Northwestern University

Employee Spotlight

Melinda Cervantes

Melinda Cervantes
Corporate Partnerships

A Kellogg administrator for 14 years, Melinda Cervantes always has the best interests of the school in mind – one of the many reasons she was nominated for the Employee Spotlight. As director of corporate partnerships, Melinda is known for her dedication, reliability and leadership by example.

Since the Corporate Partnerships group launched two years ago, the team has been connecting companies to different opportunities for partnership with the school and, through the speaker notice system, has helped to increase awareness about the influential speakers that come to Kellogg.

“What I enjoy most is working with colleagues across the school – both inside and outside of Corporate Partnerships – to facilitate meaningful and deeper engagements for companies with Kellogg,” Melinda says.

Exemplifying Kellogg’s core values, Melinda is described as a wonderful collaborator who truly understands the benefits of forming partnerships across all areas of the school. Her big-picture thinking, positive outlook and commitment to excellence are an inspiration to her colleagues.

Her advice to other Kellogg administrators? “Get to know people outside of your immediate network, spend time on campus to see the vibrancy of the Kellogg community and take advantage of the intellectual content available at the school.”

Alfredo Montes De Oca

Alfredo Montes De Oca
User Support Specialist
Kellogg Information Systems (KIS)

Alfredo Montes De Oca is recognized as a “seasoned problem solver,” according to Katie Taylor, director of annual giving in Advancement, who nominated Alfredo for the Employee Spotlight. As a user support specialist in Kellogg Information Systems (KIS), Alfredo is known for thoughtfully assessing issues and challenges.

“In the years I have interacted with Alfredo, I have found him highly professional, positive and helpful,” Katie says. “I appreciate that whatever the problem, Alfredo delivers a consistent high level of service.”

During the redesign of Advancement’s office space on Church Street, Alfredo supported laptop setup, coordination of temporary workspace, and transitions of computer and phone equipment. “Whether it be working with faculty or administrators, providing customer service is the most satisfying part of my job,” Alfredo says.

Held in high regard as a team player, Alfredo always approaches his work with a positive attitude in a way that reflects Kellogg’s values.

His words of wisdom to other Kellogg administrators? “Enjoy what you do, and always focus on the positive.”

Leading the Kellogg Way

Executive Education Operations
Pictured from left to right: Carol Rose, Melissa Passalacqua, Kate Hardwick, Juleen Morford, Jonathan Rayfield, Kimberly Compton, Beatrice Figueroa,
Gina Green, Dae Ezinwo, Cindee Bath, Chris Payne, Kristi Winchester, Brenda Taylor
Not pictured: Emily Caragher and Gina Kuchii

The Executive Education Operations team manages the experience of nearly 5,000 participants who attend Kellogg’s Executive Education programs. Not only do team members work with program participants, but they also collaborate with faculty, ARAMARK, marketing colleagues, Allen Center building administrators and KIS, as well as outside vendors.

Arlene Johnson, director of Executive Education Operations, nominated the group for Leading the Kellogg Way due to team members’ high level of dedication. She says the team has been working hard to enhance the participant experience through improving communication, materials distribution and the overall Allen Center experience.

“This team is the face of Kellogg to our Executive Education participants, and a large reason why participants have a good impression of Kellogg and want to return for another Executive Education program,” says Arlene.


Kellogg Team and Group Research Center (KTAG)
Pictured from left to right: Ellen Hampton, Joel Erickson, Larissa Tripp, Marissa Greco

The Kellogg Team and Group Research Center (KTAG) team “is constantly innovating, networking with other Kellogg groups and setting new goals,” according to Dr. Leigh Thompson. As director of KTAG, Dr. Thompson nominated the team for Leading the Kellogg Way.

The KTAG team supports several open enrollment programs. For “Leading High-Impact Teams” and “Constructive Collaboration: Driving Performance in Teams, Organizations and Partnerships,” the group builds, analyzes and prepares the results of pre-program web surveys for participants. And for the launch of the new “Constructive Collaboration” program, the KTAG team also created a partner program for participants before their arrival and engaged in the pilot testing of two new case studies.

In addition to supporting teaching initiatives, the KTAG team is also heavily involved in the production of new intellectual material. This includes supporting on research studies and data collection in the lab, preparing drafts for publication, working with editors, and publicizing the material through webinars and thought pieces.


© Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
All Rights Reserved.
  Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2001