Brandon Bjertnes, EdM
Lead Academic Advisor
Brandon transferred to Stony Brook University as a non-traditional student after graduating
from Suffolk County Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
and Sociology. His involvement and education at Stony Brook University inspired Brandon
to pursue a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University
and a license in Mental Health Counseling.
Brandon currently coordinates the ADV 101 transfer student seminar which helps transfer
students acclimate and succeed at Stony Brook University and beyond. Additionally,
Brandon is the liaison with our Veteran Affairs office and assists veterans with navigating
academic issues. His passions include student development, academic success, identity
development, violence prevention education, and advocacy.
Stephanie Kiara Caban, M.S.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literary Studies at Stockton University and
a Master of Science in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University. She
began her journey as a Seawolf at the Office of Student Orientation and Family Programs
as the 2014 Family Program Graduate Intern. Shortly after, Stephanie returned to Stony
Brook University serving as the Coordinator of Family Programs and Services and as
an instructor for GLS 101 (Introduction to Stony Brook) in 2015.
With the goal of encouraging students to become owners of their own educational and
professional opportunities in mind, Stephanie joined ATAS as an Academic Advisor.
Stephanie is incredibly excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to helping
students feel welcome, and successful, at their home away from home!
Diane DeSimone, M.A.
Diane started her academic journey as an adult learner at Suffolk Community College.
After earning her Associate of Arts degree she was encouraged to transfer to Stony
Brook University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with a Judaic Studies
minor. During her undergraduate years, she served as an Academic Peer Advisor intern,
student assistant and president of the Non-traditional Student /Adult Learner Association
'13-'15. These experiences connected her to a variety of campus-wide professionals
and resources that supported her passion to advise and help students. Diane continued
as a graduate assistant in Academic and Transfer Advising Services and the Office
of the Registrar while also co-chairing the Transfer Student Advisory Board, instructor
for ADV 101, Dean of Students intern, Higher Education Administration Association
president and senator in the Graduate Student Organization.
.Diane has earned her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Stony
Brook. She is honored to continue to serve Seawolves as a two time alumni and professional
with the exceptional team of advisors at Academic and Transfer Advising Services.
Lisa Dimone, M.S.
Transfer Articulation and Data Coordinator
Lisa earned an Associate's in Liberal Arts from Suffolk County Community College,
a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Adelphi University, and a Master's in School
Counseling from C.W.Post-Long Island University. In 2008 she began working at Stony
Brook University in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, specializing in International
student admissions. This experience really connected her to the University and the
importance of helping students throughout the application process.
In November 2012, Lisa began a new position in Academic & Transfer Advising Services
as a Transfer Advisor. She is happy to continue in a role that assists students in
reaching their goals. She is also involved with the transfer articulation process
in order to make transferring credits and transitioning to a new University easier
for our incoming Transfer students.
She is also a veteran of the Stony Brook's unique Roth Pond Regatta, where students,
faculty and staff race across Roth Pond in boats constructed only of cardboard, duct
tape, and paint. Her advice to future competitors: "Use a lot of duct tape and prepare
to get wet!"
Associate Dean for Transfer Services
Arlene serves as Associate Dean for Transfer Services within the Academic & Transfer
Advising Services Office. Arlene began her career at Stony Brook as an academic advisor
in the Office of Academic Advising in 1994. Leading up to this, she spent several
years counseling and teaching developmental mathematics at Suffolk County Community
Shortly after arriving at Stony Brook, the University opened up a Transfer Office
to meet the needs of prospective and newly enrolled transfer students. Arlene served
as Director of the Transfer Office for seventeen years. The Transfer Office then
merged with the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center, forming the new Academic
& Transfer Advising Services Office, in order to better service Stony Brook students.
Throughout her tenure at Stony Brook University, Arlene’s concern for students led
her to take a very active role in University service. For many years, she served as
an elected member of both the Undergraduate Council and College of Arts and Sciences
Curriculum Committee. Arlene now holds ex-officio seats on both these committees.
Theresa began her career in higher education at The Berkeley School, and then went
on to Dowling College. In 2008, Theresa was delighted to join the staff of Academic
and Transfer Advising Services.
Theresa supports the director of Academic and Transfer Advising Services in the coordination
and management of daily operations. In addition, Theresa assists students to succeed
at Stony Brook though her role as advisor for newly accepted students during transfer
student orientation, instructor for ADV 101 - Introduction to Stony Brook for new
International transfer students, and as co-coordinator of the Academic Peer Advisor
Shellaná Henderson, Ed.D.
Shellaná Henderson discovered her passion for higher education during her undergraduate
experience at Babson College. While earning her bachelor's degree in Business Administration,
she worked as a resident assistant and an intern in the Campus Life department.
Since graduating from Babson College, she has built a career in higher education;
her experience includes academic advising, orientation, first year experience office,
admissions, residence life, and even undergraduate teaching. She has earned a master's
degree in Higher Education Administration at Baruch College, and a doctorate degree
in Higher Education Leadership and Policy at Vanderbilt University.
ALYSON HERNANDEZ, M.A.
Alyson received both her BA in Sociology and Masters in Higher Education Administration
from Stony Brook University. While attending Stony Brook, Alyson worked in the Athletics
Department, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Undergraduate Transfer
A huge advocate for the Study Abroad programs, her passion for Stony Brook and Higher
Education grew stronger while she studied overseas. Alyson is thrilled to be a member
of the Academic and Transfer Advising Services team!
Tracey Iorio, M.S.
Tracey Iorio is an Assistant Director in the Academic and Transfer Advising Services
Office. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Fairleigh Dickinson
University and her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling and NY State license
from LIU C.W Post in 2009. Tracey came to Stony Brook University in 2002 and worked
as an advisor in the Transfer Office, which merged with Academic Advising Center in
the summer of 2012. Prior to working at Stony Brook she spent 14 years as Senior Associate
Director of Admissions at The Juilliard School.
Along with her role as an advisor to current Stony Brook University students, she
coordinates the Joint Admissions program to admit students from Suffolk County and
Nassau Community Colleges. Tracey provides these student with one-on-one advising
each semester to ensure a seamless transition to Stony Brook. Another important role
for Tracey is the Opening of School Committee, which provides incoming students with
activities, workshops and community information during the weekend prior to the first
day of school.
Eric Lewis, M.A.
I have a Bachelor's of Communication Arts (State University College at Oneonta), Masters
of Arts in Social Science (Binghamton University), and Masters of Professional Studies
(Alliance Theological Seminary).
My early higher education experience started 10 years ago at SUNY College at Old Westbury
as a Residence Hall Director. At Old Westbury I really enjoyed the opportunity that
I had to develop leaders and start the foundation for the first "Male" organization
titled "Men In Progress" From there I had the opportunity of working as an Academic
Advisor for Student Support Services: TRIO at the College of Mount Saint Vincent,
and then an EOP Counselor at Fashion Institute of Technology, and now it feels like
I have come back full circle to be a member of the Long Island Community, but this
time in Suffolk County serving as an Academic Advisor for the Academic & Transfer
Services at Stony Brook University.
My passions are teaching, counseling, training, facilitating, and leadership development.
My hobbies are reading, going to the movies, and enjoying a great time with family
My mission is to leave a legacy within my family, work, church and community.
Transfer Articulation Specialist
Dana earned her A.A.S. at Suffolk Community College in Paralegal Studies and shortly
opened her own successful dance studio for several years. In an effort to further
she attended Stony Brook University as a non-traditional student. In 2014 she earned
Degree in Psychology and graduated Magna Cum Laude. During her academic career she
asked to be a guest lecturer for the “Autism and Intellectual Disabilities” class
and worked as an
Academic Peer Advisor for the Psychology Department. Dana decided she wanted to continue
career working in higher education helping students through the academic process.
Upon graduation Dana worked at Dowling College as a Transfer Advisor and performed
evaluations for all incoming students. She returned to Stony Brook in 2016 and has
in various departments which have included Campus Residences in the Office of Residential
Community Standards and in the Office of Student Support Services for Health Sciences.
She is very excited to join the department and is looking forward to working with
Khanh (Kay) Linh Pham, M.A.
Transfer Articulation Specialist
Khanh Linh "Kay" Pham began her journey at Stony Brook University as an international
transfer student from Vietnam. She received her BA in Political Science, minor in
Biology then a MA in Public Policy. Kay utilized the services from Academic Advising
and Transfer Services as a student and she was inspired to join the ATAS team as a
graduate assistant, specializing in transfer articulation and database maintenance.
After graduating, she worked on political campaigns and at non-governmental organizations
where she gained experience in project management, community outreach, trends analytics,
report and budget drafting. She is thrilled to return to Academic and Transfer Advising
Services as a Transfer Articulation Specialist where she can continue to proudly serve
her fellow Seawolves.
Mary Beth Powers, MSW
Mary Beth earned an MSW from Stony Brook University's School of Social Welfare and
a BA in English from LeMoyne College. To date she has over 20 years of experience
in higher education, primarily in residential life and academic advising. Among her
current responsibilities in Academic and Transfer Advising Services, the one she values
and enjoys most is working one-on-one with students to help them achieve their highest
potential. Focusing on students' strengths, interests, and emerging talents, Mary
Beth's proudest moments are when she witnesses students truly "seeing" themselves
for the first time, and finding they like what they see.
Mary Beth is both self-proclaimed Dolphin (LeMoyne mascot) and Seawolf, an avid beach
comber, collector of rocks, lover of antiques, tireless gardener, and pensive poet.
"I just like to look for the beauty in the world...and create it where I can. And
I see a lot of beauty in the efforts and achievements, both great and small, of our
Kimberly Schwartz, M.S.
Assistant Director for Transfer Articulation
Kimberly Schwartz earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the
University of Delaware in 2005. She received her Master's degree in School Counseling
at Long Island University/C.W. Post in 2008. While completing her Master's Degree
she worked at CW Post first as Program Assistant and then as a Director in the Continuing
Education department. This is when she realized that working in Higher Education with
college students is where she ultimately wanted to end up.
In 2008 Kim began working at Stony Brook University as an Advisor in the Transfer
Office. She really enjoyed working with the transfer student population and helping
them acclimate to Stony Brook University. In 2011, Kim took on the position of Assistant
Director for Transfer Articulation. In this position, Kim has been able to make the
transition for transfer students easier by creating a database that allows incoming
and current students to view their course equivalencies from their previous schools.
Kim is excited to continue her career path with the Academic and Transfer Advising
Deborah Serling, Ph.D.
Director, Academic & Transfer Advising Services
Dr. Serling earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Cornell University,
her Master's in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public
Affairs (Syracuse University), and her Masters of Arts and Ph.D. in Psychology from
Ohio State University.
Dr. Serling has worked in higher education for over 20 years serving undergraduate
and graduate students as an advisor, a psychologist, a faculty member, and an administrator.
Dr. Serling's research interests have included undecided students, career development,
and self-esteem. Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Serling worked for Reading
Is Fundamental in Washington, DC and the New York State Senate.
Michelle Setnikar, LMSW
Lead Academic Advisor
I have been a proud member of the Stony Brook University community for many years.
As a student at SBU, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and the experiences
I had as a peer educator and Career Center intern motivated me to pursue a career
in higher education. I earned a Master of Social Work degree with a specialization
in Student-Community Development (Higher Education) and worked as a member of the
Campus Residences team before joining Academic and Transfer Advising Services. I'm
a New York State licensed social worker and a certified social work field instructor.
In addition to my responsibilities as an academic advisor, I serve as the coordinator
of the ATAS Internship program and I enjoy working with the outstanding junior and
senior students who participate in the internship. I have also served as an instructor
for LDS/ACH 101 (Introduction to Stony Brook), ADV 101 (Transfer Student Seminar),
ADV 202 (Academic Success Seminar) and ADV 488 (ATAS Internship Seminar). I appreciate
the opportunity to serve as a guide for students as an advisor, teacher, and advocate
for their success.
Carolyn Stephenson, M.S.
Lead Academic Advisor
Carolyn received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in Child and Family
Studies and Psychology before completing her master's degree at Long Island University
in School Counseling. She oversaw a number of elementary counseling programs before
transitioning to higher education at Stony Brook University nine years ago.
Throughout Carolyn's time at SBU, she has focused her work on academic success and
retention. Carolyn ran the BRIDGES Mentoring Program for students on academic probation
for five years and now has the privilege each semester to oversee a group of conditionally
reinstated students, guiding them on their path to a Stony Brook degree!
Carolyn understands that academic and life challenges are unique for each student
and often multi-layered. With this in mind, she strives to create individualized paths
back to academic success for all of her students.
Randy Thomas, M.A.
Senior Assistant Director
Randy earned his BFA in Theater from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri
State University) and completed his Master of Arts degree in Dance from The Ohio State
University. Randy has served as the Interim Director for the Academic Advising Center
and was the former Coordinator for the International Studies minor. In addition, he
was the Coordinator for the campus-wide Mentor Program 1995-2000. At present, Randy
coordinates the Advising Linkage Initiative that pairs an academic advisor with an
academic department to promote a better working relationship between Academic & Transfer
Advising Services and the academic departments. Randy also provides administrative
support for The Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning and teaches DAN 102
- Introduction for World Dance Cultures.
Randy has served as the Director for Interdisciplinary Arts for the Living Learning
Centers and has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Council
and was co-chair for the 2007-2008 academic year. In addition, Randy is a permanent
member for the Academic Judiciary Committee. Randy also served as an academic reviewer
for the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Stony Brook Chapter.
Randy's tenure at Stony Brook has afforded him the opportunity to work within the
academic and administrative areas. Randy enjoys working with the excellent team in
Academic and Transfer Advising Services.