JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Meet the Staff

Meghan Chrum

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.A. in Psychology from Aurora University and M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Northern Illinois University

Meghan is a first-generation college student and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Aurora University and a Master of Science in Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Northern Illinois University. During her time at Aurora University, she worked in the Office of Admission and found her passion for working in higher education. Before joining the Professional Development staff, Meghan served as an ISACorps member in the Waubonsee Community College district. Meghan serves as a co-chair for the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling’s (IACAC) Professional Connections Committee and is a member of the Illinois College Fair Committee. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys reading, exploring coffee shops, and spending time with her cat, Finland.

Robyn Coates

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.A. English with a minor in Communication from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville, M.Ed. in Urban Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago (expected 2023)

Robyn Coates is a first-generation college student who has always had a passion for working with students in college access. She currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Urban Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robyn joined ISAC as an ISACorps member in 2019 where her passion for college access increasingly grew to her joining the Professional Development team. Robyn is the best aunt ever, a flower enthusiast, and loves to travel.

Sara Espinosa

Manager, Professional Development
Education: B.A. in Communications with minors in Informatics and Latina/Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.S.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University

Sara is the Manager for Professional Development at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Sara has been with ISAC since 2011. Before joining the professional development team, Sara was a part of the ISACorps and served as a near-peer mentor for two years on the south side of Chicago assisting students and families with the college and financial aid processes. Sara graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and minors in Informatics and Latina/Latino Studies and obtained a Master of Science in Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Sara currently serves as a co-chair for the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling’s (IACAC) Inclusion, Access, and Success (IAS) Committee as well as the Sharing the Dream Conference planning committee. Sara currently resides in Bridgeview, IL and enjoys baking in her spare time.

Kalene Heaton

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.S. in Criminal Justice from Elmhurst University, M.S. in School Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University (expected 2022)

Kalene Heaton holds an Associate of Arts from Harper College, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Elmhurst University (formerly Elmhurst College) and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Counseling at Northeastern Illinois University. Kalene joined ISAC as an ISACorps member in 2016 and later transitioned to serving as an ISACorps Regional Coordinator before transitioning to the Professional Development team in 2018. In her spare time, she serves as the Assistant Varsity Cheer Coach for Elk Grove High School. Kalene currently resides in Mount Prospect, IL and is an avid coffee connoisseur.

Dada Ibrahimovic

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.A. in History with a minor in Psychology from Saint Xavier University and M.S.Ed. in School Counseling from Northern Illinois University (expected 2024)

Dada is a first-generation college student and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Psychology from Saint Xavier University. She is currently working on her Master of Science in Education in School Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Before joining the Professional Development staff, Dada served as an ISACorps member in the William Rainey Harper Community College district. Dada currently resides in Bloomingdale, IL and enjoys weightlifting, aerial fitness, and being out in nature. 

Ana Moya

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.A. in Sociology and Criminology from Dominican University

Ana is a first-generation college student and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology from Dominican University. She joined the Illinois Student Assistance Commission as an ISACorps member for the Triton Community College District, where she found her passion for working with first-generation college students and Spanish-speaking parents. Before joining the Professional Development staff at ISAC, Ana served as an ISACorps Regional Coordinator for the South and West suburbs. Ana currently resides in Elmwood Park, IL and enjoys the short commute to Chicago for the local coffee shops.

Manuel Talavera

Professional Development Specialist
Education: B.A. in International Relations from Roosevelt University and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from University of Illinois Springfield

Manuel was born and raised in the southwest side of Chicago to immigrant parents from Mexico. Manuel, a first-generation college student, graduated from Roosevelt University with a B.A. in International Relations and holds a MPA from the University of Illinois Springfield. Manuel has been working for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for over five years. Prior to joining the Professional Development team, Manuel was a GEAR UP Specialist where he oversaw the implementation of 6th – 8th grade college access programming in middle schools throughout Illinois. Manuel a father of two, enjoys walking, biking, and volunteering.