Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Student Life Leadership Team »

Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD

Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD Senior Vice President for Student Life

3034 Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Javaune, or Dr. J, as she is affectionately called, oversees the operations of the Office of Student Life and its constituent departments.  She represents Student Life in the university's senior administration and provides leadership on issues affecting students. She has broad leadership responsibility for numerous university operations affecting students outside the classroom, including residence halls, food service, the Ohio Union and student activities, student leadership development, mental health counseling, career direction, recreational sports, health care and wellness programs, disability services, the Multicultural Center, off-campus student services, the student judicial process, student advocacy and crisis intervention.

Javaune came to Ohio State in January 2009 as Vice President for Student Life from the University of Maryland, where she had served in a variety of administrative and faculty positions since 1985.  As a psychologist, she also was a member of the graduate faculty at Maryland. Her experience included serving as associate dean of academic affairs, assistant athletic director and equity administrator. 

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 Diamond Honoree Award from the ACPA-College Student Educators, the highest honor of the America College Personnel Association, which recognized her transformative contributions to the field. The award cited her relationally centered approach, commitment to diversity and inclusivity and desire to help others reach their fullest potential.

Javaune has a bachelor's degree in biology, psychology and general science and a master's degree in applied psychology and she also earned a PhD in psychology from Iowa State University.

Xen Riggs

Xen Riggs Associate Vice President for Student Life

Suite 1030, 555 Borror Drive, Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-3231

Xen oversees The Jerome Schottenstein Center, the Fawcett Center, the Blackwell, and the Drake Conference and Event Center. He also has responsibility for various special projects, including management of large campus events and negotiation of some contracts and licensing agreements. Xen received bachelor's degrees in business management and speech and drama from Anderson University. He has worked at Ohio State since 1997. Before coming to Ohio State, Xen worked for a management company that handled musical artists, as well as at Anderson University, Illinois State, Kellogg Arena and University of Illinois.

Felix Alonso

Felix Alonso Director, Student Philanthropy

2008 Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Felix oversees and directs student philanthropy initiatives for the university. He also oversees BuckeyeThon, a student-driven philanthropic organization which coordinates Ohio State's Dance Marathon and has raised over $6.5M for hematology/oncology department at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Felix began his career at Ohio State in 2000 as director of student programs for the Alumni Association and later served as associate director for the Student Life Multicultural Center. He holds a BA in Spanish from Ohio State and a MEd in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont.

Jen Cottrell

Jen Cottrell Director, Marketing Operations

2033 Ohio Union, 1739 N High St., Columbus, OH 43210

Jen leads marketing operations for the Office of Student Life ensuring alignment with university and Student Life values, strategic areas of focus, branding and visual identity. Jen earned her BA in interpersonal communications from Bowling Green State University. She joined the Office of Student Life as an Assistant Director of Marketing in 2008. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Jen worked in The Columbus Dispatch events and advertising divisions.

Kurtis Foriska

Kurtis Foriska Chief Development Officer and Special Assistant to the Student Life Senior Vice President

2033 Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Kurt works to gain support for Student Life programs and services through fundraising efforts. He is also responsible for the oversight of Sorority and Fraternity Life. Kurt began his career at Ohio State in 2003 as coordinator of Sorority and Fraternity Life, and has held various positions in Student Activities, the Ohio Union, and Recreational Sports. He holds a BS in biology from Allegheny College, an MA in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, and an MBA from Ohio State.

Gladys Gibbs, MD

Gladys Gibbs, MD Director, Student Health Services

1875 Millikin Road, Columbus, OH 43210

Dr. Gibbs is responsible for all aspects of the student health care program and student health policies, including providing leadership in the development and delivery of health related programs and services. She also serves as the general public health officer for students.

A Columbus native, Dr. Gibbs has recently returned from the east coast. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Masters in Management from Purdue University. She possesses a degree in Dentistry from Harvard University and a degree in Medicine from the University of Chicago.

Andrea Gintert

Andrea Gintert Senior Human Resource Officer

620 Lincoln Tower, 1800 Cannon Drive, Columbus, OH 43210

Andrea leads the Student Life human resources team and provides strategic leadership and direction for all Student Life human resources functions, including hiring, talent management, performance management, compensation, employee and labor relations and organization development. She works closely with both the units in Student Life and the university's Office of Human Resources.

She joined Student Life in December 2011 after having served in similar capacities at Ohio State's offices of Facilities Operation and Development and Administration and Planning. Her experience also includes positions with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, MCI WorldCom, Ameritech and Capital University.

Andrea holds a BA in English and a Master of Public Administration from Ohio State. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources Management and a certified facilitator of several motivational and career development programs.


Rob Jech

Rob Jech Director, Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program

2036 Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Rob is responsible for the operation and development of the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program, a privately funded leadership development program specifically designed for upperclassmen. Rob joined Ohio State in 2004 in Student Life Recreational Sports and assisted with opening the Recreation and Physical Activity Center in August, 2005. He began his work in leadership development in 2012, as the Assistant Director - Staff Training and Development, creating and executing leadership and learning initiatives within Rec Sports. Rob holds a BA in Sports Business from the University of Mount Union and received his MA from Ohio State.

Anne McDaniel, PhD

Anne McDaniel, PhD Executive Director, Center for the Study of Student Life

517 Lincoln Tower, 1800 Cannon Dr., Columbus, OH 43210

Anne leads research and assessment efforts for the Office of Student Life. Prior to joining the Center for the Study of Student Life as an Associate Director in 2013, she was on an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include gender, racial and socioeconomic inequalities in higher education, especially as they relate to student experiences and success. Anne received her Bachelor's, Masters and PhD in Sociology from Ohio State and was a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University.

Dave Isaacs

Dave Isaacs Manager, Communication and Media Relations

2030 Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-8424

Dave handles news media inquiries to the Office of Student Life along with other communications duties. He joined the university in 2012 after serving as Communications Director at the Ohio House of Representatives. Prior to that, he spent a number of years as a broadcast journalist, including news management positions at news radio stations in Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids and Detroit, Michigan; and Houston and Austin, Texas. Dave is a Columbus native, and received his BA from Denison University and an MA from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State.

Micky M. Sharma, PsyD

Micky M. Sharma, PsyD Director, Counseling and Consultation Service

4th Floor, Younkin Success Center, 1640 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-5766

Micky is responsible for vision, leadership, and administrative direction for Counseling and Consultation Services, which has 22 mental health staff members and 20-25 multidisciplinary mental health interns, fellows and advanced graduate practicum students, who provide a full range of mental health and substance abuse services to Ohio State students. He joined the Student Life team in September 2011, bringing experience from his previous positions as executive director of the Counseling and Student Development Center at Northern Illinois University (2007-2011) and associate director of Counseling and Wellness Services at Wright State University (2000-2007). Micky received his BS in psychology from the University of Dayton and his PsyD in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Chicago Campus.

Kellie Uhrig, MBA

Kellie Uhrig, MBA Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Communications

3034A Ohio Union, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-5944

Kellie oversees strategic communication efforts across all Student Life departments and acts as a liaison to internal and external partners. Kellie earned a BS in business administration and MBA from Ohio State. Before joining the Student Life staff in 2008, she was director of marketing and branding for The Columbus Dispatch.