Meet the Staff

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Neil Andrito
Director of residence life

My name is Neil Andrito, I was born and raised in Oakland, NJ. I completed my undergraduate education at Stonehill College with a degree in biology and psychology and completed my master’s degree in counseling psychology at Centenary College in NJ. At Salem State I am the director of residence life. The best part about working in residence life is being able to interact with students and help them discover their new home, Salem State.

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Teresa A. Gallishaw
Associate director of residence life

My name is Teresa A. Gallishaw, I was born in Syracuse, New York. I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and my master's degree in student personnel administration at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Currently, I am the associate director in residence life here at Salem State University. When I am not working I love spending time giving back to the community with my sorority sisters the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. I also like reading and shopping.

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Daymyen Tyler Layne
Assistant director, housing operations

My name is Daymyen Tyler Layne, I was born in the Bronx, NY. I received my bachelor's degree in psychology from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Prior to joining Salem State, I was the property manager for graduate housing at Boston College, in oversight of seven buildings in the Cleveland Circle area and the Heights. Here at Salem State University, I am the assistant director of housing operations, which includes all campus operations and housing during the academic year, as well as summer housing and conferences. My favorite piece of working here in residence life is the ability to connect with the undergraduate demographic, which I was away from for many years while working with graduate students. If I was not working in residence life, I’d be in the field of information technology. 

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LeAnna Willis
Housing operations graduate student

My name is LeAnna Willis, i was born and raised in the Philly area. I completed my undergraduate degree at Bloomfield College in northern NJ. I'm currently working on my last year of my master's degree in higher education and student affairs here at Salem State. I work in residence life as the housing operations grad. After my time here at Salem State I hope to work overseas. I love traveling, Dr. Who, and Korean Dramas. If you see me around come say hi!

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Carmen Aponte
Administrative assistant

My name is Carmen Aponte, I was born and raised in Lynn, MA. I received my associate's degree in secretarial sciences from Marian Court College in Swampscott, MA. Prior to joining Salem State, I worked in key positions at different industries, particularly the hospitality industry where I worked for over ten years in sales and catering, this experience has allowed me to expand my customer service and event planning skills. At Salem State’s office of residence life, I am the administrative assistant/office manager. 

Kathy Van Riper
Accountant III

My name is Kathy Van Riper, known as KVR, has been working in residence life for 15 years. I started out part time in the registrar’s office and then went full time in the social work department. I am currently the accountant for the residence life office and also double as the house mom for many students. I have my master’s degree in counseling and psychological services and work part time as a therapist in the population of adolescent teens, work that I love. I wear many hats in the office such as travel coordinator, counselor, advisor, and purchaser. I did stand-up comedy for three years in the early 1990’s playing places like Comedy Central in Boston and The Revere Pizza house.
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Forrest J. Finkler
Area coordinator, first year and sophomore experience

I was born and raised in Illinois and attended Western Illinois University where I received my undergraduate degree in law enforcement and justice administration. After college I attended graduate school at the University of Mississippi for higher education/student personnel. I enjoyed my time in Mississippi as a hall director for several years along with southern cooking and SEC football; Go Rebs! I then moved to Maine where I worked as an area coordinator at the University of New England before joining the Salem State family in the summer of 2012. As the area coordinator for first year and sophomore experience I oversee the first year and sophomore area including Marsh, Bowditch and Peabody Halls. If I’m not in the office or at a program on campus you will likely find me mountain biking, hanging out in the woods, cooking, or relaxing with my family.
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Sherard Robbins
Assistant resident director, Marsh Hall

My name is Sherard Robbins. I hail from Malden, Massachusetts and have remained in state ever since. I received my undergraduate degrees (american studies and juvenile justice) from Wheelock College in Boston, MA, and am currently pursuing a M.Ed here at Salem State University. While matriculated in Salem State’s higher education in student affairs program, I also serve as the assistant resident director for Marsh Hall. Along with Forrest Finkler, I oversee the largest residence hall on campus whose designation supports the service of a student’s sophomore experience. What drives me the most about my position is the opportunity I am given, daily, an to make an impact on the life of another. Sometimes the greatest reward in life is far from monetary. And, lastly, if I was not working at Salem State, I am fairly certain that you could find me on your favorite radio station.
 
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Alex Brown
Resident director, Bowditch Hall

Hi y’all! I’m Alex Brown, the resident director for Bowditch Hall. I hail from Virginia Beach, Virginia and received my BS in psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Go Hokies!). I received my MS in college student personnel from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!). If I couldn't work with college students, I would be a professional karaoke singer!

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Kris Nolan
Acting resident director, Peabody Hall

Hi all! My name is Kris Nolan. I grew up on a farm in White Creek, New York. I completed my undergraduate degree in world literature from the Castleton State College in 2012. I then worked at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire working in residential life. Now I am currently working through my master's degree in higher education in student affairs here at Salem State. I am the current acting resident director of Peabody Hall and am looking forward to having an amazing year! In my spare time I enjoy playing the ukulele, baking, running, and writing poetry. 

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Sarah Brown
Assistant resident director, Peabody Hall

My name is Sarah Brown, I was born and raised in North Attleboro, MA. I completed my undergraduate education at Salem State University for history. At Salem State I have been a resident assistant for three years during my undergraduate career, and during my graduate career was formerly assistant resident director for Marsh Hall and currently the assistant resident director for Peabody Hall. Hopefully after Salem I would like to explore my career options in the SEC!

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Lu Ferrell
Resident director, Atlantic Hall

My name is Lu Ferrell, I am originally from Chittenden, Vermont, and I have landed in Salem by way of New York City. I completed both my degrees in Burlington, Vermont, where I attended Champlain College for a bachelor's of science in multimedia and graphic design and the University of Vermont for a master's of education in higher education and student affairs administration. Within residence life I am the resident director of Atlantic Hall and work on several projects including residential curriculum, gender inclusive housing, and professional staff training. Outside of the department at Salem State I serve on the President's Advisory Committee on Diversity, Affirmative Action, Equity and Social Justice, LGBTQ Task-Force, advise The Alliance, and co-advise the Campus Educators on Sexual Assault. Outside of work I like to hike, kayak and generally be outside going on adventures! 

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Skyler Boeding
Assistant resident director, Atlantic Hall

My name is Skyler Boeding. I was born in Denver, Colorado but raised in Orlando, Florida. I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado but am currently working through my master's degree in counseling here at Salem State. I am the current assistant resident director of Atlantic Hall and am looking forward to this new year! In my spare time I enjoy exploring New England and playing any sport I can find.

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Elliott Rafael Johnston
Resident director, Bates Complex

My name is Elliott Rafael Johnston, I was born in Alicante, Spain but grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth where I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in communications. While at UMD – I spent three years working with residence life, one year as a desk receptionist and two years as a resident assistant. I received my master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education from Arizona State University. This fall I will be starting my third year as a resident director at Salem State, my first year I worked in Bowditch Hall and for my second year I moved to Bates Complex which is where I will be for this coming year as well. If I was not working in higher education, I would like to be a veterinarian and working with exotic animals at a zoo.

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Tom Durkee
Assistant resident director, Bates Complex

Hello! I’m Tom Durkee. I am originally from Springfield, MA. I hold a bachelor’s degree in communication from Westfield State University and I am currently a graduate student at Salem State University in the higher education in student affairs program. I work at Salem State as the assistant resident director for Bates Complex on south campus. A fun fact about me is that I am a HUGE tech guru, I especially love Apple and their iStuff!