Congratulations to Anita Sareen!

Congratulations to Anita Sareen! Effective July 1, 2024, Anita will now serve Our Lady’s University as an Associate Program Director, Development Administration. In her new role as APD, Anita will succeed Roz Palusci in supporting Jerry Barca, Ashley Gerard, and Shaheen Goldrick.

Since 2011, Anita has been a leader on the team, first as a development coordinator and later as an associate director. She has excelled in project management, strategy, process improvement, coaching, and training. Her collaboration with Regional Directors and the broader Development team has consistently uncovered opportunities to enhance fundraising effectiveness. Anita’s diverse talents and enthusiasm for our mission will undoubtedly make her an invaluable asset to the APD Team where she will continue to hone her skills and contribute to Development in new and exciting ways.

When you see Anita please take a moment to thank her for her years of dedication as a manager and mentor to our Development Coordinators and wish her the best of luck in her new role.

-Amy Schell

Welcome Abby Utterback!

Please join me in welcoming Abby Utterback to Regional Development as a Development Coordinator (DC). Her first day is Monday, June 24th.

Growing up in Michiana, Abby was a frequent visitor to Notre Dame. She graduated from IUSB with a degree in Sustainability and most recently worked at the Kalamazoo Nature Center as a conservation technician. Previous to that, Abby worked to alleviate local hunger with her efforts as a Garden Education Coordinator with Church Community Services.

Interestingly, she is certified in the handling of pesticides, wildland firefighting (loves the practice of prescribed fires) and the handling of rattlesnakes! Abby spends most of her free time with her tortie cat named Kitty Girl, practicing fiber art, gardening, and hiking.

Welcome to Development, Abby!

-Deena Chamberlin

Welcome Grace Van Handel!

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in welcoming Grace Van Handel to Regional Development as a Development Coordinator (DC).

Hailing from central Wisconsin, Grace recently celebrated the completion of her MS degree in Management at Notre Dame with a focus in Finance. During that time, Grace served as an Admissions Ambassador for the program. She received her undergraduate degree in Health Science from the University of Wisconsin in 2023 and is passionate about nutrition and trying new healthy recipes.

Professionally, Grace served as the Executive Assistant to the manager of the Minocqua Country Club in Wisconsin where she recruited, trained, and led a staff of more than 30 employees. She loves watching college football, especially Notre Dame, and outdoor hiking. Her first day is Monday, June 24th.

Welcome to Development, Grace!

Angie Dennig

Congratulations Matt Gelchion!


I am grateful and pleased to share with you that Matt Gelchion will be promoted to Senior Director of the Academic Advancement team effective July 1. A Notre Dame class of 2009 (BA) and class of 2011 (ACE, M Ed) graduate, Matt has committed his professional career in service to Our Lady’s University – serving in ACE from 2011 – 2017 and then moving to Development where he has worked in Storytelling & Engagement, Annual Giving, and Academic Advancement. Matt served Financial Aid and Student Life as an AAD and added to his portfolio when he was promoted to Senior Associate Director in fall of 2023. Matt has supported and led some of the largest gifts to financial aid for the University and numerous efforts to support student life, including philanthropy for the Office of Student Enrichment, Residence Halls, and the successfully-launched Mental Health Initiative in collaboration with the College of Arts & Letters.

With a heart for Catholic education, Notre Dame students, and the impact that the Academic Advancement team can have on the Notre Dame community and beyond, Matt will bring his rigorous and strategic approach and passion for ND and coaching to the AAD team as we head into the remaining five years of For Good.

Please join me in congratulating Matt on his new role.

In Notre Dame,

Welcome Rob Weilert!

I am thrilled to announce that Rob Weilert will join our team as an Associate Regional Director, starting June 17th.

Rob earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland and a Master’s Degree in Athletics Administration from Canisius University.

Rob has spent the last 15 years in the Osceola County School District in Central Florida as a teacher, where he was affectionately known as “Coach Weilert.” He has always valued developing meaningful relationships and creating lasting memories for people

Two years ago, Rob decided he wanted to be more than a “Subway Alumni” and began to pursue his dream of becoming a more integral part of Notre Dame. Accompanied by his amazing wife, Lori, and their two kids, Leah and Callan, Rob is ready to bring his passion and energy to Notre Dame every single day.

-Indi Jackson

Fun facts:

– Shortly after graduating from college, Rob (a believer in trying anything) learned professional wrestling and put on several shows for his students as fundraisers for his teams.

– Rob and his family enjoy going on cruises.

– Rob’s dad owned an Irish Pub while he was growing up. It was deemed Rochester’s Notre Dame Bar in the early 90s.

-The first gift Rob ever gave Lori when they were dating? A Notre Dame t-shirt of course.

– Rob thrives on opportunities to entertain and bring joy, whether he’s holding a microphone, speaking to a crowd, or appearing on camera


Best Wishes, Lilly Yun; Welcome, Shakir Carr


Join me in sending best wishes to Lilly Yun.

Lilly and her husband, Alex JD ’24, are relocating to Washington DC as Alex begins his professional career. Lilly joined the Gift & Data Management team in September 2023. She has been an incredible teammate and partner hallmarked by a positive attitude and excellence in customer service. Her last day with us is August 15. As further proof of her dedication to the team, she’ll be onboarding our newest hire, Shakir. Though we will miss her, we wish her and her husband the best in their new endeavors!

Please also join me in welcoming Shakir Carr. Shakir will serve as the Gift Management Program Coordinator. His first day is Monday, June 17.

He comes to us with experience in customer service, talent acquisition, teamwork, DEIU, and process improvement. Shakir is a South Bend native who earned his degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Michigan in 2017 while starting for the football team all 4 years. We are excited to add his talents to our team!

Thank you,

Welcome Baby Kokesh!

I am thrilled to share that Jamie Russell Kokesh was born Monday morning. Jamie weighed in at 8lbs and 4 oz and measured 21 inches. Jamie, along with mom Patty, dad Ryan, and big brother Marty are all doing well!

Congratulations to the Kokesh family!


Thank you and Congrats, Shelby Carroll!

Dear friends and colleagues,

I write to share the exciting news that Shelby Carroll has accepted the position of Sr. Associate Athletics Director for Media, Brand & Communications at Notre Dame, starting July 9. Shelby’s new responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, growing relationships with key media partners, developing and implementing brand standards for athletics, and overseeing and directing Fighting Irish Media.

Shelby’s contributions to our development team have been numerous in the nearly ten years since she joined our team, initially serving as the Associate Director for the Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle, then subsequently as its Director and, most recently, as the Senior Director for the Southwest region, a position she has held since 2020. Shelby’s impact on our team is unmistakable, from our growth in unrestricted fundraising, the hiring and development of talented colleagues who have moved into leadership roles, and her championing of our DEIU efforts.

While Shelby’s leadership will be missed in University Relations, we are fortunate that she is not moving far, taking on this critically important role for Notre Dame Athletics. We will be in touch in the coming week with next steps to identify the next leader of the Southwest team.

Please join me in thanking and congratulating Shelby!

All the best,