Previous Staff Spotlights

Scott Berozi

Scott Berozi

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Assistant Director of First Year Programs and Orientation, working with any programs that a first-year student would participate in both in the Orientation and Community Living worlds. Previously, I served as an Area Coordinator for two years. 

How long have you worked here? 
I have worked here for 3 years this July!

What do you like to do outside of work?
 I love anything in the field of entertainment, so movies, TV, music, and theater take up a lot of my time! I would consider myself a foodie, who loves to try new types of food. I love being able to hang out with friends/family and just relax when not in the busy times of year (which are rare!).

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
 1. I was on Homecoming Court in college, not as cool as High School, but fun nonetheless!
 2. I went to college with the hopes of being an Entertainment Journalist...maybe not so surprising considering my above hobbies. 
 3. To that end, I have seen over 110 Broadway shows and watch way too much television. Ask me about some of your favorites!
 4. I won a dance competition when on vacation in Jamaica. I was 8. And I won a t-shirt. 
 5. I some how have good luck when it comes to winning things, including the end of semester holiday party...three years running! 

Taneeta Bacon 

Taneeta Bacon

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Department Coordinator for the Department of Community Living.  I support DCL staff and help maintain the overall function of our office.  I respond to inquires and requests from our students and their parents on various residential issues via phone, email and in person.  I manage the reservation and use of residential hall common rooms for meetings and events.  And, as I learned from a student a couple years back, I am notoriously known for lock changes and notification I send out to residents who have lost or misplaced their keys, which is also a process I manage.

How long have you worked here? 
I have worked at Brandeis for 11 years, working as Department Coordinator of the Intercultural Center for the first 7 years.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I love traveling near and far to visit family.  I LOVE food - growing, cooking and eating it.  I also make lotions, creams and salves as a hobby.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
I have two beautiful and thoroughly entertaining grandchildren which some colleagues actually know since I feel it is my grandparently duty to "share" pictures every chance I get.

I am Caretaker of an organic farm where I actively help grow and care for a lot of the plants and animals I eat! YUM!

To compliment and balance my obvious love of food, I am queen of the "reduction plan" (never say diet!).  No carb, low carb, calories in-calories out, calorie burning, reading food labels for grams of fat, sodium, sugar, protein, preservatives - you name it!  I'm a bit of a fanatic in a healthy and responsible way.


Johnny Wilson

Johnny Wilson

What do you do at Brandeis?
I work in the the Department of Student Activities as the Operations Specialist. I supervise the Campus Center Team and the Usdan Game Room. I also process all room requests for the SCC and make sure the Campus Center is a safe and comfortable space for all students.

How long have you worked here? 
 I started in January of this year so I am still a baby as a Brandeis Staff member. However, I am a Brandeis Alumni, class of 2013 and TYP class of 2008 so I am very familiar with the campus.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of the Department of Student Activities, I am a DJ. I started my DJ career at Brandeis and now I DJ at clubs and venues all throughout Boston every weekend. I really enjoy music of all genres and spin all kinds of music from hip-hop, reggaeton, dancehall, EDM  to Country, Bhangra, Top40 and all types of Latin.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
Before I came to Brandeis, I was a Teacher and Athletic Director of Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester. I was also a graduate of Epiphany which would be a surprise in any other school but not at Epiphany. Many grads come back to give back in some way or form. Some teach, and some volunteer but that is what makes Epiphany such a great community.

Kerry Guerard

Kerry Guerard

What do you do at Brandeis?
 I am the Director of Student Rights and Community Standards.  I manage the conduct system for the University.

How long have you worked here? 
 I started as an interim staff member in September of 2104.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to cook, and find new recipes on Pinterest.  I love spending time with my family, specifically my nieces.  I love Crossfit and have been doing it for about a year.  I have done 2 competitions, and have 2 more coming up.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
1) Prior to starting Crossfit, I was a completely unathletic person.  Never played a sport, and hated the gym.  Now I Crossfit 5-6 days a week, and am pretty obsessed.  
2) I have a dog, Kaycee.  We rescued her almost 3 years ago, despite my lifelong commitment to never owning an animal.  Now I look at rescue dogs all the time and want to rescue more.  
3) I have 6 months to complete my "40 things to accomplish before I turn 40" bucket list.  It's going to be difficult to accomplish, but I am determined! 

Leigh Hilderbrandt

Leigh Hilderbrandt

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Marketing and Box Office Manager for the Department of Student Activities. I handle marketing for the department (websiteFacebook, Twitter, and printed materials) and manage Brandeis Tickets, the on-campus box office that provides ticket services for university events held throughout campus (theater and music performances, cultural shows, dance parties, lectures, conferences, and some off-campus trips and events).

How long have you worked here? 
I came to Brandeis in September 2000, serving as the Subscriptions Manager for the Department of Theater Arts. I moved over to Department of Student Activities in August 2011.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of Brandeis, my focus is on my family of rescue animals. In addition to my houseful of cats and dogs, I foster, volunteer, and advocate for local rescue groups. I'm particularly skilled at socializing shy and fearful pets. I also work as a personal trainer, specializing in working with seniors and members who are new to fitness, have been away from it for a while, or who are just looking for a change in the same old routine. In whatever time I may have leftover, I also enjoy the interesting challenges of doing projects in, on, and around my 295 year old house.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
1) Prior to buying my house in 2007, I moved 17 times in 18 years and, except for the nine additional moves I made while I was in college, I always had animals who moved with me, I never used professional movers, and I never broke anything. 
2) I'm a rather nostalgic and frugal person. I love to re-use and re-purpose old things. Many of the things in my house belonged to my grandparents.
3) I studied theater and visual arts at Penn State. I apply many of the building and design skills I learned backstage to my DIY projects at home. And, though I don't get to do artwork very often anymore, most of the drawings and paintings in my office and at my home are my own work. 
4) I had considered becoming a police officer and worked as a 911-Emergency dispatcher for five years--at a city agency, a university, and then as a 911-supervisor for a county sheriff's department, all in Florida.
5) I also considered becoming a veterinarian. After leaving 911, I worked as the clinic manager and vet assistant for six months at my animals' vet's office.

Jay MacDuffie

Jay MacDuffie

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Area Coordinator for Massell Quad and Rosenthal, which means I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of, and student development within, those areas.  This plays out in many different ways, but the most tangible and visible way is through the work I do advising and supervising the Community Advisors in my areas.  I would love to say that I have a major effect on the development of the students in my area, but most of that credit needs to go to the wonderful CAs with whom I work.  Outside of programming and supervision, one of my main responsibilities as an Area Coordinator is to work closely with the Director of Student Rights and Community Standards and oversee conduct cases that arise in my areas.

How long have you worked here? 
I've worked at Brandeis for 2 years and 3 months (first day was July 1, 2013), but it feels like I just got here.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to read fantasy literature.  My life changed the day I was introduced to Tolkein, Jordan, etc., and I hope it never stops having such a strong effect on me.  However, I don't read every night - on a typical Wednesday night, you can find me at Joe Sent Me playing trivia.  When possible, I love to reconnect on the weekends with friends from my undergraduate and graduate years at Boston College.  During the summer, when I have an abundance of free time, you can find me joining a recreational sports league and (sometimes) winning championships.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
1) I was a child model for Popeye-brand clothing.
2) I once stuffed an entire roll of Shock Tarts in my mouth at one time.
3) I passed up an opportunity to be in the classic film "My Best Friend's Girl," starring Dane Cook, Jason Biggs, and Kate Hudson.
4) I was once asked by Mr. Belding if I would want him as a principal.
5) I've lived in the Greater Boston Area for over 9 years and have never walked the Freedom Trail or been on a duck boat tour.

Jenny Abdou

Jenny Abdou

What do you do at Brandeis?
I have the pleasure of being the Director of Orientation, which means I am responsible for the creation and implementation of August and Midyear orientations. I also get to advise and supervise the August Orientation Core Committee and the Midyear Orientation Committee.  When people ask what my dream job is, this is it. I love working closely with students on programming and I also get to interact and work directly with almost every office on campus. Orientation is a campus-wide effort and everyone here is amazing to work with.


How long have you worked here?
 
I just celebrated my 8thanniversary of working at Brandeis on August 13. 

What do you like to do outside of work?
I have two very cute kids, Jake (almost 5) and Lexi (2) and a wonderful husband, Dave, that I spend the majority of my free time with. We like to play baseball and soccer in the backyard or have friends and neighbors over to hang out and relax. When I can sneak out without the kids, I enjoy doing “Mom’s Night Out” with a great group of girlfriends.  I am hoping to start traveling more now that the kids are older. Our first trip planned is to Great Wolf Lodge in October! 

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
  1. I have been to Disney World over 20 times.
  2. I saw Bon Jovi perform two nights in a row in two different states (MA and NJ).
  3. I walked the Jimmy Fund Marathon (the Boston Marathon route) when I was a junior in college.
  4. My middle name is Marie and so is my mom’s and my nana’s. Lexi’s middle name is also Marie – in case you were wondering.
  5. I was the captain of my high school softball team

Elba Valerio

Elba Valerio

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Program Coordinator for the Intercultural Center, which means that I advise 16 ICC Clubs and Organizations, the Programming Board, and oversee the Emerging Leaders Program. Along with my wonderful ICC Central Staff Team, I develop great programs through the ICC Presents Series. Past programs include: Salsa Siesta, Holidaze, Roadmap to Graduate School, and Women's Herstory Month Trivia Night. I love working at the Intercultural Center because we have the opportunity to educate the Brandeis family about the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as, advise students to become stronger leaders, which better  prepares them for Life Beyond Brandeis.

How long have you worked here? 
I have worked here for three wonderful years.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to take fitness classes, such as Zumba, Pilates, Total Body Blast, Swimming, and Insanity. I love spending time with my life partner, family, and friends. I have been attending many weddings and baby showers, and love when all of my friends and family get together to celebrate these wonderful moments together. I have a passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. My goal is travel to every continent, except Antarctica, before I turn 50. Finally, I am a HUGE Boston Sports Fan. I LOVE the Red Sox, Patriots, and the Celtics. I am not big on hockey fan, but still celebrate when the Bruins win.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
1. I am a highly-skilled Dominoes and Cribbage player
2. I love and am good at Math and Science
3. My life partner and I met 10 years ago during our time at City Year 
4. I am a dog lover
5. If I wasn't passionately in love with College Student Affairs, I would've been an amazing Doctor

 


Steve Pagios 

Steve Pagios

What do you do at Brandeis?
I am lucky enough to work in the Department of Student Activities as the Associate Director. In this role, I am the primary advisor to Student Events, the Student Service Bureau (SSB), and Cholmondeley's Coffeehouse. I also co-advise the Fall Fest family weekend program, as well as provide support to several other of our amazing student organizations. Oh, and you might know me from our Bingo or Trivia nights every first and third Thursday of the month, respectively. I kinda love working those! 


How long have you worked here?
I started here in January 2014. I am pumped to start another fall semester! 

What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a little obsessed with live music--I have seen about 25 concerts this year, with more coming for the fall! If I am not there, I'm trying to travel as much as I can--this year I visited Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland for the first time. Next up: Singapore. And if I want a break from music or traveling, as cliche as it sounds, I'm hanging out with friends and family! Whether it's heading back to Western Mass to see my four siblings or catching up with friends from various walks of life in Boston, I like to be up-to-date with the people I care about! 

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know
1. I have lived "full-time" in Texas, Ohio, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
2. From elementary school through college, I worked at my uncle's candle company (Pilgrim Candle Company). 
3. I was prom king--be jealous. 
4. I was once the Dunkin' Donuts "Fan of the Week," thus highlighted on their Facebook page. (And for Christmas that year, I printed out the picture and autographed it for everyone in my family.)

Tim Touchette

Tim Touchette
What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Director of Community Living here at Brandeis. Basically that means I'm responsible for everything residential. That encompasses our housing business operations (assignments, billing, roommate matching, facility upgrades/maintenance and our online system) as well as our residential education program (Area Coordinators, Community Advisors, Graduate Assistants, residence hall programming, hall councils, and coordinating residence hall conduct issues.) I truly enjoy working here at Brandeis and I feel like I have an opportunity to make a significant impact on our service delivery and student experience.

How long have you worked here?
I started working here at Brandeis last August, so I'm coming up on my first year anniversary. What a year it has been.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I LOVE to travel. I have been very lucky in my roles in and outside of Brandeis, in those roles I am able to travel extensively and I truly enjoy getting out there and seeing the world. I love spending time with my family, especially my husband Kurt, and our nephew Jaden. You will see Jaden with me on campus from time to time as he is an important part of our lives. I also love spending time near the water, bowling, and going to the movies. My favorite movie of all time is Fried Green Tomatoes, I know that may be random. I'm also a huge fan of Jurassic Park and Star Trek. It's such an array of eclectic cinematic events. My favorite food is my mother's lasagna. It is amazing and has some type of calming force on me.

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know
This question is always hard... facts that other's don't know about you:
1. I am an Eagle Scout
2. I speak French (Parisian)
3. That I am a fan of the above mentioned movies 
4. I have a fascination with technology and try to let it make life easier for everyone I encounter in some way shape or form.

Kelly Whiffen 

Kelly Whiffen
What do you do at Brandeis?
I am the Department Coordinator for the Department of Student Activities and Department of Community Service, and in that role, manage the front office phone calls and foot traffic for our suite. Among other things, I also supervise our Office Assistants, oversee the Commitment to Service Award program, manage club google sites and our vendor tabling program, sit on the Kindness Day committee and do much of the purchasing for our office and many student groups. Every day is very different though!
How long have you worked here?
5 years :-)

What do you like to do outside of work? 
Outside of work, I spend a lot of time involved with my church- I teach 2nd grade in the children's ministry and vary up other commitments there, including leading small groups, going on mission trips and sitting on different committees. I also love anything active, from working out at the Brandeis gym to obstacle course races to whitewater rafting (really anything with a bit of risk and adventure!). Beyond that, I love reading, playing board games, and of course spending time with friends and family. 

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know
1. I love tea and have been drinking it since the age of ONE.
2. I was a collegiate gymnast, specializing on uneven bars.
3. I am super afraid of worms and will use the light of my phone to light up the ground when it's dark and rainy out so I can then tiptoe around each and every worm….it takes me three times as long as it should to walk anywhere in the rain!
4. My favorite tv show is "60 Minutes," and I probably reference a 60 Minutes story at least once a week in conversation.
5. My faith in God is the driving force in my life and is behind what I do and the decisions I make.
 

Lucas Malo 

Lucas Malo

 

What do you do at Brandeis?
My role as Director of Community Service, like many positions in our division, has no two days that are alike.  I am blessed to work with students, colleagues, and community partners who are passionate about our home city of Waltham and aligning community interest with community need. The favorite aspects of my position are advising student leaders who are engaged in service and supporting positive town-gown relations. I also write grants, collaborate on events, support reflection, adapt risk management policies, and even feel like Enterprise van rental every now and then.  My most proud professional moments have been supporting the opening of the Prospect Hill Community Center and tripling the number of Brandeis students and community partnerships I am blessed to work beside the passionate Department of Community Service team. 

How long have you worked at Brandeis? 
July marks my 10 year anniversary! 

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my husband, daughter, and dog, volunteering, shopping for bargains, playing tennis, kayaking, running, traveling, watching reality TV, and eating every variety of desserts and candy. 

Please share interesting facts about yourself that others don't know?
As a child of a military family I have lived in more than 20 different homes. I've participated in more than 10 alternative spring breaks around the globe. My unpaid passions are real estate and car sales. My favorite store is TJMaxx which is the root of my dog, Maxx's name. When I eat a package of nerds I eat them one by one. ;-)