Several appointments have been made within Northwestern State University’s Office of the Student Experience to enhance the university’s efforts to recruit and retain students. Reatha Cox had been named director of student services and Jana Lucky has been named director of enrollment services. Van Erikson has been named director of first year experience while Ashlee Hewitt has been appointed director of recruiting and Anna Gasperecz has been named program coordinator of first year experience and orientation.
Cox has been a member of Northwestern State’s staff since 1988. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in student personnel services at NSU. Cox has been executive director of the first year experience and leadership development since 2013, providing leadership and oversight to Freshman Connection, the nationally-recognized university orientation program for first-year students and upper class mentors.
From 2007-13, she was director of student life and new student programs after serving as director of student success and new student programs from 2003-07. Cox was director of new student programs from 1999-2003 and assistant director of student activities and director of Greek life from 1992-99. From 1988-92, she was an admissions counselor and recruiter.
Erikson worked in the Office of University Recruiting from 2001 to 2013. He was assistant director of alumni and development in 2013-14 and alumni director since 2014. He earned a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in adult education at NSU and is working towards a doctorate in educational leadership at Louisiana Tech.
Erikson has been chair of the Natchitoches Historic Development Commission since 2016. He is a member of the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a past president and charter member of the Natchitoches Young Professionals, a founder and charter member of the A+ Coalition Education Committee, a member of the Leadership Louisiana Class of 2017 and a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club. He is fraternity advisor and a national volunteer/counselor for Theta Chi Fraternity, a leadership teacher for NSU’s President’s Leadership Program and development and marketing board member for the NSU Demon Regiment.
Gasperecz earned a bachelor’s in hospitality management and tourism and a master’s in student affairs in higher education at NSU. She was coordinator of career development and a career counselor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe from 2015-18. Gasperecz worked as a retail customer service associate for Ryman Hospitality Services and as an ideal services operator for Omni Services and Resorts, both in Nashville, Tennessee.
Hewitt earned a bachelor’s in hospitality management and tourism and a master’s in adult education at NSU. She is seeking a doctorate in adult leadership and development at NSU. Hewitt joined Northwestern State’s recruiting staff in 2005 after working for three years at the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce. She became assistant director of university recruiting for high school relations in 2006. In her tenure, the university has recruited several record freshman classes.
She is an alumnus of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and serves as vice president and a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Hewitt is a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club. She serves on the NSU Auxiliary Services and Student Programming committees and the Campus Women’s club. Hewitt is director of the NSU Pom Line.
Lucky has worked in the Office of Recruiting since 1992. She was a recruiter from 1992 to 1994 and was assistant director of admissions and recruiting from 1994 to 2000. Lucky has served as director of recruiting since 2000. Under her leadership, Northwestern State has achieved several enrollment records.
Lucky earned a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in student personnel services from NSU. She is an alumna of Phi Mu fraternity. Lucky served a member of the Board of Directors and as a zone coordinator for the Louisiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.