Lori Tenser joined the Brandeis community as dean of academic support and advising in August 2022. She is not new to the Brandeis community, as she had previously worked at Brandeis in several roles from 1989-2005, including three years as assistant dean of student life. Lori served at Wellesley College as the dean of first-year students from 2005-18, and later as the associate dean for academic integration and advising. With experience in both student and academic affairs, Lori’s career has been focused on the connections between academic and co-curricular experiences, and on empowering students to embrace their identities and achieve their aspirations.
Lori earned her BA in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, her master's degree in education from Harvard University, and her PhD in higher education from Boston College. Her dissertation, focusing on the experiences of students who have taken a gap year, was entitled "Stepping Off the Conveyor Belt: Gap Year Effects on the First-Year College Experience."
Lori lives in Needham with her husband, Alan, and their dog, Gracie. Their three grown children are also connected to Brandeis, having spent their toddler years at the Lemberg Children’s Center. Lori loves gardening and singing, and she recently started playing the electric bass with her band, Some Assembly Required.
Laura joined the academic services team as department coordinator in October 2018. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Assumption College, Laura’s earned a master’s degree at Boston University in higher education administration and has been working at college campuses for over 15 years. With experience in residential life at two small liberal arts institutions (Babson College and Curry College) to student leadership development at a large institution (Northeastern University) to alumni relations at a graduate theological school (Episcopal Divinity School), Laura’s passion is working with students to help them achieve success at the collegiate level.
In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time and discovering every nook and cranny of New England with her husband and two kids. She enjoys being crafty, cooking and has recently found a love for yoga.
Mary joined Academic Services in 2022 as a department coordinator. Before that, she worked in Brandeis' Department of Theater Arts as the costume director for seven years. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in theater arts and spent the following years working in costume shops in Boston and New York City. Upon returning to Boston, she focused on management work in costume shops, eventually transitioning to her role at Brandeis where she grew to love working with our student body. She is excited to start a new chapter in her career, working with the students and staff at Academic Services.
Mary enjoys gardening, antiquing and relaxing on the beach. She loves hanging out with her nieces and nephew in her free time and has a cat named Alonso and a dog named Roxie.
Brian joined the Brandeis community in 2008 as an area coordinator in the Department of Community Living, and began his work in Academic Services in 2010. As director of academic advising, Brian provides leadership for the academic advising team. He has a BA in psychology and communication and an MEd in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Brian has held positions in Residence Life, Admissions, Orientation and Pre-College programs at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, New York University and Brown University. Brian is active in NACADA (Global Community for Academic Advising) and was a member of the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program cohort in 2013-15. A first-generation college student, Brian is passionate about social justice education, college access and student leadership.
Brian enjoys reading, running, yoga, crosswords, live music, strong coffee and spending time with his husband and daughter, Flora. He also teaches group cycle/spinning classes in the greater Boston area.
Katie Dunn joined Academic Services in 2014. After serving as the program advisor for the Student Support Services Program, she transitioned to the academic advising team in 2016. Katie earned her bachelor's degree in communications and her master's degree in higher education administration both from Boston College — go, Eagles! She has worked in both academic and student affairs and enjoys building connections across departments. Katie’s advising philosophy is to support “the whole person,” so she invites students to talk with her about how factors such as health, family and identity shape their college experience. Katie has presented at regional and national conferences on topics, including first-generation college students, holistic advising, perfectionism, and supporting students taking leaves of absence.
In her free time, Katie enjoys following New England sports, trying new restaurants around greater Boston, practicing yoga, and relaxing on Cape Cod where she grew up working in her family's small pizza restaurant!
Katy works on the advising team and coordinates the Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM), which allows students the opportunity to develop a unique course of study. She joined the Academic Services team in 2010 as the SSSP department coordinator, and after a brief time away to pursue a master’s degree, she returned in 2014 as an academic advisor. Katy holds a BA in philosophy from Tufts University and an EdM 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 helping students navigate the search for purpose and meaning.
In her free time, Katy enjoys playing with her dogs Riley and Milo, strategy board games, knitting, reading both fiction and non-fiction and exploring new places.
Prior to coming to Brandeis, Kiernan was an instructor in the Writing Program and History of Art departments at Boston University and the University of Delaware. She holds a bachelor’s degree in classics and art history from Hamilton College, a master’s degree in art history from the University of Delaware, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Boston University, where she studies ancient Greek and Phoenician art. Kiernan brings her teaching experience to her advising practice and is interested in issues of persistence, metacognition, creativity and experiential learning.
In her free time, Kiernan enjoys knitting, watching video essays and documentaries, reading genre fiction, going to local museums and attending musical theater performances.
Dana McCullough joined Academic Services in 2022. She previously worked in academic and career advising for six years at Concordia University Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha. With a BA in international studies from American University and MS in student personnel administration in higher education from Concordia, Dana brings an understanding of cultural diversity and a passion for working with students to her role. She embraces student-centered advising and strives to meet students where they are on their academic journey. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, Dana is an advocate for study abroad and experiential learning.
In her free time, Dana enjoys time with family, travel, live music and hiking with her dog, Finn.
Emily joined the Academic Services team in 2023. Emily is a first-generation college student with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from George Mason University and an M.Ed. in Social Justice Education from UMass Amherst. In previous roles at Suffolk University and UMass Amherst, Emily used her expertise in social justice education to support student learning and facilitate dialogues across race, ability, and gender. Emily’s advising approach is strongly informed by her teaching experience and her vision of education as a practice of freedom. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading, biking, exploring the Emerald Necklace, and watching the Turner Classic Movies channel. Feel welcome to share your favorite movie with her - she’s always looking for recommendations!
Coming from a language teaching background, Phoebe has extensive experience working with adult immigrants and refugees from diverse backgrounds. After switching focus to advising, she has found passion and purpose in helping students achieve their goals. Through attentive listening and respectful communication, she has been able to establish and maintain positive relationships with students. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics from Beijing Language and Culture University in China, and her M.S. Ed in TESOL from University of Pennsylvania. She also spent one year at Newcastle University in the U.K. during her junior year in college.
In her free time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, watching Sci-fi and mystery movies, and spending time with family.
Before coming to Brandeis as an Academic Advisor, Tony was a special education teacher in both the Boston and Salem Public Schools. Tony holds a BS in Psychology from Umass Amherst as well as an M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University. Tony is the first person in their family to graduate college, and combined with their teaching experience, his advising approach is to utilize empathy and a deep understanding of individualized support to help students excel in their educational journey.
In his free time, Tony enjoys spending time with his husband, playing both video and board games, exploring new places, going to shows and museums, and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Tony also teaches Zumba in the Massachusetts area.
Tim first came to Brandeis in 2015, working as the Senior Assistant Director for Student Services in Student Financial Services. After a period away spent teaching special education, he is excited to be back at Brandeis to work with the Academic Advising team to support all students. With a diverse background in public, higher, and international education, Tim feels passionately about helping others to achieve in their educational and personal pursuits. He brings a values-based approach to his advising practice, working with folks to determine a path forward which feels most aligned with their wants and goals. Tim holds a BA in Secondary Education and History from Bridgewater State University in addition to multiple MA teaching certifications.
When not on campus, Tim loves to play music, go kayaking & biking, and bake. He is happy to share recipes, so do not hesitate to ask!
Myra Kraft Achievers Program
Kathryn has worked for almost 20 years in higher education in multiple positions to promote and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for our most marginalized and disenfranchised populations. Currently, she has served as the director of the Myra Kraft Achievers Program (formerly MKTYP) for the past four years. She supervises a staff of 10 full- and part-time staff/faculty, manages the curriculum and co-curriculum programming, advises 80+ students, oversees the operating and gift fund budget, is part of the strategic team for admissions and scholarship fundraising and is part of the academic advising leadership team.
Kathryn holds a BA in psychology and Africana studies from the University of Notre Dame, an EdM in human development and psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a PhD in higher education management from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. Her research and practitioner expertise focuses on first-year college access, transition, and retention practices for underserved and underrepresented students of color. She has served on panels and presented her work at various professional conferences such as the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She has published multiple articles and has also taught as an adjunct psychology lecturer at various colleges in the Pittsburgh and Boston areas.
When Kathryn is not working, she enjoys cooking and spending quality time with her husband and their cat; salsa dancing in her living room to Celia Cruz; helping youth at her church; traveling to various cities of Spain during the summer; and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race while eating her favorite dessert, banana pudding!
Lily joined the Academic Services team in 2016 as a senior department coordinator. Originally from Colombia, she holds a BA in business administration and a master's in marketing from the UNAB — Colombia. Prior to working at Brandeis, Lily's work experience includes supporting international students as an admission officer for Approach International Student Center. She also has more than eight years of experience working as a commercial developer and sales coordinator in Colombia for Nutresa Food Conglomerate.
With the Myra Kraft Achievers Program, Lily spearheads our events and has overseen collaborations with various university partners to sponsor multicultural events/celebrations that included roundtable discussions/panels, our Night of Artistic Expressions with the Gittler Residency Program, Brandeis’ MLK Day of Service, annual retreats, game nights, our Night of Inspiration, leadership and relationship workshops, our yearly newsletter, and our Myra Kraft Achievers Program Scholars’ Closing Ceremony.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and twins, going for walks at night, reading parenting books, and trying international cuisines.
Peer Academic Support
Julia joined Academic Services in 2012. She was recently named to lead the new Peer Academic Support unit within Academic Services. She previously provided leadership support to the advising team. Originally from Los Angeles, she first discovered her passion for working with students as a corps member of Teach for America in rural South Dakota. Before coming to Brandeis, she worked in career advising, accessibility support and advising at institutions, including Harvard University and Bennington College. Julia is passionate about supporting students holistically. She seeks to help them develop self-advocacy skills, articulate their goals, and navigate the successes and challenges of their college experience. Julia has a BA in history from UCLA and an MEd in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has presented at regional and national conferences on topics, including academic entitlement, reflective writing in advising, collaboration with families and faculty-staff partnerships.
Julia enjoys running, yoga, reading fiction and exploring art museums and the outdoors with her family.
Kate joined the Brandeis family in 2016 as the director of pre-health advising. Previously, she advised pre-health students and taught courses on African American literature, Native American literature, and composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an advisor, she strives to meet the unique needs of diverse populations of students in order to help them achieve their professional goals. She earned her BA in English from SUNY Geneseo and then went on to graduate school at UW-Madison for her MA in Afro-American studies and PhD in literary studies.
Originally from New York, Kate is very happy to be back on the east coast. In her free time, she loves to bake, read fiction, play board games with her husband and spend time with her two young children.
Ally joined the Brandeis academic services team in 2023. Previously, she advised Pre-Health students at Simmons University. As an advisor, she takes a holistic approach to meet students where they are on their academic journey, and help them navigate the health profession fields. She is especially passionate about mitigating barriers to access for underrepresented students in medicine. She received her B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo, and her M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.
In her free time, Ally loves to read, crochet, play video games, and spend time with her two cats, Winston and Meredith.
Megan joined the academic services team in 2023 after working in the Gender and Sexuality Center at Brandeis. Prior to working at Brandeis, Megan spent three years in Pre-Health Advising at Wellesley College. As an advisor, Megan enjoys working with first-year students to help them navigate the first steps in the pre-health process. Megan earned her B.A. in History from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!).
A native Cape Codder, Megan now lives in the Metrowest area with her husband, son and three poorly behaved pets. In her free time, she loves to volunteer, hike, obsess about the weather, and read mysteries.
Student Support Services
Chelsea Green (formerly Walker) joined Academic Services in August 2017 as the assistant director for the TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSSP). Chelsea earned her BA in psychology with a minor in deaf and hard of hearing studies, and her MEd in educational studies from the University of New Hampshire. As a first-generation student and an alumna of SSSP, she credits the program for much of her success in higher education. Chelsea has a background in college admissions, academic mentoring and youth leadership programming. Her passion for equal access to higher education for underrepresented groups of students has driven her work, and is what continues to inspire her every day.
In her free time, Chelsea enjoys collecting sea glass, following New England sports, baking, staying active and volunteering.
Kimoi recently took on a leadership role on the Student Support Services team in Academic Services. Prior to this, Kimoi was an academic advisor. Before his time at Brandeis, he was an assistant dean of advising at his alma mater. He holds a bachelor's degree in American studies and MSA in administration from St. Michael's College. A first-generation student and immigrant, Kimoi encourages students to turn challenges into opportunities. He is passionate about mentorship and is interested in issues related to college persistence.
In his free time, Kimoi enjoys playing soccer, traveling and listening to reggae and soca music.
Darlene Rodriguez joins Academic Services as the assistant director for the Student Support Services program. Darlene earned her BA '17 in communication studies with a counseling minor from Ithaca College and her MA '22 in higher education and student affairs from the University of Connecticut.
Darlene's passion for supporting students blossomed from her own experience as a Latinx woman of Dominican descent, lower-income, first-generation college student attending a predominantly white, private institution. Darlene understands the challenges of navigating the college experience at the intersection of these identities and has seen first-hand how valuable support services like counseling, tutoring and advising can be to a student's journey. Darlene has experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students and advising lower-income and first-generation college students. Darlene hopes to foster student learning and help students press forward through challenges and uncertainties.
Charlotte Walker joined Academic Services in August 2022 as the Career and Graduate School Advisor for the TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSSP). Charlotte earned her BS in public affairs with a nonprofit management concentration from Indiana University and her MEd in higher education from Merrimack College. As a first-generation student, she is grateful for the support she received along her career path and aims to pay it forward with each student she meets. By helping students gain self-awareness of their values, interests, personality and skills, Charlotte aids them in seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities to further deepen their self-awareness as well as their networks.
Prior to joining SSSP, Charlotte worked as a career advisor at Brandeis's Hiatt Career Center as well as Boston College and Merrimack College. Before becoming a career advisor, she spent 10 years in the nonprofit sector, primarily with animal welfare organizations. She knows first-hand that career paths aren't linear and aims to help students gain the skills to keep them curious and fulfilled in their work for years to come.
In her free time, Charlotte enjoys crossword puzzles with her husband, board games with her two young sons, and snuggling with her cat and dog. She loves Beyonce, classic cars, Buzz Lightyear and skeeball.