• Marcia Lynn Sells, Esq., Dean of Students
• Mark Jefferson, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Equity
• Jeffrey C. McNaught, Esq., Senior Director of Student Affairs and Administration
• Lakshmi Clark, Director of Student Affairs
• Sheena Prosper, Administrative Director of Publications and Student Life
• Mel Pelletier Saunders, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residential Life
• Sarah Affel, Title IX Coordinator
• Edgar Filho, Administrative and Operations Supervisor
• Erika Hansen, Web and Communications Manager
• Carolyn Hubbard, Accessibility Program Manager
• Sarah Kinkade, Staff Assistant
• Laurie Lower, Accessibility Services Coordinator
• Sam Parker, Student Life Program Manager
• 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.
Mark Jefferson is the Assistant Dean for 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.
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 Live Well @HLS, 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 J.D. 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, a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University, and is receiving her Doctor of Education from Johns Hopkins University.
As the Administrative Director of Publications and Student Life, 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
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.
Sarah Affel joined HLS as the Title IX Coordinator in October 2018. As the Title IX Coordinator, Sarah serves the students, staff, and faculty in a neutral role and supports all members of the community. She has specialized experience in responding to disclosures of sexual and gender-based harassment in the Harvard community. Sarah is also aware that your concerns may be of a sensitive nature and can offer supports to help you continue with your work or studies while maintaining appropriate discretion. Contacting your Title IX Coordinator is not the same as filing a formal complaint. When you reach out to Sarah, you are free to share as much or as little information as you feel comfortable. Sarah encourages all students, staff, and faculty to contact her with any questions or concerns. Sarah comes to HLS from Cornell University where she served as the Title IX Coordinator for the University. Prior to her service at Cornell, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, here in Massachusetts. She earned her law degree at Northeastern University and her B.A. from Tufts.
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 Web and Communications Manager 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 Program Manager in the Dean of Students Office. She works closely with the Director of Student Affairs to determine and manage 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 reasonable accommodations for students requiring additional support. In addition to her role as Accessibility Program Manager, Carolyn assists with HLS Wellness programming, which promotes students’ overall well-being. Carolyn has a Bachelor’s degree 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.
Sarah 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. She also assists with various DOS events and activities. Sarah has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and World History from Lesley University.
Laurie Lower is the Accessibility Services Coordinator 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.
Sam Parker is the Student Life Program Manager in the Dean of Students Office. Sam advises and supports more than 100 student organizations on campus. She works closely with student leaders, other departments, and outside vendors to develop and plan conferences and major events. She also works closely with the Senior Director of Student Affairs and Administration to plan and execute logistics for Orientation and Commencement. Sam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from Dartmouth College. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her spare time, she likes to hike in the White Mountains, emcee story slams with a local nonprofit called Massmouth, and travel the world.
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, and First Year Ames. Yvonne was a 2016 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence. She 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.