Our Staff

Gerardo Garcia-Rios
Director

Gerardo Garcia-Rios has been working at Brandeis University since 2005. He graduated from Duquesne University and then moved to Boston to work at an alternative high school in the Boston Public School system. He received his MSW from Boston College and continued to work with inner city high school students. Prior to coming to Brandeis, he worked in admissions at a small college in the Boston where he oversaw the recruitment of high school students from the Boston area, many of whom were primarily the first in their families to go to college. Gerardo is the first in his family to go to college and the only one to have received a Masters degree. As the Director of the Student Support Services Program, he advises students throughout their college career. Gerardo enjoys reading and biking in his spare time.  

Elena Lewis
Assistant Director

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.

Katherine Julian
Program Advisor

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!