Meet the Team

As a new or current Husker, we know there is a lot to navigate. We want you to know the staff at Husker Hub is here to help.

Portrait of Kristy Saunders.

Kristy Saunders


Associate Director of Husker Hub

Originally from Montana, Kristy moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in the Summer of 2018. Kristy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Montana and her Master of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Kristy has worked in multiple student services positions with a background in financial aid, new student orientation programming, and retention programming for first-generation college students. Kristy joined the Husker Hub staff in Spring 2020, where she supports staff members to provide student-centered service for students and their families for questions regarding financial aid, student accounts, the registrar and bursar.

Portrait of Santanna Schunk.

Santanna Schunk


Assistant Director

Originally from Waverly, Iowa, Santanna earned her Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with specialization in Crime Scene Investigation at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in December of 2020. During Santanna’s undergraduate career, she held leadership roles as a cofounder of the university’s Black Student Union, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, as well as President of the Phi Iota Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Santanna began working as a work-study student in the Office of Scholarships and Financial aid during her sophomore year of college and transitioned into a Student Services Specialist role at Husker Hub after her graduation. Starting in February 2024, Santanna became the Husker Hub Assistant Director. Santanna’s degree gives her a unique approach to problem solving allowing her to assist students will their needs both academically and financially. She is passionate about connecting and helping students achieve their goals. Santanna enjoys snuggling up to her fur baby, Deuce, and collecting a variety of different houseplants.

Portrait of Richelle Saalfeld.

Richelle Saalfeld


Training Coordinator

Originally from Crete, NE, Richelle earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences with endorsements in English Education and English Language Learners Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2017 and her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration in December 2021 from the university as well. Richelle started her student services positions in 2016 as a work-study student in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and has held a student services-centered position since she graduated. She has a background in federal financial aid, scholarships, and education abroad. Richelle joined the Husker Hub Team as a Student Services Specialist when Husker Hub opened in March 2019. As of July 2020, Richelle serves as the Training Coordinator for the Husker Hub Team by scheduling training and professional development sessions with campus partners. Richelle enjoys collecting vinyl records, musical theatre, and is a proud plant parent to a small garden of house plants.

Portrait of Daniel Palensky.

Daniel Palensky


Student Services Specialist

From the small town of Osceola, Nebraska, Daniel relocated to Omaha, Nebraska in 2014, where he worked as an Telesales Agent at Physician’s Mutual Insurance Company, before attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Fall 2014, where after five years he received a BFA/BA in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Screenwriting. After graduating in May of 2019, Daniel spent the majority of the rest of that year traveling aimlessly around the Midwest and writing the Great American Screenplay, which has since been shelved. Daniel joined the Husker Hub Staff as a Student Services Specialist in April of 2020, excited and determined to support students on their academic journeys for years and years to come.

Portrait of Brisly Carrera.

Brisly Carrera


Student Services Specialist

Originally from Grand Island, NE, Brisly earned her Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. During Brisly’s undergraduate career she held leadership roles and mentored first-year scholars with Nebraska College Preparatory Academy. Brisly began as a work-study student in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid during her first year of college and has continued her career now as a Student Services Specialist at Husker Hub beginning August 2020. Being a first-generation graduate herself, Brisly relates to many students who come from different backgrounds who are going through this journey for the first time. She works toward helping all students with financial aid, scholarships, transcripts, enrollment, billing and payment questions as well as giving them the adequate resources to be successful as they transition into college and get to the finish line.

Portrait of Shannon Smith.

Shannon Smith


Student Services Specialist

Born and raised in Lincoln, NE, Shannon obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. While an undergraduate student at UNL, Shannon held the position of Writing Consultant at the UNL Writing Center where she was able to mentor and support college students with their writing projects and goals. After graduating from UNL, Shannon worked for Lincoln Public Schools from 2015-2022, where she had the opportunity to work as a Mentor for Highly Gifted Students specializing in English at the elementary level and as a Media Center Technician for Lincoln East High School. Returning to her roots of supporting college students in October 2022, Shannon is now a Student Services Specialist with Husker Hub. Shannon loves dogs and cats, listening to music, reading, musical theater, and watching comedies.

Portrait of Ash Stallworth.

Ash Stallworth


Student Services Specialist

Originally from Waverly, NE, Ash earned their undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2021 and their Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration-Student Affairs Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2023. Ash started their higher education journey as a member, then later president, of UNO's campus programming board while also working as an educational projects intern for BHECN at UNMC. In graduate school, Ash worked as the graduate assistant for the LGBTQA+ Center at UNL, extensively working with programming and student support services for LGBTQA+ students at the university. Their background gives them a unique perspective towards working with students, considering student identities and stories in every interaction. Ash loves collecting trinkets, buttons, and pins, spending time with their cat Garbanzo Bean, reading non-fiction, painting, and singing as a member of Queer Choir Lincoln.

Portrait of Edwin Mendez-Rodriguez.

Edwin Mendez-Rodriguez


Student Services Specialist

Originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, Edwin moved to Lincoln in his early high school years. Edwin earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in May of 2023. During Edwin's undergraduate career, he was an active member of student organizations and held leadership positions in his fraternity Sigma Lambda Beta. Edwin joined the Husker Hub Staff as a Student Services Specialist in August 2023. As a First-Gen student, Edwin is passionate about assisting students navigate academic and financial needs while achieving their goals. Edwin also enjoys playing and watching sports, running his small business, and drinking coffee.

Portrait of Noah Schwendeman.

Noah Schwendeman


Student Support Specialist

Born and raised in small town Minnesota, moved to Nebraska Fall of 2012 for school. Noah has previously worked with University Housing, The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and now with the Husker Hub as a Student Support Specialist. Noah’s main responsibilities include processing schedule adjustments and override forms, verification of enrollment, providing support for student staff by assisting on Phones and at the Front Counter, and supply orders for the office.

Portrait of Chloe Johnson.

Chloe Johnson


Student Support Specialist

Originally from Sidney Nebraska, Chloe earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a minor in computer information systems (CMIS) from Peru State College. She graduated in December of 2018 and joined Husker Hub in March 2022 as a Student Support Specialist. Chloe has a passion for helping others achieve their goals and is excited to assist students in this new role. Chloe enjoys Halloween, coffee and spending time with friends and family.

Portrait of Anna Hageman.

Anna Hageman


Front Desk Lead

Born and raised in Lincoln and graduated from Southeast High School in 2020, Anna’s passions in life are musical theatre, chicken wings, ramen and her three adorable animals: Lilac, Benny, and Harley. She is always cold so when you her she will most likely be wearing 2-4 layers of clothing. Where you may also see Anna is her being an assistant for a clothing company representative or working on production teams for the Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln. She is a big fan of thrifting and finding locally made fashion items. Fun Fact: She found her favorite coat of all time on the curb after garage sale season.

Portrait of Julius Owusu Afriyie.

Julius Owusu Afriyie


Graduate Assistant

Originally from Ghana, Julius is a master's student in the Educational Administration program at University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He is currently a Graduate Assistant at Husker Hub, helping with programming and outreach for student billing, financial aid, scholarships, and registrar topics.