Advisor Biographies

Cathy Carlson - Associate Dean, Academic Services

Hometown: Paoli, PA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.A. Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, Communications

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.Ed.D. Penn State University, State College, PA, Counseling, Higher Education

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Cathy has worked in higher education for many years. She started out in Residential Life at the Penn State, Altoona Campus, and then transitioned to working in Career Services at Connecticut College and the University of Connecticut. After ten years in the field, Cathy returned to school to work on her doctorate at the University of Vermont. While in her doctoral program, she worked as the Premed/Prelaw advisor at the UVM Career Center.

After completing her doctorate, Cathy took an administrative role at Community College of Vermont where she directed the operations of five of the college’s sites. Cathy then worked on a Vermont state grant to develop high school career academies in five high schools in southern Vermont. In 2005, Cathy returned to UVM to direct the Student Services office at the School of Business Administration where she worked until coming to Bentley in August, 2013. 

Cathy has two sons who are both current college students, one at UVM and the other at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. She enjoys gardening (flowers more than vegetables), reading mysteries and loves animals and has 7 pets herself.

 

Leslie Doolittle - Assistant Dean/Director, Academic Support Services

Hometown: Devens, MA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.S. in Business Administration, University of Maine

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.S. Adult Education, University of Southern Maine

Leslie Doolittle is an Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Support Services in the Office of Academic Services. During her career in higher education, she has worked in Orientation, Residence Life, and Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions. She's been at Bentley for 15 years and has a unique role on campus. She works with students across the academic performance continuum, working with students who are in academic difficulty, as well as coordinating advising initiatives for Honors Program students. Leslie directs the OAS Peer Tutoring Program, oversees Bentley’s Progress Reporting System, and works as a resource for students, faculty, and staff across campus. Among other activities on campus, she teaches First Year Seminar for honors students, teaches Strategies for Academic Success for probationary students, and is an active member of the University’s LGBTQ Committee.

Leslie loves Bentley, our students, and her role on campus. There is little that is more fulfilling to her than assisting Bentley students in developing and realizing their goals.

Outside of her work at Bentley, Leslie is a member of the Devens Educational Advisory Committee and is Co-Chair of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee in Harvard, MA. She loves reading, listening to music, dance, Pilates, and supporting Bentley athletic teams. Leslie lives in Devens and is the mother of two sons.

 

PJ Dickson- Assistant Dean/Director, Academic Advising Center

Hometown: Saugus, MA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.A., Colgate University, Sociology and African American Studies

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.P.S., Cornell University, Africana Studies; M.A., Brandeis University, American History; Ph.D. (A.B.D), Brandeis University, American History

PJ has mixed working in service to students with his personal studies since he was an undergrad himself.  In college, he served as a Resident Advisor and a Head Resident, leading a team of four RAs.  After college, he held professional positions in residence life at Emerson College and Tufts University before enrolling in graduate studies in American History at Brandeis University in 2002.  While taking graduate courses at Brandeis, he served as an advisor and mentor to a group of 10 students selected by Brandeis and the Posse Foundation to receive full tuition scholarships in recognition of their outstanding leadership skills.  In 2007, he began advising full time, serving first as the Advisor to the First Year Class, before being promoted to Director of Class Based Advising.  In December of 2012, PJ accepted the offer to move across town and fill the role of Assistant Dean of Academic Services & Director of the Academic Advising Center.  In addition to his work with Bentley students, PJ is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation which focuses on the history of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, specifically examining continuity and change at the prison in the wake of the civil rights movement and the federal court's intervention in the governance of the prison in the 1970s.  He is also a novice wood turner, devoted husband, and an enthusiastic uncle and godfather.

 


Henrietta Genfi- Assistant Director

 

  • Campus Address:  Lindsay 21
  • Phone Number:  781.891.2092
  • Email Address:  hgenfi@bentley.edu

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.A. Anthropology and English Literature; SUNY Plattsburgh

Graduate Degree & Institution: Master of Science in Education; University of Pennsylvania

Advising Interests: Working with diverse populations; Promoting campus diversity initiatives

Henrietta Genfi began working at Bentley in 2006, after completing her Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Henrietta originally planned to work as a school counselor at an elementary school, but realized she wanted to work with college students after interning as an advisor while in graduate school. Henrietta enjoys helping students figure out how to coordinate all of the academic opportunities available to them at Bentley, and working closely with students who are struggling academically.  Her dedication to students and academic advising was publicly acknowledged when she was chosen by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for an Excellence in Academic Advising Award in the New England region.  In 2011, she was promoted to Assistant Director of the Advising Center.

In her free time, Henrietta enjoys reading, watching movies, avoiding exercise, and eating. Henrietta is also interested in American Sign Language (ASL) and has worked as an ASL tutor in the past.


Melissa Jenkins- Assistant Director

Hometown: Billerica, MA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.A. English/Secondary Education; Merrimack College

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.Ed. in Higher Education in Students Affairs; Salem State College

Melissa Jenkins joined the Academic Advising Center as a graduate intern in the fall of 2007 and spent the academic year immersing herself in the Bentley community.  Following her graduation from Salem State, Melissa accepted a full-time position in the AAC in July, 2008 as an academic advisor and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2011.

Prior to joining us, Melissa spent several years as an adjunct faculty member at Middlesex Community College.  Through her work and graduate program experience, she has developed a passion for advising students and assisting them in reaching their educational, career, and personal goals.  She has embraced the opportunity to continue her work with the students, faculty, and staff at Bentley University and was recently chosen by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for an Excellence in Academic Advising Award in the New England region.

Outside of her work at Bentley, Melissa volunteers her time working with Robert J. Farrell Jr. Memorial Giving Fund and the American Cancer Society.   She enjoys reading, watching her favorite local sports teams and spending time with her family.


Meghan Charbonneau- Senior Academic Advisor

Hometown: Peabody, MA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.S.W; Salem State College

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.Ed. in Higher Education in Student Affairs; Salem State College

Meghan joined the Academic Services team in September 2009 as a graduate intern specializing in academic support services.  She worked very closely with the Peer Tutoring program, the Strategies for Academic Success seminar, and did one-on-one advising with students.  In September 2010 she accepted a position as a full-time advisor, and was promoted to Senior Academic Advisor in February 2014.  Meghan enjoys working with each student to find a unique balance and combination of challenge, support, and motivation they need in order to succeed, develop, and flourish throughout their college career.

Outside of work Meghan enjoys reading, swimming, live music, watching movies, dancing, singing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Amy Weber- Academic Advisor

  • Campus Address:  Lindsay 21
  • Phone Number: 781.891.2832
  • Email Address: aweber@bentley.edu
     

Hometown: Lexington, MA

Undergraduate Degree & Institution: B.A. Spanish; Tufts University

Graduate Degree & Institution: M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language; Pennsylvania State University

Amy Weber joined the Academic Advising Center at Bentley University in the summer of 2011.  She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University.  While at Tufts, she took advantage of the Study Abroad program and spent a semester in Spain.  Initially planning on a teaching career, she went to The Pennsylvania State University to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching as a Second Language.  After teaching ESL for three years, she decided that she wanted to work with college students in more of an advising role than a teaching role.  She began work at Salem State College in 1996 as a Program Advisor in the Student Life Division.  Amy spent 9 years working full-time at Salem State, holding several positions within the academic administration.  In 2005, she left her full-time job to care for a new daughter, but she continued to work part-time at the college, as an academic adviser and as the coordinator of the Life Experience Credit program.   Since joining the Office of Academic  Services at Bentley University Amy has worked part-time as an academic advisor and works with the Peer Tutoring Program.  In her free time, Amy enjoys reading, traveling, watching movies, and spending time with her family.

 


Molly Barrus- Peer Advisor

Year:  Junior
Major: Marketing
Minor: Finance

Hometown:  Cape Cod, MA

How did you pick your major:  During my sophomore year of high school I began working at a small gift shop in my hometown. What began as a summer job quickly became much more. I was able to work closely with the owner, exposing me to all aspects of running a business. It quickly became clear to me that I loved marketing! From the creation of print ads to social media campaigns and buying at national gift shows, I enjoyed the unique mix of creativity and analysis needed in the field.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley:  GB 112 & 212 because I had a wonderful professor who truly cares about her students.

Internship(s): Corporate Merchandising Intern, The TJX Companies

Bentley student activities you have been involved in:  Bentley Women’s Center, Campus Activities Board, Bentley Marketing Association

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor:  Choosing classes can be confusing, especially for students with majors, minors, and LSMs. As peer advisors, we have struggled with some of the same issues as you are. From quick questions to helping you plan your four years, we are here to help you in whatever you need. Not to mention, we are friendly!

One piece of advice you have for students: Get to know your professors! Go to their office hours or talk to them after class. Most of them really want to get to know their students and can be great resources for you in the future.

 

Abigail (Abbie) Marques - Peer Advisor

Year: Junior
Major: Managerial Economics with a Marketing Concentration
LSM: American Perspectives

Hometown: Mashpee, MA

How did you pick your major:  Since taking my first economics course at Bentley, I have grown to absolutely love the subject. I am fascinated by the constant changes in the market and understanding why those changes occur. Further, I have loved studying marketing since high school. This major offered me the ability to combine these two things I enjoy so much.

Favorite Class you have taken at Bentley:  I have enjoyed taking several classes at Bentley, but my favorite course was The Economic History of the US with Professor Stern. This course combined my love of history and economics and it was taught by an excellent professor. I found it interesting how the economy, through the use of new technologies, and various major historical events, has evolved into the economy we know today.

Bentley Activities: Best Buddies, Work Study for Spiritual Life Center

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor:  We understand how difficult and stressful it can be as you choose courses; choose majors, LSMs, and minors! We are students just like you who have dealt with all of these obstacles and we are willing and able to help you get through it! We can offer words of encouragement and some perspective on some of these challenges to help you make the most out of your four years at Bentley.

One piece of advice:  Get involved! Make the most out of your four years here at Bentley. These four years go by so fast, so make the most of it by meeting new people, finding what you love to do, getting involved in various organizations, and most of all, have fun!

 

Tiffany McClelland - Peer Advisor

Year:  Junior
Major: Public Policy
Minor: Business Studies

Hometown:  Lorain, Ohio

How did you pick your major:  I knew I wanted to get into politics, but I wasn’t sure exactly how. With so many people graduating with a political science degree, I knew I needed to distinguish myself, so I decided to go with public policy and business to give myself an edge.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley: My favorite class so far has been GLS 205, Social Policy. This was the most intriguing GLS class I have taken; it is coupled with a real life policy situation project. It was a challenging class, but the time and effort into it really made the outcome so much more worth it.

Internship(s): Office of Congressman O’Rourke

Bentley student activities you have been involved in:  I have been involved with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Moot Court, Service Learning, and the Certified Bentley Leader Program.

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor: Peer advisors are a quick and educated resource. There is no reason not to stop in and ask all those little, or even big, questions so that you can feel better about your decisions.

One piece of advice you have for students: Don’t be shy. Step out of that comfort zone and don’t hesitate to reach for everything you want.

 


Jacqueline (Jacqui) Perfetti- Peer Advisor

Year: Junior
Major(s): Actuarial Science and Business Studies
Minor: Spanish

Hometown: Scituate, MA

How did you pick your major: When I came to Bentley I had no idea what I wanted to major in. The only thing I was sure of was that I loved math and I was good at it. After taking a few math classes, one of my math professors introduced me to the actuarial career path and I found it both interesting and challenging. I like it because it involves a LOT of math, but also combines other aspects of business such as finance and economics.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley: My favorite class I have taken at Bentley has been Discrete Probability (MA 243H). It was the first probability course I had ever taken and it was extremely challenging. However, the professor was phenomenal and I feel I have learned more from that class than any other class here. Another course that was extremely interesting was Literature of the Spiritual Journey (LIT 230). This was a class I was not expecting to like as much as I did. I fell in love with it because it opened my eyes to the different religions and cultures around the world and I have gained a deeper appreciation for a diverse group of people. We also meditated every day, which was awesome!

Bentley student activities you have been involved in: Service Learning Fourth-Credit Participant and Volunteer every semester at Bentley, Secretary of Mathematical Sciences Club, Certified Bentley Leadership Program, Intramural Sports  

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor: Students should visit a peer advisor with any questions they have about picking classes or a major/minor. Talking to a peer advisor, a student that understands the pressures of college because we have experienced them (and still are!) can help ease your stress. A peer advisor can help you choose which path you want to go down, while making sure requirements are satisfied.

One piece of advice you have for students: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Professors, Career Services, Academic Advising, etc. are all here to help you succeed. More often than not a question you have is one that other students have as well. Take advantage of everything the campus has to offer.

 

Sarah Plis - Peer Advisor

Year: Senior
Major: Accounting
Minor(s): Law & Psychology

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

How did you pick your major: When I came to Bentley I was already thinking about majoring in accounting after taking a basic accounting course in high school.  However, it wasn’t until after I took some additional business courses at Bentley that I realized accounting was the one I was most interested it, and also the one that played into my strengths.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley:

My favorite class taken at Bentley was my business law class, LA 210. The class combined a variety of my interests, and is why I decided to minor in law.

Bentley student activities you have been involved in: Delta Sigma PI, Study abroad peer advisor, intramurals

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor: Students should visit a peer advisor because we have experienced many of the same issues, or have had many of the same questions as you. Choosing courses, majors, minors, and LSM can be a stressful and difficult process sometimes. Having someone help you through it who understands, and has been there recently can be very beneficial.

One piece of advice you have for students: Get involved on campus in something that both interests and challenges you. College is the time to try things you have always wanted to, but to also grow and develop as a person.  Find an organization, activity, or group that will allow you to accomplish both.

 

Greeshma Rajeev - Peer Advisor

Year: Junior
Major: Managerial Economics with a concentration in Economic Analysis
Minor: English

Hometown: Cochin, India

How did you pick your major: I fell in love with Economics after the first class I took in college. I love drawing graphs and analyzing them to get a sense of what is going on in the economy. It’s the problem-solving aspect that appeals to me the most. Also, it’s a universal concept and can be applied to various disciplines.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley: My EXP 201 professor made us write and revise until our pieces were perfect. I could truly connect with her and learnt so much from the class. She opened our eyes up to a diverse range of issues and ensured that the students in the class really got to know each other. I would take that class every semester if I could.

Internship(s): Risk Management Intern, Dunkin Brands

Bentley student activities you have been involved in: South Asian Student Association, Association of Bentley Activities, Bentley Service Learning Center Volunteer and Fourth Credit Participant, HerCampus, Vanguard

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor: Peer advisors are students and therefore, know exactly what a fellow student is going through. During registration time, many of us seek guidance from upperclassmen and academic advisors. Peer Advisors are a useful combination of the two. Also, they’re accessible and friendly, and always willing to help!

 

Ryan Sansalone - Peer Advisor

Year: '14, '15G
Undergraduate Major: Economics and Finance
Minor: Law
MBA Concentration:  Management

Hometown: Gladstone, NJ

How did you pick your major:  I took macroeconomics (EC112) with professor Kuntz and I was immediately hooked.  Bentley has an incredible economics department an a number of great courses.  I chose Eco-Fi because of my passion for economics and my aptitude for finance.  I could not be happier with my selection.

Favorite class you have taken at Bentley:  I had a number of economics and law courses which I loved.  However, my favorite class was The study of Greek Mythology (LIT 232) with professor Paul-Emile.  This was a faculty les program which allowed us to travel to Greece, Turkey, and London all in a 17 day trip.  This was the experience of a lifetime and it is incredible how much information students retain when we actually go to the sites that we studied.  Every student at Bentley should study abroad or take at least one of these faculty led courses.  I also took another faculty led course with Professor Paul-Emile where I studied Buddhism and Ancient Hinduism.  We traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore.

Bentley student activities you have been involved in:  I played varsity football as an undergraduate student.

Reasons why students should visit a peer advisor:  We have been through every process that advisees are going through now.  We understand, first hand, the common issues that Bentley students are faced with.  Peer advisors can offer guidance from the perspective of an advisor and the perspective of a student.

One piece of advice you have for students:  Do not be afraid to ask for help.  Advisors, professors, and classmates are all very willing to help a struggling student.  Many kids who struggle are afraid to seek assistance or they do not even know it is there.  The advising center is eager to help each student, but we can't track each person down.  Please come to us with any concerns!