The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) welcomed four new staff members in the fall, who will fill a combination of vacancies and new positions.

Working under the Office of the President, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) oversees and enforces the University’s efforts to prevent, detect, and respond appropriately to violations of University policy and applicable state and federal laws related to anti-harassment and non-discrimination statutes.

Debora Piovezan Barbosa Avelino is a new assistant director in OEOA, Jessica Galanos joins as an assistant director and deputy Title IX coordinator, and Kaeleigh Birckelbaw and Amber Harvey are new Title IX investigators.

“The new staff are great additions to the office,” said OEOA Director Anthony Walesby. “This movement forward will allow OEOA to offer the campus more training relating to civil rights, equity, and our University’s core values of diversity and inclusion.”

Debora P.B. Avelino
Avelino is an attorney whose previous employers include Webber & Theis, P.C., in Urbana; Mérieux NutriSciences in Chicago; and Gambôa Advogados in São Paulo, Brazil. She graduated with a juris doctor degree in 2016 from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and holds degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law, and Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo College of Law. Able to converse in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish, Avelino is well versed in the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and has worked on matters before the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Jessica Galanos
Galanos is an attorney whose previous employers include HeplerBroom Law Firm, the Office of the Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor, and the Office of the Attorney General for Illinois. She graduated with a juris doctor degree in 2008 from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Skilled in litigation and investigative work, Galanos has experience with claims under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Her presentations and publications include such topics as technology in the courtroom and sexual harassment.

Kaeleigh Birckelbaw
Birckelbaw comes to Illinois State after working for the Champaign County State’s Attorney.   She earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University in 2010 and previously worked for a private investigator for approximately four years. Her training includes the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the McLean County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. She volunteers with CASA and has previously represented the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office on the Rape Awareness and Prevention Task Force at the University of Illinois.

Amber Harvey
Harvey comes to Illinois State from working as a child protection investigator with Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services. She also served as a child welfare specialist for the Children’s Home and Aid. An Illinois State alumna, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish in 1997. A forensically trained interviewer within the Child First protocol, Harvey also served with Catholic Social Services in abuse and neglect cases.

For additional information, call (309) 438-3383, or go to the OEOA website.