Meet the Team
Student Programs and Leadership Development Chairs
The Student Programs and Leadership Development Chairs are integral to the implementation of the mission of the Student Programs & Leadership Development. The mission is to introduce both first-year and transfer undergraduate students to the developmental resources, unique opportunities, and engaging experiences afforded them while attending Fairfield University.
The SPLD Chairs are charged with the responsibility of co-coordinating these programs. They are exceptional role models to New Student Leaders and to new students at Fairfield University. The Chairs are educators; a cohesive team made up of ethical leaders, and role models exhibiting healthy team dynamics and a strong level of commitment and dedication to the transition of new students to the University.
Student Programs and Leadership Development Team on Retreat
(Left to right) Kamala Kiem, Director; John St. Marie, Graduate Assistant; Nicole Heller, Intern; Shea Spitz, Assistant Director, International Programs; Lisa Tkach, Chair; Luis Gonzalez Rios, Chair; Marie Matta, Chair (spring 2013 only); Jonathan Mailloux, Chair; Missing from photo: Eric Lynch, Chair; Emily Asay, Program Coodinator; Jennifer Lechak, Intern; Elissa Carroll, Associate Director; and Tyler McClain, Assistant Director
New Student Leaders (NSL)
The New Student Leader (NSL) plays a vital role in the transition of new students and their families to Fairfield University during New Student Orientation in June, Fall Welcome in August, and the First Year Experience program. They are responsible for conveying information about the University's Jesuit values and institutional mission as well as its unique culture, traditions, and community.
Furthermore, NSLs assist first-year students in meeting their educational, interpersonal, spiritual, and social needs relative to their first year at Fairfield University by co-facilitating (with a Community Associate) the FYE seminar and serving as a mentor to new students throughout the academic year. NSLs engage first-year students in dialogues relating to their first year at Fairfield University, such as academic planning, time management, roommate conflicts, hookup culture, financial literacy, global citizenship, campus culture, etc. all within the contexts of the Jesuit values. The NSL is a role model committed to mentorship, academic excellence, community engagement, and student involvement.
New Student Leaders on Team Retreat
Orientation Support Team (OST)
The Orientation Support Team (OST) serves as behind-the-scenes leaders that make the Orientation program successful. OSTs shadow and work closely with a New Student Leader (NSL) to learn more about what the NSL role requires. Additionally, they receive training on various aspects of the Orientation program, including advising, creating inclusive communities, and facilitating groups. Furthermore, OSTs participate in the set-up and break-down of sessions, registration, decorating, troubleshooting, and other duties as needed. The OSTs also serve in one of Fairfield's oldest traditions, by welcoming and assisting new students and their families as they arrive in the fall.
CAs work closely with the Department of Student Programs and Leadership Development and a New Student Leader (NSL) to assist first-year students in meeting their educational, interpersonal, spiritual, and social needs during their first year at Fairfield University. The CA co-facilitates (with a New Student Leader) the FYE seminar as well as serve as a resource for students in their transition to Fairfield.
Kamala Kiem, Assistant Dean and Director
Kamala Kiem currently holds a master of arts in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and master of education in social justice education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her bachelor of arts in business administration from Florida International University. She has been working in the field of higher education, specifically student affairs, for the past 12 years at different institutions ranging from large schools like University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to small liberal arts colleges like Smith College, Northampton, Mass. In summer of 2002, Kamala studied abroad in South Africa conducting a comparative analysis of race relations between South Africa and the United States. Kamala has experience teaching courses on leadership, social justice (racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.) and intergroup dialogue. She is also a trained Multicultural Mediator. Kamala is deeply passionate about the holistic development of first-year students while ensuring their academic and co-curricular success.
John St. Marie, Graduate Assistant
John graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology in 2011. John is completing a Master's of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions with a dual Certification of School Based Counseling. As an undergraduate, John participated in programs that worked with the City of Seattle to build the relationship between the Mayor and the City's numerous ethnic groups. He also worked with counselors to implement drug and alcohol abuse interventions in the school systems in surrounding areas. With an extensive background in Psychology, John will work hard to be a valuable resource to students as they explore and grow here at Fairfield.
Brigida Salvioli, Operations Assistant
Brigida brings 10 years of experience from working in the Dean of Freshmen's office to New Student Programs. She has been actively involved in the Evergreen Family Network for the past eight years. She also coordinates sending care packages to troops overseas during the holiday season. Her son is an alumnus of Fairfield University and her daughter is currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Education.