2024 Elections

District A:

Abigail Arnold: I am a dedicated and organized member of the Brandeis staff and like to make positive change happen. I would work to bring information and help to my fellow staff members.

Alix Brandon: When I first applied to Brandeis four years ago, I was impressed at the longevity of careers here which informed me that as an institution, Brandeis was a place where collegial relationships were supported, nurtured, mentored, and, there was likely an excellent work/home balance. I am someone who has been on both sides of higher education as a lecturer and as an administrator, so I am attuned to the nuances of the institution and the idiosyncrasies that are inherent to both faculty and staff. As an Academic Administrator in both Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies, I have helped to pivot WGS from a program to a department and AAPI into a flourishing minor in four years and increase our visibility on-campus. I also actively support the Queer Academics and Activism (QAA) pre-orientation program as an extension of WGS. As an interdisciplinary department and program administrator, I have had the opportunity to build relationships with multiple offices and constituents, and have built solid, collegial working relationships with so many brilliant colleagues. My latest project which engages not just WGS, but the entire campus, is the "Brandeis Barbie" campaign which helped to connect students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, professors emeriti, and more to the campus during a challenging year for Brandeis.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to extend my creativity to problem solving, advocacy, and building more community with staff. Staff require a voice in decision making, transparency, and supporting the overall mission of Brandeis. Staff make this school extraordinary and need to be acknowledged regularly, fairly, and joyfully for their contributions.

Katie Dickinson: Over the past 11 years, I have worked for several different departments/areas and interacted with many of the incredible staff members (along with faculty and students) who truly make the Brandeis campus a special place to work, teach, learn, and connect. My colleagues consistently recognize and appreciate the reliability, trust, kindness, patience, and positive attitude that I bring to any situation. If elected as one of the BUSAC representatives, I will look forward to contributing my ideas, organizational skills, attention to detail, problem solving, and passion for fairness to help optimize the staff experience at Brandeis. FUN FACT: I've seen 35 different Broadway/touring musicals, some more than once! Email me if you want to know which were my favorites :)

Kathryn Howell: If elected, I would do my best to fight for what the majority of staff members want and to be a strong and effective liaison between staff, faculty and upper administration.

Courtney Maurer: I have had the pleasure of being part of the Brandeis community for almost 9 years now; therefore, I am well versed in the culture and areas that can be improved upon. Representing and voicing the diverse needs of A&S + GSAS staff would be a great honor. I will put our physical, mental, and emotional well being at the forefront of every decision I make. We, as staff, are the backbone of the university and our voices should be heard in a productive, professional, successful manner. 

Julie Seeger: I would like to go to bat for my fellow admins since we often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.

District B:

Ryan Olthoff (At-Large Only): I am coming up on 10 years of employment in the world of Higher Education. I have worked at both small liberal arts institutions, and large public universities where I have developed a strong love for what colleges and universities are able to provide to both the students on campus, as well as the staff communities that help make their learning possible and memorable. I am no stranger to the difficulties and opportunities that come with a historic educational institution with steep differences between different passionate members of its community. I look forward to the opportunity to provide insight and support for Brandeis to be its best self for every one of its community members by bringing a unique and honest perspective to the table. Thank you for your consideration.

District C:

Lanni Isenberg: I’d like the opportunity to serve as your BUSAC District C co-representative for a second 2-year term to continue our efforts to ensure Heller staff voices are heard and understood by our Brandeis community and especially by the Brandeis senior leadership. In my first term, BUSAC hosted community-building and service events, many opportunities to hear from and speak to division and department leaders from across the campus and to bring your voices and ideas to Brandeis leadership and impact-makers. There’s still lots to do and lift up, and I’d be honored to continue as a Heller co-representative if you vote for me. Thank you!

Grace Lee: I have enjoyed my work at Heller and Brandeis and have found BUSAC extremely helpful and responsive. In accepting a nomination to be considered as part of BUSAC, I would love to be more involved and be an asset to all those working at Heller and Brandeis. Thank you.

Calla Mattox: Over my nearly 10 years at Brandeis, I have been both a graduate student and a staff member at Heller. I will listen to your needs and advocate for Heller staff during a time of a lot of change and uncertainty. I will also advocate for staff inclusion in campus decisions that affect us.

Evie Sessions: Even though I have only held my full-time position at Brandeis for the past year and a half, I have been a member of the Heller and Greater Brandeis community for over a decade - as a student, student worker, faculty, and now as a Program Administrator for the Global Programs at Heller. As staff we have a responsibility to facilitate learning and support our students in their educational journeys. This responsibility is not just to the students themselves, but also to the larger community that stretches beyond the bounds of campus. High-quality higher education is a fundamental part of a peaceful and just society, which means we don't just have a job, we have a calling. And for us to do well in that calling, we need to feel supported by the university - through direct supervision, HR policies, compensation packages, and professional development opportunities. As a BUSAC rep, I will work to communicate staff needs and advocate for improvements to those in power to the fullest extent possible. 

District D:

Mara Tzizik-Swanson: I am dedicated to amplifying staff voices and helping create a safe and vibrant environment for staff to work at Brandeis. I will represent the University and District D to the best of my ability through clear communication, collaboration, and honestly. 

District E: 

Kristina Cherniahivsky: As a 20 year Brandeis staff member I hope to serve as a voice for our staff community at the university, be a strong advocate and amplifier of our collective voices. Thank you!

Tony Thein: As a prospective candidate of the Brandeis University Staff Advisory Committee (BUSAC), I am and committed to fostering an environment where every staff member's voice is heard and valued. Joining BUSAC would be incredibly exciting and highly aligned with my role at the Vic '63 and Bobbi '63 Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT), where we seek to connect and support Brandeis students, faculty/staff, and community partners by understanding the needs/interests of stakeholders through active listening and communication. Similarly, I hope to employ these skills and practices to achieve the best outcomes for Brandeis staff university-wide.

District F:

Rob Thayer: I've been working at Brandeis for the past two years as manager of university services. I consider myself a good team player, quick learner and a detail-oriented person. I believe that by being part of the Brandeis University Staff Advisory Committee, I would play an important role in building bonds among the staff, faculty, and administration. If given an opportunity to be part of the BUSAC, I would be glad to contribute my time and efforts in making the difference for Brandeis and the campus community.

District G:

Tom McGrath (At-Large Only): I know nearly everyone in Institutional Advancement by name, which has made others more comfortable to share concerns and ideas with me. It would be my honor to advocate for them and ensure that their voices are heard by the university community at large. I believe I was nominated because my colleagues believe I would take this role seriously, and I would honor their trust by doing exactly that.

Victoria Sundgren (At-Large Only): I’m honored to be nominated to serve as BUSAC representative for IA. In my almost 20 years at Brandeis, I’ve seen how staff play an integral role in running the university- our voices are important! I believe my experience in several roles in IA gives me a good perspective and I would appreciate the opportunity to advocate for IA staff as the university faces new challenges.

Stacey Winkler (At-Large Only): I have been a Brandeis student (and alumna) as well as a staff member, and bring that background, and those experiences, to my role in Institutional Advancement. As staff I have had a great many opportunities to work with all facets of the university in furtherance of our mission as a civic-minded institution navigating these increasingly tumultuous times. It has honestly been a privilege to see Brandeis from so many different angles! Among other morale-boosting activities, as a member of our Department's Team Wellness, I have also been fortunate enough to continue to run a well-received book club that gains new membership with each passing year, and is as democratic in its reading material as it is varied in its membership from across the academy. Seeing Brandeis for the culturally rich, intellectually curious, and welcoming community that it is, I would be very glad to further engage with this remarkable group of people, to deepen my existing relationships as an advocate, and to serve my district. As a committee member, I will listen to everyone's concerns and use my voice in pursuit of positive action and progress.

District H:

Kurt Ferguson (At-Large Only): Hello! I joined the Brandeis team in August of 2022 and have enjoyed getting to know our students and staff. I take pride in our efforts to attract, hire, and retain students and staff, and increase inclusion and accessibility in our physical and virtual spaces on campus.

Pauri Pandian (At-Large Only): I am currently in my 5th year as the Head Women's Tennis Coach here at Brandeis, my 9th year at Brandeis, and my 13th year working in higher ed. Over the course of my career, I have focused on the holistic development of student-athletes. I have held a variety of roles within the department over my 9 years, with all of those roles being very much student facing. In addition to coaching, I have previously served as the equipment room coordinator and am currently an advisor to the Brandeis Student-Athletes of Color group. At my previous institution, which was smaller than Brandeis and required a tremendous amount of cross campus collaboration, I was fortunate to get a great understanding of how a college operates. I served on the equivalent of BUSAC while I was there. I have been an advocate for staff and students within athletics, and feel confident that I could provide a high level of advocacy for staff as a member of BUSAC.

Zachary Vigliani (At-Large Only): I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of BUSAC to help advocate for the Brandeis staff who work so hard for our students and Brandeis as a whole. I hope to be a voice for our community and give insight on university decisions and initiatives from the staff perspective and influence change. I have been at Brandeis for almost five years and I am looking forward to being a part of BUSAC to contribute more to the community, be an advocate for the district, and improve the overall staff experience.

District I: 

Rachel Benjamin: I have been a staff member at the Brandeis International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) for over 5 years, as well as a part-time graduate student at Brandeis in Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As a BUSAC member, I would advocate for the staff community to make sure that Brandeis leadership recognizes and rewards the work we do to keep the university running. I am particularly passionate about advocating for gender equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and sustainability, including better options for public transit commuters like myself.

Gwen Conner: Thanks for the nomination! Interacting with extraordinary Brandeis colleagues remains one of the most enduring rewards of my seven years here in the registrar’s office, which have afforded me experience troubleshooting issues large and small, and implementing improvements that balance individual needs with institutional demands. I would welcome the opportunity to serve on BUSAC and to learn more about your unique successes and frustrations, so we can celebrate the one and redress the latter.

Mary Hurd: I’ve been at Brandeis almost 10 years. My first position was production staff in the Theater Department and I am currently a Department Coordinator in Academic Services, as such I have been both salary and hourly and understand the implications of both roles. In addition I’ve worked under the Provost's office and the Dean of Arts and Sciences, giving me greater insight on how different reporting structures operate. I care deeply about our students and my fellow staff members and believe an informed and empowered staff are critical to improving Brandeis as an institution, and improving the student experience. With this in mind, I hope to improve communication between upper administration and staff, encouraging more opportunities for all of staff to interact with and give feedback to university administration through events like town halls. I hope to be a strong advocate for my fellow staff at Brandeis.

District J: 

Susan Scannell: If elected, I would be honored to represent my district on the BUSAC committee. It is important to help shape an environment where staff feel valued and have a voice in the overall community. I want to help create a positive and happy workplace that we all can be proud of.  

District K: no candidates