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President Rob Manuel announces new chair of the University Athletics Board


DePaul Center 2023
(Photo by Jeff Carrion/DePaul University)

​DePaul President Rob Manuel has appointed Melissa Ockerman, an associate professor of counseling in the College of Education, as the new chair of the University Athletics Board. The UAB serves in an advisory role for the president and the athletics director when reviewing policies and programs, ensuring effective communication and support throughout the Athletics Department. 

"The work of the UAB is critical to the academic and emotional welfare of our student-athletes, who put great effort into being both excellent athletes and excellent students,” Manuel says. “I am grateful to Melissa for taking on this role and bringing her counseling expertise to the UAB. I look forward to working with her." 

As chairwoman of the UAB, Ockerman will work with faculty, staff, alumni, the president of the Student Government Association, student-athletes and the Faculty Athletics Representative to enhance the academic and emotional welfare of DePaul’s student athletes. 

“I am committed to upholding the values of sportsmanship, integrity and excellence for which DePaul University stands,” said
Melissa Ockerman
Melissa Ockerman

Ockerman’s research honors and other advisory positions reflect her devotion to strengthening the holistic needs of students and the systems that support them. Her research focuses on promoting proactive, effective empirically based school counseling practices with underserved populations and the promotion of school safety. She has presented at a number of international and national conferences and was named the Illinois School Counselor Educator of the Year in 2012 and 2018. Currently, Ockerman also serves on the Board of Directors for Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, as well as the Advisory Council for Evidence-Based Practice in School Counseling conference. 

Ockerman earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in school counseling from The Ohio State University and a PhD in counselor education from The Ohio State University.