Student Life Staff

Brett Couture

Brett Couture is originally from Littleton, Colorado and is a Sterling College Alumni. He met his wife at SC, and he now serves as a Resident Director for Student Life as well as providing academic support in the Office of Student Success.

Emilie Heinl

Emilie Heinl comes to Kansas from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. She is a recent college graduate from Waynesburg University, in which she received her Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology. Emilie fell in love with Student Life when serving as a Resident Assistant at her university. She loves the opportunity to serve others through doing life alongside students and being so closely available to encourage other young women. Emilie also loves to bake cookies for others and adores how Student Life gives her so many opportunities to use this talent to serve others.

Jason Briar

Jason Briar ’99 serves as the vice president for Student Life. In this role, he directs all Student Life programming and coordination of personal services and programs related to the College’s student development efforts.  He will set the strategic direction for Student Life programs and will make recommendations on related policies.
Prior to coming to Sterling College, Jason has been in public education both as a teacher and administrator for the past 18 years, most recently served as Fairfield (Langdon, Ks) Middle & High School Principal.

Tess Cannon

Tess Cannon graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. She immediately began teaching preschool and helping with the after school program at a local church. Shortly after moving to Texas, she began working toward her Masters in Early Childhood Studies with a concentration in Policy and Advocacy. She graduated in May 2017. While in Texas, Tess also gained experience in assessment for childcare centers, training teachers, and directing a childcare center.

Lydia Butner

Lydia holds an MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Kansas. Lydia is passionate about helping people understand and improve their mental health, and finds working with college students extremely rewarding. She lives in Sterling with her husband and two little boys, loves talking and getting to know people, spending time outdoors, and playing board games with friends.


Phone: 620-278-4297

Dana Ely

Dana Ely has joined Sterling College as Campus Health Director this year and is very excited for this new opportunity. The last 21 years she has been working as a Family Practice Registered  Nurse in Hutchinson. Dana lives in Hutchinson with her husband, Darrell and they have 2 high school boys, Cody & Brady. They enjoy boating ,jet skiing ,wake surfing and sporting events. This year she will get to cheer on both of her sons as they play on the same soccer team for Buhler High School.


Phone: 620-278-4505

Heather Oden

Heather absolutely loves working with Sterling students. She works part-time as a certified Life Coach for SC as well as serving​ as the Sterling College Sexual Assault Advocate. Heather is passionate about helping students find direction and freedom as well as connecting to the deep sense of purpose and meaning they were created to enjoy.

Terry Ehresman

Terry serves as the Director of Career Services and First Year Programs. In this role, he helps students and alumni identify career interests, build resumes, prepare for interviews, research internship potentials, explore career options, and prepare for graduate school. Terry really enjoys the daily interaction with students, and welcomes the opportunities to get to know and serve them better.