Residential Life

Our Staff

Learn about our leadership, operations staff, and area coordinators.

Executive Leadership

Senior Leadership

  • Brenda Ice

    Brenda Ice

    Senior Associate Dean & Senior Director of Residential Life
    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Brenda Ice joined the Brown community in September 2021 as Senior Associate Dean/Senior Director of Residential Life. She leads Residential Life at a pivotal moment for Brown as we reimagine the undergraduate residential experience. With the implementation of an expanded and redesigned professional staff organization, Brenda leads the development of a shared, coordinated set of structures, practices, and outcomes to support undergraduate students’ experience of inclusive communities that promote wellness, growth, development with a greater connection to the curricular and co-curricular experience.

    Brenda has served in a variety of leadership roles in higher education for over 25 years, and her focus at all times is on advancing students’ belonging and learning as members of the university community. Prior to Brown, Brenda served as the Assistant Dean/Director of Campus Life at Scripps College (CA) and Assistant Dean of Students at the University of California – Riverside. She has also worked at Colgate University (NY) Towson University (MD), Wilkes University (PA) and Salisbury University (MD).  She also has a background in Information Technology, having served as Director of Telecommunications at Salisbury University for 8 years before pursuing her career in student affairs.

    Brenda earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Washington College (MD) and her Master of Education in Post-Secondary Education from Salisbury University.  She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Student Affairs Administration & Leadership from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.

Directors

  • Scott Helfrich

    Scott Helfrich

    Director of Residential Education
    Pronouns he/him/his

    Scott joined the Brown University community and the Office of Residential Life in October 2021 as the Director of Upper-Division Houses with 23 years of experience in higher education. Now as Director of Residential Education, Scott works with the Community Coordinators (CCs), Area Coordinators (ACs), and Assistant Directors to develop living-learning communities where students participate in fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness.

    Before joining Brown, Scott worked at Columbia University from 2005 to 2021 and Cornell University from 1999 to 2005. Scott strategically bridged the curricular and co-curricular student experience at these universities by partnering with faculty and alumni to substantially participate in the residential communities. Scott also worked and traveled around the world with the Semester at Sea Program in spring 2002. Scott spends his time outside of work with his family and skiing whenever the weather permits.

    Scott is a current doctoral student at Columbia University, Teachers College focusing on Organizational Learning-Adult Learning & Leadership. Scott earned his Masters of Science in Higher Education Student Personnel from the University of Rochester in 1999 and a Masters of Science in History from Misericordia University in 1992.

  • image of Mary Jordan

    Mary Jordan

    Director, New Student Programs and Community Initiatives
    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Dr. Mary Jordan joined our leadership team in August of 2023 as inaugural director of the New Student Programs and Community Initiatives area. In this role, she leads New Student Orientation, Weeks of Welcome, Class Year Programs, and the Brunonians Living Off Campus (BLOC) good neighbor program. Mary's favorite part of her role is working closely with Brown's brilliant, diverse, and creative students to cultivate communities of belonging - from orientation to graduation. 

    Prior to coming to Brown University, Mary served as an assistant professor of career and leadership development at Santa Fe College, where she taught and and studied global career development, learning mindsets, personal and organizational leadership, and equitable student success outcomes. She also taught and advised dissertation projects for graduate students in the University of Florida’s College of Education and St. Thomas University’s Institute for Ethical Leadership. 

    Mary earned her Bachelor's degree from Temple University in Journalism and Political Science, Master's degree from Rowan University in Higher Education Administration, and Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Higher Education Administration and Policy. Outside of the classroom and office, Mary enjoys rock-climbing, kayaking, hiking, and reading. She and her family split their time between Providence and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

  • Terrance Sanders

    Terrance Sanders

    Director of Greek, Program and Theme Communities
    Pronouns he/him/his

    Terrance joined the Office of Residential Life as the Director of Theme and Program Houses in August 2021. As the Director, Terrance is responsible for the development of the living-learning experience for returning students bringing a relational, strategic, and coordinated approach to a residential area of 1700 students. Terrance is from Rochester, NY and has had the ability work across the United States as well as Abu Dhabi, UAE.

    Terrance received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Plattsburgh State University in 2011 and went on to receive his Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Walden University.

    Prior to transitioning to Brown University, Terrance worked at Santa Fe University of Art & Design, New York University Abu and the University of Vermont. All of his roles have focused on the enhancement of residential operations, residential student experience and department vision. Outside of work, Terrance enjoys spending time with his family, friends and traveling.

  • Amanda Surgens

    Amanda Surgens

    Director of Residential Operations & Strategic Planning
    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Amanda serves as the Director of Residential Operations and began her work at Brown in the summer of 2022. She leads the Housing Operations team overseeing all aspects of student assignments, access, building management, housing occupancy management and residential operations.
    Amanda earned her Master's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in College Student Personnel. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership in Education with a dissertation focus on Gender Inclusive Housing on college campuses.

    Amanda has spent a great deal of her professional career working to create safe spaces and housing for LGBTQ+ students.
    When not working, she can be found taxiing her daughters to and from the dance studio or watching them compete in dance competitions. You might catch her running road races and a fun fact is that she and her husband ran the Boston Marathon twice as part of the Miles for Miracles team and raised over $40,000 for Boston Children's Hospital just prior to the pandemic.

    Amanda's future goals include completing her PhD coursework, running at least one more marathon, and continuing to advocate for the students at Brown.

Leadership

Our Leadership team includes our assistant and associate directors.

Leadership

  • photo of susi with long dark hair and glasses

    Susi Abboud

    Pronouns she/they

    Susi joined the Office of Residential Life in April 2024 as the Assistant Director of New Student Programs and Community Initiatives. In their role, Susi aids in the planning and facilitation of New Student Orientation, Weeks of Welcome, and the Brunonians Living Off Campus (BLOC) good neighbor program. Susi is most excited to create comfortable and inclusive environments for students to connect with campus, the Providence community, and their peers.

    Prior to coming to Brown, Susi served as the Student Activities Specialist at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida where they planned and facilitated multi-campus events encompassing themes of campus connections, community building, and diverse identity education & celebration. They also served as the Graduate Assistant to the Disability Resource Center at the University of Florida where they oversaw student groups and disability advocacy programs.

    Susi's educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in psychology and a Master’s of Education degree from the University of Florida in Student Personnel in Higher Education. A few fun facts about Susi include: they are proficient in American Sign Language; they have two orange cats; and they are Lebanese!

  • SB

    Sarah Ballman

    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Sarah joined the Office of Residential Life as the Assistant Director of Theme and Program Houses in October 2021. As the Assistant Director, Sarah is responsible for supporting and developing the living-learning experience of returning students in specific themed residential communities. 

    Sarah received her M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California with a focus on Corporate Communication. In addition, she obtained a B.A in Finance and B.A in Telecommunications from Michigan State University.

    Sarah is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has worked in numerous Student Affairs roles over the years. However, it all started many years ago when she worked as a RA during her undergrad at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the Brown University team, she was working at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas implementing and developing its Residential Commons system. Sarah believes that collegiate residential programs should be student-driven, with a focus on creating a sense of belonging for residents.

    In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family, watching and discussing film and television, and baking. Sarah also has a passion for travel, having visited six of the seven continents (just missing Antarctica).
     

  • Cavallaro

    David Cavallaro

    Dave joined the Office of Residential Life in March 2020 as the Assistant Director for Assignments. In his role, Dave manages assignments for incoming First-Year Students, the Housing Selection process for all returning students, and assignments for students with approved housing accommodations and other housing processes. He is a two-time recipient of the Student Accessibility Services Sarah Volante Facilitator Award.

    Prior to joining the team at Brown, Dave worked as a Residence Hall Director for the University of Connecticut supervising student leaders and graduate students. David also worked closely with professional staff training and onboarding for the Department of Residential Life at UConn, student leadership staffing processes, and summer housing and programs. Prior to his work at UConn David worked for Providence College in Residence Life while completing his master’s degree.

    Dave earned his M.Ed in Counseling with a focus on Higher Education from Providence College and his B.A. in History from Saint Michael’s College. He is an avid Friars Basketball fan and a New Jersey native. Dave now lives in the area with his wife, two daughters and an English Bulldog.

  • Nick Greene

    Nick Greene

    A first-generation college student, Nick earned his B.S. in History at The College at Brockport before earning his Ed.M. in Student Affairs Administration at the University at Buffalo. His first experience at Brown was in the summer of 2017 when he served as the Housing Manager for the Summer@Brown program as part of his graduate internship. Nick returned to Brown in July of 2018 to work as the Program Manager for Operations, where he oversaw housing assignments for Brown’s pre-college programs, as well as the early arrival and extended housing processes. In his current role, Nick oversees the assignments team, most housing operations processes, as well as the department’s housing management system, StarRez. Nick was awarded the SAS Sarah Volante Facilitator Award and the 2020 Rising Star Excellence Award. Outside of work, Nick enjoys playing video games, reading, and spending time with his wife and their Boston Terrier, Gus.

  • Steven Lewis

    Steven Lewis

    Steven Lewis, a Rhode Island native, has been with Brown University for 17 years. During his first eleven years at Brown, he was the Procurement Manager at the campus bookstore; and of his proudest accomplishments while in that position is the implementation of more efficient shipping and delivery processes.

    He is currently the Assistant Director of Residential Facilities and Operations. He not only oversees the Key Office operations, but he also supervises the team that ensures that the dormitories are safe and comfortable for Brown’s students.
    While working in these capacities, he has established professional, collaborative relationships within the Brown community which have been crucial to advancing the work he has done on campus.
    When Steven is not prioritizing student satisfaction at Brown, you may find him at home next to his yorkie, Leo. He also enjoys golfing and cycling and is an avid racing and baseball fan.

  • Steph Norris

    Stephanie Norris

    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Stephanie Norris joined the Office of Residential Life in November 2020 and currently serves as the Assistant Director, First Year Experience. In this role, Stephanie actively contributes to shaping the residential experience for students, ensuring a smooth transition for first-year students into university life. As Assistant Director, Stephanie works with the Community Coordinators (CCs) and Area Coordinators (ACs) to implement programs, provide resources, and collaborate with various stakeholders to create a vibrant and inclusive living environment. Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration in 2013 from Western Connecticut State University and her Master of Public Administration in 2019 from Penn State University. Prior to Brown, Stephanie was Director of Student Services at EF Academy. She was responsible for the overall functioning and performance of the department of Student Services which served 700+ international students in matters related to housing, maintenance, and travel. Outside of work Stephanie enjoys traveling to tropical and historical destinations. She enjoys poetry, painting, eating spicy food and playing tennis. She also loves spending time with her adventurous son, family, and friends.

     

  • Sue Vieira

    Sue Vieira

    Sue Vieira has been at Brown for eight years and in Residential Life for the past three years. She previously worked in the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity and Global Brown. Sue oversees the Upper Division team in Residential Education, assisting with program initiatives and student care. She holds a BA degree in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Providence College, where she researched the effect of bridge and mentorship programs on student success, specifically for students of color and first gen students.

    Sue is a fan of musical theatre, and loves reading, nature, hiking, and road trips! She considers herself a lifelong learner and plans on continuing her education in DEIB and student affairs.

     

Residential Operations

The Housing Operations team (Ops team) are staff who support the residential experience by making housing assignments, organizing housing processes, and controlling secure access to residential facilities. Ops team members oversee the Fall and Spring opening and closing of the residence halls, Housing Selection, Commencement & Reunion Housing, and all extended housing processes. Facilities and Operations staff on this team contribute to the physical, environmental, security and general maintenance conditions for the residence halls by partnering with Facilities Management to manage over 25,000 residence hall keys and 1.9 million square feet of living space on campus.

 

Residential Operations

  • Rose Benar

    Rosália Benar

    Facilities and Operations Coordinator
    Pronouns she/her/hers

    Rosália (rose-AH-lee-ah) joined the Office of Residential Life on Halloween 2022 as a Facilities and Operations Coordinator. The FOC position includes overseeing the management of a quarter of the residential buildings on campus, as well as having knowledge of the inner workings of the key office.

    Rosália previously worked for Brown in the School of Public Health, where she was the Student Affairs Coordinator for the Biostatistics department. Before coming to Brown, she spent a decade in various operational roles at Brandeis University, the Austin Film Festival, and the University of Texas at Austin. She also served a term with AmeriCorps in Texas.

    When she's not working, Rosália loves watching good rom-coms and bad horror movies with her wife and their English bullpug rescue, Katie. She's a trans woman, a dual US/Portuguese citizen, and loves motorcycles, tattoos, and anything pink.

  • André DuBois

    André Dubois

    Facilities & Operations Coordinator, First Year Residence Halls
    Pronouns he/him/his

    André joined the office of Residential Life in May 2021 as a Facilities and Operations Coordinator. The Facilities and Operations Coordinator position includes overseeing the management of a quarter of the residential buildings on campus and also having knowledge of the inner workings of the key office.

    André has been involved with Brown for over 20 years working with various organizations including Student Activities, Alumni, and Athletics including such events as Campus Dance, Spring Weekend, and Commencement. Prior to working with Residential Life he was a part of the service industry for over 30 years as a pest control professional. 

    When he is not working André likes to spend with time with his family, three grown children and his wife. He has been a resident of Rhode Island for all of his life.

  • Jessica Herisse

    Jessica Herisse

    Operations Assistant
    Pronouns She/her/hers
    Jessica Herisse joined Residential Life as an Operations Assistant in the spring of 2021.  As an Operations Assistant she addresses student lockouts, ensuring residents are able to safely access campus after-hours.  She also helps with key inventory of the dormitory buildings and other projects in the Key Office.
     
    Before taking time away from work to be a stay-at-home mom to her five children, Jessica worked as event planner in Human Resources as well as the insurance industry.  She is a proud homeschool parent who teaches high school math at the co-op her children attend.  She also serves on the Board of Rhode Island's oldest homeschool organization.  A rural area in the East Bay is where her family raises puppies, chickens, and ducks.  In her spare time she can be found spending time with her family and frequenting the movies.

     

  • Sarah Kamara

    Sarah Kamara

    Key Service Center Manager
    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Sarah joined the Office of Residential LIfe in May of 2021 as a Facilities and Operations Coordinator. The Facilities and Operations position includes overseeing the management of a quarter of the residential buildings on campus, and having knowledge of the inner workings of the Key Office. 

    Sarah joined the Office of Residential Life in May 2021, initially serving as a Facilities and Operations Coordinator. In August 2022, she transitioned into the role of Key Service Center Manager. In her current capacity, Sarah oversees a team and collaboratively manages a dynamic student staff comprising 20 individuals. Sarah and her team coordinate the smooth execution of yearly openings, managing pre-College program handoffs, and coordinating key services for significant events such as Commencement and Reunion.

    After graduating from URI with a BA in Economics and a Minor in Business in 2016, Sarah worked at Chamberlain International School, a therapeutic boarding school in Massachusetts. Sarah managed a dorm, provided both physical and emotional support and planned events and activities for the students to participate in campus wide, encouraging positive youth interaction and healthy boundaries.

    Outside of work Sarah is a huge supporter of music and art, visiting museums when the chance arises and creating day long playlists for the perfect occasions. Sarah also enjoys painting, photography, Anime, Manga, reading, and writing poetry. 

  • Paige Plucker

    Paige Plucker

    Administrative Coordinator
    Pronouns she/her/hers

    Paige Plucker joined the Brown and Providence communities in July 2023 after living in Indiana, Connecticut, Tennessee, and DC. She graduated from Georgetown summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Theology and Religious Studies and a Jewish Civilization minor. In the past five years, Paige has worked for several nonprofit and higher education institutions, including Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), GatherDC, Georgetown Campus Ministry, and Lighthouse Kosher here in Providence. Paige sees operations work as a way to connect with and serve her community above all, and is so excited to support Residential Life at Brown. Outside of work, she loves to read, explore Providence, eat delicious vegetarian food, sustain interfaith communities, and spend time with loved ones. 

  • Jim Rathbun

    James Rathbun

    Facilities & Operations Coordinator, Graduate Center, Vartan Gregorian, Caswell, Hegeman, Hope College, Lifflefield, Minden, Slater, Perkins, Young Orchards
    Pronouns he/him/his

    James Rathbun is a Facilities and Operations Coordinator for The Office of Residential Life. James is responsible for overseeing the physical, environmental, security, and general maintenance for over a dozen residence halls across campus.

    James joined Brown University in 2011 where he was hired as a banquet captain for Dining Services. He then was named the Retail Supervisor of Express Services and Carts in May 2014. In May 2021 James joined The Office of Residential Life as a Facilities and Operations Coordinator. Prior to coming to Brown in 2011 James spent many years in the residential construction industry working mostly on custom built homes and renovations. During the recession from 2007 - 2009 James transitioned into the hospitality industry, working in upscale country clubs, and hotels. Most recently prior to joining Brown in 2011, the Hotel Viking in Newport.

    James spends his free time with his wife and twin children.

  • alex reyes

    Alex Reyes

    Facilities & Operations Coordinator for Barbour Hall, Chen Family Hall, 111 Brown Street, 219 Bowen Street, 315 Thayer Street, Machado House, Sternlicht Commons, West House
    Pronouns He/him/his

    Alex is part of the FOC team, which contributes to the physical, environmental, security and general maintenance conditions for the residence halls by partnering with Facilities Management to manage over 25,000 residence hall keys and 1.9 million square feet of living space on campus.


    In 2001 Alex moved from his native Guatemala, to settle in on Cambridge Massachusetts. He was introduced to the food and beverage industry where he held different positions. Alex’s commitment to provide high quality customer service carried him to Brown University in 2007 as a Retail Dining Supervisor and later as Supervisor at the Faculty Club in 2010. Alex’s diverse background supports his daily goals to deliver service excellence in every aspect of his job.


    In his spare time Alex enjoys cooking for his family and friends while spending time on different DIY projects on his house.

  • David Saenz

    David Saenz

    Manager of Special Housing
    Pronouns he/him/his

    David moved from Bogotá, Colombia to Queens, NY at age 15. He earned his B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Higher Education Administration at Stony Brook University. During his time at Stony Brook David served as a Resident Assistant as well as an Assistant Coordinator for Residential Community Standards. Before joining the Office of Residential Life at Brown David worked at Adelphi University.

    David joined Brown in the fall of 2021 and currently works as the Manager of Special Housing. He is responsible for the management of enrollment occupancy during non-academic term periods (winter and summer housing), as well as during Commencement and reunion, and the bridge period between academic terms.

    While not at work David enjoys video games, watching movies and TV series as well as listening to music and audiobooks.

Area Coordinators

Area Coordinators (ACs) comprise the team of staff who support the residential experience. ACs facilitate all aspects of the daily operations of the residence halls and supervise approximately 25 paraprofessional staff members each. ACs coordinate campus-wide and regionally-based programming efforts to cultivate community and foster and student development. ACs provide individual student support, assist with crisis intervention, serve in a regular on-call rotation, and address facilities concerns.

Area Coordinators

  • image of Jenn Gomez

    Jennifer Gomez

    Pronouns she/her/hers

    Jenn joined Brown University's Residential Life team as an Area Coordinator for Upper Division Housing in August 2023. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, attended Providence College for her Undergraduate studies, and continued her education there for a Master's degree in Higher Education. Currently, Jenn is pursuing her doctoral degree, studying Education Leadership in Higher Education, and is a proud first-generation college student! Prior to joining the Residential Life team at Brown University, Jenn worked as a Middle School Teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, and later worked as a Complex Director at Providence College's Residence Life & Housing, with developed experiences in work involving social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her free time, Jenn loves to travel, attend concerts of her favorite artists, and practice self-care!

  • Paige Goodwine

    Pronouns she/her/hers

    Embracing a dedication to student well-being, Paige Goodwine, an alumna of Indiana University Bloomington with a dual master's degrees in Healthcare Management (MSHM) and a master's in Public Health (MPH), is on a mission to redefine the university residential experience. Armed with a B.A. in Psychology, Paige brings a unique blend of academic insight and a passion for building supportive communities within residence halls. Guided by empathy and integrity, Paige's approach to university residential life seeks to create transformative environments where students not only find shelter but thrive academically and personally. Her strengths lie in crafting inclusive spaces that balance structure with warmth, fostering a sense of belonging. Despite her introverted nature, Paige's love for people shines through in her commitment to meaningful connections within the residential community. Paige believes that a student's living space plays a pivotal role in their overall collegiate experience. She envisions residential life as more than just accommodation—it's a vibrant community where students can grow and connect. Open to collaborations that enhance the residential life journey, Paige invites connections from students, fellow staff members, and individuals passionate about shaping vibrant and inclusive campus living.

  • Bethany Holmes

    Bethany Holmes

    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Bethany joined Brown as an Area Coordinator in July of 2022. She grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida and moved to Tampa to pursue her education. She graduated with a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in College Student Affairs from the University of South Florida where she also earned her Bachelor's degree in English Education. Her previous position was in the Office of International Services at USF where she facilitated programming and events for International and Domestic students. During her time in higher education, she has discovered a passion for helping international students find their second home in the United States. She believes that every student deserves to feel like they belong at their university. Some of Bethany's favorite things are rollercoasters, traveling, and her pet cat, Asher.

  • Lori Sill

    Lori Sill

    Pronouns She/her/hers

    Lori joined Brown University’s Residential Life team as an Area Coordinator in June 2022. She grew up in metrowest Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts Lowell for her undergraduate studies, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and STEM Teaching. Lori continued her education in Lowell, completing a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration. While at Lowell, she gained experience in greek organizations, orientation programming, hospitality and event planning, residential life, and facilities management. Through her experiences in higher education, as a student and professional, Lori has developed passions in creating transformative experiences for student growth, community building through authenticity, and fostering inclusive and supportive environments. Her top five CliftonStrengths are communication, woo, strategy, positivity, and developing. In her spare time, Lori enjoys reading, playing video games, traveling to new places, cooking, and spending time with close-knit family.

  • Léhi Valladares

    Léhi Valladares

    Léhi was born and raised in Honduras and moved to the United States in 2003 for the purpose, as has been the case for many immigrant families, of pursuing an education. He received his Bachelor's in Democracy and Justice Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and his Master's in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Central Arkansas. Prior to joining Brown, Léhi worked as an Area Coordinator at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Through his experiences in higher education, both as a student and as a student affairs professional, Léhi has developed a passion for experiential learning and social psychology. In his spare time, Léhi enjoys reading, writing, and crossing off streaming shows from his interminable "Friend Recommendations" list.

  • Sean Wilder Jr.

    Sean Wilder Jr.

    Pronouns he/him/his

    Sean is the eldest of 3 and a first generation college student from Connecticut. He received his Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master's degree in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island. Outside of Residence Life he has also worked in Orientation, University Access, and Leadership Development. Sean has a commitment to enhancing students' sense of belonging at colleges and dismantling oppressive concepts. His Student Affairs philosophy stems from his self- authorship values, personal experiences, and the influence he strives to leave in the spaces he encounters.

    In his free time Sean enjoys being a father to his family, trying out new restaurants, playing basketball, cheffing it up and listening to music. He loves kangaroos and collecting sneakers. If you see him around campus say hi!