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.
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.
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.
Coordinator, Parent and Family Programs 214-768-4560
Aly Vukelich is a coordinator in the Office of the Student Experience. In this role, Aly serves as the lead for parent and family programs and the First 5 student transition program. Prior to SMU, she worked at Baylor University in residence life and housing and at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Aly received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science from Wheaton College in Illinois and her Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Higher Education Student Affairs from Baylor University.
Aly, originally from Des Moines, Iowa, loves exploring Dallas and enjoying the warmer Texas weather outdoors with her husband, Kaleb. In her free time, she loves reading a good book, trying new recipes, and taking her family’s two dogs on long walks.
Graduate Assistant, Leadership and Orientation Programs
Nick Fontela is serving as a graduate assistant in the 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 the Caswell Leadership Program. Nick participated in the Caswell Leadership Program as an undergraduate student and is excited to continue to work with the program as a staff member. 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!
Anna Mugerditchian is serving as a graduate assistant in the Office of the Student Experience. She received her B.B.A. in Accounting from SMU in December 2020 and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting this year. Anna was an orientation leader in summer 2018 and is excited to continue mentoring students and creating meaningful experiences for new and future leaders.
Anna is originally from Illinois but loves life in the Texas. In her spare time, Anna loves to play pickleball and tennis with friends, as well as bake cookies.
Rylea Wertzberger is serving as a graduate assistant in the Office of the Student Experience. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, Management, and a minor in sales. Rylea is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Higher Education. Rylea was actively involved in her Panhellenic affiliated chapter and various leadership and orientation activities during her time at Oklahoma State. She brings years of leadership experience, a lively personality, passion for students, and always has a listening ear. She is very excited to meet you all and welcome you into the Mustang family!
Rylea loves to work out and read a good book in her free time. She enjoys listening to a good true crime podcast and hanging out with friends.