Jason Bentley

Director and Chair, First-Year Experience

Assistant Director, Residence Life

Phone: (989) 774-3401


FYE’s director was “homegrown” at CMU – Jason received his bachelor’s, master’s and soon-to-be doctoral degrees all at Central.

Spend any time with Jason, and you can’t help but get drawn in by his enthusiasm for teaching and learning. This usually results in lots of big ideas and projects – something we tease Jason about (just a little).

“Having been a first-generation college student, I know the transition to college life and learning is not always intuitive,” he says. “Working with excellent and caring faculty and staff at CMU, I enjoy the opportunity to help first-year students successfully navigate and access all the available resources and supports.”

Jason’s advice for first-year students: “Remember that no person is “good” at everything all of the time. Successful people realize early that asking for help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.”

“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.”  – Winston Churchill




Strategic Communications



Brooke Adams

Coordinator for Strategic Communications


Phone: (989) 774-2925






Brooke is FYE’s “voice” when it comes to social media. A graduate of CMU, Brooke studied integrative public relations and joined FYE on a full-time basis after completing a year-long internship and realizing the excitement of working with new students and their parents.


“The FYE staff is passionate about helping all students succeed in their academic careers,” Brooke says. “The positivity is contagious."


When she’s not tweeting or Facebooking for work, Brooke’s probably outdoors, playing sports or going camping with her family, or making strange sound effects – she just likes adding some vocals to everyday activities. If public relations doesn’t work out for her, she figures she has a fallback career option as a Foley sound artist.


Brooke’s advice for first-year students: “Stop watching old ‘Seinfeld’ re-runs, get off the couch and do something! Getting involved helps you make friends and feel optimistic about your future.”




“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela



Bethany Bacheller

Success Coach

Phone: (989) 774-6601



Bethany, or "B" as she is known in the office, transferred to CMU from Aquinas College and earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication. She will soon be a two-time alumna when she completes her master's degree in counseling. She also has a minor in human development.

Prior to joining FYE, Bethany worked for the Office of Residence Life in the Towers Residence Halls and loved every moment of living in the excitement of a first-year college community.

During her free time you can catch Bethany playing intramural sports on team “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or spending time with good friends around campus. 

As a student success coach, Bethany says she is excited to work with students during the transition to a new ways of life – both personal and academic.

Bethany’s advice for first-year students: "You only have one first-year of college, and one first impression so make the most of every opportunity. Give your best so you can look back and be proud of all you accomplished. Do not be afraid to take initiative and use your resources. Get involved! Ask questions! Remember that the faculty and staff are here for you.

Quote:  “Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.” - Vince Lombardi

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Cherry (Peng-Zhi) Chen

Success Coach

Phone: (989) 774-3401


Cherry has been enrolled at Central Michigan University since August 2010 while pursuing her Master's Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).


Before becoming an International Success Coach in ELI, Cherry was a Mandarin Chinese and English tutor for CMU. When she was in Taiwan, she taught English, Mandarin Chinese and Chinese cultural courses to Asian, Taiwanese American, European and American students.

As an International Success Coach, Cherry says, "I cannot wait to share my experience of learning English as a second language to all of the international students."

Cherry's advice for ELI students: "Environment is one of the key issues to learn a new language. If you are in the United States, there is absolutely no reason to lose your opportunity. Open your mind to get involved with people who are from different countries, and never be shy or feel ashamed to speak English actively."

Quote: "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -  Anthony J. D'Angelo

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Joe Marr

Success Coach

Phone: (989) 774-6601


Joe came to Central Michigan University from Ann Arbor and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He worked for Residence Life as an Resident Assistant in Larzelere Hall. Upon completion of his bachelor's degree, Joe left to become an Human Resources manager for Target. After spending one year away from CMU, Joe is back to pursue his Master's degree in Economics and to help students navigate through their college experience. In his spare time, Joe likes to golf and spend time with his wife Jenna and his dog Parker.
Joe's advice for first-year students: "Your life will never be as free and easy as it is right now. Enjoy your time in college, but don’t forget that you are here to earn your degree."
Quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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Ross Somerville

Success Coach

Phone: (989) 774-3942


Ross started his collegiate journey at Central Michigan University in August 2006, traveling all the way from Long Beach, California. inspired by his grandparent's achievements after their graduation from CMU in 1939, he knew he wanted to continue the family tradition.

During Ross'undergraduate studies, he enjoyed his time as a Desk Receptionist at Trout Hall and Larzelere Hall.

Currently, Ross has returned to Mt.Pleasant as a proud Chippewa pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Sports Administration. He looks forward to reconnecting with old friends and establishing new friendships, too. As a Success Coach, Ross is excited about helping students achieve their personal best.

In his free time, Ross enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf and tennis and staying current with the latest trends in the automotive industry.

Ross' advice for first-year students: "Enjoy every moment of your college career and, most importantly, try your best."

Quote: "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future focusing exclusively on the present. That's where the fun is." - Donald Trump

Patrick Theisen

Success Coach

Phone: (989) 774-6601


Patrick joined FYE in December 2011 as a Success Coach. Originally from Mt. Pleasant, Patrick graduated from Alma College with a bachelor's degree in History. 

When he's not working with students in the Towers, Patrick can be found in the gym either working out or coaching the Sacred Heart Academy boys varsity basketball team. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends, attending Notre Dame football games and walking dogs at the local animal shelter.

Patrick expects to attend graduate school to study sport administration. As a long term goal, Patrick hopes to one day coach men's basketball at the college level.

Patrick's advice for first-year students: "Study hard but make time to relax."

Quote: "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" - Vince Lombardi