Our Team

Kristine De Jesus, Psy.D.

Executive Director

 

Dr Kristine De Jesus is the Executive Director and Founder of Students Recover.  As a Sugarman Fellow at Princeton University, Kristine had the opportunity to concentrate on bringing together her passions for supporting students in recovery and developing systems of care grounded in equity and justice utilizing an intersectional lens.

Prior to founding Students Recover, Dr De Jesus served as the Coordinator of the Alcohol and Other Drugs program at Montclair State University, where her work focused on supporting students in the Red Hawk Recovery program and at Temple University as the Educational Coordinator of the Campus Alcohol Substance Awareness (CASA) program.

Dr. De Jesus holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Rutgers University, where she majored in Psychology. She completed a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Behavior from Alliant International University (2003), and received a Doctorate of Psychology degree from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Jamie Chung

Board President

Jamie has a dedicated career in residential real estate and mortgage finance. Over the past 20 years she has worked at various public and private home builders where her responsibilities include for pricing and sales strategy, production planning, recruiting, training and development, increasing market share, and profitability. She earned an MBA from Seton Hall University where she also taught a course in real estate finance course adjunct professor. 

Shannon Gary

Board President

Dr. Shannon Gary is the associate vice president of student life and dean of students at the University of San Francisco.

Shannon is a first-generation college student from Philadelphia, PA. He earned his undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Additionally, he earned both his master’s degree and Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. 

He has worked for various institutions and numerous departments and divisions.  Shannon began his higher education career in Career Services at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. He then moved on to become an academic advisor in the Honors Program at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. After Temple University he moved on to Drexel University as the assistant dean of Honors Programming in the Pennoni Honors College. He was eventually promoted to the associate dean of Pennoni Honors College and director of the Honors Program. He left Drexel to become the associate dean of students at Montclair State University. From Montclair State he moved on to his current position at the University of San Francisco. Throughout all his career Shannon has been a student-centered advocate for all students. With a particular focus on the needs of first generation, low-income, Black, and other underrepresented  students.

Shannon is an active member of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education where he has served as a national Knowledge Community Chair; Regional Knowledge Community Coordinator; and currently as a member of the AVP Steering Committee. He is also actively involved with JASPA through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). 

Shannon is a member of the Board of Trustees for Muhlenberg College where he chairs the Nominations and Governance committee. He also serves as a commissioner for the California Student Aid Commission representing private, not for profit colleges and universities throughout the state.

He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Widener University in Chester, PA; Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ; and Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in each of their respective graduate higher education/student affairs programs.

Shannon is deeply committed to recovery work both personally and professionally. As the child of a person with an Alcohol Use Disorder he has seen firsthand the impact alcohol and other drugs can have on individuals and their family. Working to assist students who are striving to address their addictions is extraordinarily fulfilling.

Elizabeth Amaya-Fernandez, MPH

Board Treasurer

Liz is an educator/trainer on social justice issues, sexuality, global health, and substance use prevention. They work full-time as a Senior Public Health Diversity Advisor at the Trudy Larson MD Institute for Health Impact and Equity at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has been working as an adjunct professor at various colleges & universities in New Jersey since 2006.  Her courses include human sexuality, women’s health, global health, and other public health courses. Prior to joining the University of Nevada, Reno, Liz worked as a health educator at Rutgers University and William Paterson University.  She has also worked as Director of Education at the National Latina Health Network.  Liz is the founder and director of Artemis Retreats, LLC.  They have a master’s in public health from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University.  They live in New Jersey with their two children and partner where she writes poetry, is currently completing her doula certification, and engages friends in discussions on intuition and love.

Heather Lee

Board Member

As an Alaskan Native in recovery, I can appreciate the challenges of accessing recovery services in a rural community.  More importantly, as an Inupiat woman, I know first-hand that there is no one size fits all recovery model; particularly when it comes to cultural differences.  The added burden of pursuing your education while maintaining your recovery can seem overwhelming at times; it is critical that we understand we are not alone on this journey.  I am committed to giving back to others, what was given to me when I made the decision to enter recovery.  I bring a unique perspective to the Students Recover board given my life, professional and academic experience and it is my honor to serve. 

Cherron Rountree, MPA

Board Member

 

Cherron Rountree is a New Jersey native business executive with 20 years of diverse leadership experience in government affairs, strategic planning, board collaboration, redevelopemnt, and public relations.

Cherron has an extensive history of service in public administration for New Jersey county and municipal governments, including driving economic development, redevelopment, strategic partnerships, and financial management. Serving as Administrator for both urban and suburban communities, she has developed consitiutnet relations, secured millions of dollars in grant funding, improved service to residents, negotiated partnerships, reduced taxes, and led redevelopment efforts that enabled the attraction of new residents and businesses. Her leadership has been recognized by the Gateway Chamber of Commerece as a past recipient of the Business Administrator of the Year Award. As a part-time lecturer with Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Public Service, Cherron instructs undergraduate students on municipal management.

As the current President and Partner of New Jersey based Direct Development LLC, a full-service strategy and public relations firm, Cherron specializes in strategic planning, project development and public relations for both public and private organizations. Clients include several municipal and county government agencies, medical providers, and real estate developers.

Cherron has served as the Board Chairwoman for the Union County Improvement Authority and as a member of Union County College’s Board of Trustees, the Union County Workforce Investment Board, the Long Branch Planning Board, Elizabeth Development Company’s Board, Union County Performing Arts Center, and Someone’s Daughter Inc.’s Board of Trustees. Cherron is a licensed real estate agent with White Realty in Union, NJ and is an active member of the NAACP, Bayonne Branch.

She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and is a Certified Redevelopment Agency Executive Director.

Cherron brings a collaborative approach, strong business acumen, and leadership to her clients and partners.

Emiliano Valenzuela

Board Member

 

Emiliano brings over 20 years of business development experience to Students Recover. His business development skills stem from working in ever changing start-up environments in Silicon Valley. Emiliano has helped businesses grow into fortune 500 companies. “His strengths lie in his relationship management, communication, and resourcefulness, people love this guy and it shows in his interactions”. Emiliano was raised by a single mother and appreciates hard work, understands that life isn’t easy but it will always get better by helping others. He has volunteered with various charities and non-profits for over 25 years and believes by lifting others up and helping someone you are creating a perpetual flow of positivity. Being in recovery for almost a decade, he has the ability to be genuine, sincere and compassionate towards others in sobriety. When he’s not working or volunteering, he’s spending time with his husband and 2 dogs, traveling out of the country or driving his 65’ convertible.

Frederick Shegog

Board Member

 

Frederick Shegog, Founder/CEO of The Message LLC, inspires, educates, and creates healthy lifestyles for all as a motivational speaker. Dumpster diving, panhandling, and drinking were once everyday activities for Shegog. Despite a decade of alcohol abuse and time spent homeless, Shegog transformed himself into a graduate with high honors. As a motivational speaker, he is on a mission to help others combat substance use disorder and mental health. Experienced in creating and facilitating workshops to address the community’s needs in collegiate recovery, substance use disorders, and mental health, he is changing how colleges serve/educate students in recovery and dealing with mental illness. Frederick was recently selected as a keynote for The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, which is “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” He was voted as a Philadelphia Region’s Black Men Icon of 2020 and was the selected commencement speaker at his graduation. Frederick graduated Summa cum laude from West Chester University. Lastly, Frederick was featured on Fox 29 segment For Goodness Sakes show with Bill Anderson. To learn more about Frederick, visit his website, www.freddyshegog.com