Meet Our Team

Here to Help Our Students Grow in Faith and the Love of Christ

The Newman Catholic Community has an outstanding team of dedicated ministers and chaplains, all of whom are determined to help our students get the most out of their faith as they continue their journey in college. Our goal is to provide an inclusive environment where ministers are able to find connection with their students in a diversity of ways--from one-to-one conversation and small group discussion to community-wide educational and social events.


Robin Black-Rubenstein

Director of Campus Ministry | 618-402-3107

As the Director and a lay minister, Robin offers spiritual direction and guidance to students and is responsible for the business and day to day operations of the Newman Center. Robin is a Spiritual Director, and Certified Grief Counselor. She has a MA in Pastoral Studies from Aquinas Institute St. Louis as well as a master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction, and Grief Counseling.  Her undergrad degree is in youth development.  

Favorite quote from Pope Francis- “It is good that you exist.” Every person has intrinsic value, regardless of what they produce, or how they look, or if they have it all together. It echoes what God said in Genesis: “God looked at everything he had made and found it very good.” 

Office Hours

Mon - Wed 9am - 4pm

Thurs 9am - 6pm

Fri 9am - 12pm

Or by appointment

Sean Barth

Campus Minister | 618-402-0965

After having spent a number of years as an active atheist, Sean began working in ministry in the early 2000's. Since then he has worked in service to the homeless, victims of intimate partner violence, the people of rural Haiti, at-risk teens, and perhaps most importantly: young adults in college. He was born and raised in Bloomington, IL and has earned a BA in Philosophy from Eastern Illinois University as well as an MA in Theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. 
Outside of his work at SIUe Sean can typically be found with his wife and three young children at their home in South Saint Louis. He enjoys woodcarving, telling stories, drinking coffee, playing the banjo and reading hefty books. His research interests are in Patrisitics, theological aesthetics, forgotten prayers, and the "Catholic Imagination."  He is a member of the Rosary Confraternity and has special devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to St. Joseph.

Office Hours

Thurs 4:30pm- 11pm

Fr. Rob Johnson

Chaplain | 618-344-6464

Fr. Rob was born and raised in Illiopolis, IL and after high school attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he majored in Biology. After he graduated, he worked for two years as a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary in Lincoln, Nebraska and then spent six years studying at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago. “Through the Goodness and Grace of God I was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ for our Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on May 26, 2018. I serve as chaplain at SIUE, Pastor at Mother of Perpetual Help in Maryville, and Associate Director of the Office for Vocations. My loyalties are with the Fighting Illini and St. Louis Cardinals and I love to read, watch sports and movies, spend time with friends and family, and I especially love to hunt and fish. I love being a priest and look forward to helping each other become Saints.  God bless you!” -Fr. Rob Johnson 

Office Hours

By appointment

Nancy Jatcko

Director of Advancement | 618-402-2617

A lifelong Catholic and mother of five, Nancy has worked on numerous fundraising campaigns over two decades. She most recently served as chairperson at her parish on the building campaign for Father McGivney Catholic High School in Glen Carbon, IL. Previously, she assisted in securing major gifts for the building campaign for Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, GA. She has also been responsible for many other parish fundraising initiatives at parishes in Georgia, Illinois and Connecticut. She and her husband Jim have worked on many marriage preparation programs, and she has served as a formator, facilitator and speaker for various Catholic women’s study groups. An accomplished artist having studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, her paintings depicting important events in the life of St. Boniface hang in her parish church, St. Boniface in Edwardsville, IL. Additionally, her portraits of St. John Paul II, Venerable Augustus Tolton, St. Clare of Assisi and St. Cecilia were also recently dedicated and hang there. 

Office Hours

Mon - Thurs 9:00am - 3pm

Maggie Deckard

Student Worker 

Maggie Deckard is currently a senior at SIUE, majoring in Early Childhood Education.  She grew up in Springfield, IL, where she attended Christ the King Grade School and Sacred Heart Griffin High School.  She participated in student ambassadors, spring musicals, tennis, and several other clubs throughout her high school career.  She also had the opportunity to serve on two mission trips during her Sophomore and Junior year of high school. When she came to SIUE, she fell in love with the Newman Catholic Community and all the people in it.  This community gave her a place to come to in all the craziness that happens in college.  It has become a home to her.  She is so excited to be able to work as the Outreach Director for SIUE Newman Catholic Community. Some of her passions include helping others, writing poetry, participating in book studies, and co-hosting the podcast “Bold Moves for Real Life” with two of her best friends.  Her favorite bible verse is “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” -Romans 12:2.

Mackenzie Kot

Student Worker

Mackenzie Kot is a senior majoring in Public Relations. As the Media Communications Director for the Cougar Catholic Newman Community, she assists Robin with emails, scheduling, social media posts, and managing the groupme. She is a friend first to everyone on campus and is always happy to sit down and chat. The Cougar Catholic Newman Community has helped her strengthen her relationship with Christ in a new and practical way. She loves encountering Christ on retreats, in Adoration, through nature, and of course in a friendly game of spikeball. Her goal for this year is to engage with all students at Community events while pursuing her identity in Christ.