About Us

burgewell howard avp student engagement headshot  

Burgwell Howard - Assistant Vice President Student Engagement

Email: b-howard@northwestern.edu

Burgwell "Burgie" Howard has spent much of the past 25 years 'building community' on college and university campuses. Before arriving at Northwestern in 2005 he held positions at Dartmouth College, Santa Clara University, Colgate University and Bowdoin College. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology & Environmental Sciences from Dartmouth College, and a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration from Stanford University.

He can often be found enjoying campus programs, officiating midwest lacrosse or cheering on Wildcat athletic teams. His mantra at NU is:

..."Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, and Take Care of Our Community, Northwestern."

Student Engagement, represents many of the elements that comprise Northwestern's vitality and life outside of the classroom. The following departments have been charged to work collaboratively to create stronger connections among all students, develop and enhance campus 'signature' events, and to create more 'common platforms' that contribute to Northwestern's inclusive and welcoming community:

These areas will also work closely with academic affairs to provide opportunities for learning experiences both inside, and outside of the classroom. It is through this form of learning by doing that our students will: Discover creative solutions; Integrate learning and experience; Connect our community; and Engage with the world.

We are oNe Northwestern, and our community begins with Student Engagement. Go 'Cats!

Meet the Student Engagement Leadership Team

Natalie Furlett - Associate Director Center for Student Involvement

natalie furlett head shot

Email: n-furlett@northwestern.edu

Center for Student Involvement (CSI)

Natalie Furlett has been the Associate Director for the Center for Student Involvement since 2010.  She joined the CSI staff in 2006 as the Coordinator for  Student Community Service.  Natalie moved back to her home state of Illinois to work at Northwestern after getting her Bachelor's degree from American University in Washington D.C. and her MBA in Nonprofit Management from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.   A little known fact about Natalie is that she collects Betty Boop memorabilia which you can find small hints of around her office.


Tamara Johnson - Executive Director Multicultural Student Affairs

Tamara Johnson Executive Director MSA - headshotEmail: tamara-johnson@northwestern.edu

Multicultural Student Affairs

Prior to her current position, Dr. Johnson has worked within a range of higher education settings that include: career services, counseling centers, minority student affairs and residential life. She also spent time as a consultant, working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Johnson has served as an Adjunct Professor at Argosy University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Human Resources and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Her research interests include multicultural counseling, career development and organizational consultation. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing, spending time with family and roller skating!

Patricia Hilkert - Director New Student and Family Programs

Patti Director of New Student & Family Programs headshot

Email: patricia.hilkert@northwestern.edu

New Student & Family Programs (NSFP)

Originally from North Riverside, IL, “Patti” received a B.S. degree in Speech Communication and Public Relations from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Masters of Education, specializing in Student Personnel Administration, from Kent State University in Kent, OH.  Previously, Patti was the Director of Orientation and New Student Programs at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN and served on the Board of Directors for the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA).

Dominic Greene - Director Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

dominic greene head shotEmail: dominic-greene@northwestern.edu

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL)

Dominic Greene has been in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Northwestern since 2006. Prior to his Wildcat days, Dominic was the Coordinator of Greek Life at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dominic received his Master of Education from the University of South Florida and his bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. He is a huge college sports fan and never misses an opportunity to root for his Ducks.

Timothy Stevens - University Chaplain

tim stevens head shotEmail: tstevens@northwestern.edu

Religious Life

Tim has been the University Chaplain at Northwestern since 1986, enjoys conducting university chapel services each Sunday of the academic year in Alice Millar Chapel. In addition, he is responsible for religious life on campus, advising religious groups on campus. His hope is to work with leaders of religious communities to create a positive environment for religious expression and inter-religious understanding and cooperation. 

He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Northwestern University (Ph.D. in English Literature). He is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, and is available for personal counseling or informal conversation on a range of issues. He encourages students and other members of the NU community to stop by his office to get acquainted.

Jessica Watson - Department Assistant Student Engagement

jessica watson department assistant student engagement headshotEmail: jessica-watson@northwestern.edu

Office of Student Engagement

Jessica Watson began working at Northwestern in June 2011 and has worked in several offices throughout the university including, Athletics, Residential Services, Payroll, Dean of Students Office, and now with Student Engagement. She is responsible for providing administrative support to Student Engagement and New Student & Family Programs. She is originally from Kansas and earned a Bachelor of General Studies in African & African-American Studies and Sociology from the University of Kansas. She also earned a Master of Education in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys sewing, baking, watching college basketball, taking zumba classes, and running.