From 2016 to 2020, Leah worked with Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR as a Resident Assistant and Advisor, which inspired her love of Residential Education while she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies with a focus on Interpersonal Relations. Dedicated to her passion, she decided to move across the country and expand her education to a Master of Arts at Western Michigan University and joined the Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership program, with an anticipated graduation date of April 2023.
Leah began working with Lake Michigan College in 2021 after being offered a graduate-level position as the Resident Director of Beckwith Hall, and developed her field experience working with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA as a Summer Programs Assistant Resident Director. These experiences only further encouraged her passion for building a long-term career path working towards the support and holistic growth of college students while inspiring students to "fall in love with the journey rather than the destination," a motto that has driven many of Leah's past students. Born and raised in Portland, OR, Leah loves a good rainy day, as well as traveling with her golden retriever Joey, reading a good book, and trying to find the best maple latte in the area.
Barbara oversees the endowed scholarship program and enjoys serving our network of generous donors, and all those who want to help LMC students succeed. As Executive Director, Community Impact and Resource Development she is interested in collecting and telling the stories of the many Lake Michigan College Alumni. Barbara's passion at the College is two-fold: 1) to ensure that students, especially first-generation students like her, have the best chance of success at Lake Michigan College and beyond and 2) that the College is always a part of the solution for initiatives that bring a positive impact to our communities and economy.
She received a Bachelor's Degree in Modern Languages from Queen Mary University London and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Community College Leadership at Ferris State University.
Please call me Rhi. I graduated from Michigan State University and obtained my Master’s of Social Work from the University of Michigan. I have been practicing mental health for 20 years. I live in the area with my tween daughters, husband, and a pug dog. I enjoy spending time in or near the water and enjoy the moment of a beautiful sunset.
I am passionate about working with students who are dealing with various life issues. I want to create a safe and inclusive environment. I use various modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and use a person centered approach. I think it’s best to tailor each therapy session to the individual student to address their specific needs. I have experience with depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide, personality disorders, life transitions, interpersonal problems, self-esteem, gender identity issues, LGBTQ+, trauma, life stressors, academic or work related stress, substance use, time management, disabilities, grief and loss, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I view therapy as a way to gain insight with learning cognitive and behavioral skills to help live the best version of your life. Therapy allows a safe and confidential place to process stressors and allow self-growth. Therapy helps with your life narrative to makes sense of the past while writing the story of a different future.
I feel strongly about assisting and advocating for students with disabilities to help ensure they receive equal and equitable accommodations.
Jeff Curry is a veteran of both the finance and transportation industries with more than 35 years of experience.
A business consultant at JD Curry LLC, Jeff was previously the owner-operator of Premium Transportation Logistics, which provides ground transportation and logistics services to the entire North American market. He was President of Express-1, a top-100 motor carrier, and helped guide both businesses to their eventual acquisitions. Express-1 sold to XPO Logistics in 2011, one of the largest transportation companies in the world. PTL was sold to Toledo-based Bolt Express in 2020. Jeff has also served as a past vice president at both United Federal Credit Union and Shoreline Bank.
Originally from St. Joseph, Jeff has a long history with Lake Michigan College. During his tenure at Express-1, the company partnered with LMC to offer critical training to its employees and evaluated potential applicants through assessment testing at the college. Express-1 helped LMC develop its logistics curriculum, and LMC served as a fiduciary for training grant funds Express-1 received during its formative high-growth years.
He is a past President of the Lake Michigan College Foundation and was first appointed to LMC’s Board of Trustees in 2016. Jeff’s wife, Diane, is an LMC graduate and previous recipient of the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Both of their daughters, Jenny and Megan, are also LMC alumni.
In addition to his time on LMC’s Board of Trustees and the Foundation, Jeff is a past president of the Niles Board of Education and Buchanan Lion’s Club. He’s also a member of the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and the Buchanan Promise committee, and a regularly featured guest on the Michigan PBS television program, “Economic Outlook.”
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration in Economics from Kalamazoo College. He is a resident of Berrien County and lives in Buchanan.
Amanda Dail is the Campus Coordinator at Lake Michigan College - Bertrand Crossing/Niles Campus in Niles, MI. She is the point of contact for students and prospective students coming to Bertrand Crossing, helping to register them for classes, give financial aid counseling, and help them navigate any college needs that may arise. Amanda works in conjunction with local high schools to help their students get a head start by earning college credit while they are still in high school. Amanda is the Work Study supervisor for Bertrand Crossing. She helps members of the community by being the liaison and coordinator for events being held at the Bertrand Crossing Campus. Amanda is the main contact for the Trucking Program housed out of the Bertrand Crossing/Niles campus and navigates the road ahead for prospective Truckers to obtain their CDL-A.
Amanda started at Lake Michigan College in 2003 at the Bertrand Crossing/Niles campus and has worked as a Generalist, Admissions Specialist, and Financial Aid Specialist at Lake Michigan College - Napier Campus before returning as Lead Generalist and now Campus Coordinator for the Bertrand Crossing/Niles campus.
Amanda was the first student at North Central College in Naperville, IL to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics simultaneously.
Chad Dee is originally from the Southwest Michigan area and then relocated to South Bend, Indiana in the early 90s. Although still located in South Bend, Chad returned to work in Southwest Michigan in November of 2008 in a variety of roles with the MTEC of Lake Michigan College. Currently, as the Director of the Hanson Technology Center, Chad oversees events that take place in the technology center as well as the Fab Lab.
Chad graduated from Indiana Tech in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and continued on and completed his MBA with an emphasis in Marketing and Management in 2003.
Colonel John “Marty” DeStazio, culminating a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, began as a political science instructor in November 2022. Marty was commissioned in 1993 through the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in Political Science, specializing in Russian comparative politics with a minor in Russian language. In that same year he was credentialed as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) where he focused on felony criminal, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism investigations and services. He received a Master of Science, Criminal Justice Administration degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu, in 1998, with a focus on criminal investigation and management. In 2002 he received a Master of Arts degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, Department of National Security Affairs, where he specialized in Sub-Saharan Africa Affairs and French language. He subsequently served tours in England, throughout the African continent, South Korea, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan. During this period, he received a Masters of Military Operational Arts and Science from Air University, Alabama focused on Africa regional affairs and the operational art of war. In 2015, Marty served as International Fellow, Israel National Defense College, where he attained a Master of Arts degree from Haifa University in Political Science, specializing in Israel National Security. As a Hebrew linguist, he later served as Air Attaché to the Israeli Air Force, U.S. Embassy in Israel, from 2019-2022. He moved home to Southwest Michigan in 2022.
Tabitha DiBacco (She/Her) is a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Western Michigan University. She earned her Master of Arts degree in psychology from Western Michigan University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and communication from Bowling Green State University. She currently teaches Introduction to Psychology at Lake Michigan College.
Tabitha's clinical and research interests both center on trauma. With regard to research, she has investigated factors impacting help-seeking, mental health symptoms, and treatment outcomes for populations impacted by trauma. Most recently, her research has focused on intimate partner violence and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also strives to recognize the role of intersectionality, particularly within trauma, for her research and clinical work.