Cooper Center Staff


Lisette Torres-Gerald is the Director of the Cooper Center. She provides guidance for the direction and vision of the Cooper Center as it continues to support students and faculty here at Nebraska Wesleyan. She is the adviser for M.O.S.A.I.C. She is a passionate Boricua mother-scholar who is hoping to have a positive impact on the NWU community. She loves to read and do Taiji.

Assistant Director

Dr. Melissa Hamilton Hayes is the Assistant Director of the Cooper Center, supervising the center's student consultants and working with the supplemental instruction (SI) program. Dr. Hayes has specialties in 20th century American literature and rhetoric and composition, with an interest in women writers, spirituality, and memoir. She teaches Masterpieces of Literature for the Adult and Graduate Program. As a certified yoga instructor, she also teaches Yoga I for the HHP Department. She loves gardening with her husband, hanging out with her kids, and running or playing fetch with her chocolate lab.

Cooper Center Consultant (Autobiographies)

Mimi Charron—staff assistant

I am a junior English major and religion and philosophy minor. I decided to work at the Cooper Center because all of my experiences there had been great, and I knew it would be a good place to help my fellow students. I chose Wesleyan because I knew it would make me feel at home and push me to be the best person I could be. With my degree, I want to go on to work in college student personnel administration, so I can further help college students find their paths!

Ashley Trent—consultant

I am a senior English and secondary education major! I love working with people to develop their individual ideas and writing processes. I also enjoy the new perspectives and topics people bring in! I chose Wesleyan because it felt like home! I love how academically challenging it is, and how supportive everyone is; I genuinely think it has been the best choice I’ve made thus far in life. With my degree, I am going to teach!

Stephanie Alvarado—consultant

I am a senior chemistry and sociology/anthropology major! I decided to work in the Cooper Center when a previous consultant encouraged me to apply because she enjoyed my writing and fun spirit! I chose Wesleyan, to make a long story short, because a CD played correctly in my car. With my degree, I want to help people improve the world!

Jimmy Lowe—consultant

I am a senior English major. I am involved with the Pride Alliance, Society of Scholars, and Gender Advocacy Place. I also sing with the University Choir and Chamber Choir. I love to spend time binge-watching or binge-reading.

Cindy Ostiguin—consultant

I am a senior psychology major and sociology/anthropology minor! I wanted to work as a consultant because I wanted to show people that writing can be fun and taking steps through writing the paper is worth the time to build on being a good writer. I chose Wesleyan because of its standards on education, because academics is held highly here. Also, it’s a small campus where I can really build good relationships with faculty and students. I would like to continue my education and work with college students as a dean for student success and campus community!

Abbie Overturf—consultant

I am a sophomore political science major and music and German minor! I chose to be a consultant to use my organization and writing skills to help my classmates turn in the best possible papers. I chose to attend NWU for the small school feel, the political science program, and CHIP. With my degree, I hope to lobby for feminist issues in Washington, D.C.

Colin Hensel—consultant

I am a junior political science major and writing and communication studies minor! I wanted to work as a consultant in order to help my peers navigate their way through the writing process, which can be extremely daunting at times. I chose Wesleyan because of the small campus, the friendly people, and the challenging academics. Ideally, I hope to attend law school after my completion of undergrad, and from there I hope to go into litigation or government relations.

Morgan Lowery—consultant

I am sophomore this year here at NWU. I was born and raised on a farm just outside of a small-town called Davenport, Nebraska. I am studying Language Arts Education with a minor in English in hopes to become a High-School English teacher in a rural community. I am involved in many organizations here on campus including Alpha Gamma Delta and the Student Education Association of Nebraska. I also am a student ambassador as well as a Prairie Wolves Welcome leader. I absolutely love Wesleyan and look forward to the many opportunities it has provided me.

Alli Stoppkotte—consultant

I am a senior vocal Mmusic major and communication studies minor! I wanted to work as a consultant because I want NWU students to be as stress-free as possible when writing a paper and for them to gain the writing skills they will need in the long run. I fell in love with Wesleyan’s campus as soon as I came on my visit and the music department is stellar! The professors are so kind, supportive, and they not only care about your success as a student, but also your success as a human being. With my B.A. in vocal music, I plan to go forward and obtain my masters of musicology at the University College in Dublin, Ireland!

Sarah Behlen—consultant

I am a junior business sociology major and marketing and HR management minor! I wanted to work as a consultant because I wanted to be able to use my writing abilities to help others. I chose Wesleyan because I came from a really small school and wanted to be on a smaller campus and be able to work one-on-one with professors and staff. I’d love to work in marketing after I get my degree and be able to use both my marketing and writing abilities in my career!

MaKynna Montgomery—consultant

I am a sophomore English and Communication Studies major and Writing minor! I wanted to work as a consultant because I struggled with the writing process in high school and now that I understand the intricacies involved I want to help alleviate stress in my peers. I chose Wesleyan because my sister Madi attended NWU and I fell in love with the campus when I would visit her. I want to continue my education and earn a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, eventually hoping to work in the fiction publishing field as either a publisher, book agent, or copyeditor!

Leah Beran—consultant

I am a sophomore psychology major and music minor! I enjoy helping students with assignments. I feel like I am a strong writer and have lots of good advice to give students. I chose to come to Nebraska Wesleyan because I fell in love with the close atmosphere. Everyone here is welcoming and helpful. With my degree, I will most likely become a neuropsychologist!

Sarah Hunter—consultant

I am a senior political science and philosophy and religion major! I wanted to work in the Cooper Center because it is a great opportunity to learn from my peers and become a better writer! I chose Wesleyan initially for CHIP and I stayed because of all the amazing friends and professors I have had. After Wesleyan, I will be attending law school where I will become a juvenile attorney!

Cece Hastreiter—consultant

I am a senior vocal music performance major and a psychology minor! I wanted to work in the Cooper Center because I love helping people discover ideas about what they want to present/ write. It is a cool process! I love Wesleyan because of the amazing community and music program! After Wesleyan, I plan to work on becoming and opera performer.

Supplemental Instruction

Taylor Moran is an exercise science major with minors in psychology and biology. She likes to paint and cook. When she is not studying, you will find her outside hanging out with friends and family.

Jessica Briley is a junior exercise science major with a minor in biology. After graduation, she plans on applying to dental school. In her free time, you can find her watching either the Cubs or The Office, and always talking about her dog.

Raissa Suim Dantas de Souza is a senior pre-med major from Brazil. She is a member of the NWU Women's Soccer team and wants to attend medical school. 

Kristine Hoagstrom is a native of Lincoln, Nebraska. She is working towards a biochemistry and molecular biology major and a music minor. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dog Midnight and working with children at Sheridan Lutheran Church.

Amber Cooper is currently a second-year biochemistry and molecular biology major.  She is involved in several activities on campus and enjoys playing piano and baking in her free time. 

Emma Eaton My name is Emma Eaton and I am one of the SI instructors for Organic Chemistry I this semester. I am a Biology major and a Chemistry minor from Blair, Nebraska. In my free time I work with political campaigns and enjoy volunteering at health organizations.