Center for University Advising

Academic Advising Organization

Dean for Center for University Advising


Marc Oppenheim

The Dean of the Center for University Advising provides strategic leadership, program development, and administration of a comprehensive general advising center serving undergraduate and pre-professional students. The Dean is a member of the Division of Student Affairs leadership team and is committed to supporting student success, enhancing academic preparation, and cultivating among students the self-reflection and competencies that lead to personally and academically satisfying experiences. The Dean leads the department of 20 professional staff in three main areas: Student Outreach and Retention Initiatives, Undergraduate Academic Advising, and Student Athlete Advising. Partnering with faculty and academic departments to facilitate Hofstra's dual advising model, the Dean serves as a champion, advocate, role model, and mentor for Hofstra students.

The Dean also provides academic advising for students who are pursuing BS degrees in the Herbert School of Communication.

Strategic Outreach and Retention Initiatives


Jennifer Boscarino-Green,
Senior Associate Dean/Director
Email | Bio


Mary Etienne,
Associate Director
Email | Bio


Liz Babinecz,
Assistant Director
Email | Bio

This team provides academic advising for students majoring in Dance, Drama, Music, and undecided students in the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS).

They also lead the development and implementation of retention initiatives for undergraduate students and work closely with the other CUA teams and campus colleagues to develop and maintain communications campaigns, registration processes, grade review, scholarship review, orientation registration processes, and other CUA practices.

Undergraduate Academic Advising

Advising Deans provide academic advising for undergraduate students around academic policies, course registration and academic planning, and major exploration. They serve as guides and facilitators for students during their academic experiences and connect them to faculty and their academic departments.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Health Team

This team provides academic advising for students majoring in programs within the School of Natural Sciences, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Health Professions and Human Services, and the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. They also advise students interested in pursuing medical school or graduate work in the allied health professions.


Ellen Miller,
Associate Dean
Email | Bio


Matthew Hickling,
Senior Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Varinia Grannum,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio

Monica Schauss

Monica Schauss,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Ashley Gray,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Zarb School of Business and Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Team

This team provides academic advising for students majoring in programs within the Zarb School of Business, and some majors in the Kalikow School for Government, Public Policy and International Studies (Economics, Global Studies, and Geography).


Bert Binder,
Associate Dean
Email | Bio


Marianne Nargentino,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Gina Sandoval,
Assistant Dean
 | Bio


Lisa H. Fell
Email | Bio


Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Team

This team provides academic advising for students pursuing

  • Majors in the Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs (Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology)
  • Majors in the School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts (Comparative Literature and Languages, English, Fine Arts, Design, Art History, Rhetoric, Romance Languages and Literatures, Writing Studies)
  • Majors within the School of Education
  • BA degrees within Herbert School of Communication

Christina Cacioppo Bertsch,
Associate Dean
Email | Bio


Edili Lopez,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Kristen Klein,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


Kimberly Sloan-Montalvo,
Assistant Dean
Email | Bio


The Student-Athlete Advising Team

This team advises student-athletes in all majors.


Rachel Peel-McAndrew,
Associate Dean
Email | Bio


Christina Cacioppo Bertsch, Associate Dean of the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Team

I feel grateful to be a part of the Center for University Advising team. It is a privilege to work with Hofstra students each day and to guide them in their journey.

The last 15 years of my career have focused on advising students in various capacities. I previously worked as the Director of Disability Services at Fordham University and as a private college advisor assisting high school students. I am the co-author of the award winning book Life After High School: A Guide for Students with Disabilities and Their Families which serves as a resource for students, families and educators.

I grew up in Suffolk County, Long Island where I currently reside with my husband and two daughters. I attended Boston College and earned my undergraduate degree in Human Development and my masters in Pastoral Ministry. I lived in California post-college and participated in a year-long program called the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. where I was “ruined for life.” I went on to lead high school and college students on mission and immersion experiences in El Salvador, Ecuador, and Mexico.

I have a special interest in issues of social justice, as well as in teaching organizational and time management skills and studying the impact they have on students’ college success. I am considering applying for my doctorate in Higher Education. In my free time I love to play soccer, bike ride, cook and eat!


Bert Binder, Associate Dean the  Zarb School of Business and Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Team

Bert joined the Hofstra community in January 2010. As the Associate Dean of Advisement, he co-manages various office functions and transfer efforts that include a cohesive network of peers, staff and faculty who provide academic advising and support services for the undergraduate student population. His goals are to help students ask informed questions about their academic career and get the most out of their college experience. Bert has worked in higher education since 1993, and prior to arriving at Hofstra served as an Associate Dean with the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University, as an Assistant Dean with the College of Business at Fordham University, and as the Coordinator of Student Advisement for the Department of Physical Therapy at New York University. Bert earned a MPA in Financial Management and a MA in Education Administration from NYU along with a BS in Business Administration from Fordham University. Outside of advising, Bert enjoys exploring his new hometown of Hempstead and cultivating the luxuriant plot of books on his “to read” shelf.

Matt Hickling, Sr. Assistant Dean, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health Team

I have worked at Hofstra since 1983 when I was a graduate assistant in the disabled student office and the next year I started in the advisement office. As Senior Assistant Dean of Academic Advisement, I have worn many different hats which includes working with those in academic jeopardy, serving as pre-law advisor, representing the office in the academic records committee and currently I specialize in working as the liaison for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I hardly remember life before Hofstra and all these years in advisement allows me to use my knowledge of school policy, majors and career guidance to best serve the undergraduates the I see. Nothing gives me more pleasure than attending graduation each year and seeing students that I have mentored get their diploma.

I graduated from State University of Farmingdale with as Associate Degree in Applied Sciences and received for Bachelor of Science in Horticultural Therapy from Kansas State University. I attended Hofstra University where I got a Master’s Degree in Education in 1986.

I have lived Long Island all of my life-from Mineola to Garden City to Uniondale. I now live in Farmingdale with my wife, Cathy, and we have two sons Billy, and Thomas. My greatest pleasure in life is spending time with my family. I am a music lover and an avid reader and love historical biographies. I enjoy attending Broadway shows and as anyone who has seen my office knows, I am a lover of lighthouses.

Varinia Grannum, Assistant Dean, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health Team

I am an Assistant Dean in the Center for University Advisement within the Division of Student Affairs and have worked at Hofstra since June 2013. Prior to joining the Center for University Advisement, I was a graduate student at Hofstra pursuing a Master of Science degree in Counseling, with a focus on college student development.

Before making the decision to pursue graduate studies, I was a Senior Program Officer at the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York. In this capacity I advised international students studying in the United States under the sponsorship of the J. William Fulbright scholarship and exchange program. After eight years in this position I decided to follow my own academic and career goals by earning a master’s degree. I completed my degree in May 2013.

As an Assistant Dean in the Center for University Advisement I utilize my counseling skills and my passion for helping students as they transition from high school seniors to college seniors. I help students choose appropriate courses based on their majors and interests. I also teach students how to clarify and develop their personal goals and in doing so, help them create and achieve success. I believe that my role is to help students find their potential and nurture it with intellectual and social experiences that will contribute to their development as students and as life-long learners.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, reading (anything and everything!), and writing short fiction.

Ellen Miller, Associate Dean, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health Team
PreHealth Advisor and Director of Premedical Certificate Program

I began career as a higher education administrator at Hofstra in 1987 in the financial aid office. During my tenure at Hofstra, I have held many different positions including Director of the Office of Part-time Student Services, Director of Undergraduate Business Advisement and Assistant Dean of the School of Communication. However, the majority of the time I have spent here is as the university’s chief PreHealth advisor and Associate Dean of the Center for University Advisement. I thoroughly enjoy working with and guiding highly motivated students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions. There is no greater pleasure than helping students achieve their goals and identify their life’s work.

I am proud Hofstra alum several times over. In 1987, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and subsequently earned a Master’s in School Counseling in 1989. I took time off from school to raise my two sons and then returned to school to complete my doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in January of 2013. From each degree, I have learned to expand my mind and beliefs and hone my communication and critical thinking skills.

Prior to working at Hofstra, I was employed at Adelphi University as an administrative assistant in the Dean of Students, Counseling, and Student Activities offices. It was there that I first feel in love with student affairs and knew I wanted to spend my life working with students in a higher educational setting.

I am married to my best friend, Al, and have two boys—James and Robert. James has given my precious grandchildren—James, Lily, and Ben, who is expected in April. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my family and puppy, Hank. When I have free time, I enjoy cooking, reading and listening to music.

Marianne Nargentino, Assistant Dean, Zarb School of Business and Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Team

I have been working at Hofstra since 2007 and prior to coming to Hofstra, I worked at LIU in Brooklyn. Prior to entering into higher education, I worked as a product manager at Seagram.

In my position in the Center for University Advisement, I try to convey to students the importance of educating oneself, hard work, and taking care of themselves in every capacity. The beauty of my position is the high volume of students whose lives I can impact, enhance, and guide from orientation through graduation. Working with young people at the start of their adult lives and witnessing first hand their potential and growth, is the best job in the world.

A proud Hofstra alumni, I graduated with my B.A. in Psychology. I received my M.S. in School Counseling from NYIT and my M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hofstra. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and reading.

Gina Sandoval, Assistant Dean, Zarb School of Business and Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Team

What I love about Advising The best part of my job is seeing the transformation students undergo throughout their college experience. For many, this may be the first time they are away from home. They may be scared and unsure as to how college works, what they want to major in, or to whom to turn to for help. I pride myself on being that resource that students can turn to for guidance and assistance throughout their Hofstra stay.

Eventually, before you know it that scared and timid student is now completing a graduation check, talking about internships and job opportunities, and preparing for life after Hofstra. It is those moments that make my job truly worthwhile.

As your Advisement Dean, I welcome the opportunity to meet with you regularly to help you accomplish your personal and academic goals. Although I may not have all the answers, you can be assured I will make every effort to help you find it!

Lisa Fell, Assistant Dean, Zarb School of Business and Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) Team

I began working at Hofstra in 2017, shortly after having moved to Long Island.

I have been an academic advisor for many years, having worked at Ithaca College, Temple University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  To me, advising “never gets old.”  I really enjoy getting to know our students and helping them articulate and achieve their goals.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology as well as two master’s degrees – one in Sociology (with an emphasis on Population Studies) and one in Social Work.

I very much enjoy so many of the things that Long Island has to offer – beaches, restaurants, people, and proximity to New York City.

Ashley Gray, Pre-Health Advisor, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health Team

A native of Pennsylvania, I have found my home here on Long Island. I graduated from Hofstra with both my Bachelor of Arts in English Publishing (2008) and my Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2011). I have been at the University since fall 2004, and have been working here from the very beginning!

I was first a Student Aide in the Center for University Advisement from fall 2004 – spring 2008 and then a Graduate Assistant for the Center from August 2008 – June 2009. The summer of 2009 I helped to develop and launch Student Leadership and Activities’ Discovery Program as the Graduate Coordinator and was then their Graduate Assistant from September 2009 – May 2011. My first professional job at Hofstra was as the Assistant Director of Community Service and Leadership Development in Student Leadership and Activities from July 2011 – January 2014.

In January 2014 I transitioned to my current position as Assistant Dean in the Center for University Advisement. I work mostly with Pre-Health students, but I have students in all Hofstra’s different colleges in my cohort! I help guide them in what classes to take, what major they may be interested in, ensure they are aware of Hofstra policy and procedures, and just generally answer any and all questions they have. As a Pre-Health advisor I also help plan and oversee our Pre-Health programming including our Health Professions Scholars Program.

Back when I was a student, I was Editor-in-Chief of Hofstra's arts and literature magazine, Font, and was also named College Volunteer of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. Ashley's involvement with the Center for University Advisement as both an undergraduate and graduate student led her to discover her passion for higher education and for helping students throughout their college careers. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys the simple pleasures of life: laughing, the ocean, cantaloupe, and the stars.

Edili Lopez, Assistant Dean, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication team

I started working at Hofstra in May 2016. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Finance at King’s College in  Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and my Master of Public Administration from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the Center for University Advising, I worked as a residence hall director at Eastern Connecticut State University working primarily with first-year students. My responsibilities included staff supervision, programming, judicial hearings, and overall fostering positive relationships with students.  During my time at Eastern, I worked with the Dean of Students Office, Center for Internship and Career Development, and Academic Advising Office. Being able to have these experiences sparked my interest with wanting to work in advising and providing students with the academic resources that they need to be successful during their college experience.

I’m very excited to start my new journey at Hofstra and be able to continue my passion with working with all students as they are making important decisions about their future.

Jennifer Boscarino-Green, Sr. Associate Dean and Director, Strategic Outreach and Retention Initiatives 

I started at Hofstra in 1996 and have served in several capacities as a student affairs professional. I have been fortunate to work with all areas of campus life throughout the years. I attended a large state university as an undergraduate and a mid-size private institution for graduate work. My experiences as an undergraduate led me to pursue a graduate degree in higher education. I am a strong proponent of a liberal arts education. The knowledge that I acquired along with the life skills I developed have prepared me well for a successful career.

I began at Hofstra as an academic advisor for first-year students who were still exploring academic majors. My role included programming for new students, assisting with the acclimation to campus life. For the next 10 years I continued to coordinate programs for first-years, transfers and families. I re-joined the Advising team to continue the efforts of providing academic support to all students.

As the senior associate dean of University Advising, I am able to connect with new students as early as orientation and work to support them through to graduation. I love working with students and feel rejuvenated every fall when the new incoming class joins the Hofstra family.

I majored in Urban and Public Policy, a social science interdisciplinary program, at the University at Buffalo. My graduate studies include a master of science in education in Counseling with a specialization in college student development from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus as well as a professional diploma in counseling from Hofstra. I am currently completing my Doctorate in Educational and Policy Leadership. I am very proud to call myself an alum and serve our students. Go PRIDE!

Kimberly Sloan-Montalvo, Assistant Dean of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication team

I came to Hofstra in January 2014. When I was fresh out of my BA program at SUNY New Paltz, I started working at a youth and community service agency on Long Island. I worked there for over 11 years, developing educational, community service, counseling and recreational programs that focused on creating positive outlets and alternatives for youth. Once I earned my MS in school counseling at Long Island University, I worked in middle and high schools. My favorite part of each of those roles has been the opportunity to assist students in the process of maximizing his or her potential. At Hofstra, that still remains true!

Students at Hofstra can come to me for anything that they have questions about in their college career. I can help students develop their academic plan and connect them with a wide variety of additional resources to make the most of all that their Hofstra education can provide.

On a beautiful day, I gravitate toward outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking. Otherwise, I enjoy doing crafts and reading. My husband and I love to travel and we have taken a few roadtrips, including a month-long trip across the country and back!

Michelle Spatarella, Assistant Dean of The Student-Athlete Advising Team

I have been a member of the Hofstra community for over 20 years. I actually started as a teenager working as a Recreation Counselor in the Hofstra Summer Camp Program. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as an undergraduate while working in various departments on campus as an undergraduate assistant. I joined the CUA advisement team from 2001-2006, while attending graduate school and obtaining a Master of Science degree in Counseling. Taking a brief break from Hofstra, I worked as a guidance counselor in my hometown for a few years but couldn't stay away for too long! Back for almost 5 years now, I recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and work part-time with a group in private practice.

Working solely with NCAA Division 1 student-athletes here at Hofstra, my assigned teams are Baseball, Men's Cross Country, Women's Cross Country, Men's Golf, Women's Golf Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis, and Volleyball.  A crucial role in our office is to monitor students’ academic eligibility and progress towards degree per Hofstra an NCAA rules and regulations.  I enjoy my daily interactions with students, faculty, coaches, and Hofstra colleagues. Most of all, I look forward to working one-on-one with international students and helping all student-athletes navigate their way throughout their Hofstra career.

Rachel Peel-McAndrew, Associate Dean of The Student-Athlete Advising Team

Associate Dean, Center for University Advisement
202 Shuart Stadium

Transplanted from Yorkshire, England I have been at Hofstra from January 2003 as both a graduate student and member of the Center for University Advisement team. As former head of the University Tutorial Program, current CUA Associate Dean and Certification Officer for NCAA Division 1 student-athletes, I continue to wear many hats within the Division of Student Affairs. I have a true passion and drive to see students reach their fullest potential and work collaboratively to help them get there. Although I oversee academics for all teams, the designated teams I work with are Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Lacrosse, Women's Lacrosse, Softball, Field Hockey, and Wrestling.

Prior to Hofstra I worked in the investment banking arena for AVP Equity Capital Markets where I worked internationally and also lived in Manhattan.  Switching gears to higher education may have been a bigger culture shock than moving to The United States. Working as a graduate assistant, I began my Hofstra career and found my new home, while earning my first degree, a Master of Science in Physical Education.  After working at the university for a few years, I pursued and completed a Master of Science degree in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies.

While overseeing and implementing academic resources in the Fried Center I work closely with faculty, administration, coaches, and compliance officers to ensure the academic integrity of our student-athletes here at Hofstra.

Liz Babinecz, Assistant Director, Strategic Outreach and Retention Initiatives

I am excited to join the Hofstra community as a member of the Center for University Advising team. After professional experience in Career Development Services at CUNY Hunter College and, most recently, as a high school counselor, I am happy that I get to continue to advise students in my role as Assistant Director of Strategic Outreach and Retention. I am looking forward to helping students to make the most of their college experience, and to assist them in reaching their academic goals.

As a native of Long Island, I am excited to begin working here at Hofstra! I hold a BA in Social Science from Providence College, and an MS Ed. in School Counseling from CUNY Hunter College. In my spare time, I enjoy concerts, cooking, going to the beach, and traveling the country on road trips.

Mary Carmel Etienne, MA, Associate Director, Strategic Outreach and Retention

As the Associate Director of Strategic Outreach and Retention I work as part of the SOAR Team to develop strategies that help students learn about university processes, connect to resources on campus, and make decisions about their academic plans. I believe in the transformative potential of education and I’m passionate about creating inclusive learning environments where students of all backgrounds feel validated and supported to make positive change in their lives and the world.

I have worked in higher education administration since 2006. Before coming to Hofstra, I worked at universities in D.C. and Philadelphia. As part of my role at Temple University I  co-authored an article on self-authorship in faculty development programs.

I have a Master’s degree in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University and a BA in Sociology and Economics from the University of Connecticut. I am interested in exploring issues of social justice, youth marginalization, and social identity and I have presented on race and diversity at national conferences since 2011.

I enjoy dancing Argentine Tango in New York City.

Kristen Klein, Assistant Dean, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) and Lawrence Herbert School of Communication team

An alumna of Hofstra University, Kristen Klein is honored to be back "home" and now serve the Hofstra community in a role that was crucial to her own experience at Hofstra as a first generation college student.

Kristen primarily advises students in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication who major in public relations or journalism. She enjoys working with undecided communications majors as well. Prior to her return to Hofstra, Kristen was the case manager in the Dean of Students Office at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. Kristen likes to bring her experience working in student support into each of her advising sessions with her students to facilitate academic success.

Kristen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hofstra University and a Master of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University--New Brunswick. When she's not advising students, Kristen can be found running competitively with her running club in and around New York City. As a lover of learning Kristen enjoys watching documentaries in her down time. Kristen currently resides in Queens with her husband (who happens to be a Lawrence Herbert School alumnus) and Gulliver, their orange tabby cat.

Monica Schauss, Assistant Dean, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health Team

As a native Long Islander, Monica has been a member of the Hofstra PRIDE family since 2013.

Prior to coming to Hofstra University, Monica earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Keene State College in Keene, NH. Through her undergraduate experience as a Resident Assistant, and a Science Tutor she discovered her passion for Higher Education and Student Affairs. When she first came to Hofstra University Monica worked in the Office of Residence Life. Monica first worked as a Graduate Assistant for two years, working with graduate students then as a professional Resident Director for two years.

In 2015, Monica graduated from Hofstra University's Higher Education, Leadership and Policy M.S.Ed program and in the Fall of 2018 she began pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational and Policy Leadership at Hofstra University.

Currently her research area of interest for the EdD program encompasses, identifying what factors impact female STEM student academic success, a topic she is very passionate about!

Currently Monica works as an Advising Dean for STEM students. Monica loves advising, and mentoring STEM students as she was a STEM student herself in college. Her cohort includes, Psychology, Neuroscience, Speech-Language Hearing Science, and Urban Ecology students.

In her free time Monica loves spending time with her family and friends, cheering on the NY Giants, cooking, as well as DIY crafting.