Associate Vice President for Student Success

Dr. Shai Butler
Vice President for Student Success & Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer
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Welcome to the Center for Student Success website where I encourage you to explore and meet the amazing team of individuals who will be working closely with you in the first year and beyond. I have worked in Student Affairs and Diversity & Inclusion within higher education for over a decade. My educational background consists of an earned doctorate in Law & Policy from Northeastern University and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany, SUNY. I love to read, garden and cook in my down time. I have been at Saint Rose since 2007 and it’s an awesome place that cares deeply for its students. We’d love to meet you so feel free to stop on over for a visit and learn more about our services.

Director, First-Year Experience

Darcey Kemp
Assistant Vice President for Student Success & Engagement
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Welcome! As a first-generation college student, I’m proud to have earned my BS in Marketing and MBA from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. I grew up in the Hudson Valley region and after decades away, I’m excited to return home and serve as the Director of First-Year Experience. I’m passionate about working with students in their transition to the college community and look forward to helping you make the most of your Saint Rose experience. I enjoy reading, cooking, camping and the joys of being a mom to three energetic, fun-loving children!

 

Fulbright Initiative

Fulbright Program Advisor

Dr. Claire Ziamandanis
Fulbright Program Advisor
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Hi there, or should I say “Hola, ¿qué tal?” My full-time job is teaching Spanish language, culture and linguistics in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. I am also the College’s Fulbright Program Advisor. In this role I work with students interested in preparing for post graduate research opportunities abroad. I received my B.A. from St. Lawrence University, and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University at Albany. I love seeing students learn to laugh in another language. Even more thrilling is when I see them strike out on adventurous travels both in the US and abroad. A passport full of stamps is a beautiful thing!

 

Academic Success Center

Director, Services for Students with Disabilities

Lynn Cantwell
Director, Services for Students with Disabilities
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I have been with the College since 2007. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Social Work from Saint Rose. I then went on to receive my MSW degree from the University at Albany. After receiving my NY State social work license, my first job was as drug abuse prevention counselor for North and South Colonie Schools. I then worked as a school social worker for Wildwood School where I provided transition planning for students with learning disabilities and neurological impairments.I am happy to be back at my alma mater and look forward to working with students throughout their time at The College of Saint Rose.

Director, Writing Center

Shirlee Dufort
Director, Writing Center 
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Being the director of the Writing Center is a challenge I look forward to every day. I earned my Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Ph.D. in English, from the University at Albany. I have taught a variety of courses that include first-year writing, Speech, Argumentation and Debate, Reading Shakespeare, and Creative Writing. This year I will be teaching ENG 105 on campus. I am a published poet and have presented at a variety of conferences in my field.

Executive Director, Academic Success Center

Marcy N. Pendergast
Executive Director, Academic Success Center
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I have worked at The College of Saint Rose since 2003. I am an alum of the College and received both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Education in Counseling degrees here. I have taught Psychology courses as well as study skills courses at the College. The thing that I love most about my job is that I get to work with students every day and that no two days are ever the same.

Assistant Director, Academic Success Center

Matthew “Matt” Woods
Assistant Director, Academic Success Center
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After living in Schenectady my whole life I received my BA in Chemistry from Saint Rose in 2008 and my Master of Arts in Teaching from Union Graduate College in 2010. I enjoy helping students succeed in Math and Science every day that I work here!

 

Intercultural Leadership & First-Year Programs

Chukwuma Asala
Assistant Director, Intercultural Leadership & First-Year Programs

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Hello everyone. I am a native of Nigeria where I lived until the age of 16 before coming to the United States. I graduated from Union College with a degree in Quantitative Economics, and completed an M.B.A in Human Resources and Information Systems from SUNY Albany 2 years later. I worked in Admissions for about 7 years at The Sage Colleges and really enjoyed my work with the students immensely both as an administrator and soccer coach. I am passionate about bringing out the best in young adults and appreciate the privilege of being a mentor. During my spare time, I coach a travel soccer team and still play when I can.  I also love working out, spending time with my fiancée, her daughter, our two dogs, and crazy cat.

Academic Counselor, AOE

Jessica Brouker
Assistant Director, Intercultural Leadership & First-Year Programs
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I received my B.A. and M.A. in English from The College of Saint Rose and have enjoyed working with students on campus since 2006. Along with academic counseling, I teach writing and literature courses. My passions include training for and running half-marathons, vacationing with my family in the 1000 Islands, and rooting for the New York Mets.

Lamara J. Burgess
Associate Director, Office of Intercultural Leadership
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Hello Saint Rose! Growing up in the Bronx, NY has provided me with a unique set of life experiences and a passion for educational opportunities. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton University and I am currently attending graduate school for my Masters. I am very excited to join the St. Rose team and look forward to building meaningful connections with students as they embark on their educational and professional journey. I enjoy participating in dialogue surrounding social justice issues, reading, watching Netflix and spending time with family and close friend

Assistant Director, AOE

Natalie Grandy Cable
Associate Director, Intercultural Leadership & First-Year Programs
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I received my B.S. and M.S. in Education at The College of Saint Rose. I have been working in the Academic Opportunity Experience Office since 2004. During this time, I have enjoyed working with students, families and this wonderful community. I love spending time with my family and friends, especially if it involves shopping. During my spare time I like to watch sports, travel and find new crafts and recipes on Pinterest.

Joachim Koka
Coordinator, First-Year Programs
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Hello, I received my BS from The College of Saint Rose in Criminal Justice and am now the First-Year Experience Coordinator at the College. Having mentored students from primary to secondary education as an undergrad, as a graduate, I look to become a positive mentor and role model for first-year students offering guidance and support. When I’m not in the office, I like to read fashion blogs and I’m an avid Spotify user.

Luke Lavera
Coordinator, Office of Intercultural Leadership
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I was born and raised in Lima, Peru and when I was eleven my family moved to Poughkeepsie, NY . As a first-generation college student with immigrant parents, life has provided me with many unique experiences. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Arts with a concentration in Drawing and Painting from Siena College. After graduating I worked at the Pride Center of the Capital Region, an LGBTQ Community Center here in the Capital Region. As an undergrad, I loved working with students and making a difference outside of the classroom and I’m looking forward to doing the same at Saint Rose as a role model. My passions include but are not limited to Intersectional Social Justice, watching shows on Netflix and Hulu, cooking, spending time with my family and friends, and talking in Spanish.

 

Spiritual Life

Sean C. Peters
Director of Mission Experience, Office of Spiritual Life
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Saint Rose forms a big part of my life experience.   Not only am I an alum, but I have served here in one capacity or another for much of my adult life.  My current work calls for me to help everyone keep the mission of Saint Rose front and center in their campus life.  I lead an international service trip to Guatemala each year and you will frequently find me interacting with students in Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary.  After finishing my B.S. in Education at Saint Rose, I earned my masters and doctorate in educational psychology at Rutgers University.  As a member of the religious congregation that founded Saint Rose, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, I am proud of all the students the college has educated over the years who work each day to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  It is good to have you among them.