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.
J. Scott Van Der Meid: Assistant Dean of Academic Services and Director of Study Abroad
Scott has directed the study abroad program at Brandeis University since 1999. Prior to his time at Brandeis he worked for several years in Boston University's Office of International Programs. Scott received his B.A. in History and German Literature with a concentration in Asia in the Modern World from Allegheny College and his M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. He studied in West Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany's eventual unification. Scott also studied and worked for several years in Tokyo, Japan. He has been to over 45 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Professionally Scott has served on several national advisory boards in the field of international education including Arcadia University's National Advisory Board, IFSA-Butler's Executive Council of the National Advisory Council and SIT Study Abroad's Partnership Council. He is past Co-Chair of the NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group and served as a founding member of the Forum on Education Abroad's Advisory Council. Other national committee involvement included NAFSA's Committee on Underrepresentation in Education Abroad, the SECUSSA Data Collection Working Group, the CIEE Nomination's Committee, the IES Membership Committee, the Forum on Education Abroad's Data Committee and Forum on Education Abroad's Ethics Working Group. He currently serves on the IES Institutional Membership Committee and is a member of the Advisory Board for the NAFSA Rainbow SIG.
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 Transitional Year Program at Brandeis. Talia also coordinates and works with the Roosevelt Fellow program. 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.
After spending several years living and working in southern China, Gillian moved back to her native New England and began working at Brandeis in 2009. Gillian enjoys advising and getting to know Brandeis's amazing international students! Gillian holds a BA in Anthropology and Asian Studies (with a concentration in Chinese) from Mount Holyoke College as well as a TEFL Certification for Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Peking University. A food enthusiast, Gillian loves to cook and host dinner parties for family and friends.
Ruth Brigham: Senior International Students Advisor, ISSO
Ruth joined the Brandeis community in 2001 with extensive international experience and education. Prior to Brandeis, she was the director and a teacher in an ESL program for an organization called ACCESS in Boston’s Chinatown. She also taught ESL classes for a summer in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and, while there, enjoyed traveling in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. She recalls her most amazing adventure as doing relief work in Colombia for three months. With a BS in French and minor in Spanish, and a MA in TEFL and Intercultural Studies, Ruth advises international students concerning travel and employment, and also organizes workshops for the ISSO. To add to her international experience, Ruth lived in various European countries for over 8 years.
Alisha began working at Brandeis in November 2012. She comes from a small town in Ohio and was fortunate to have a high school Spanish teacher who first took her out of the country to both Costa Rica and Spain. She holds a B.A. from Miami University in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs and a M.Ed. with a specialization in higher education administration from Northeastern University. As a student, Alisha studied abroad for a semester in Luxembourg and also spent a summer in Costa Rica doing volunteer work. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Alisha worked with faculty-led study abroad programs at both EF College Study Tours and the Office of Lifelong Learning at Miami University and most recently worked in Graduate Admissions at New England College of Business and Finance.
David Elwell: Director, International Students and Scholars Office
David’s roots in higher education run deep, as both of his parents worked as faculty and staff at a university in his home state of New Hampshire. David himself has been working in higher education since 1992, and began working at Brandeis in 2000. With a BA in Political Science and Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture, and a MPA in Public Administration (Intercultural Communication/Human Resources Management), David has extensive international experience. His main responsibilities include providing advising and programming support to the approximately 900 international students and 175 international scholars/professors/researchers at Brandeis, and helping international population adjust to life in the U.S. He also serves as Brandeis’ designated school official to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State. His favorite Brandeis memory was traveling to New Orleans with a group of Wien Scholars to aid in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. His interest in all-things-international was spurred on as a teen when David first traveled abroad to Europe as a member of American soccer team. He now enjoys traveling to new places with his wife and daughter.
Amanda grew up in Connecticut and happily resides in Concord, Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in History and American Culture Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.A. in History from the University of Maryland. Through her work at Brandeis, she continues to pursue her passion in education. Along with her collegiate experience and educational pursuits, she enjoys spinning/cycling, tennis, weekend trips with her husband, and social planning.
Gerardo Garcia-Rios: Director, Student Support Services Program
A native of Mexico, Gerardo has been working in higher education since 2003, and joined the Brandeis community as Director of SSSP in 2005. His primary role is to oversee the enrollment, advising, management, and supervision of the program, and to offer support to first-generation college students throughout their time here. With a BA in Psychology and Philosophy, and a MSW in Clinical Counseling, Gerardo was the first person in his family to attend college, where he was also an avid soccer player.
David joined Brandeis in 2013, and is the primary advisor for students with last names beginning L-Q. 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.
Allyson W. Goose: Assistant Director, Study Abroad
Allyson started her work in the Office of Study Abroad in June 2008, bringing with her extensive experience in international and experiential education. Prior to coming to Brandeis she served as an advisor and resident coordinator, delivering leadership development programs, organizing community service projects and counseling students on job skills. In addition, she has taught English in Unoke, Japan and Cuenca, Ecuador. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and a B.A. in Anthropology. As a student, she studied abroad in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. Allyson is responsible for advising first years and sophomores, coordinating summer study abroad and managing tuition payments.
Lisa works with students whose last names begin with A-E. In addition, she is a representative on the Junior/Senior Year Experience team, which provides programs and events specifically for the junior and senior classes. 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 Boston Terrier, Miller, and visiting Maine, her home away from home!
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.
Brian Koslowski: Associate Director, Class-Based Advising
Brian comes to Academic Services after serving as a Community Development Coordinator (CDC) in Massell and Village Quads here at Brandeis University. Brian is the Academic Advisor for International students and for students whose last names begin with W-Z. He also coordinates the Brandeis Undergraduate Group Study (B.U.G.S.) program on campus. 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 is passionate about social justice education, college access, and student leadership. In his free time, Brian teaches group cycle (spinning) classes on campus and in the greater Boston area. He also enjoys running, live music, and cupcakes.
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 began working at Brandeis in June of 2004. She coordinates the SSSP Scholarship, the Laptop Loan program, the Reference Library and Textbook Loan Resources, among other duties. Before her arrival to Brandeis she served as the Counseling Coordinator and Critical Thinking Instructor for Student Support Services. She credits Student Support Services and McNair as influential programs that guided her through her own undergraduate degree in Mass Communications. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Sociology here at Brandeis, where she is researching gender, race, and class inequality and reconciliatory efforts to promote equity. For the past 8 years, her passion for working with students makes coming to work every day worthwhile. When she is not at work, she volunteers with a New England regional non-profit organization promoting spiritual health and well being for college students. Aside from being a tech fanatic, shopping, watching movies, eating out, and listening to music are hobbies she enjoys in her spare time.
Katie McFaddin: Director, Class-Based Advising
A native of Ohio, Katie came to Brandeis in 2010. As the primary contact for Brandeis students whose last names begin with F-K, Katie is committed to helping students navigate their college experience. She is also a co-coordinator of the Roosevelt Fellows. Katie earned a BA in Geography and Urban Planning from Miami University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from the University of Oregon. She has worked in higher education since 2004.Outside of work, Katie enjoys knitting, biking, hiking, and visiting friends and family across the country.
Julia joined the Academic Services team at Brandeis in 2012, and works with students whose last names begin with R-V. She also serves as a representative on the Sophomore Year Experience committee (SYE), which coordinates events and programs for the sophomore class. 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.
Alessandra Monteiro: Program Advisor, Student Support Services Program
Alessandra was born and raised in Dorchester, MA, although her family is originally from the Cape Verde islands. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. As the Program Coordinator for SSSP, Alessandra organizes the peer mentoring program, arranges many cultural enrichment activities for the students, and manages a small caseload of first year advisees. Alessandra enjoys eating foods such as sushi, chocolate chip cookies, and black raspberry ice cream, and also loves spending time with her Chihuahua. Outside of work, Alessandra is an avid dancer who has practiced many different forms of dance over the past 16 years
A native of Morocco, Souad has been working in higher education since 2003. In 2011, she received a Master of Science in Higher Education at the University of Rochester Warner School of Education and Human Development in Rochester, NY, with a focus on international student services. Souad came to Brandeis after serving as a Technical Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, overseeing laboratory management and coordination, including support to its faculty, researchers, and students, as well as administrative duties. In her spare time, Souad enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, swimming, hiking, and traveling. Souad chose to work for the International Students and Scholars Office because she believes that diversity in higher education is a way to make students not only knowledgeable about other individuals of a different race and culture, but also to accept them as a part of a cohesive society. She also believes that a welcoming environment is important to all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
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.
Beth Rodgers-Kay: Director, Disabilities Services and Support
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 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.
Bonnie is the newest member the ISSO team. Her background includes a BA in Spanish and a minor in Psychology. She also has a master’s degree in Education. Bonnie has spent many years teaching English and living abroad in Seville, Spain. Her unique educational experiences, love for travel, and love for all cultures have led her to the globalized Brandeis University. For Bonnie, one of the best things about working at Brandeis is that there is an opportunity to connect with so many wonderful students, staff, and faculty from all over the world. In Bonnie’s spare time, she loves to travel, flamenco dance, and spend 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.
Emily Stewart: SEVIS/PASS Administrator, ISSO
Emily moved from California in 2009 to pursue her Master's degree in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute, which she earned in 2011. For a year and a half Emily supported international students and scholars as the Department Coordinator of the ISSO. In the summer of 2012 Emily transitioned to the role of SEVIS/PASS Administrator in the ISSO. Emily now maintains the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and provides visa and immigration support to all of Brandeis' amazing international students. Emily loves working at the ISSO because every time she meets someone new, she wants travel to their country. This means she has a long list to get through over the next several years! In addition to meeting new people, she enjoys playing tennis, reading, and going to the beaches back in California. Emily holds a BA in Linguistics and Liberal Studies from California State University-San Marcos.
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.
Amber joined the Academic Services team in 2012 and brings with her extensive experience and knowledge of the field of international education. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Amber served as a Program Manager at Boston University Study Abroad, a Study Abroad Advisor at Northwestern University, and coordinated and served as on-site director of programs in Costa Rica and Mexico with Interamerican University Studies Institute in Eugene, OR. She received an MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in 2008 and a BA from the University of Oregon in Political Science in 2002, where she had her first experience abroad at the Universidad Autonoma de Querétaro in Mexico in 2000. In addition to her role at Brandeis, Amber serves as co-chair of the Boston Area Study Abroad Association. Amber manages both the Justice Brandeis Semester as well as our own Brandeis Study Abroad Programs.