-generation graduate who completed my BS in Business
Management here at the University of Utah. My undergrad journey involved 3 major changes,
a semester abroad to China, captaining an intramural team, transferring schools (twice),
working on-campus, and ultimately graduating with some of the best memories, friends,
and experiences I could have dreamed of. Outside of university- I enjoy spending time
exploring national parks, playing DnD, competing at quadball tournaments, writing
poetry, and traveling.
I’m genuinely excited to get to know you and to see where you take your undergraduate
experience. The University of Utah holds extraordinary opportunities - let’s work
together to find out which ones are valuable for you!