Office of the Student Experience

About Us

Dr. Lindsey Koch Headshot

Dr. Lindsey Koch

Director, Office of the Student Experience


Lindsey Koch serves as the Director in the Office of the Student Experience and joined SMU in August 2013. She received her B.B.S. in Public Relations and Advertising, with a minor in Leadership, from Hardin-Simmons University. Her professional work with student affairs began with her position as Coordinator of Student Activities at Hardin-Simmons University. Lindsey earned her M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Houston-Victoria, while serving as UHV’s Director of Student Life and Services. She earned her Ed. D. in Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Hardin-Simmons University. Lindsey’s passion for student leadership and commitment to student development continues to grow through her professional and academic work in student affairs.


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Dr. Deanie Kepler Headshot

Meghan Perez

Assistant Director, Leadership Programs


Meghan Perez serves as an Assistant Director in the Office of the Student Experience at SMU. In this role, she is responsible for undergraduate leadership programming, developing and implementing the SMU Leadership Framework, and supporting the SMU orientation programs. Meghan is passionate about the college student experience and helping students find their unique leadership identity. She believes in strong relational leadership that works alongside others to accomplish team goals. Prior to joining SMU, Meghan worked in student leadership programing throughout the southeast at Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, and University of Tennessee. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Master of Science in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University. Before going to graduate school, Meghan was on the team that opened the Houston, Texas office of The Posse Foundation, a leadership-based college access scholarship program.


Meghan, a Houston native, currently lives in Dallas, Texas. She loves spending time with her people, playing tennis, and is on a lifetime quest to find the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie.


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Headshot of Blake Red Elk

Blake Red Elk

Assistant Director, Orientation Programs


Blake Red Elk is as an Assistant Director in the Office of the Student Experience and will serve as the lead for Orientation programming. Prior to joining the Hilltop, Blake worked primarily in orientation and admissions at the University of Arkansas, Cameron University, Portland State University, and Iowa State University. Blake is a first-generation college graduate and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Cameron University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy from Portland State University.


Blake is a native Oklahoman but is enjoying life south of the Red River. He spends his free time crafting, creating digital art, searching for the perfect hot sauce, and spending time with his family and friends.


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Nick Fontela

Nick Fontela

Graduate Assistant, Leadership and Orientation Programs

Nick Fontela is serving as an Office of the Student Experience. He recently graduated from SMU with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Nick is pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting this year. He supports First 5 and Caswell Leadership Program, and is excited to work with the Caswell Leadership Program, which he participated in during his time as an undergraduate. He brings his knowledge of leadership development, large-scale programming, and SMU culture to the StuEx team. Nick is excited to help welcome new Mustangs to the Hilltop and develop student leaders!

Nick is an avid runner, and he loves spending time on the Katy Trail and at White Rock. To reward his exercise, he loves to treat himself to a large bowl of ice cream!

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