The Student Engagement Office at Heartland Community College is designed to enhance students’ college experience through an array of co-curricular programs and services.
Meet the Team
Danny Mathews (he/him & they/them)
About Me: I studied English & Women's & Gender Studies at Illinois State where I also completed my Master's in College Student Personnel Administration. I have a passion for serving students and helping them succeed through their higher education journey. I have worked with amazing organizations in the Bloomington-Normal community like The American Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, and the McLean County Health Department. As a Heartland alum, I believe in the promise of a community college education and am excited to serve on the Student Engagement team.
Get Involved Advice: Not only is getting involved on campus fun, but it will also offer your experiences that can help you stand out in future endeavors. Take a chance, show up, and GET INVOLVED!
Sarah Tipton (she/her)
About Me: Hello! I'm Sarah, the Associate Director of Student Engagement and the Student Government Association advisor which basically means I love getting students involved in every aspect of college life. My journey in higher education began at Illinois Valley Community College, where my passion for student engagement took root. I hold a Bachelor's in Anthropology and Non-Profit studies from Northen Illinois University, but I was eager to continue in higher education, so I pursued my Master's in College Student Personnel Administration and earned a Certificate in Women, Gender, & and Sexuality studies from Illinois State University. I have a strong interest in student leadership and how that can lend itself to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community through representation, advocacy, and education.
Get Involved Advice: Engaging in student groups and even considering a role in student government can be a transformative experience. This involvement can be a personal journey of growth and self-discovery, and it also opens doors to connections that can play a crucial role in your future. Not sure where to start? Visit us in Student Engagement!
Gavin Lee (they/he)
About Me: Hi! I’m Gavin, and I run Heartland’s student and exchange visa programs, and work supporting international students at HCC. I grew up in the UK, and have a BA in Interdisciplinary Human Studies from the University of Bradford, England, and an MA in Sociology from Arizona State University. I have been at Heartland for about 17 years, which makes me feel pretty old, but I love working with students from all over the world and learning about different cultures and world-views!
Getting Involved Advice: Heartland has a whole bunch of campus clubs and organizations, and getting involved in groups, events, and activities at the college is a great way to find people with shared interests, explore new interests, and gain knowledge and experience outside the classroom that can help you in your classes and career!
Chandler Huffman (he/him)
About Me: Hey! I’m Chandler, the coordinator for Student Engagement and the advisor for Student Leaders in Community Engagement (SLiCE). I have lived in Normal for most of my life and was a student at HCC from 2018-2020! I obtained my bachelor’s degree in political science from UIUC in December of 2022. I hope to obtain a master's degree in public administration, and work in the field of drug policy. Previously I have worked with Miller Park Zoo, the Cunningham Township, and Senator Durbin’s office in Washington D.C. have been working at HCC since February of 2023, and I thoroughly enjoy interacting with students and helping them work towards their goals.
Get Involved Advice: It can be difficult to feel connected at a community college, but I promise that there are ample opportunities for students. As a former student myself, I made amazing friends and advanced my professional skills because of my involvement on campus. So, check out the Get Involved page to find organizations and events that interest you!
Gina Alderson (she/her)
About Me: I am currently in my last year as a grad student at Illinois State University in the College Student Personnel Administration program. I have been at this position at Heartland for almost 2 months. I hope to be an educator, advisor and/or mentor for future college students and help them grow successfully in their academic and career goals, as well as in personal and professional development.
Get Involved Advice: The first step is just showing up. Take the initiative of just being there, and you'll be surprised at what it can lead to.
Elli Wills (she/her)
About Me: Hi! I’m Elli. I earned my bachelor's degree in English from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and am currently pursuing my master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration at Illinois State University. I currently serve as the Graduate Assistant for International Programs and the advisor for the Global Student Union. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for cultural exchange and a passion for helping others, which led me toward these roles and student affairs work at large.
Get Involved Advice: My “getting involved” advice is that it’s never too late. I was involved in several student organizations during my undergraduate degree, each serving a different mission. The two that meant the most to me were the ones I joined as a senior–yes, a senior–and it was the best decision I ever made. I made new friends, gained experience that helped me land jobs post graduation, and had a ton of fun. While I do wish I’d found these two groups earlier, I’m so happy I found them when I did. It’s never too late to join a club and get involved.
Get Involved Platform
Have you heard about Heartland's online engagement platform? Head over to GetInvolved.Heartland.edu, your gateway to getting involved on campus. Discover a variety of student groups, stay in the loop about exciting events, and connect with fellow students from all around campus.
Getting involved on campus is a great way to find friends and make the most of your Heartland experience. No matter what you’re interested in, there are other students who enjoy the very same thing. Heartland offers 20 plus clubs and organizations on campus! Check out some of the options on our Get Involved page (getinvolved.heartland.edu/organizations). And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, creating a new club is easy and rewarding. The Student Engagement staff is happy to help.
Stop by the Student Engagement office in the WDC 1200 suite to talk with staff and student leaders about how to get involved.
Student Life Events
There is always something exciting happening on Heartland's campus. Whether it's a student club social event, an HCC department workshop, or a leadership program, you'll find the latest updates on Heartland's 'Get Involved Events' page. Check out our events page below.