Veterans & Military Personnel

Meet Your Veteran Resource Center Staff

VRC Staff Photo

Angie Louden | Kelem Robinson | Cory Booher | Ayobomi Timothy | Michael Hendrickson | Skyler Funk | Sarah Kitch | Ron Pettigrew

Angie Louden - Program Assistant

photo of Angie Louden

Angie Louden has been a long-term resident of Macomb, outside of a short term in Vermont. She lives near the campus with her four children and husband, also a WIU graduate both completing her High School and WIU Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration here. Since coming to the Veteran Resources Center, she has been instrumental in assisting hundreds of Active Duty, Reservists, and Veteran students, along with their families; having served the longest of any of the current staff in the center, she is our institutional memory. In addition to working at VRC, she has previously worked in multiple other offices on campus such as the Centennial Honors College, Student Activities, Athletics, and Educational Studies. She enjoys skiing, biking and being outdoors with her family, and has been able to travel to China, Jamaica, and Canada.

Ayobami Timothy - Graduate Assistant

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Ayobami Timothy is the principal Graduate Assistant for the Veterans Resources Center, the House Director for the Sigma Chi Fraternity on campus, and a Graduate Student within the Business Administration (MBA) Program. He is a member of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society, National Association of Black Accountants. His areas of interest include Business Analytics, Human Asset, Development, Organizational and Soft Skills Development, Conflict Management and Resolution, Choral conducting, Ethnomusicology, and Ethnography. Among his unpublished writings include Conflict Limitation, Management, and Resolution: A Literature Overview. Ayobami holds a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts, and he is also a certified Global Human Resource Management Professional with a dynamic career in a social impact environment. Before coming to Western Illinois University, he also served as the Program Manager for different NGOs under the USAID/STEER/SCI projects and multiple capacities in the Airline Industry. Always willing to lend a hand to help others in need or achieve their goals, Ayobami has deep passion for serving his family, friends, and local and faith communities.

Cory Booher - VA Work Study Student

photo of Cory Booher

Cory Booher is from Quincy Illinois, he served five years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps with overseas tours in Okinawa Japan and deployed in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. He is now a senior majoring in Engineering Technology. He’s a Centennial Honors College and National Collegiate Scholar, and current member/former President of the Military Appreciation Club. Cory’s goal at the Center is to give back to the military affiliated students that serve and connect Veteran students with resources that will benefit them both in their academic and life journey. He aims to be a helpful administrator to effectively navigate the bureaucratic process military students go through when securing all the benefits that are due them.

Kelem Robinson - VA Work Study Student

photo of Kelem Robinson

Kelem Robinson is a Junior from Chicago's south side. He is the youngest of ten siblings and passionate about bringing awareness to mental health and physical fitness. Kelem is majoring in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with a Minor in Sociology. He graduated from Chatham Academy High school with high honors. He is also an active member of the Illinois Army National Guard, achieving the rank of an E-4, Specialist. Kelem’s initial occupation 92G, required 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and eight weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Kelem has been with the Veteran Resource Center (VRC) since his Freshman year. His long-term objective at the VRC is to help veterans and current enlisted receive all available benefits possible. Kelem's short-term goal is to be a stand-up individual in his community, socially aware of the obstacles it took for him to get where he is himself, and to help others around him by becoming more involved on campus and challenging social norms to improve his community.

Michael Hendrickson - VA Work Study Student

photo of Michael Hendrickson

Michael Hendrickson is a Senior majoring in Agriculture Science. A Macomb, Illinois native, Army Veteran and father of 5, who graduated from Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona. Entering the military upon graduation, Michael had a successful 15-year military career in Military Intelligence Collection. A combat disabled veteran, Michael has served two tours of combat in Iraq with the EH-60 Platoon, A Co. 3rd Bn, 24th Aviation Regt from Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah Ga. As a work study employee of the veteran’s resource center Michael works to help veterans transition from the military to their educational careers by ensuring that they get the benefits they deserve and are entitled to.

Ronald Pettigrew - Center Director

photo of Ronald Pettigrew

As Director, working within the Student Services Department, in collaboration with other University departments and community organizations, Ronald Pettigrew leads the Center in coordinating Western Illinois University services and resources in one centralized location to ensure all Veterans and service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success.

Ronald also continues to serve in the Reserves as a military chaplain, with over thirty years of military experience. As a Chaplain and military officer, he has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Far East, Near East and Pacific with multiple deployments and tours in combat or direct support of those serving in combat. From his military training and experiences, he is a certified trainer in Combat Operation Stress Control, Family Wellness and Critical Incident Stress Debriefings.

Ron previously served for close to ten years as an Academic Advisor at Western Illinois University within the General Studies Degree Program within the School of Global Education and Outreach, previously known as the School of Distance Learning and Outreach. Ron also worked as a Resident Hall Advisor and Director at previous universities he attended and served as a Graduate Advisor in the Multicultural Center and Provost's Office for the First Year Experience and also as a Peer Mentor Coordinator at Western.

Ron received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California (1987), Master of Divinity in Urban Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (1996), and Master of Science from Western Illinois University in College Student Personnel (2009).

In higher education and military arenas, he has taught or co-taught courses in Effective Communication, Career Development, Theology, African American Studies, Research, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Urban Ministry, Intercultural and College Student Personnel courses.

Ronald has immense passion for military affiliated students and all things related to the military for that matter. You will find him going the extra mile assisting students, and nothing frustrates him more than military students not fully taking advantage of the resources that are due them. He is a dedicated Reservist, Center Director, father, chaplain, mentor, son, and friend to the people around him. His signature question when he picks up the phone is "How can I be a blessing to you?".

Sarah Kitch - Office Manager

photo of Sarah Kitch Sarah Kitch has lived in the area her whole life and currently resides in Colchester with her two sons. She has worked in several offices across campus and is excited to bring her knowledge to the Veterans Resource Center. Sarah hopes to contribute to the success of all students that visit the VRC. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her boys.

Skyler Funk - VA Work Study Student

photo of Skyler Funk

Skyler Funk is a Junior here at WIU majoring in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, with a double minor in Criminalistics, and Emergency Management. She graduated from GCMS High School, in her hometown of Gibson City, IL. Skyler enlisted in the Army National Guard back in 2019 and has been in for almost 4 years. She plans to continue her military career after graduating college. While working at the Veterans Resource Center, she hopes to help contribute to the success of incoming and current students. In addition to working at the VRC Skyler has been a substitute teacher in her hometown, took part in honors society in high school, and has been a part of many clubs. In her free time she enjoys working out and enjoying time with her friends such as watching a movie, playing card games, or just even doing homework.