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Academic Advisors

Academic advisors at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology support individualized educational planning and encourage strategies for academic and transitional success. 

Parks College Academic Advisors

Nancy Childrey, Ph.D.

Senior Academic Advisor
Advisees include students with family (last) names beginning with letters A-J

Nancy Childrey began her journey at SLU as an undergraduate student and majored in psychology. While working towards her master’s degree in counseling, she was an academic advisor for the Honors Program. During this opportunity, Childrey realized that academic advising and helping students succeed during and after college was her calling. After she graduated, she worked for the Pre-Professional Health Office at SLU, and then transitioned to Parks College in July 2009. In 2017, Childrey obtained her doctorate in higher education administration.  She has presented over 15 conference sessions among various topics relating to academic probation, international students, counseling techniques in advising, competency-based advising, research in advising, teaching and advising responsibilities, and New American undergraduate students. Childrey has been the recipient of the MAGIS Service Award (2012), Student Government Association (SGA) Academic Advising Excellence Award (2014), and Association of Parks College Students (APCS) Outstanding Staff Award (2017 and 2019).

Childrey’s main advising philosophy is understanding where the student is and helping the student get to where they need to go, and she does this by using different advising approaches in her work. Her greatest joy is seeing her students succeed and she enjoys helping students clarify their goals with manageable steps to get there.

Outside of work, she volunteers as a Girl Scouts co-leader for her younger daughter’s troop, enjoys connecting with her friends over meals, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as she can!

Emily Francis, M.Ed.

Academic Advisor

Emily Francis joined the Parks College academic advising team in 2021 after completing her master's degree in Educational Leadership & Policy with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Francis has prior experience working in residence life and is excited to transfer her student affairs knowledge and skills to the field of academic advising.

Francis is committed to enabling students to take ownership of their future, within and beyond their college experience. She finds fulfillment in working one-on-one with students to help them define success for themselves and reach their academic and personal goals. She is excited to build relationships and partner with students throughout their entire Parks College journey.

Beyond advising, Francis enjoys spending time with her dog, Boscoe, exploring St. Louis, cooking and baking, drinking far too much coffee, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Karen ReyesKaren Reyes, M.Ed.

Academic Advisor
Advisees include students with family (last) names beginning with letters M and O-Z

Karen Reyes is excited to make a return to academic advising in Parks College of Saint Louis University.  Reyes has worked for several universities, including Saint Louis University.  Her diverse experience with different universities has provided her with the opportunity to take the best of each and apply those skills to her position now.  During her hiatus from advising, Reyes continued to work with students of various ages.  She sees these experiences as a guide to understanding the whole college student of today. 

Reyes is interested in encouraging students on a journey of self-discovery that happens during the college years.  Combining her education and her work experience, Reyes feels ready to work together with students to create a college experience where the student will have the greatest experience of learning and personal fulfillment. Reyes looks forward to building a respectful partnership with the students she sees. 

Jennifer van DriestJennifer L. Koslovsky van Driest, M.A.

Director of Academic Advising
Advisees include students with family (last) names beginning with letters K-L, N, and H-N 2021 graduating seniors 

Jennifer L.K. van Driest joined Parks College and Saint Louis University in 2012. In addition to her master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration, van Driest has over 15 years of experience in higher education, including the areas of academic advising, residence life, career services, orientation, admissions, and intramural sports.

She enjoys building trusting relationships with students in order to help them make critical decisions in their college career. She involves student identity development theories in her practice, guides students through internships and co-op opportunities, and helps students through challenging academic and life situations. Ultimately, van Driest is most interested in helping students define and explore their goals so they can be realized.

Van Driest has presented conference sessions at campus, state, regional, and national levels, including topics relating to academic probation, student retention, experiential learning, career development, and higher education mentoring. She received the Association of Parks College Students (APCS) Outstanding Staff Award in 2014 and has taught the University 1010 (U101) freshman seminar for the Engineering & Innovation Learning Community every fall semester since 2016.

In her personal time, van Driest enjoys outdoor adventures with her Missouri family, traveling to visit her Ohio and California families, exploring the St. Louis restaurant and food truck scene, and cheering on the St. Louis Blues!