The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Division of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success (IESS) is recognizing three individuals who have recently been named to director-level positions in a permanent or interim capacity.
Jonathan Acosta serves as director of academic advising, Rashonda Austin is serving as interim director of undergraduate admissions, and Andrew (Andy) Jacobsen serves as director of systems intelligence and data analysis.
“As we continue to advance our commitment to student performance through intentional recruitment, retention, and overall support functions, we need strong leaders in these positions,” said Rich Klein, Ph.D., vice chancellor for IESS. “Jonathan, Rashonda, and Andy have provided tremendous leadership and guidance in these roles.”
Director of Academic Advising
Jonathan Acosta was named to oversee UNO’s advising efforts within the Academic and Career Development Center (ACDC) this August after spending three years serving as assistant director of academic advising. He takes over for Sammi Kaiser, Ph.D., who was named as assistant vice chancellor for student success earlier this year.
As director of advising, Acosta helps provide leadership and direction for the advising of students in UNO’s Exploratory Studies program; manages the university’s advising staff within the Academic and Career Development Center (ACDC); coordinates support for transfer students; and provides strategic support on campuswide student support initiatives.
Acosta, a UNO alumnus, began as a college coach for UNO’s Success Academy before joining ACDC as an academic and career advisor and then taking on the role of assistant director of academic advising. He has also taught for UNO as an instructor.
He previously served as president of the UNO Academic Advising Council and currently sits on UNO’s Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion committee. He is also pursuing a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Interim Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Rashonda Austin has served as interim director of undergraduate admissions since June 2022, taking on the role after serving as associate director of undergraduate admissions since 2019.
In her role, Austin is responsible for the management and administration of recruitment and admissions efforts for students at the undergraduate level. This includes developing strategies to enroll students locally and regionally; overseeing admissions staff; and building relationships with high schools, community colleges, and local businesses to help make the admissions process for students of all backgrounds supportive and successful.
Austin earned a bachelor’s degree from UNO in criminal justice and holds a certificate in equity and diversity. She joined UNO as associate director of undergraduate admissions after working as a senior case manager for Heartland Family Service.
In addition to her professional roles, Austin supported the admissions office in developing social media content, supporting events with UNO’s New Student and Family Programs team, and supported UNO’s Omaha Correctional Center Outreach program to help former inmates registered and enrolled for courses to support their educational goals.
Director of Systems Intelligence and Data Analysis
Andy Jacobsen was named director of Systems Intelligence and Data Analytics in July 2022 after serving in an interim capacity overseeing institutional effectiveness and data analysis operations for UNO since August 2021.
Jacobsen joined UNO in 2009 as a business analyst for student records before moving to the then-Office of Institutional Effectiveness in 2012. He served as a business analyst in the office until taking on the interim director role in 2021.
Reflecting the university’s focus on data-driven strategies, the systems intelligence and data analytics team provides institutional fact reporting; supports critical business systems in support of customer relationship management and student information systems; and provides technical project support for IESS.
Jacobsen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Bellevue University
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.