• Marcia Lynn Sells, Esq., Dean of Students
• Jeffrey C. McNaught, Esq., Senior Director of Student Affairs and Administration
• Lakshmi Clark, Director of Student Affairs
• Mark Jefferson, Director of Community Engagement and Equity
• Mel Pelletier Saunders, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residential Life
• Edgar Filho, Administrative and Operations Supervisor
• Erika Hansen, Online Coordinator
• Carolyn Hubbard, Accessibility Services Coordinator
• Laurie Lower, Accessibility Services Assistant
• Louise O’Connell, Finance and Office Manager
• Eric S. Oresick, Staff Assistant
• Jeanna Phimmasen, HLS Title IX Specialist
• Sheena Prosper, Student Journals Coordinator
• Yvonne Smith, Administrative Coordinator, Board of Student Advisers
• Marla Allisan, Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Clinical Social Worker
Marcia Sells is the Dean of Students. Sells received her J.D. from Columbia, and her BA from Barnard. Prior to returning to Columbia in 2002, she held a variety of high-level positions in academia, the private sector and public service, including: Vice President for Employee and Organizational Development at Reuters America; Vice President for Organizational Development & Human Resources and Vice President for Player Education and Development at the National Basketball Association; and Assistant District Attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.
Jeff McNaught is the Senior Director of Student Affairs and Administration. Jeff counsels HLS students on the bar exam process, from general application questions to character and fitness advising. He acts as a liaison between HLS students and the bar review companies on campus. Jeff oversees a range of activities including student organizations, 1L Sections, law journals, moot court, and residential life. He directs the planning, implementation, and execution of campus-wide events including Orientation and Commencement. Before joining the Dean of Students Office, Jeff worked at HLS in operations and events, and practiced law for three years at a small civil litigation firm. Jeff is an active member of the Massachusetts Bar. He received his J.D. from New England Law | Boston, and his B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Lakshmi Clark is the Director of Student Affairs. She is responsible for managing the facilitation of law student access to academic, co-curricular, and social activities at the University. Lakshmi oversees the coordination of disability-related accommodations for the Harvard Law School community, oversees HLS Wellness, referrals and resources for academic support, and is the primary contact for law student emergencies. She manages the medical leave of absence process for HLS students, works with the Dean of Students on Title IX matters, and coordinates support for international JD students. Additionally, she contributes to the planning and implementation of Dean of Students Office events and programs including Commencement, Orientation, and student leadership development programs. She has a Master of Arts in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University.
Mark Jefferson is the Director of Community Engagement and Equity. Mark counsels students from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds, with a special focus on developing relationships with and working through the concerns of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, whether religious, socioeconomic, racial, gender/sexual identity, political, or any combination thereof. In collaboration with student groups, faculty, various administrative offices, and centers, Mark develops programming that promotes cultural competency, civil discourse, and thick articulations of the unique ways social justice, inclusion, and equity intersect at Harvard Law School and beyond. Additionally, he contributes to the planning and implementation of Dean of Students Office events and programs including Commencement, Orientation, and student leadership development programs. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and his B.A. in Philosophy from Morehouse College. In his spare time he reads whatever he can get his hands on, writes fiction, and contemplates the seemingly effortless genius of Sarah Vaughan, among other things.
Mel Pelletier Saunders is the Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residential Life in the HLS Dean of Students Office. She oversees all aspects of housing on campus including the lottery, move in and move out logistics, and billing. She also works with her amazing team of resident advisors to make sure that each dorm is a pleasant and respectful place to be on a daily basis. Before joining the Dean of Students Office, Mel traveled the Northeast working in college housing at institutions such as Iona College, Boston University, and the New England Institute of Art. She has a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Dramatic Literature from Clark University. While Mel is always reachable to manage housing, she is also an avid Red Sox fan and an artist.
Edgar works at the front desk of the Dean of Students Office and is the liaison for all DOS emails, phone calls and in-person requests. He also assists with various DOS events and activities. Working at Harvard University since 2003, he recently joined DOS after 2 years in Landscape Services and 8 years in HLS Facilities Management. Edgar has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is certified as a Medical Interpreter. He is originally from Guaira-PR, Brazil and enjoys movies, bicycling and exploring the United States.
Erika Hansen is the Online Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. She provides training and support to students in the maintenance and editing of student organization and journal websites. She also serves as the online liaison to other campus departments and assists student journals, organizations and the Dean of Students Office with various marketing and communications needs. Erika has a Master’s degree in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from the University of Southern Maine.
Carolyn Hubbard is the Accessibility Services Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. She works closely with the Director of Student Affairs to arrange accommodations for students and guests at HLS. Before joining Accessibility Services at HLS, Carolyn worked in a special education program in Providence, RI where she conducted assessments, developed curriculum, and determined appropriate accommodations for students requiring additional support. In addition to her role as Accessibility Services Coordinator, Carolyn assists with HLS Wellness programming, which promotes students’ overall well-being. Carolyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Film Media from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Education from Lesley University.
Click here to visit the HLS Accessibility page.
Click here to visit the HLS Wellness page.
Laurie Lower is the Accessibility Services Assistant in the Dean of Students Office. In addition to providing alternate format materials to students, she also provides technical support for assistive technology programs. As a Library of Congress certified Literary Braille transcriber, Laurie worked at National Braille Press before joining Accessibility Services at HLS. Laurie received her BA in German and English from Luther College.
Louise O’Connell is the Finance and Office Manager for the Dean of Students. She is responsible for monitoring all DOS financial transactions and managing all DOS budgets. She forecasts expenditures for departments, organizations, journals, the First Year Program and the Board of Student Advisers. Other responsibilities include cash, checks, credit card sales, reimbursements and invoices. Louise has worked at Harvard University for 27 years and has a great deal of knowledge of financial applications and policies. She has a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Louise enjoys the outdoors.
Eric S. Oresick works at the front desk and is often the first contact for students utilizing the Dean of Students Office. He regularly responds by phone, email, and in person to the needs of student organizations and journals while supporting Dean of Students Office operations. Oresick received his MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School for Design, and his BS in Mass Communication from Boston University.
Jeanna Phimmasen is the Title IX Specialist for HLS. She works with the HLS Title IX Coordinators to ensure compliance with Title IX and related laws and to implement the school’s Title IX initiatives. Jeanna received her Juris Doctor from New England Law | Boston and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Community Health from Tufts University. Whenever she is not at HLS, Jeanna enjoys reading legal thrillers, baking, and summertime in Boston.
As the Student Journals Coordinator, Sheena manages the journals operation and the publications cycle for 16 Law Journals. In addition, Sheena maintains the journals finances, collaborates with students on conferences and various symposiums, and participates in the planning and execution of Orientation and Commencement here at HLS. She is known to create a fun and friendly environment where the Student Journal editors can feel free to inquire about any publications related issues. Sheena joined Harvard in 2003 by working in financial administration before moving to the Dean of Students Office in 2008 as the sole journals administrator. She has a Certificate in Business Administration, Associates in Human Resources Management, Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Masters in Higher Education Administration.
Click here to visit the HLS Student Journals page
Yvonne Smith manages the Board of Student Advisers (BSA). The BSA is a student organization charged with providing several essential services to the Harvard Law School community. The members of the BSA serve as teaching assistants in the First Year Legal Research and Writing Program, and as academic and pastoral advisers to members of the first-year class. Yvonne oversees and monitors and manages the committees that perform the functions of the BSA, including Upper Round Ames, Orientation, First Year Ames, Williston and Course Evaluations. Yvonne has worked at Harvard Law School since 1987.
Marla Allisan JD, LICSW is a clinical social worker with HUHS dedicated to Harvard Law School. Based in CAMHS/Pound Hall, Marla helps law students with skill-building in relationships, coping with personal and family issues, integrating personal and professional identities and finding resolutions to impediments to achieving goals. Marla is also an actively licensed attorney and senior advisor to an adoption agency. She received her BA in psychology and women’s studies from Mount Holyoke College, her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and her masters of social work degree from Smith College School for Social Work. In her spare time, Marla enjoys playing piano duets, making art and thinking about how interdisciplinary thinking in the mediation/negotiation field can contribute to peace. Appointments with Marla can be made through HUHS Counseling and Mental Health Services, 617-495-2042.