Meet the Staff of Academic Services
Lisa Boes: Dean of Academic Services
A native of the Midwest, Lisa came to Brandeis in the fall of 2013. 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, service-learning pedagogy, 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, the Title IX committee and the Care Team. 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 also completed her MA in Sociology at Brandeis. Outside of Brandeis, Talia enjoys seeing musicals, playing with her puppy, 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.
Lisa Hardej: Senior Academic Advisor
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 joined the Academic Services team in 2010 and became the Director for Pre-Health Advising in 2013. She enjoys working with students as they pursue their dreams of a career in the Health Professions. 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. 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, Academic 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-Blue: Program Manager, Pre-Health Advising
Nicole joined the Academic Services team at Brandeis in 2012. Nicole is the Program Manager for 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.
Julia joined the Academic Services team at Brandeis in 2012, and works with students whose last names begin with N-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.
Katie joined the Academic Services team in 2010. Originally from Ohio, she holds a BA in Geography and Urban Planning from Miami University of Ohio and an MA in Arts Management from the University of Oregon. Her experience working in higher education includes first-year programming and service-learning, but it's academic advising that she enjoys most. She loves working with students throughout their time at Brandeis and helping them navigate their academic paths. Outside of work, Katie likes to knit, bike, and enjoy the outdoors with her family.
Katy McLaughlin: Academic Advisor
Katy works with students whose last names begin with E-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.
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 first-year academic program for students who have shown outstanding intellectual and personal strength, but have had limitations to their pre-college educational opportunities. 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 Kindness Day 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 Lehigh University, 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 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management. When Erika is not working, she likes to take West African dance classes, meditate, do yoga, run, and spend time with friends and family.
Elizabeth Teurlay: Program Advisor, Lerman-Neubauer Fellowship
Elizabeth joined the Brandeis staff in Fall 2013 as the Program Advisor for the Lerman-Neubauer Fellowship Program. She also serves as the Program Advisor for the MLK Scholars and is part of the Fellowship Advising team. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College and a M. Ed. in Student Affairs from the University of California at Los Angeles. Elizabeth has worked previously as a Program Coordinator at the Institute for Educational Advancement and as a Resident Director at Boston College. Elizabeth is especially interested in student leadership and experiential leaning opportunities. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, running, and taking her dog Riley to the dog park.
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.