Ciara Beyer, B.A., Graphic Design
Office: Klehm 1341
After working as a Job Developer providing vocational supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Nashville, TN, Ciara relocated to Charleston, IL where she is pursuing her master's degree in the Department of Communication Disorders & Sciences at EIU. Ciara joined STEP as a graduate assistant where she provides individual coaching to assist students with planning, prioritizing, and monitoring of their academic work. Ciara also supports students as they gradually develop the insight necessary to learn and employ strategies to support their goals on campus, and she coordinates our academic engineering group which helps students become more proficient monitoring and tracking grades.
Sam Goodmanson, B.S. Communication Disorders & Sciences
Office: Klehm 1341
Sam joined the EIU Department of Communication Disorders & Sciences this past year where she, too, is pursuing her master's degree towards a career in speech-langauge pathology. Much of Sam's undergraduate work at Augustana College focused on autism, and she brings these experiences and passion to her work in STEP. Sam provides individual coaching to assist students as they adjust to the academic and social demands of the college campus. Sam also coordinates our academic engineering group to further assist students in monitoring and tracking grades and provides additional support in our first-year procedural executive functions group.
Rec & Leisure Facilitator
Sylvia Kendera provides part-time support assisting our students in determining their various interests and goals outside of the classroom. Sylvia is a junior in the Communication Disorders & Sciences Department and worked as a STEP Mentor for the past two years before shifting to this new role. As our Rec & Leisure Facilitator Sylvia helps students identify groups or activities they would like to participate in on campus. She also works with them to determine and then work through barriers that might otherwise prevent them from joining in. Sylvia spent this past summer as a camp counselor for youth in Alaska.
Mentors are sophomore-senior undergraduate student volunteers who apply to and are trained and guided by STEP to provide individual supports for students in STEP. Mentors are partnered with one student for the year and serve as a point of reference or contact for the student through weekly interactions and monthly social events. Mentors also assist with our early move-in and orientation events, offer guidance and support at weekly study tables, and serve as a general point of contact for our students. We typically have a team of 20-25 mentors each year who come to us from Communication Disorders & Sciences, Special Education, and Kinesiology departments. We welcome and encourage mentors from all departments on campus, as they bring diverse experiences and talents to our program.