Advisors and Staff


Robert D. Newton


P: 989.358.7283


Fairview on Monday, Onaway on Tuesday, Cheboygan on Wednesday and Rogers City on Thursday

Robert D. Newton is the Director of two TRiO Talent Search Programs at Alpena Community College. Neither parent went to college and I come from a modest income background. I served the US Army from 1966-1968. I have a Bachelor degree in Business (Marketing) from Ferris State University and a MA in Degree in Counseling from Central Michigan University I have additional course work from the University of Minnesota. I worked several years in CETA and JTPA programs as a classroom training coordinator at various colleges I started working in TRiO programs in 1988 at the University of Minnesota Student Support Services Program and have been the Director of Talent Search at Alpena Community College since 1994. As the Director I am also the grant writer, supervisor of a staff of seven, and I have my own caseload which includes Cheboygan, Fairview, Onaway and Rogers City schools.





P: 989.358.7490


Alpena HS on Monday & Wednesday mornings, Posen HS & Onaway Tuesdays


I grew up in the tiny town of Otisville, Michigan, about 20 minutes outside of Flint.  As a high school senior, I was a pioneer in dual enrollment when I became the first person from my high school to dual enroll at Mott Community College as a senior.  After high school, I went on to Central Michigan University, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.  I also have earned credits from the University of Michigan-Flint, Eastern Michigan University, and Northern Michigan University.  I completed my Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in literacy from Saginaw Valley State University.  I clearly have a passion for education!  I was a first generation college student in my very blue collar family, and for me, part of the appeal of TRiO Talent Search is the encouragement and guidance we provide for first generation students.  As a former high school teacher, I sought out an opportunity to work with young people when my family relocated to Northeast Michigan.  After a year with NEMCSA’s School Success program, I joined TRiO Talent Search as Coordinator in 2015.  I currently work with Alpena High School, Thunder Bay Junior High, Posen Schools, and Onaway Schools.  I reside in Alpena with my husband and three children.




Brian Colorite

TRiO Talent Search Coordinator/Advisor – South

P: 989.358.7492


Alcona, AuGres, Oscoda, Tawas


My name is Brian Colorite and I am the new TTS advisor for Alcona, AuGres-Sims, Oscoda, and Tawas area schools. I am exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to work with students and help them recognize their dreams of attending college. I look forward to providing the guidance and support each student needs to embark on this exciting and rewarding journey.

Furthermore, I would like to take the time to provide a brief introduction of myself, in addition to my professional development. I grew up in the small town of Oscoda and graduated from Oscoda Area High School. After high school, I joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Eielson, Alaska. I knew that I eventually wanted to attend college and was fortunate enough to do so after my time in the military. I graduated from Northwood University with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree. I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and knew I wanted to start my own business after I completed my degree. After college, I established three other successful businesses and worked for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where I helped families achieve self-sufficiency. As a first generation college student myself, I understand the challenges and difficulties associated with attending college. The TRiO Talent Search Coordinator is very appealing to me because of the support, encouragement, and guidance our team provides to first generation students.




Shannon Oliver

Assistant Advisor

P: 989.358.7318


Fairview/Atlanta- Monday, Hillman- Tuesday, Mio- Wednesday, Johannesburg-Lewiston Thursday

I grew up in a small town called Hubbard Lake, Michigan. I attended Alcona Community High School and dual enrolled my senior year through Alpena Community College. After graduating high school, I attended Alpena Community College to gain general elective credits before transferring to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. This past year, I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in General Psychology from Northern Michigan University. I am continuing through Northern Michigan University’s Global Campus for my Master’s Degree in Public Administration. I have a desire to advise individuals and encourage others to reach their highest potential. I was a first generation college student and remember the overwhelming feeling associated with graduating and deciding your new path.

If you would like to know more about the program, please stop into my office or contact me! I look forward to sharing more information with you.




Assistant Advisor

P: 989.358.7492


Hale on Monday and Whittemore-Prescott on Tuesday


I grew up in the Upper Peninsula in a rural area and had aspirations of becoming the first college graduate in my family. I attended Michigan State University after high school and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Social Science in 1973.  I worked 5 years as a federal civil service  employee  after graduation. I attended Northern Michigan University and completed a Master Degree in Education and Guidance Counseling in 1980.  I had aspirations of working as a K-12 guidance counselor somewhere in Michigan. I first worked in education as a middle school counselor at Cass City Public School (1982-1985). I coached middle school and high school sports there. I completed three years at this school district. I was hired  as a elementary school counselor in 1985 at the Tawas Area Public Schools. During my work at Tawas,  I became a high school guidance counselor in 1994 . I also coached two sports in Tawas for several years. I attended Central Michigan University in 1995 and completed certification as a driver education instructor. I worked 17 years teaching young people driving skills. I retired in 2011 from my full time counseling position at the Tawas Area Public Schools. I was selected as a (Trio) Educational Talent Advisor for Alpena  Community College in 2011. I have continued with ETS for three years. Presently, I have been a licensed counselor by the State of Michigan for more than. twenty years.




P: 989.358.7380





Kristen Schnell is an Alpena native, a graduate of Alpena Community College with an Associates in Art and an Associates in Science. She is excited about joining the TTS team as they help students succeed in school and continue on to college.





P: 989-358-7300




Julie is an Alpena native who enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two grand children. She is married and has two children who have graduated from ACC. Julie retired from St.Anne’s after 25 years of clerical work. She is a familiar face to our ACC family for she has subbed in many offices. She enjoys working with the people, and the exciting projects she takes part in.


Brandinn Keetch

Media Communications Coordinator