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School of Family and Consumer Sciences

School of Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board

The Eastern Illinois University School of Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board provides advice concerning the mission on the unit, including planning, conducting, evaluation, and marketing programs. The goals of the Advisory Board are to assist in:

  • Improving programs in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences.
  • Promoting the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, its students and its alumni.
  • Supporting the School of Family and Consumer Sciences development efforts.


Advisory Board Members

Mary Babiarz-Kestel, Preschool for All Coordinator at Child Care Resource and Referral

Mary serves as a Preschool for All Coordinator at Child Care Resource & Referral, a not-for-profit agency providing services to families and childcare providers in Will, Gundy, Kendall, and Kankakee counties.  In this position, she manages three Illinois State Board of Education funded Preschool for All Programs located in Will and Kankakee counties.  She also provides parent education trainings and is a member of the Illinois Trainers Network through Illinois Gateways to Opportunity.   She has had three years of experience as an Adjunct Instructor teaching Health, Safety, and Nutrition of Young Children at Joliet Junior College.  Mary earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. 

 Gary Behan, General Manager, Country Club of Terre Haute, IN

Gary is currently the General Manager of the Country Club of Terre Haute in Indiana.  Prior to Terre Haute, Gary was the General Manager and Chief Operation Officer of the Peoria Country Club, the General Manager at Standard Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky, the Worthington Hills Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, the Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.  His hospitality management career started with the Marriott Corporation in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Boston and St. Louis.

Gary holds the Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation.  He is a member of the Club Manager Association of America (CMAA), is a member of the CMAA Honor Society, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Valley Club Managers Association.  Gary is a recipient of the “Evans Scholar” scholarship where he graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Hospitality Management.  Gary has been married to his wife Judy since 1996 and has one son, Kevin.

You may contact Gary by calling the Club at 812-299-1822 or via email to  Gary’s motto is “Every Member Every Time”



Martha Brown, Retired Professor and Associate Dean of Eastern Illinois University, Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences

 A native of western North Carolina, Dr. Martha S. Brown obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from Meredith College, a master's degree in food science from North Carolina State University, and a doctorate in nutrition from Florida State University.  She accepted a faculty position to teach foods and nutrition courses with the then School of Home Economics at Eastern Illinois University in 1979 and retired after 29 years in 2008 as Professor and Associate Dean of the Lumpkin College of Business & Applied Sciences.  During her teaching and administrative career at EIU she served as Acting Chair of the School of Family & Consumer Sciences from 1995-1997.  She currently resides in Charleston, IL where she enjoys gardening and traveling.  She is a Certified Master Gardener with the University of Illinois Extension Service and in retirement has served as an EIU Foundation and Foundation Board member and as a member of the Advisory Council of the EIU Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Valerie Cowen, Regional Administrator, Choice Hotels Owners Council

Valerie began her career in the hospitality industry in 1994 as a Guest Service Agent while on summer break from EIU.   She worked various positions in both limited and full service hotels until graduating from University of Illinois at Springfield in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.   Valerie worked for Tharaldson Property Management (now TMI Hospitality) for 10 years.    In her tenure with Tharladson, she  served as General Manager of a Sleep Inn, Comfort Inn,  and Fairfield Inn and as a Regional Support Manager assisting with 10 properties, a variety of brands.    When Tharaldson sold the properties to Pillar Hotels she continued with Pillar Hotels as a Dual Property Manager and Training Manager for 4 years.   In 2012 Valerie joined Choice Hotels Owners Council where she currently serves as a Regional Administrator covering 17 states and approximately 1500 properties.  She is a past president of the Springfield Hotel and Lodging Association and served on the board for the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.  She is a Certified Hotel Administrator and is currently working towards her MBA at the University of Illinois in Springfield.  

Cody Czmyr, Membership Coordinator, University Club of Chicago

Cody currently serves as Membership Coordinator for the University Club of Chicago, which is rated as one of the top 5 city clubs in the country. In his current role, Cody is responsible for the daily operations of the Membership Department, where he maintains a vibrant membership by actively introducing new and prospective members to all that the Club has to offer. Cody also serves on a several Club committees, including Membership Development and the Committee on Admissions.Upon graduation from EIU, Cody completed a 9 month rotational internship at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club where he gained first hand club industry experience. From there, Cody took a position at Olympia Fields Country Club as Outside Service Manager where he managed the oversight of the 63rd US Girls' Junior Championship tournament.  In keeping with his passion for customer service, Cody subsequently accepted a position as Service Coordinator for Xclutel Communications, where he facilitated all day to day customer interactions related to service. Cody currently resides in Chicago, plays volleyball regularly, and volunteers with both Honor Flight and South Suburban PADS. Additionally, Cody co-founded SPARK, a not for profit organization whose mission is to spread positivity and kindness throughout the community. 

Susan DeRousse, Unit Director, Java Beanery & Bakery, Eastern Illinois University

Susan DeRousse graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S in Family and Consumer Sciences in December of 2007. Her concentration was Hospitality Management with a minor in Business Administration.  In the last year of her studies she was offered an Interim Unit Director position with Panther Dining on Eastern’s campus and she accepted. In October of 2007, two months prior to her graduation, Susan accepted a full time Unit Director position at Thomas Dining Center.  Over the next few years Susan would remain at Thomas Dining then transfer to Carman Dining.  A few of her daily tasks include sustaining operations and day to day issues as well as focusing on budgetary concerns to maintain or decrease food costs.  In May of 2013, Carman Dining closed and Susan assumed the Unit Director of Java Beanery & Bakery.  Along with her Unit Director position she also oversees the entire student worker hiring processes for Panther Dining.

Susan enjoys volunteering she was recently elected to be on the Staff Senate for EIU and gives her time as an advisor for the on campus sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. In addition to this, Susan is a self-taught cake decorator and enjoys using fondant to create specialty cakes for the sorority as well as family and friends. Susan is a partial owner and operator of Fry Guys LLC. This operation is a food trailer that sells fresh cut French fries at various fairs and festivals during the summer months. Susan has a curious mind and loves the opportunity to learn new things. More than anything Susan enjoys spending time with her husband Aaron and daughter Addilyn, and two step-sons, Trystan and Quinten. 

 Jackie Goris, Commercial Banking Portfolio Manager, J.P. Morgan

In 2010, Jackie completed her master’s degree at Eastern Illinois University in Family and Consumer Sciences, focusing on Consumer Studies. During her graduate degree she was given the opportunity to sever as the Financial Health Graduate Assistant; providing campus-wide financial literacy outreach and direct one-on-one personal finance education to students. 

Upon graduation, Jackie returned back to Chicago where she began working as a Personal Finance Counselor assisting consumers nation-wide in managing their financial goals through household spending plans, rebuilding credit, debt reduction, handling collection accounts, and providing retirement options.

More recently, Jackie has joined one of the nation’s largest banks as a Commercial Banking Portfolio Manager. She is responsible for high-net worth foreign currency accounts, booking and servicing complex product options and providing education to borrowers and syndicated bank groups on deal specifications.   

Jackie currently resides in the City of Chicago with her husband and two dogs.

Aaron Grobengieser M.S. R.D. L.D.N. VHA-CM, Chief of Nutrition & Food Services, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN

Aaron is a 2006 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a M.S. degree from the School of Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics. Aaron also received his B.S. degree from Eastern Illinois University in Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in chemistry. During his tenure at EIU, he enjoyed a wide range of activities, including 4 years on the intercollegiate track team, service on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and participation in the Portion Size-Me project.

Aaron is currently the Chief and Director of Nutrition and Food Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, a category 1a system with facilities in Nashville and Murfreesboro, TN.  He has operational oversight of approximately 110 staff members and an annual budget of ~$1.5 million. In addition to his departmental leadership, Aaron also chairs the VA committee overseeing the national contract for procurement of food products at all VA facilities, nationwide.  In his national role, he also sits on the Nutrition Field Advisory Committee, which advises the national VA N&FS Director in Washington, D.C. on the practice of dietetics at VA facilities across the country. Prior to serving as the Chief of Nutrition & Food Services in Nashville, Aaron provided nutritional leadership to VA facilities in Fort Wayne and Marion, Indiana as the Chief and Director of Nutrition & Food Services at the VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System. Aaron’s career began in the VA Illiana Healthcare System after being hired post-Dietetic internship as an outpatient dietitian.

Aaron has a passion for Veteran-centered care and serves in a leadership capacity as the facility co-chair of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Patient-Centered Care Committee.  Additionally, he sits on the VA regional service line for patient-centered care, which advises the VA Regional Director and 6 VA facilities on Patient-Centered Care initiatives and opportunities. He is also a Veteran’s Health Administration Certified Mentor and graduate of the 2012 Mid-South Veteran’s Integrated Service Network (VISN 09) Leadership Institute.

In his off time, Aaron enjoys his two kids, reading, gardening, brewing beer and watching the Cardinals win.

Sally Healy-Cummings, Vice President Nutrition Marketing and Affairs, National Dairy Council

Donna Hudson, Adult Counselor, Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service (SACIS)

Donna Turner Hudson, Adult Counselor at the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service, is honored to serve adults impacted by sexual violence. She provides counseling for a diverse group of women and men who are survivors of abuse or assault, as well as for significant others (including parents) of survivors. Donna serves on the EIU Sexual Assault Task Force and the EIU Student Affairs LGBTQA Advisory Board, facilitates a new local Allies Group, and serves as a Safe Zone trainer.  In addition to her counseling work, Donna is also a mediator for the United States Postal Service’s EEO REDRESS mediation program and a child custody mediator for the Illinois Fifth Judicial Circuit. A St. Louis native, Donna did her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Before moving to Charleston, IL in 2001, she worked for ten years at the Conflict Resolution Center at the University of North Dakota.  She and her husband Mark are parents to Andy and Dan. 

Stacy Hudson, Major Market-Brand Service Consultant, IHG

Based just outside of St Louis, MO, Stacy is the Franchise Operations Support Manager for IHG covering the North Central Region, otherwise known as Missouri, Downstate Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and portions of South Dakota.  She supports all IHG branded hotels regardless of segment in operational needs.  In this role she assists hotels in building and executing plans to improve overall experiences and profitability and growth. Stacy consults with hotel personnel virtually as well as traveling on site to medicore or poor performing hotels in order to increase their overall guest satisfaction to meet or exceed brand expectations. Previously Stacy held the position of Major Market- Brand Service Consultant with IHG.  She served a portfolio of approximately 50 full service InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels in New Orleans, San Antonio, Austin, Kansas City and St. Louis, where she assisted each of her assigned properties with increasing profitability through leadership development, employee and guest experiences.  Prior to that she held a similar position as Brand Service Consultant working with Holiday Inn Express and smaller Holiday Inn properties.  

Before joining IHG Stacy spent a brief period of time working in donor recruitment for the American Red Cross.  However, the majority of her career prior to her current position was in operations at various franchised hotels through the Southern IL and St Louis region.  She worked as a divisional Operations Manager with IHG franchised properties near the St Louis airport, as a Property Support Manager with TMI(serving IHG, Hilton, Marriott and Choice branded properties), General Manager of the Collinsville, IL Fairfield Inn and her first leadership position was as the General Manager of the former Holiday Inn Express in Effingham, IL.  Stacy initially began her hospitality career at the Mattoon, IL Comfort Suites, working for nearly four years throughout her college career in various entry level operations roles.  

Stacy is a graduate of the Hospitality Management program at Eastern Illinois University and a native of Mattoon, IL.  Currently she is pursing professional development through her employer focusing on corporate responsibility.  Personally, she also serves on the advisory board at North Technical High School (Hospitality & Tourism Dept) in St. Louis, volunteer as an executive member and event planner for her neighborhood association, and coach- as well as play- for multiple recreational sports teams.

Sharon Jewell-Lewis, Assessor & Training Specialist, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University

Sharon Lewis graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2011 with a Master of Science degree from the school of Family & Consumer Sciences. Prior to obtaining her master’s degree, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree, also from the Family & Consumer Science School at EIU. Upon graduation, Sharon spent a year as a foster care case manager for a local organization in Bloomington, Illinois. In the fall of 2011, Sharon accepted a position through the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University in Wheeling, Illinois, as an Assessor & Training Specialist. She has spent the last few years traversing the state of Illinois and completing Pre-school for All Classroom assessments that are submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education.  Sharon has spent time as a member of the board of directors for the Illinois Association of Family & Consumer Sciences. She is also a current member of Kappa Omicron Nu, an honor society that she became involved in during her time at EIU.  She currently resides in Bloomington, Illinois, with a husband, Mark, and daughter, Addison. 

Stepheny McMahon, Executive Director, Sullivan Chamber of Economic Development

Stepheny McMahon, PCED was hired as the first Economic Developer for her community in 2003.  Through growth and mergers, she is now the Executive Director of the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development where she works to support and attract business, cultivate entrepreneurship, promote tourism, plan events, coordinate volunteers and continually search for new ideas that will enhance the community of Sullivan, IL

Stepheny serves on the boards of various local organizations including the East Central Illinois Development Corporation, Amish Country of Central Illinois, the Sullivan Area Arts and the Sullivan Community Education Foundation.  Stepheny helped to create the Façade Enhancement Program for the City of Sullivan and was one of the co-founders of the No Job Left Behind initiative that is focusing on preparing youth for future careers, especially in manufacturing.Stepheny received her bachelor’s degree in International Business with a minor in French from Illinois State University in 1989.  She has been married to Mark for almost 25 years and has two children, Madeline and Layne.

Susan Nied, Senior Director, Food Safety for Bimbo Bakeries USA

Susan is a 1973 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. degree from the School of Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Foods in Business.  She currently serves as the Senior Director; Food Safety for Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) where she is responsible for strategic and operational Food Safety planning and policy development for all U.S. based operations.  BBU is the parent company for Sara Lee Fresh Bakery, Thomas’, Entenmann’s, Brownberry and other leading bakery brands.  Prior to joining BBU, she spent 38 years with Sara Lee Corporation in various Food Safety and Quality positions.  She currently serves on several industry and trade association committees including the Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee of the American Bakers Association and the Food Safety Advisory Committee of AIB International.  Susan also holds memberships in key professional organizations including the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the Institute of Food Technologist (IFT), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the Society of Bakery Women and in Kappa Omicron Nu professional honor society.  Susan is a founding member of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Council and has served several terms on the Council since its inception.  She thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to return to Eastern and participate in Council activities.

Katie Noland-Devany, Hospitality Program Coordinator and Instructor, Saint Louis University

After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 2004 with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences and a concentration in hospitality management, Katie began her career in the lodging industry working for Country Inn & Suites as General Manager in Effingham, IL.  In 2006, she returned to Orlando, Florida after previously completing an internship at Walt Disney World to pursue a MS degree in hospitality and tourism management at the University of Central Florida.  She also worked at the Wyndham Orlando Resort as a Guest Service Manager for over a year.  Upon graduation from UCF in 2009, Katie was offered the position as Guest Service Manager at the I Hotel, a boutique property in Champaign, IL.  In 2011, she was recruited by Hotel Ignacio, a brand new boutique property in St. Louis, MO, to serve as Assistant General Manager on their opening team.  Katie was offered her dream job in 2013 at Saint Louis University teaching and administering the hospitality management program designed for working, adult students.  In her first year, Katie has revised and updated the curriculum, planned and executed the second annual Hospitality SLUnited networking event, and established two hospitality scholarships with the assistance of the Industry Advisory Board in which she serves as co-chair.  Katie and her husband reside in Troy, IL and are expecting their first child in November 2014.

Margaret Price-Weber, Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University

Margaret received her B.S. and M.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. She obtained her PhD from the University of Missouri and held various positions at Oklahoma State University where she also served as the Associate Dean, Human Services from 1989-2001.  In 2001 Margaret moved to Pepperdine University where she held the position of Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology until 2014. Currently, Margaret is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement for the Religion, Gender and Identity Initiative. Also, Margaret is the founder of Influencing Voices.

Michelle Roberts, Child Welfare Specialist, Children's Home Association of Illinois

Michelle Roberts graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2011 with her Masters in Family and Consumer Sciences.  After finishing her Master’s degree Michelle moved to Champaign where she worked at the University of Illinois in the Child Development Laboratory as a Head Teacher and Laboratory Instructor. Currently Michelle works for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois in Peoria as a Child Welfare Specialist.  She works with foster children and their biological families to work towards reunification.  If reunification is not appropriate, she provides permanency for these foster children through adoption or guardianship. Michelle is responsible for advocating for these children and families in court, school, services, and in the community.

Michelle is also a huge advocate for St. Jude Research Hospital and spends her free time volunteering and raising money for this charity. 

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Contact Information

Family and Consumer Sciences

1030 Klehm Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6076
Fax: (217) 581-6090

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