Kathryn Bethea-Rivera
Kathryn A. Bethea-Rivera
Director, Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program
781-736-3564 Usdan Student Center, 130

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 Transitional Year Program (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 Pineiro
Lily Pineiro
Program Administrator
781-736-3467 Usdan Student Center, 130

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 MKTYP, 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 MKTYP 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.

Sara Jean-Francois
Sara Jean-Francois
Graduate Assistant

Sara is currently a candidate of the Masters of Public Policy program at the Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy. Before coming to Brandeis, Sara graduated in May 2019 with a BA in Psychology, and a BS in Health Policy and Management from Providence College in Rhode Island. In her undergraduate career, Sara led various community movements oriented toward marginalized communities, she assisted in coordinating a first generation student program at her alma mater, and in her time there she held various leadership roles, most notably as president of an organization for women of color on campus named Women Empowered.

In 2019, Sara joined us, as Graduate Student Assistant for the MKTYP, where she works closely with Lily and Kathryn to develop workshops for student development, create a monthly newsletter, and amongst other tasks, she is currently working to develop the Peer Mentoring Program for MKTYP first-year students. In addition to her role with MKTYP, at Brandeis, Sara studies issues of education equity within the policy sector specifically for low income students from underrepresented backgrounds.

In her free time she enjoys rewatching very old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (like season 3 or older), writing poetry, traveling and spending time with her ridiculously large family.

Kelsie Ehalt, BA
Graduate Teaching Assistant