Meet the Student Support Staff


Janet Holtfreter serves as an Academic Advisor and Operations Manager of Student Support Services. Originally from Deerfield Beach, FL, Ms. Holtfreter came to Ave Maria University as a student-athlete.  Her enthusiasm, competitive spirit, and outstanding sportsmanship contributed mightily to the successful start of AMU’s women’s softball team. During her undergraduate years, Janet served as a Resident Assistant and was instrumental in establishing Ave’s Athletic Ministry Program.  Importantly, as a student, Janet came to recognize the value of academic success; she graduated in 2013, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Theology. Upon graduating, Ms. Holtfreter was recruited by the athletic department to be the pitching coach for the Lady Gyrenes.  At the same time, she  joined the Financial Aid staff, guiding families through the Financial Aid process.  Ms. Holtfreter loves interacting with students. Now she feels blessed to be advising students regarding academics and the many other aspects of undergraduate life at AMU.  Apart from work, Ms. Holtfreter enjoys cooking, working out, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

Maria Padron is in her second year with the Student Support Services team at AMU.  Born in Argentina, Ms. Padron 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, Florida 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.

Lawrence Doherty is in his fifth year at AMU, now serving as an academic advisor with Student Support Services.  He 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 AMU 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., serves as Director of Tutoring and Academic Advisor at AMU. Originally from Botkins, Ohio, Lucas was drawn to the university because of his passion for Catholic higher education and working with students. Lucas 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 in English at Bowling Green State University and Bachelor’s 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 is the newest member of our Student Support Services team.  She serves as 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.