Meet the Student Support Staff


Lawrence Doherty, Academic Advisor works mostly with incoming students who have not yet declared a major. Mr. Doherty is from Philadelphia, PA, where he earned graduate degrees in theology, family therapy, and law. He has taught in Catholic high schools and colleges, provided clinical counseling to individuals, couples, and families, and practiced law for many years. He enjoys discussing with students their abilities, goals, academic interests, and related majors. He motivates students by highlighting the importance and relevance of a liberal arts education and the value of managing time, setting goals, and writing well. Mr. Doherty encourages students to take care of themselves intellectually, physically, socially, etc., as a way of achieving academic success, personal development and overall satisfaction during their college years.

Lucas Fullenkamp, M.A., Director of Tutoring and Academic Advisor, is originally from Botkins, Ohio.  Lucas was drawn to the university because of his passion for Catholic higher education and working with students. He believes that students need holistic support, inside and outside the classroom, and that the best way to help students is by connecting them with the resources to ultimately learn to help themselves. He completed a Master’s Degree in English at Bowling Green State University and Bachelor’s Degree in English at Bluffton University. Lucas came to be interested in working in higher education by being heavily involved in campus organizations and activities as an undergraduate student, including serving as a resident advisor, being a member of the campus event planning committee, playing tennis, and singing in multiple choirs.

Jenifer LeCompte,M.A., Manager of Adaptive Services, providing accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Born and raised in Levittown, Pennsylvania, Jenifer has lived in Naples, Florida for the last 10 years. She graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, and then earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Gwynedd Mercy University. Jenifer spent over 20 years in Special Education classrooms in Pennsylvania and Florida. She now feels blessed to come to Ave Maria and works to level the playing field so that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed academically.

Maria Padron, Academic Advisorwas born in Argentina, and immigrated as a small child to the United States with her parents, settling first in Wisconsin, then North Dakota, and finally in the town of Ave Maria where she has lived for the last ten years. Ms. Padron graduated from Ave Maria University’s honors program, magna cum laude,as a Psychology major with minors in Theology and Catechetics.  “Mia,” as she is known to family and friends, further distinguished herself at AMU as a Mother Teresa scholar, studying the spirituality of “the Saint of Calcutta,” and serving as a tutor to nearby disadvantaged children. At present, Ms. Padron leads a youth group at a local parish. With her engaging demeanor and record of academic success, Ms. Padron is well prepared and enthusiastic about guiding students through the varied challenges that await students at Ave Maria University.