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Student Life and Engagement > About the Staff
About Rush University
The staff members in the Office of Student Life and Engagement are here to assist you during your tenure here at Rush University.  Each of the staff has a commitment to student-centered service and upholding the I CARE values of Rush.
Angela Branson, M.S.
Director, Student Life and Engagement
Angela Branson 
Angela has been working at Rush University as the Director of Student Life and Engagement since April 2015.  She enjoys working with the diverse student population at Rush in a variety of settings and believes the I CARE values are central to her core as a higher education professional.  She believes in a holistic approach to learning and considers each person to have the ability and opportunity to be both teachers and learners.  Given this, it's not surprising to know that her undergraduate degree is in education.  
As a first-generation college student, Angela graduated from Graceland University with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health, with minors in French and Music.  She then received her Master's degree in Counseling from Missouri State University.  Following graduate school, she worked in housing and residence life at Wichita State University in Kansas, the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and Southeast Missouri State University.  Most recently, Angela spent nine years at Northern Illinois University, in multiple roles, where she served as the Director of Residential Life, the Director of Residential Education, the Interim Director of Orientation, and the Associate Director of Professional Development and Operations for the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.
Coming to Rush was an exhilarating change for Angela.  In addition to the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life and Engagement also underwent some restructuring prior to her arrival.  She is excited to partner with students and faculty to continue building upon those changes in an effort to better serve students.  She is also thrilled to be working with such highly talented faculty and staff who truly want to provide the best education and resources possible to help students succeed.  When she's not at work, you can usually find her somewhere outside, soaking up the warm weather.  Otherwise, she can be found listening to live music, reading, cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals, whipping up something tasty in the kitchen, hanging out with friends, or being a "fun auntie" to her niece and nephews.
Jennifer Friedman, M.Ed.
Associate Director, Student Life and Engagement
Jenn came to Rush University in October 2015 to serve as the Associate Director of Student Life and Engagement.  Her background within higher education includes work in student activities, career development, and student organization management. 
Jenn's path within higher education began at her undergraduate institution, the University of Missouri, where she received her Bachelor of Journalism degree and spent her free time working for the campus programming board and providing career counseling through the university's career center.  Following graduation, Jenn attended the University of South Carolina, where she received her Master of Education in Student Affairs degree.  She has worked professionally in the field for over five years, most recently at Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana.  When she is not in the Student Life and Engagement office, she enjoys exploring Chicago with her husband, trying new recipes in the kitchen, and reading a good book while watching college sports.
Contact Jenn regarding the following: new student organizations, current student organizations, career support and development, programming and special events, or commencement.
Tiffini Jones
Administrative Assistant, Student Life and Engagement
and the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Tiffini joined Rush University in October 2015 as the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Student Life and Engagement and the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.  She earned her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Chicago State University and is currently working to complete the Master of Higher Education Administration program at North Park University. 
Tiffini's professional background includes extensive customer service and support experience, and more than five years of experience in Higher Education.  Before joining Rush University, Tiffini was an undergraduate Academic Advisor at Kaplan University and served as a Student Services Coordinator at Cortiva Institute, formerly known as the Chicago School of Massage Therapy.  She is extremely passionate about education and enjoys working closely with the student population to ensure that each student experience includes great communication, support, and a quick response.  When she's not in the Student Life and Engagement office, she enjoys spending time with her three children, writing poetry, or appreciating a good novel.
Rita Agnew, A.A.S.
Academic Support Specialist
Rita has been working at Rush University since April 2012.  She began at Rush as a temporary employee, working in a variety of departments including Dermatology, Cardiology Central Scheduling, Internal Medicine, the Office of Legal Affairs, and finally, Student Life and Engagement, where she became a full-time staff member.  Prior to Rush, Rita worked in other temporary positions in the healthcare industry.  Her combined years of experience have enabled her to acquire a wealth of experience in customer service, scheduling, accounting, and administrative responsibilities. 
Rita has always had a passion for helping others and a desire to work in the healthcare industry.  This led her to Robert Morris University in Chicago, where she graduated with an Associate's degree in Applied Science.  As a full-time Academic Support Specialist at Rush, Rita's primary responsibility is monitoring the late night study space on the second floor of the Armour Academic Center.  She checks-in students who are utilizing the space, provides customer service for guests and visotors, and ensures a safe, quiet area for the students.  She also performs a variety of administrative tasks and special projects for the office.  In her current role, she has been able to combine her passion for helping others with her desire to work in the healthcare industry.

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