Executive Council

President: Aliana Harrison (Elon University)

Aliana currently serves as the Associate Director of Residence Life for Residential Education and Community Development at Elon University. Originally from New York City, Aliana calls North Carolina her professional home as she received her Bachelor’s degree from Elon University and Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. Since then she has worked within housing and residence life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech. She is passionate about assessment, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, supervision, and the integration of academic and student life experiences.

NCHO has been Aliana’s professional home since her days in graduate school when she worked with her cohort members to plan NCHO’s first Graduate Professional Summit and served on the professional development committee prior to moving to Virginia in 2014. In her role as NCHO President-Elect, she is excited to connect with campuses across the state to continue to see how NCHO can support the needs of diverse institution types along with highlighting the amazing work that is happening across the state. Some of her goals connect to increasing NCHO’s visibility and exploring how all professional levels find meaning through their NCHO experiences. Aliana values the role professional associations like NCHO play in highlighting best practices and connecting colleagues across the state who are making North Carolina their home.

President-Elect: D’Najah Pendergrass (Wake Forest University
Past President: Shelley Wald (UNC Greensboro)

Shelley C. Wald, is originally from Richmond, Virginia, joined the NCHO executive council in October of 2016.  Prior to being President, Shelley was President-Elect and Member-at-Large.  She has her Bachelor’s degree from Longwood University in Virginia and Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority.  She has most recently worked as an Assistant Director at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant Director at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. She has also been an Area Coordinator at the University of Richmond and a Residence Life Coordinator at Texas Tech University. Her passion areas include: student leadership, men’s issues, LGBTQ students, and first-generation students. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking, reading, and watching college sports.

In her role as President, Shelley works to oversee executive council activities and events.  She is currently working to bring more visibility to NCHO, complete a review of key association documents, as well as chart a course for financial stability and growth.  Shelley decided to become involved in NCHO to meet more professionals in the state as well as grow her skills and abilities.  Some of Shelley’s goals for the year include creating a 5 and 10 year plan for NCHO as well as planning for future annual conferences.

 Business Manager: Adam Nichols (UNC Charlotte)

Hey NCHO! My name is Adam and I have the pleasure of serving as your Business Manager. Basically, that means I oversee NCHO’s budget and keep minutes from all our exec council meetings. I work at UNC-Charlotte (Go Niners!) as the Assistant Director for Residence Education – Conduct. In this role I supervise 4 of our full-time Residence Education Coordinators (RECs) and provide support to all of our RECs for all things student conduct and care and concern. I’m also an avid runner, foodie, and craft beer enthusiast who loves spending time with my 3.5 year old Pit/Boxer mix Desmond.

I moved to NC in 2015 and was introduced to NCHO as the co-chair of the 2016 NCHO Annual Conference. I’ve been on exec council as Business Manager ever since! I love being able to work with our new exec council members and continue to support (and fund…) all the amazing initiatives, socials, and conferences we plan for you. My goals are to establish greater measures of fiscal accountability and transparency and ensure we’re keeping NCHO financially healthy!

Member-at-Large: Aracelis Figueroa (East Carolina University)

Hello NCHO! My name is Aracelis Figueroa and I serve as your Member at Large. Currently I work at East Carolina University as a Residence Hall Coordinator. I received my master’s degree in Higher Education from UW-Whitewater and my bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Chicago. As the Member at Large, I have the privilege of working with institutions across the state to host the RA Drive-In for our lovely student staff members. Additionally, I am here to assist any of the members or other executive board members with any projects they might be working on. I decided to get involved with NCHO because I love growing as a professional and I wanted to feel more connected to our great state. Some goals I have for this position include: (1) Continue to market the RA Drive-In experience for both host institutions and participants, (2) Welcome New Professionals to our state and connect them to NCHO as quickly as possible, (3) Work to increase participation across the state through assisting other e-board members in their initiatives and programs. I look forward to serving you all during my term!

Senior Housing Officer Representative: MarQuita Baker (Elon University)

MarQuita Barker, Director of Residence Life at Elon University, joined the executive council of NCHO in 2019 as the Senior Housing Officer (SHO) Representative. As director, she is responsible for the overall leadership and management of over 100 student employees and over 20 full-time and part-time professional and graduate staff. In her role, she works with faculty and other university partners to advance Elon’s living and learning goals to ensure student learning in and out of the classroom. She is passionate about supporting students and colleagues to operate at their highest level.

Prior to Elon, she worked at Old Dominion University in Residence Life and at Hampton University with access and success initiatives. She earned her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and her MBA from Elon University. She is currently a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University where her research focuses on leadership and meaning-making in organizations. She hopes to bring her passion and research about leadership into the SHO role by involving senior housing officers in NCHO in ways that provide a deeper meaning and purpose for all NCHO members.

SEAHO Representative: Dr. DeAndre Howard (Mars Hill University)

As the Associate Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students, I provide supervision and support to the Housing and Residence Life program and the mailroom operation here at Mars Hill University. I also provide oversight for the University’s Student Conduct Processes and Student Conduct Board. Additionally, I work with Student Involvement (Greek Life, Outdoor Recreation, Intramurals, Fitness, Campus Orgs) and provide guidance and direction to the Director of Student Involvement. Lastly, I serve as the chapter advisor to the Mars Hill University Chapter, the Mu Tau of Kappa Alpha Psi and I teach adjunct courses for the Criminal Justice program and in the General Studies department.

I had the opportunity to serve as an RA in college and fell in love with Student Affairs. My time in student affairs has been filled with lots of caring for our students, advocating for their needs and collaborating will my peers to ensure student success. My long term goal is to become a Chief Student Affairs Officer/Vice President of Student Affairs.

I am involved with North Carolina Housing Officers (NCHO); Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO); Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I); National Association Student Personnel Administration (NASPA); Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated

Fun facts about me: I am a professional peach cobbler connoisseur; I am the only child; I am a first generation college student.

Communications Coordinator: Juliann Losey (UNC Greensboro)
Graduate Student Representative: Mayeesa Mitchell (UNC Greensboro)

Mayeesa Mitchell is a native of Queens, New York. She obtained a Bachelor of Art degree in Communication, specializing in Journalism and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Hight Point University in High Point, NC. Mayeesa is a first-year master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration Program at UNC Greensboro. Additionally, she serves as a Graduate Hall Director at Winston-Salem-State University. Her passion areas include retention, access and equity, and training student leaders.

Mayeesa has the pleasure of being the NCHO graduate representative for the 2019-2020 term. Mayeesa became involved in NCHO because of the strong commitment and passion of WSSU’s Housing & Residence Life (HRL) department to being actively involved within the state and the desire to keep the legacy of UNCG SAAHE students in the position. In addition, she was inspired by the opportunity to serve as a liaison, advocate, and conduit for the needs and concerns of the graduate students serving in HRL departments throughout the state of North Carolina. Lastly, she saw it as a great opportunity to be mentored and supported by multi-level professionals from a variety of institutions with wide ranging expertise.

Mayeesa’s platform is centered on being of USE! Her goal is to Unite North Carolina’s graduate students through the use of technology, Support her peers through building a strong community and Encourage her fellow graduate-level hall directors through interactive professional development opportunities.

Small College & University Representative: Amanda Morales (Queens University of Charlotte)

Amanda Morales serves as the Small College Representative for NCHO. Amanda Morales enjoys serving NCHO because of the amazing people that make up the organization! Her goals as the Small College Representative include encouraging small college participation in NCHO professional development opportunities throughout the year and creating a recognition program to highlight small college staff.

Amanda Morales grew up in rural South Carolina and is a first generation college student. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with family, traveling, fishing, reading and trying new things. Amanda’s current research interests are in educational access/equity, poverty theory, and student leadership development, topics she plans to pursue in a doc program in a few years.

Currently, Amanda is the Assistant Director for RA Selection and Training at Queens University of Charlotte. She has been at Queens for five years, previously serving as the Assistant Director for Assignments. Amanda obtained a BS in History from Francis Marion University and a MS in College Student Personnel Services from Arkansas State University.

Annual Conference Co-Chair: Bryant Barnett (Western Carolina University)
Professional Development Committee Chair: Therésa McKire (UNC at Chapel Hill)

Therésa McKire serves as the Professional Development Chair for NCHO and is currently a Community Director at UNC Chapel Hill. TK comes from the beautiful Sunshine State of Florida where she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida Gulf Coast University and her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University.

TK’s interest in working in Student Affairs and specifically residence life stemmed from becoming immensely involved as an undergraduate student and acquiring personal relationships and mentorships with the professionals at her undergraduate institution. She had the magnificent opportunity to experience firsthand the impact that a professional such as the assistant dean of students or director of housing can make on the life of a college student and decided to become one of those professionals.

Professional Development Committee Chair-select:  Adrian Stowe (Johnson C. Smith University)
NCARH Liaison: Ileana Garcia  (NC State University)
Technology Coordinator: Nick Gawlik (UNC School of the Arts)

Nick Gawlik is the current Technology Coordinator for NCHO and serves as the Assistant Director for Occupancy Management & Hanes Student Commons at the Unviersity of North Carolina School of the Arts. Prior to his move to North Carolina, Nick oversaw first-year area programs at Dean College in Massachusetts and completed his M.A. at Boston College where he was also involved with student conduct, residence life, and summer programs.

Nick became involved in NCHO to serve his new home state and get acclimated professionally in the SEAHO region. Nick’s goals include re-vamping the website, improving the listserv, and enhancing the resources available to NCHO members through the vast network that we have to offer.

New Professional Representative: Tyler Placeres (Elon University)

Tyler Placeres currently serves North Carolina as the New Professional Representative and as a Community Director at Elon University. I oversee the largest community at Elon University with the Danieley Center Neighborhood being home to over 700 first and second year residents living within 16 different buildings. Prior to coming to Elon, Tyler served as a Resident Director at Northeastern University in Boston.

Tyler has completed his undergraduate degree in Communications Rhetoric at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Tyler also holds a M.Ed. in Professional Counseling with an emphasis in College Student Affairs from the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia.

Tyler joined the NCHO board due to his love for helping New Professionals better author their own lives within the ever changing Higher Education field. Tyler’s goals are to host a summer webinar, write an article each year focused on New Professionals and their needs, and host at least one social meetup.

Tyler is an advocate for progressive policies within institutions that benefit the all generations of higher education professionals with specific interest of New Professionals. His advocacy work comes into fruition through dialogues at conferences and at his campus along with presenting on how progressive policies can improve campus cultures. In his free time, Tyler is a writer for a blog for Liverpool Football Club based in Liverpool, England and enjoys exploring new areas in North Carolina.

HBCU Representative: Agnes Baxter (Shaw University)
Assessment Coordinator: Vacant