10 staff members posing around the Stanley Cup trophy

Our Team

Our Team

Reggie AlstonReggie Alston, Ph.D.
Interim Director

Reggie Alston is currently the Interim Director of the Chez Veterans Center. He is also the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health in the College of Applied Health Sciences. We will be searching for a new director during the course of the next academic year (2018-2019).

Ingrid Wheeler Ingrid Wheeler
Assistant Director
Behavioral Health Services

Ingrid serves as our Assistant Director and oversees the Center’s behavioral health services. She is a licensed clinical social worker and received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and her master’s degree in social work, with a specialization in mental health, from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She has experience in helping individuals struggling with mental health challenges, psychosis, substance abuse/dependence, personality disorders, self-harming behaviors, suicidal ideation, relationship conflicts, stress management and behavioral issues through individual, couple, family and group therapy. She has previously worked with children, adolescents, and adults on an inpatient psychiatric unit, outpatient setting, as well as in a dual diagnosis and addiction treatment center. Ingrid grew up with her father in the Navy, who, after 20 years active duty, settled the family in the Champaign-Urbana area in 2000.

Jeni HunniecuttJeni Hunniecutt, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Specialist

Having recently completed her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Denver, Jeni centers her research goals on improving the well-being and quality of life for Military Service Members, Veterans, and their families. Jeni served from 2008-2014 in the Virginia Army National Guard and since separating, has found a way to continue her service through her community-driven work. Jeni served as Outreach Specialist for the Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology at the University of Denver, has served as affiliate faculty in institutions in Colorado, Virginia, and Tennessee, and has presented numerous research projects at interdisciplinary national and international conferences.


Dustin D. Lange, Ph.D.Dustin D. Lange, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Dustin is the Associate Director of the CVC and also leads our academic and career services. Prior to this appointment, he did a postdoc fellowship at the Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare (CINCCH) at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Chicago, where he currently is a Research Associate and a member of their steering committee. He is a three time alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles, white papers, and is the lead author of the book titled Camo to Career: The Veteran’s Guide to Career Success. Dustin has also garnered numerous military honors from his 8-years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps.

Garret Anderson, Jr., Ret. Sgt. U.S Army"Garret Anderson, Jr., Ret. Sgt. U.S Army
Outreach Coordinator and Student Recruiter

Garrett is the Outreach Coordinator and Student Recruiter at the CVC, where he focus on student recruitment targeting veterans with disabilities , establish and maintain connections with national and regional disability-related groups and organizations, especially veterans with disabilities; establishing connections with para-athletic and para-recreation opportunities to create additional options for student-veterans with disabilities, building upon the strong reputation of University of Illinois programs, and establish new and maintain existing connections to local and distant community groups. Garrett Retired from the U.S. Army in 2006, received his degree in Criminal Justice from Illinois State University in 2010, and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counselling from the University of Illinois Champaign- Urbana in 2018.

Jason SakowskiJason Sakowski, M.Ed.

Jason serves as the Coordinator of Veteran Student Support Services under Student Affairs. Prior to this appointment, he attended Eastern Illinois for his Bachelor of Arts. It was during his undergraduate degree that he discovered he wanted to serve military connected students after he graduated. Jason served eight years active duty in the Marine Corps and completed two tours to Iraq and one tour to Afghanistan. Jason is currently serving in the Illinois National Guard and completing his Master’s in the Human Resources Development program here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.