Meet the Staff

Phillip R. Smith, Assistant Director for Programs

Phillip Smith, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, has been at Georgia State University since February 2012. He graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., with his bachelor of science in business administration and marketing in 2001. Phillip played on the NCAA Division II baseball team and stayed active on campus as he served as a student development counselor, HIV/AIDS trainer and activities coordinator. Phillip is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc.

After taking a trial run in the business industry, Phillip found his true passion “the ability to help young people develop during their college years.” In 2005, he decided to pursue his master’s in higher education administration at the University of Akron (Ohio), where he completed the two-year program in a year and a half. Phillip got his first taste of the student affairs field working as the graduate assistant for Greek life programs. Following graduation, Phillip has had the privilege to work at Wichita State University and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A true family man, Phillip spends his time away from work with his wife Qiana and children Kiara, Isaiah and Lyniah. Phillip advises the Spotlight Programs Board and supervises the Cinefest Film Theater.


Michelle Z. Canales, Student Affairs Advisor

Michelle Z. Canales is a native of Puerto Rico and was raised in Philadelphia. She attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in communication studies in 2010. Throughout her time at WCUPA, she was involved in residence life and housing, the office of Multicultural Affairs mentoring program and the Latin dance team. In 2012, after two years of experience in the sales and hospitality field, Michelle decided to return to school and pursue a master of science degree in college student affairs at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. At Nova Southeastern, she served as the graduate assistant for special events and projects in the office of student activities. In this role, Michelle embraced her desire for event planning, diversity issues and student-centeredness. Michelle is excited to become a part of the Georgia State University family and looks forward to working with Georgia State University’s Spotlight Programs Board as its newest advisor.


Samantha Sepulski, Student Affairs Advisor

Samantha grew up in Avon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and received her bachelor’s degree in communication and public relations from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. Throughout her undergraduate career, Samantha was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, college Panhellenic executive board, student government and various other student organizations, leading her to realize her passion for student affairs. She recently completed her master’s of education in higher education at The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). While at UNCW, Samantha worked as the graduate assistant for the association for campus entertainment, which is the student programming board at UNCW. In her role, she directly advised the spirit, concerts and special events and activities committees and all of their programming. During her time at UNCW, she also worked with new and returning student organizations and the formal registration process to become a registered student organization on campus. She is extremely passionate about student leadership development and programming and is thrilled to be a member of the Georgia State family!


Chinara “CC” Thomas, Administrative Coordinator

CC Thomas graduated from Georgia State University in 2006 with a bachelor of science in psychology. She currently assists the assistant director for programs with Spotlight Programs Board and other projects as assigned. She has been working with the Student Center since October 2007.