Jacari Henderson

Photo by Russell Bailey

May 11, 2023

Jacari Henderson is SIU’s new Saluki Cares director

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Jacari Henderson, an SIU double alumna, is the new director of Saluki Cares, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s campuswide student support and care effort.

Most recently, Henderson was the interim assistant athletic director for compliance for Saluki Athletics and had previously served there as the director of compliance and compliance coordinator. Her employment at SIU also includes stints as an admissions counselor for undergraduate admissions and working as a graduate assistant for the Saluki Summer Bridge Program and TRIO Student Support Services.

“As you look at the positions she has held and the diverse experiences she has acquired, you will see she has exactly what we were looking for as our new director of Saluki Cares,” said Jennifer Jones-Hall, dean of students. “She has a strong working knowledge of Title IX, compliance, working with students from diverse backgrounds and strong case management skills. She also has an excellent background in financial issues and teaching students how to budget.”

Dedicated to student success

Henderson said she is excited and humbled to direct Saluki Cares.

“As a double alumna of SIU, I know how important the student experience, campus life and resources are and what a difference they make,” she said. “As a servant leader, I pride myself on always listening to the concerns and requests of our students and helping them navigate every challenge and obstacle as a partner and problem solver.”

A first-generation college student, Henderson earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in criminology and criminal justice at SIU in 2013 and completed her master’s degree in public administration in 2015.

A native of Carbondale, Henderson said she understands the importance of building positive and collaborative connections to provide impactful services for SIU students, and she

is eager to serve and learn alongside every student, college and community member.

“My goal is to continue improving and enhancing our campus presence through collaborations, programming, education and partnerships across campus and with community stakeholders,” she said.

Involved on and off campus

Henderson is also active on campus and in the community. She is chief financial officer and a member of the board of trustees for Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church as well as a member of the Carbondale Community High School Education Foundation Board and SIU’s graduate chapter Gamma Kappa Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She is the owner and operator of Ellyse Expertise LLC, a company specializing in financial services and management, including budgeting, debt management, credit education and more. In addition, she has served on numerous committees including diversity, equity and inclusion-oriented groups as well as leadership, scholarship, admissions and student-centered committees.

Saluki Cares was launched during the 2009-2010 school year as a campuswide system to coordinate student care, intervention and referral. Since that time, hundreds of students have received assistance with everything from homesickness and academic tutoring to grief counseling or financial concerns and so much more.