Meet The Basic Needs Team

​​T​he Basic Needs and Community Connections team – also known as "Connections" for short – is here to support you with all your basic needs.


Daniel Birckbichler

7 Years of Experience

"I am passionate about giving students tools, skills and resources that empower their achievement and community involvement. The growth that higher education enables is why I come to work every day."

Kimberly Blevins, MRC

"I am a master-level rehabilitation counselor (MRC), and I love helping students overcome barriers on their path to success. I spent 10 years as an educator and a team lead in a private school setting. I also spent two years as a transition vocational rehabilitation counselor for Dallas ISD students who were diagnosed with disabilities that may present obstacles in their transition from high school to the next chapter in their lives.."

Bridney Casteel

7 Years of Experience

"I chose this because I remember being a mother and was trying to figure out life with a newborn. I can relate to how hard it was to look for resources and continue to stay focus. I want to help students to strongly see their vision and have hope to accomplish their goals as well as provide students with resources. I want to help them stay the course and see it through."

Sebastian Castillo

"As a first-generation college graduate, obtaining a postsecondary education transformed the way I think, connected me to lifelong relationships, and developed my confidence. As a case manager with Dallas College, I aim to empower others to overcome life's challenges and become the best versions of themselves."

Wendy Garner

10 Years of Experience

"I am passionate about walking with students while connecting them to resources because I, too, was once in college. I understand the challenges of seeking your academic dreams. Now, I delight in taking what I learned and helping students balance their unique situations."

De'ja Jones

4 Years of Experience

"My passion has always been to help others overcome obstacles they may be facing. No one should have to feel lost and alone at any time. 'No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another,' said Charles Dickens, and it is one of my favorite quotes. It's always a pleasure for me to assist others in accomplishing their goals. As a case manager, I strive to be a valuable resource who leads to outstanding results."

Kerrie Kenner

20+ Years of Experience

"My job allows me to promote student care, offer student support and make a personal connection with students. I can reduce students' worries by offering them easy access to resources that lessen their burdens, eliminate barriers and allow them to concentrate on completing college."

Beatriz Martinez

"It is an honor to assist students in their academic journey by providing support, encouragement and most of all, hope. My passion is to motivate and inspire students to achieve their academic goals, overcome barriers and envision a future they never imagined before."

LaShae Miller, B.S.W.

"I have been in the helping profession since 2016. I am dedicated to providing assistance to people to improve their quality of life. I am aware of the various support systems on campus and enjoy working with students in higher education to provide resources, support and knowledge."

Alma Olguin

"I love working with students because I can relate to them and see myself in them. I am a first-generation college student, and my parents went through a lot of hardships to get my siblings and I to where we are now. I want to be that individual to help students and remove barriers that are getting in the way of their success. Growing up I always knew my calling was to serve others in any capacity and I know being a resource for students here at Dallas College I am not only serving and helping the student, but I am also helping their family, children and anyone that is personally connected to that individual student."

Eileen Sahlstedt

6 Years of Experience

"I love that I get to witness the impact that our hard-working department has on the lives of the students we serve. It is amazing to see them utilize the resources we provide to overcome barriers and become more successful students."

Dana Saunders

20 Years of Experience

"I love the excitement a student has when they have accomplished their goals. To see that excitement reflected on their faces brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment knowing I helped make a difference in someone's life."

Marie "Deni" Snyder

3 Years of Experience

"My core belief is that every student deserves the right to an education and basic needs. Every day I wake up I get to help our students and surrounding community make that belief a reality. I have been provided many opportunities in life, and now my job is to provide opportunities for our students. ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ Now my path in life is to serve others, and it is my pleasure to work for the Dallas College community."

Brittney Verdell, LMSW

10 Years of Experience

"To be an instrumental player in a student's journey is not only a passion, but a calling. I enjoy being able to provide students with resources so they can feel empowered. It is rewarding for me to see students succeed because I remember being in their shoes."