Staff Advisors


Placeholder.jpgKieran Bennett

Student Success Specialist 

1014 N. Weber St. #302

(719) 389-6859

Kieran grew up in western New York State where she completed a B.S. in Political Science and Sociology from St. Bonaventure University. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as an admissions counselor and director in undergraduate and graduate admissions offices at a variety of liberal arts institutions. Throughout that time, she went on to complete a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University and a Doctor of Education at the University of Portland. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and planning trips with friends.

Placeholder.jpgNicola Brooke

Student Success Specialist 

1014 N. Weber St. #203

(719) 389-6350

Nicola achieved her Master's degree with a 3.9 GPA in English Literature from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She came to Colorado College as Executive Assistant to the Provost, after completing a five-year teaching contract with the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2018. She was thrilled to become a member of the Advising Hub in 2020 because this role joins her love of student engagement with her love of administrative work. She loves books and puzzles and has a separate bucket list entirely devoted to travel.


Leo White

Student Success Specialist

1014 N. Weber St.

Leo White group up on various military basis and throughout the US and Europe. He has claimed Colorado as his home since 1996 and received a B.S. in Zoology from Colorado State University-Fort Collins. Following a brief stint as a Zookeeper, Leo has been in Higher Education for the past 12 years, serving in various student support capacities and completing a B.A. in Social Sciences and an M.S. in Environmental Management along the way. When not helping students, he can be found spending time with his family, caring for his multiple companion animals (furry and scaly), or spending his time with various artistic pursuits.

Jane Byrnes 2019Jane Byrnes

Student Success Specialist and Pre-Health Professions Advising Manager

1014 N. Weber St. #205

(719) 389-6429

Jane is a Michigan native who attended Central Michigan University for her undergraduate degree in Recreational Therapy and a Master's degree in Health Administration. She worked for several years in out-patient rehabilitation working with patients who endured traumatic brain injuries, and she eventually ran outpatient pain management programs for patients with chronic pain conditions. She was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix, Colorado Campus, where she taught Healthcare Administration, Organizational Behavior, and Ethics courses. Jane has been at Colorado College for twelve years and loves that she has the opportunity to blend her two career interests - healthcare and education in her role. Her hobbies include parenting three awesome kids, camping, skiing, traveling, and cooking.

Shiyanke 2018

Shiyanke R. Andrew Goonetilleke

Student Success Specialist: Global Education Emphasis

1014 N. Weber St. #201

(719) 389-6348

Shiyanke’s journey at Colorado College began in January 2015, when he was hired by the Butler Center to serve as the Diversity and Inclusion Programs Coordinator. During his two years of service at The Butler Center, he managed the Internship program as well as oversaw program and event logistics while advising student leaders of five student organizations. He then transitioned over to the Center of Global Education and Field Study in 2017 as Coordinator of Global Education supporting faculty and students engage in Blocks Off-Campus study abroad programs through Pre-Departure orientation, and financial aid for trip participation as well as program logistics abroad.

Prior to his arrival at Colorado College, He completed his Master of Science degree in College Counseling and Student Development from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. During his time at Graduate school, Shiyanke worked as a Student Organization Advising and Programming Graduate Assistant at the LGBT Resource Center. He facilitated over 400 LGBTQIA training workshops for faculty, staff, and students while providing individual advising to student leaders within the LGBTQIA community. He completed a 1000-hour graduate Internship at Element Mental Health Service in St. Cloud Minnesota, where worked as a Therapist in-training supporting LGBTQIA individuals through Individual and group therapy sessions.

Shiyanke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Electronic Media and Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. He was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and relocated to the United States as an F-1 International student in 2006. In his leisure time, he enjoys hiking, traveling across the U.S. and the globe to visit his family and friends. He also creates time each day to meditate and practice Vinyasa yoga.


Lisa Schwartz 2019Lisa Schwartz '03, MAT '04

Manager, Student Opportunities

1014 N. Weber St. #101

(719) 389-6685

Lisa Schwartz is the Manager of Student Opportunities (formerly Student Collaborative Research Program Coordinator) for the Student Opportunities and Advising Hub. She is a proud Colorado College alumna having received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2003 and a Masters of Arts in Teaching for Secondary Social Studies in 2004. Before returning to CC, her professional background in higher education includes various roles in student support, advising, and teacher education at Colorado State University-Pueblo and Pikes Peak Community College.

Gretchen-Wardell.jpgGretchen Wardell

Student Success Specialist/Pre-Law Advisor

1014 N. Weber St. #207

(719) 389-6426

Gretchen graduated with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Jacksonville University in Florida. A Colorado Springs native, she then moved back and worked for a real estate development company that managed shopping malls for many years. She received her Master's from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in Counseling. Working with the students here inspires her every day because of the amazing things students want to accomplish. She loves helping students find their voices and tell their stories. Gretchen's dream job growing up was to work with giraffes at the zoo. But then she realized that would require her to take science classes, so she quickly changed her mind. Giraffes remain Gretchen's favorite when visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Report an issue - Last updated: 06/20/2022