SSP Faculty & Staff

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Laura Borger, M.S., M.A.

 borger-instructorLaura Borger has an M.S. in Speech Communication and an M.A. in English. Borger is a Carbondale native, three time graduate and second-generation Saluki. She has taught at several southern Illinois high schools and colleges since 1998. She was awarded the Thomas J. Pace Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2000 and the Heartland's Best Regional Teacher Award in 2006. Her research interests include vertical articulation, at-risk education, critical pedagogy, and cognitive development in emerging adults. She enjoys spending time outdoors and watching -- or running from -- wildlife while hiking in local, state, and national parks. 

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Casheena Stephens, Ph.D.

 casheena-instructorCasheena Stephens, Ph.D. is a proud SIU alumna. She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences, an M.S.Ed. in Workforce Education and Development specializing in adult education, and a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development specializing in career and professional development. Her academic interests include women and work, work-life balance, adult learning, workforce diversity, and program/curriculum development. Outside of the world of academia, she is a wife and mother of four beautiful children. Her hobbies include signing, dancing, traveling, and spending time with her friends and church family. 

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Abigail Wheetley, M.F.A, M.L.S.

 abby-instructorAbigail Wheetley has her M.F.A. in creative writing and a second master's in Library Science. She is a proud two time alumna from Southern Illinois University. During her studies she interned at the University press and was a graduate student at Morris Library in Special Collections. Since graduating, she has worked as an archivist, instructor, freelance writer, reference librarian, and instructional materials specialist. She is an avid television watcher and lives in Carbondale with her three children and four cats. 

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Gauri Pitale, Ph.D.

 gap-instructorGauri Pitale, Ph.D. is an SIU alumna. Originally from Mumbai, India, Gauri came to SIU to continue her graduate education. She has a B.A. in Ancient Indian Culture from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, an M.A. in Ancient Indian Culture, History, and Archaeology from Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, an M.A. in Anthropology, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her academic interests include globalization and health, food and culture, bioarchaeology, medical anthropology, colonial and post-colonial studies, and human osteology. Outside of her work, Gauri enjoys reading, going for long walks, doing embroidery, and cooking food for her friends and family.

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Nick Weshinskey, Ph.D., NCC | Coordinator

 scott-rakow-instructorNick Weshinskey, Ph.D., NCC is a three degree alum of SIU and third generation Saluki. He is licensed as a professional educator in the state of Illinois and holds a national board certification in counseling. In addition to teaching high school and college courses, Nick has experience providing crisis counseling and risk assessment in emergency rooms and police stations, as well as couple, family, substance abuse, child and adolescent therapy. Nick's research interests include college teaching, creative analytic practices, men's studies, and the first-year experience. 

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Cecilia Porter | Office Manager

 cecilia-headshot.jpgCecilia Porter has been part of the SIU family since 2007. She has provided support services to the School of Medicine, payroll, Plant Biology, Psychology, and the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. Currently, she serves as the office manager for both the Saluki Success Program and the University Core Curriculum. When Cecilia isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, playing golf, and enjoying the outdoors. 

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