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Meet the Staff

The staff and leadership of the Dean of the College office encourage you to contact us with any questions, concerns, or ideas.

Dean of the College members are listed below. If you are not sure who might best assist you, please contact us at 315-228-7425 or doca@colgate.edu.

Suzy Nelson
Suzy Nelson
Vice President and Dean of the College


Phone: 315-228-7425
E-mail: smnelson@colgate.

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Suzy joined Colgate University after working at Harvard College as Dean of Student Life. Suzy has also worked at Cornell and Syracuse Universities, mainly in the areas of residential life, fraternity and sorority advising and student leadership development. At Colgate, Suzy oversees offices that support the out-of-class student experience and services related to administrative advising, student health, and safety. Suzy has a Ph.D. in higher education from Syracuse University and has taught at Cornell and SUNY Morrisville, in addition to teaching high school English at Sherburne-Earlville High School early on in her career. Suzy and her husband Jack have four children.
Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students


Phone: 315-228-7425
E-mail: sbrown@colgate.edu

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Read more about Scott Brown.
Sue Smith
Sue Smith
Associate Vice President and Dean of Residential Programs and Student Support


Phone: 315-228-7368
E-mail: ssmith@colgate.edu

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Sue has a long standing career in student affairs work, currently serving as associate vice president and dean of residential programs and student support. In this capacity, she works closely with the departments of residential programs and housing, administrative advising, environmental health and safety and campus safety, undergraduate scholars programs, international student services, and student conduct. Sue is also instrumental in the development of the Commons program and coordinates the dean of the college after-hours crisis response teams. Her background includes work in counseling, residential life and facilities, judicial affairs, policy development and compliance, personnel and fiscal management, and crisis response. Sue earned an Ed.S. from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in music performance/French horn from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.
Ellen Holm
Ellen Holm
Director of Operations, Dean of the College division


Phone: 315-228-6407
E-mail: eholm@colgate.edu

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At Colgate, Ellen is responsible for the strategic and administrative operations for the Dean of the College division including technology needs, financial planning, communications, and assets. Around campus, Ellen is a member of the OAK initiative team, Human Resources advisory team, enrollment planning committee, budget and finance committee, emergency management team, and the R&R review committee. Prior to joining Colgate, Ellen worked at the Resource Center for Independent Living, a disability rights and services organization where she managed a large portfolio of IT, communications, civil rights, and organizational development projects. She has a MPA and MA in Geography from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University with a focus on environmental policy. In 2014, she completed her PMP certification. She has an BA in Anthropology from Bates College where she was an student leader in the Outing club and activist on a broad range of social justice movements. Ellen lives in Hamilton with Geoff Holm, Associate Professor of Biology at Colgate, and two children. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, backpacking, coaching soccer, and the vibrant local food community.



Marrlee Burgess
Marrlee Burgess
Associate Dean for Administrative Advising


Phone: 315-228-6131
E-mail: mburgess@colgate.edu

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Marrlee Burgess is a higher education professional committed to promoting student success through institutional improvement. Before coming to Colgate to lead the Administrative Advising program, Marrlee was Director of the Center for Student Success at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. There she led several initiatives including the development of a system of assessment for the Division of Student Development, the implementation of an electronic early warning system and the development and implementation of a student success coaching program. At Colgate, her work in student success continues with her efforts in developing an impactful Administrative Advising program and lending her expertise to assessment efforts in the DoC division. Over the past two years, Marrlee has also been working with faculty and staff across campus to develop and implement a robust system of support for first generation students, as well as a more integrated approach to advising. Outside her regular responsibilities at Colgate, Marrlee is a Peer Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is an accomplished musician and dancer. Marrlee holds degrees from The College of Wooster and the University of Missouri.
JL Broedel Photo
Jamie-Lee Broedel
Administrative Assistant


Phone: 315-228-6131
E-mail: jbroedel@colgate.edu
Michele Carney
Michele Carney
Commencement Coordinator / Senior Administrative Assistant


Phone: 315-228-7425
E-mail: mcarney@colgate.edu

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Michele joined Colgate 1998 as an administrative assistant in the admission office. In June 2004, she joined the dean’s office as an administrative assistant to the administrative advisers and was promoted to senior administrative assistant to the vice president and dean of the college in March 2007. In her current role, Michele works with the vice president and dean of the college and the associate vice president and dean of students and serves as commencement coordinator. Before coming to Colgate, Michele worked at Crouse Community Center in Morrisville as staffing coordinator. She studied business management at SUNY Morrisville. She lives in Bouckville with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys working in her garden, scrapbooking and spending time with her family.
Sarah Courtney
Sarah Courtney
Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising / Conduct


Phone: 315-228-7368
E-mail: scourtney@colgate.edu

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I started working at Colgate University in 2011 as an Assistant Director in the Office of Residential Life working with our sophomore students and then became an Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising in 2014. I have nine years of professional experience in higher education, working previously at Binghamton University as a Resident Director in their Office of Residential Life. I graduated with my B.A. in English Literature from St. Lawrence University and my M.Ed. in Student Development in Higher Education from the University of Maine. I find working with smart, talented, students very energizing, educational, and natural and remain grateful for the opportunity have made a career out of it.
Makiko Filler
Makiko Filler
Assistant Director, International Student Services


Phone: 315-228-6016
E-mail: mfiller@colgate.edu

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It has been almost 20 years since my arrival to the US in 1997 as an international student to study in Business Administration/Management major. I have been working for Colgate for 15 years in various offices and departments. I love Colgate and its positive spirit. My major roles as an Assistant Director of International Student Services are to advise over 260 international students in immigration matters in compliance with all aspect of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and assist students adjusting their life in the US. In my professional organization, National Association of International Educators (NAFSA), I serve in a leadership team as a Conference Planner for Region 10: NY & NJ. I am so fortunate to be able to say that I love my job and looking forward to come to work every day.
Drea Finley
Drea Finley
Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising and Director, First Generation Initiative


Phone: 315-228-7441
E-mail: dfinley@colgate.edu

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Drea Finley is a vibrant intellectual who graduated from Colgate University in 2013. As a double major in Sociology/Anthropology and Women's Studies, Drea's passion for social justice advocacy is the highlight of her career. Drea began working for Colgate in 2013 as a Residential Fellow for the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Residential Life. Continuing her career at Colgate, one year later she became the Outreach and Programming Coordinator for the ALANA Cultural Center. Currently Drea serves as an Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising and Director of First Generation Programs. As a professional, Drea is unapologetic about advocating and raising awareness around issues and identities of first generation college students, equity, access and inclusion. In her spare time, you can find Drea playing some smooth chords as a jazz pianist and performing spoken word poetry.
Lindsay Hadlock
Lindsay Hadlock
Administrative Assistant


Phone: 315-228-7368
E-mail: lhadlock@colgate.edu
Aurelius Henderson
Aurelius Henderson
Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising


Phone: 315-228-7368
E-mail: ahenderson@colgate.edu

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Dean Aurelius O. Henderson III arrived at Colgate University in 2004 to assist with directing the Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS). His OUS Program duties included recruiting of student candidates, increasing the yield of admitted (OUS) Opportunity students, developing & executing co-curricular schedules of Summer Institutes for (OUS) Opportunity students and effectively advising (OUS) Opportunity students in the financial, career, career counseling, and academic areas while utilizing advising approaches based on student development theory. He also managed the OUS administrative, budgetary, and daily operations from 2005-2009. By mid-2010 the Dean of the College (DoC) Division sought to expand its organizational effectiveness in student outreach.  Drawing upon Mr. Henderson as a strategic resource for his long-standing expertise in actively advocating for Access and Diversity on behalf of Opportunity students, coupled with his specialized knowledge in student development theory and application of student development models, Mr. Henderson was reappointed Assistant Dean & Institutional Adviser for Opportunity Programs.  In 2016, in his current capacity of Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising, Mr. Henderson offers personal concern, programmatic, procedural and policy expertise to the Colgate University general student population through a portfolio of nearly 800 student advisees.

In addition to garnering many awards and recognition for his professional achievements, Mr. Henderson has a B.A. in Computer Science from Hamilton College, as well as an M.S. in Higher Education Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Management from Keuka College. When Dean Henderson is away from campus, he indulges his true passions which are golfing, attending live sporting events at Colgate University, Hamilton College, and Syracuse University, cheering on his favorite pro basketball and football teams and enjoying family time with twin sons Jared and Jordan (age 20); Troy ( age 16); Isaiah (Age 12), and Kaia (age 11).
Kerra Hunter
Kerra Hunter
Interim Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising, Director of International Student Services


Phone: 315-228-7370
E-mail: knhunter@colgate.edu

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Kerra Hunter began working at Colgate in June of 2012. Prior to her current role, she served as Director of Residential Programs and Assistant Director of Residential Life at Colgate. She earned her M.Ed in Post Secondary Education from Salisbury University where she also served as a Resident Director. Kerra earned her bachelor's degree from Rutgers University where she studied Journalism and Geology. Kerra enjoys dancing, reading and travelling to her native island, Jamaica.
Sarah H. Jones
Sarah H. Jones
Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising


Phone: 315-228-6720
E-mail: shjones@colgate.edu

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Sarah received her B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and her M.Ed. in Higher Education from Harvard University in 2006. Prior to her arrival at Colgate, Sarah worked at Cornell University overseeing new student programs and orientation. She has also served as the Director of Student Activities at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a Commons Residence Assistant at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. In her role as administrative dean, Sarah enjoys working closely with students, especially in helping them navigate the complexities of college life. As a native of the central New York area, she’s a fan of the many outdoor activities offered across the region, especially the many fantastic hiking trails in the Adirondacks.
Becky Ralph
Becky Ralph
Administrative Assistant


Phone: 315-228-7426
E-mail: rralph@colgate.edu
Kim Taylor
Kim Taylor
Associate Dean for Conduct


Phone: 315-228-7426
E-mail: ktaylor@colgate.edu

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Kim has been at Colgate since 2003, serving as an administrative dean before becoming the associate dean for conduct in 2012. As the dean for conduct, Kim chairs the university student conduct board and student equity grievance panel hearings. In addition, she educates students on Colgate's policies and processes during orientation and throughout the year at various brown bags and classroom visits. Prior to coming to Colgate, Kim was a secondary history and sociology teacher at Hamilton High School. She earned her B.A. in History from Syracuse University and completed her M.A.T. in history and education at Colgate University. She enjoys spending time attending many of the excellent events on campus and getting to know students through their work both in the classroom and their various extracurricular interests.
Peter Tschirhart
Peter Tschirhart
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Scholars Programs


Phone: 315-228-6224
E-mail: ptschirhart@colgate.edu

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Peter Tschirhart holds a Ph.D. in the Critical & Comparative Studies of Music from the University of Virginia, where he also taught music history, music theory, and English composition. His own academic interests concern "sound maps" -- musical notation and spatial diagrams that specify not just which sounds can, are, or should be heard, but where. For several years, Peter also worked as the Coordinator of Studies at Hereford College (U.Va.), where he found a passion for developing academic programs that extend learning beyond the traditional classroom. Peter arrived at Colgate in 2013, and he works primarily with the Alumni Memorial Scholars (AMS), Benton Scholars, and Sophomore Residential Seminars (SRS). As well as thinking in "big picture" ways about program design and direction, Peter serves as the administrative dean to most students accepted into those programs. On any given day, he can be found advising students on research proposals, planning intellectual and cultural programs alongside his faculty colleagues, organizing international and domestic travel, and otherwise pondering the future of higher education. Born in Houston, TX, Peter has developed a love of cold weather and everything it brings. He can often be found running, swimming, biking, skiing, or hiking -- and otherwise enjoys drinking tea (Earl Grey, hot), baking bread, and watching documentary films. He and his partner Brian have two cats, Simon and Lucy, who they spoil like children.