Meet the Staff of Academic Services
Lisa Boes: Dean of Academic Services
A native of the Midwest, Lisa began at Brandeis this fall. As the Dean of Academic Services, she oversees the cohesive network of peers, staff and faculty who provide academic advising and support services for undergraduate students. With a BA in Botany and an MA in College Student Personnel from Miami University (Ohio), as well as an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, her professional experiences in higher education span residential life, pedagogical training and academic advising. Most recently she served as a Resident Dean of one of Harvard’s residential Houses. She is particularly interested in student development and the civic purposes of undergraduate education. Dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the mission and values of Brandeis, Lisa serves on a number of campus committees, including the Committee on Academic Standing, the Committee in Support of Teaching, and the Provost's Advisory Committee on Assessment. Outside of work, Lisa volunteers with the Children’s Room in Arlington, MA, and is a hobby beekeeper who enjoys weekend trips to the Cape and learning about heirloom apples.
Talia Abrahams: Senior Department Coordinator
Talia hails from Weston, MA and is a graduate of Boston University. She holds a BA in psychology and is excited to apply her interests to her role as a Senior Department Coordinator for Academic Services. She assists both the class-based academic advisors and the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP) at Brandeis. Talia also coordinates and works with the Roosevelt Fellow program. Talia is currently pursuing her MA in Sociology at Brandeis. Outside of Brandeis, Talia enjoys seeing musicals, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with friends and family. You might even find her singing Karaoke from time to time.
Leah George: Department Coordinator, SSSP
Leah George joined Academic Services in July 2014 as the Department Coordinator for the Student Support Services Program. Leah earned her BS in Economics from Suffolk University and an MBA in Marketing from Bentley University. While at Suffolk, Leah worked as a Research Economist at The Beacon Hill Institute, the University’s public policy research institute. Also, while completing her MBA, she worked as a Researcher in Bentley’s Advancement Services Office. She has recently reentered the workforce after staying home with her 2 children. In her “spare time” she enjoys hiking, biking and curling up with a good book.
David Gruber: Academic Advisor, Class-Based Advising
David joined Brandeis in 2013, and is the primary advisor for students with last names beginning K-N. As an advisor, his goals are to help students ask good questions about their academic goals and get the most out of their college experience. David has worked in higher education since 2001, and prior to arriving at Brandeis, served on both the faculty and the academic advising staff at Bard College. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Denver, an MA in English from the University of New Hampshire, and a BA in Literature from Bard College. Outside of advising, David enjoys exploring his new hometown of Boston and cultivating the luxuriant plot of books on his “to read” shelf.
Lisa Hardej: Academic Advisor, Class-Based Advising
Lisa works with students whose last names begin with A-E. In addition, she is the coordinator of the Roosevelt Fellows peer advising program. Her approach to advising emphasizes the importance of the holistic student experience. Lisa holds an A.B. from Bowdoin College in Gender and Women’s Studies and a M.A. in Counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Brandeis, Lisa has worked in residence life, academic support and advising, and counseling at Allegheny College, Emmanuel College, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Cheshire Academy. In her free time, Lisa enjoys yoga, spending time outside with her two dogs, Miller and Thompson, and visiting Maine, her home away from home!
Kerri Hoppe: Senior Department Coordinator
Kerri joined the Academic Services team in August 2014 as a Senior Department Coordinator. Prior to Brandeis, she served as the Graduate Fellow in the Writing Center at Merrimack College, where she also received her M.Ed. in Higher Education. At Merrimack she also served as a Graduate International Assistant and a member of the Student Conduct Board. Before coming to Massachusetts from Western NY, she obtained her M.S. in Inclusive Education from Nazareth College and taught English at the secondary level. Kerri also holds a B.A. in English and Theater from Muhlenberg College. Outside of work, she enjoys the Red Sox, traveling, musical theater, reading, watching television, and spending time with friends and family.
Misty Huacuja-LaPointe: Director, Pre-Health Advising
Misty started at Brandeis in 2010 and is the program manager for the Lerman-Neubauer Fellows, Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars and other Brandeis University merit scholars. As such, she works with students on academic advising and building community amongst high achieving students. Misty is committed to helping students make the most of their opportunities while at Brandeis and encouraging them to reach for their goals. Misty is originally from Houston, Texas and retains her use of "yall" as well as her enjoyment of spicy cuisine. Her professional career began in 1999 and has taken Misty to Minnesota, Iowa, and Massachusetts. It has also provided her with the opportunity to learn the correct pronunciation of Minnesota (Minnesooooota) as well as take to calling coke/soda, "pop". In her spare time, Misty enjoys spending time with her family, photography, traveling, and cooking. An unabashed foodie, Misty can talk your ear off about recipes and spices, and is always interested in hearing about new restaurants or foods to try. She has completed two triathlons, but now has a hard time finding time to train. Misty holds a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Grinnell College and a Master's in Education from Iowa State University.
Katherine Julian: Program Advisor, Student Support Services
Katie Julian joined Academic Services in February 2014 as the Program Advisor for the Student Support Services program. Katie is a "double eagle," earning her bachelor's degree in communications and her master's degree in higher education administration from Boston College. While at BC, she participated in a program similar to SSSP and later worked there as a graduate assistant. Katie has also held roles in academic advising, orientation, residence life, career services and a summer bridge program. She is especially interested in the transition to college for first-generation and low-income students as well as their career development during and after college. In her free time, Katie enjoys following Boston sports, running, and relaxing on Cape Cod, where she grew up working in her family's pizza restaurant!
Brian Koslowski: Acting Director, Class-Based Advising
Brian started off his career at Brandeis as a Community Development Coordinator (CDC) in Massell and Village Quads. As Associate Director of Class-Based Advising, Brian is the academic advisor for students with last names beginning T-Z. He coordinates the Brandeis Undergraduate Group Study (BUGS) program, and works closely with the English Language Program and the International Students and Scholars Office. He has a B.A. in Psychology and Communication and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Brian has held positions in Residence Life, Admissions, Orientation, and Pre-College programs at UMass Amherst, NYU, and Brown University. Brian belongs to NACADA (The Global Community for Academic Advising) and is a member of the Emerging Leaders Program cohort 2013-2015. Brian is passionate about social justice education, college access, and student leadership. In his free time, Brian participates in bootcamp classes and teaches spinning (group cycling) in the greater Boston area.
Nicole Labrecque: Department Coordinator
Nicole joined the Academic Services team at Brandeis in 2012. Nicole assists with Disability Services and Support and Pre-Health Advising. Prior to working at Brandeis, Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Judaic Studies from University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She then went on to complete a Master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs in 2012. Previously, Nicole has served as a Project Manager for a promotional products company, Next Level Promotions. She has also served as an intern for Enrollment and Student Services at North Shore Community College. In her free time Nicole enjoys live music, dancing, camping, working with computers and reading a variety of books -- sometimes all at the same time.
Elena Lewis: Assistant Director, TRIO Student Support Services Program
Elena Lewis began working at Brandeis in June of 2004. Before her arrival to Brandeis she served as the Counseling Coordinator and Critical Thinking Instructor for Student Support Services at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA. She credits SSSP and the McNair TRIO programs as influential resources that guided her through her undergraduate degree from Westfield State University in Mass Communications. Elena earned her Master's degree in Sociology here at Brandeis where she researched gender, race, and class inequality and reconciliation efforts to promote equity in the U.S. For the past 10 years, her passion for working with students makes coming to work a privilege. She says, "I learn from students am inspired by them everyday." Aside from being a tech fanatic, watching movies, eating out, and collecting frogs are hobbies she enjoys in her spare time.
Katy McLaughlin: Academic Advisor, Class-Based Advising
Katy works with students whose last names begin with F-J. She joined the Academic Services team in 2010 as the SSSP Department Coordinator, left to pursue a master’s degree, and returned in 2014 as an Academic Advisor. Katy holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Tufts University and an Ed.M. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Katy is particularly interested in issues related to college access and persistence, the first-year student experience, and social justice. In her free time, Katy enjoys playing with her dog Riley, spending time outdoors, playing strategy board games, reading literature, and exploring new places.
Julia Moffitt Mani: Academic Advisor, Class-Based Advising
Julia joined the Academic Services team at Brandeis in 2012, and works with students whose last names begin with O-S. She is also the coordinator for the Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM), which allows students the opportunity to develop a unique course of study. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she first discovered her passion for working with students in rural South Dakota, where she worked as a high school social studies teacher with Teach for America. Since 2006, she has worked at a range of institutions, from Portland Community College in Oregon to Harvard University and Bennington College in Vermont. At the same time she has developed a background in academic advising, study abroad advising, career services, and disability services. Julia holds a B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Ed. M. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her free time, Julia enjoys running, baking, road trips, and reading fiction.
Meredith Monaghan: Director of Academic Fellowships
Meredith was a professor of Classics at Reed College and Boston College before coming to Brandeis as Director of Academic Fellowships in 2010. She earned an MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. from Stanford, but her fondest memories are of her days as an undergraduate at Bowdoin College, where she met her husband Pete. She loves working directly with students, especially helping them to discern, and then achieve, their goals. She has lived in Greece and Italy, and before she became a mom she used to enjoy traveling, scuba diving, and snow-boarding. Now her adventures are of the more domestic variety: cooking, playing in the yard, and going to the library with daughter Lorelei and son Brandon.
Jennifer was a university Counselor and Part-time Faculty member in the School of Social Work at San José State University (SJSU) before arriving at Brandeis in Fall 2014. At SJSU, she created a campus-wide outreach program called GENERATE to support first-generation college students, which was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She has served as a research mentor to four TRiO McNair scholars. A first generation college student herself, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in Divinity at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Jennifer also holds a Masters in Social Work and a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her dissertation on first-generation college students and stressful circumstances. Jennifer loves music, spoken word poetry, knitting, and running, as well as spending time with her husband Richard, who is a stained glass artist, and her cat Willow.
Kerry Patenaude: Assistant Director, Disabilities Services and Support
Kerry joined the Academic Services team in 2011 as a Disabilities Specialist, where she provides individual academic support to students at Brandeis particularly as they transition from high school to their first year of college. She holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Technology Management with a focus on Education, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at Lesley University, with a specialization in Adult Learning and a particular focus on learning differences and how learning happens in the brain. Prior to Brandeis, Kerry was the Assistant Director of Student Support Services at Boston University School of Medicine where her role included supporting all students in improving their study strategies and facilitating the process of obtaining accommodations for students with disabilities. Kerry has also taught English & Social Studies at the high school level, Math at the junior high level, and has years of experience as a tutor for students with disabilities from the elementary through higher education levels. In her free time, Kerry enjoys live music, anything on the water, and spending time with family & friends, as well as exploring new places, trying new things, and meeting new people.
A native of upstate New York, Beth came to Brandeis in 2005, and has been working in higher education since 1989. Beth holds a BA in English and an EdM in Reading, Language and Learning Disabilities, and was a high school English and Language Arts teacher for five years. At Brandeis, she determines accommodations and services to ensure that students with disabilities are supported to compete and achieve their full potential on our campus. She also provides individual support to many students and works to increase the level of knowledge about disabilities on campus. Beth has expanded her work to the international arena, and, for one year, did voluntary service in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she worked with school-age kids and their families.
Jodi Rosenblatt: Disability Services Specialist
Jodi is thrilled to join the Brandeis family as the Disabilities Specialist and is looking forward to assisting student experience their best academic potential. She holds a B.A in Psychology from the University of Maryland and an M.A in Professional Counseling from Lesley University. Jodi’s work experience includes providing counseling to high school students with diagnoses of learning challenges as well as to clients ranging from childhood to middle adulthood at an outpatient mental health clinic. She has also worked with at-risk youth and college students with a variety of learning differences, physical needs, and mental health challenges. In her spare time, Jodi enjoys singing with her choir (especially at Red Sox games!), feasting on both food and books, traveling near and far, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Erika Smith: Director of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program
Since 2004, Erika Smith has served as the Director of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP), a one-year academic program for outstanding high school graduates who have not had access to high quality educational resources prior to college attendance. In this role, she oversees the development and delivery of the program's instructional and academic support program, co-curricular programming, and advises students through and beyond their time in the program. As a member of the university’s Academic Services office, Erika also provides academic advising to students outside of the MKTYP, serves on the Executive Council of the Committee on Academic Standing, and the university’s First Year Experience Committee. Prior to serving as the program’s director, Erika served as Program Coordinator, and a math instructor in the MKTYP. She has been on the program’s staff, and at Brandeis, since 2000. Erika holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from her undergraduate institution, where she matriculated as a Posse scholar (a merit leadership scholarship program that sends groups of students to top-tier colleges and universities). Erika also holds an EdM in Education Policy and Management, and is a PhD candidate in Social Policy at Brandeis’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. When Erika is not working (or studying), she likes to dance, run, and spend time with friends and family.
Elizabeth Teurlay: Program Advisor, Lerman-Neubauer Fellowship
Elizabeth is the Program Advisor for the Lerman-Neubauer Fellowship Program. She comes to Brandeis University most recently from Boston College where she served as a Resident Director. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Occidental College and a Master's of Education in Student Affairs from the University of California at Los Angeles. A California native, Elizabeth has come to appreciate the beauty of the different New England seasons. She has also become an avid Boston sports fan and particularly enjoys cheering on the Patriots and the Red Sox. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys swing dancing, running, and trying new cupcake recipes.
Abby Voss: Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising
Abby Voss began working in Academic Services in February 2014 as the Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising. Prior to taking this position at Brandeis, Abby worked as a health professions academic advisor at Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI) and Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida (Port Orange, FL). She enjoys helping students navigate their collegiate experience, as well as assisting them in their preparation to pursue health related programs and professions. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and went on to complete her Master’s degree in higher education administration at Grand Valley State University. In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring local restaurants, and shopping.