NAPLA - The Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors

Candidates


The NAPLA Nomination Committee 2021-2022 is honored to present the following slate of Executive Board and At-Large Board positions.

NAPLA Nominations Committee: Recommended Executive Board – 2022
  • President: Lauren Dropkin (Brandeis University)
  • 1st Vice President: Alex Jablonski (Binghamton University)
  • 2nd Vice President: Michelle Yingling (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Treasurer: Heather Frederick (Slippery Rock University)
  • Secretary: Tianna Ransom (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))
  • Communication Coordinator: Marcus Thomas (University of Hartford)

Slate of Self Nominations for At-Large Board Positions – 2022

2-Year Position (Sept. ‘22-August ‘24) – 5 candidates, 4 positions

  • Teresa Rivera Bean (Hood College)
  • Jaime Dunn (St. John’s College)
  • Ed Egan (Mount St. Mary’s University)
  • Regina Graziani (University of Hartford)
  • Alexandra Karlesses (Villanova University)


1-Year Position (Sept. ‘22-August ‘23) – 4 candidates, 3 positions

  • Christopher Brooks (East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania)
  • Amorette Farkas (Northeastern University)
  • Kelley Garland (Suffolk University)
  • Claude Mayo (Quinnipiac University)


    BIOS of Recommended NAPLA Executive Board Members

    President: Lauren Dropkin (Brandeis University) 

    Lauren Dropkin practiced family law for 13 years in Chicago before transitioning to her current roles at Brandeis University. While Lauren serves as a general career counselor, she specializes in advising students who are considering a career in law and policy, as well as those who seek to continue their education in other types of graduate school programs. In addition to her role at the Hiatt Career Center, Lauren is a teaching fellow for the Legal Studies Department. She has served on the NAPLA Board since 2017 in multiple positions, and is currently acting president while concluding her term as 1st Vice President and 2022 Conference Chair. Lauren especially enjoys coordinating the mentorship program and looks forward to presenting again at future NAPLA conferences. As president, Lauren's goals are to clarify our By-Laws, increase the value of NAPLA membership and draw more members into leadership roles.


    1st Vice President: Alex Jablonski (Cornell University) 

    Alex Jablonski currently serves as NAPLA's Second Vice President. After several years as Pre-Law Advisor at Binghamton University, he has recently transitioned to Cornell, where he serves as Assistant Director (Pre-Law and Pre-Grad Advising) in the Cornell Career Services Office. He has been an active member of NAPLA since 2018, first as a member of the planning committee for the 2019 conference and then, beginning in Fall 2019, as a member of the board.

    2nd Vice President: Michelle Yingling (University of Pittsburgh) 

    Michelle Yingling currently serves as Communications Coordinator on the baord. She has been the sole pre-law advisor at the University of Pittsburgh since 2013 where she advises students on all aspects of the pre-law process including applying to law school. Michelle has served as an active member of the NAPLA board in several capacities including Treasurer and at-large board member. She has also presented at many of the past NAPLA and PLANC conferences. She has a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Carlow University and currently works in the Career Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Treasurer: Heather Frederick (Slippery Rock University)

    Dr. Heather Frederick received her PhD in political science from West Virginia University and her BA from Hollins University where she majored in Philosophy and Communications with a minor in women’s studies. She regularly teaches courses in American Government, including The Presidency and American National Government. Dr. Frederick also serves as the Prelaw Program Coordinator for the university and offers courses in The Courts, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and Constitutional Law. She is known by her students as a fun and informative lecturer, and by her upper-level majors as a tough, demanding, and thorough professor. She has taught at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania since 2004. She originated the debate program at SRU in 2017. She has been a member of NAPLA since 2011, has served on the NAPLA board since 2018, and is actively engaged in research to aid prelaw advisors, regularly and often presenting at NAPLA conferences.


    Secretary: Tianna Ransom (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) 

    Tianna Ransom is the Assistant Director of Career Exploration at MIT and serves as the liaison for the Social Impact, Policy, and Law Career Pathway for First-Year Undergraduate through PhD students and recent alumni. She is the staff advisor for the MIT Pre-Law Society and manages career exploration initiatives for the Institute. Tianna has led and collaborated on multiple DEI efforts at MIT and has presented on DEI at four regional and national conferences. She has been involved in NAPLA events since beginning her role as a Pre-Law Advisor in 2018.

    Communications Coordinator: Marcus Thomas (University of Hartford) 

    Marcus Thomas is an educator and entertainment attorney. He has maintained an entertainment law practice and held in-house positions with a major record label, major-affiliated music publisher and the nation's largest education music print publisher. Thomas serves as Associate Professor, Chair of Music and Performing Arts Management at the University of Hartford. He’s the pre-law advisor for The Hartt School and The Hartford Art School. Thomas teaches Pre-Law I and II, Entertainment Law, Artist Management, and Music Publishing. Thomas was a Governor for the Recording Academy’s Atlanta chapter and on Atlantis Music Conference’s Urban Advisory Board. He’s been a participating member of the Georgia Music Industry Association, MusiCares, the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, and NAMM Generation Next.


    BIOS of NAPLA At-Large Board Candidates

    2-Year Position (Sept. ‘22-August ‘24) – 5 candidates, 4 positions

    Teresa Rivera Bean (Hood College)

    Teresa Rivera Bean is enjoying her second career as associate professor of law and criminal justice. In her former life, she served as a career prosecutor. She spent 12 years as the Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit, which she established in 2000. She served as the Director of Training and Internship Programs, liaison to the grand jury, and Chief of the Juvenile Division. A graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, Teresa has worked in various capacities within the legal system: judicial law clerk, prosecutor, defense attorney, and plaintiff’s attorney. As a scholar-practitioner, Teresa still practices law in an “Of Counsel” capacity and is called in to litigate cases for a law firm, which Teresa claims is the “best of both worlds.” For the past 30 years, Teresa has been an Instructor, Adjunct Professor, Assistant Professor, and now Associate Professor in higher education. She is currently the Pre-Law Advisor and Advisor to the Criminal Justice Students’ Association at Hood College. Teresa also uses her expertise to develop curriculum, train, and educate other legal professionals and teaches Written Communications and Courtroom Testimony for the Natural Resources Police Academy and the Maryland State Police Academy.

    Jaime Dunn (St. John’s College) 

    Jaime is the Director of Career Services and Pre-law advisor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. Known for its study of the “Great Books”, and without majors, departments, or a formal pre-law program, she enjoys the challenge of preparing students for a career in law and the academic program is excellent preparation for it! She joined St. John’s after positions at the College of William & Mary’s DC office and as an Assistant Dean for law school admissions at the college. She has worked in higher education since graduating with a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Randolph-Macon College. After working as a ”roadrunner” in Admissions for R-MC, she completed an M.A.Ed. and Ph.D. in higher education from the College of William & Mary and The Ohio State University.

    Ed Egan (Mount St. Mary’s University) 

    Ed Egan is the Director of the Pre-Law Program at Mount St. Mary’s University. He earned his B.S. in Political Science from Mount St. Mary’s and his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. After law school graduation, Ed clerked for Judge Joseph M. Mathias on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. Ed has practiced law in Maryland, D.C. and Pennsylvania. In addition to his Pre-Law duties at Mount St. Mary’s, Ed directs the university’s First-Year Seminar and has taught courses on civil rights law, environmental law, the First Amendment, and the American legal system, among others. Ed previously served as an At-Large Member of the NAPLA Board and looks forward to returning to the Board if elected.

    Regina Graziani (University of Hartford) 

    Regina C. Graziani, Esq. is the Program Director of, and Instructor in, the Paralegal Studies Program at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, directing and instructing traditional learners, and adult part-time learners at the undergraduate and doctoral levels. She also serves as one of the University’s Pre-law Advisors. Regina serves as a Co-chair of the Paralegals Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Chair of the Hartford County Bar Association’s Paralegal Committee. She is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of Connecticut, the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, and the United States Supreme Court, and maintains a select private practice. She presents regularly at national and regional conferences on various topics relevant to paralegals and the education of paralegals.

    Alexandra Karlesses (Villanova University) 

    Alexandra Karlesses currently serves as the Assistant Director of Career Development and Pre-Law Advising at Villanova University, where she has had the opportunity to cultivate her advising regimen in both general career counseling and pre-law tracks. A dedicated counselor at Villanova, she also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she teaches two courses: one that centers around the law school application process, while the other teaches students about the different facets of the law profession and connects students with current lawyers to help answer their industry-related questions. This fall, she will also assist the Industry Advising Team with Villanova on the Hill—a weeklong immersive experience that explores all aspects of the policymaking and political ecosystem of Washington D.C. A recent graduate of West Chester University’s Master in Higher Education Policy program, she recently defended her thesis that focused on incorporating appreciative advising and life design frameworks into traditional career counseling practices.

    1-Year Position (Sept. ‘22-August ‘23) – 4 candidates, 3 positions

    Christopher Brooks (East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania) 

    Professor Christopher Brooks received his BA and MA in US History from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. He then received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Edinburgh University, where he studied British influences on the US judiciary. Professor Brooks went on to complete his doctoral work at Kassel University in Germany. While in Germany, Chris was an active member of the Center for North American Research in Frankfurt, where he focused on constitutional and legal history. He also worked for a number of mid- to large-sized law firms teaching legal English and did legal translation, including some for Germany’s nation’s highest court. Prof. Brooks’ current research investigates early African-American attorneys, amongst other topics. One of the several committees he serves on advise the US Commission on Civil Rights. He served as an at-large board member from 2018-21 and has been an active pre-law advisor on his campus since 2014.

    Amorette Farkas (Northeastern University) 

    Amorette Farkas has been working in higher education and various student services roles for the past 8 years. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University and an Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration from Boston University. Amorette currently works as the Pre-Law Advisor at Northeastern, where she specializes in supporting students and alumni who are pursuing careers in law and offers strategic guidance on the application process. She is also passionate about helping others reach their potential and this led her to obtain a certification as a Gallup CliftonStrengths coach, where she guides people in leveraging their strengths to become the best version of themselves.

    Kelley Garland (Suffolk University) 

    Kelley Garland is an Assistant Director of Career Communities, focusing on government and law at Suffolk University in Boston. In her work, she supports students and alumni navigate various industries through volunteering, internships, full-time roles, graduate school applications, and competitive fellowships. Through classroom visits, marketing and individual/group advising, Kelley provides timelines, test prep and scholarship resources, gap year opportunities and more for those planning their pathway to Law School. She hopes that as part of NAPLA, she can support event logistics for new and experienced advisors in the field, and continuing to grow as an advisor for her community.

    Claude Mayo (Quinnipiac University) 

    Claude E. P. Mayo, is the Director of Academic Integrity and Pre-Law Adviser at Quinnipiac University (CT). Though relatively new to the adventures of pre-law advising (1 year), he has quickly begun to enjoy the rewards of collaborating with and supporting students along their law school & legal career journeys. Now, and at all times in the past, Claude remains committed to helping students succeed through their own individual CHAOS (Campus – Health – Academics – Opportunities – Service). Claude’s prior roles have served both academic and student affairs sides of several higher education institutions. He has held full and part time faculty appointments in Communications, Counseling, and First-Year Experience programs while also performing as an Academic Adviser and Coordinator of Early College Programs. And with a supreme dedication to improving the student experience, Claude has also acted in residential life (e.g. housing and programming) and student conduct roles. Critical to Claude’s success in pre-law advising thus far has been NAPLA. He has attended NAPLA events, built relationships within the network, and most importantly implemented knowledge and skills that improve pre-law advising. Recognizing this large contribution to his practice, Claude now wishes to serve others working with similar ideals throughout the NAPLA network.


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