Team Member Contact Info
Director, University Student Affairs, Leadership & Engagement
Director, Student Activities & Leadership Development
Nicole is a native of Philadelphia, PA, and Centerville (Dayton), OH. She attended Ohio University and received a degree from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism. In college, Nicole was active in a variety of co-curricular activities including Delta Zeta Sorority, Rho Gamma, Order of Omega, Rho Lambda, and Student Leadership Advisors. From there, she worked as a development officer for the American Heart Association and, after some soul searching, decided to return to OU for a master's degree in College Student Personnel. Nicole then came to UC in the summer of 2006 and since has served as a program coordinator, assistant director, and now director of Student Activities & Leadership Development.
Nicole is involved in a variety higher education related activities including the Association of College Educators International—ACPA, where she serves as the Chair for the Commission of Administrative Leadership. Within the commission, Nicole is working on a white paper with several colleagues across the country that discusses how the government identifies retention and its impact on college campuses. In addition, Nicole has served on the Ohio College Personnel Association executive board and is currently a board member for the Life Skills of Cincinnati charter school and Riverside Academy charter school.
Nicole earned her doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership in February 2013. Her dissertation focused on work/life balance of student affairs administrators and the presence of role conflict through feminist perspectives.
Nicole is married to her husband Brian, who is also an OU and UC alumnus. Nicole and Brian have a dog named Sam and a daughter, Ellie, who was born in September 2013.
Nicole is a native of Lorain, Ohio. She began her bearcat journey in 2001 as a freshman and received her bachelor of arts in psychology in 2005, from our great institution, the University of Cincinnati. In 2006, Nicole completed her master’s of education in educational foundations and in 2009 she accomplished her Doctorate in Educational Studies from the University. Nicole is very passionate about student leadership and women’s leadership. She has served as an adjunct instructor at UC and Cincinnati State and really enjoys educating students.
Personally, Nicole is a proud alumnus of UC and glad to be a bearcat for life. In her spare time, she enjoys laughing with her friends, and takes pleasure in spending quality time with her wonderful husband Lionell, daughter Avery and son Jackson. Nicole is a fervent sports fan and cheers loud and proud for her teams.
Assistant Director, Leadership Initiatives
Susie hails from College Park, MD where home was until going south for college. In high school, Susie was heavily involved in athletics, cheering and playing volleyball and basketball. She attended Elon University and received a degree in psychology in 2000. At Elon, Susie interned with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and was involved in the chartering a chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. on campus. After Elon, Susie attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and gained experience as a graduate assistant in the Campus Recreation department. Prior to graduating from UNCG in 2002, Susie interned at University of Maryland’s Department of Campus Recreation Services. Following graduation, Susie was employed in Campus Recreational Sports at Indiana University (IU) and earned her doctorate in the Higher Education program while employed at IU. Since 2010, Susie has been working in Campus Recreation at Missouri State University overseeing programming and planning for the opening of a new recreation center. At Missouri State, she also taught in the Student Affairs Master’s program.
Susie joined the SALD team in the spring of 2012 as the Program Coordinator overseeing Club Sports. In the spring of 2014, Dr. Suz was promoted to the Assistant Director working with Leadership Initiatives. She is proud to be a Bearcat and loves being part of the Cincinnati community! You may see her walking around campus with her baby boy with four legs, Carter!
Program Manager, Fraternity & Sorority Life
Leah began her career in education as an instructor at the university level before transitioning into a K-12 position with Detroit Public Schools. She was then presented with a unique opportunity to meld her background in Social Work and Education with a position with the Office of the Ombudsman at Eastern Michigan University. While at EMU, she developed and coordinated a university wide student advocate team to resolve student concerns including grade grievance, disability service and disciplinary matters. After leaving EMU, Leah moved on to Davenport University, serving as an Academic Advisor for primarily non-traditional students pursuing business degrees. While at Davenport, Leah was actively engaged in the implementation of retention and student life activities. She joined the UC family in 2010 as an Assistant Academic Director in of Arts & Sciences.
Leah believes that students should actively engage in their collegiate experience and their community through student organizations, volunteer opportunities and other hands-on experiences. Since coming to UC, Leah has lived her own values by building relationships across campus and engaging in activities including the Service Learning Advisory Council and the CECH Summer Institute Collaborative. In the fall of 2011 she joined the Department of Psychology as an adjunct faculty member. In 2012, Leah joined the SALD staff as a Program Manager and is currently a doctoral student in the Educational Studies, Psychological Foundations program, looking forward to becoming a true Bearcat Alum!
Program Coordinator, Club Sports
Jeff was born and raised in Louisville, KY. He attended Western Kentucky University where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2012. While at WKU, Jeff worked in various roles for the Preston Health and Activities Center and that is where he developed his love for club sports and intramurals. Upon graduation from WKU, Jeff headed south to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he was the Graduate Assistant of Competitive Sports. During his time at UAB, Jeff earned his Masters of the Arts in Education, Community Health and Promotion with a concentration in Infectious Disease Control in April 2014. Jeff joined the UC SALD Staff in July 2014 and currently loves his role as Program Coordinator of Club Sports.
During his free time, Jeff enjoys working out and playing all types of sports but his true love is for basketball! He also enjoys officiating all levels of basketball, football, and baseball and is currently working on becoming a college basketball official. Jeff has a Scottish Terrier named Dakota and can often be found going on walks and playing fetch with Dakota throughout the various parks in the city!
Program Coordinator, University Funding Board
Portia Watkins is a native of Freeport (IL) and Erie (PA). She attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a history minor. As an Undergraduate, Portia was very active and participated in activities including: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Order of Omega, Alpha Phi Omega and Student Government Association. She also served as a full member of the Board of Trustees at Edinboro University as a representative of the student body.
She later attended Indiana Wesleyan University where she earned a Master of Science in Management. She began her journey as a bearcat in 2009 when she was accepted as a doctoral student in the Urban Educational Leadership program. Her interests include servant leadership, equity and access in higher education and the experiences of underrepresented groups as students and professors. As a graduate student she remained active by serving as the graduate student trustee to the Board of Trustees here at the University of Cincinnati for 2 years.
Portia enjoys reading, watching home improvement shows and spending time her wonderful husband Marty and their awesome teenage daughter Zaire.
Administrative Secretary for Club Sports, Academic Intercollegiate Competition Organizations, and Student Government
Patty is a native of Cincinnati and she began working at UC in 1986. She has worked in the Purchasing Department, UC Hospital Facilities Management, Athletics, and now SALD. She joined the SALD team in March of 2009. Patty enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and arts & crafts projects.