The Professional Staff in SLCE
Find descriptions of our staffing positions at these links:
Student Living Staff Positions College Engagement Staff Positions
For the Resident Assistant staff, click here.
Executive Director for Student Living and College Engagement
Scott Nonemaker Scott started his career as an RA at SUNYIT in the fall of 1995 and was elevated to Residence Hall Director in the Summer of 1996. In May of 2001, he received his Master's degree in Higher Education from Syracuse University and soon left SUNYIT to join the Office of Residence Life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) as an Assistant Director. After 2 years he moved back to SUNYIT as the Director of College Housing. In the fall of 2010, Scott changed positions at SUNYIT to become the College Accountant and in January of 2015, he joined Utica College as the Director of Residence Life. Finally, in February of 2017 he was promoted to his current position. As Executive Director, Scott is responsible for the development and implementation of both the housing and activity programs. In his free time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife of 20 years and his two teenage boys, ages 18 and 16.
Assistant Director for College Engagement and Leadership
Bethany VanBenschoten Bethany relocated to the area in 2011 after working as the Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Activities at Syracuse University. She graduated from SU in May 2011 with a Master's degree in Higher Education and has a Bachelor's degree from Le Moyne College in Mathematics/Computer Sciences and Secondary/Special Education. She is very excited to continue to work in Student Activities as the staff advisor for the Utica College Programming Board and recently helped charter and is now the advisor for the Utica College Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Bethany's responsibilities also include leadership skill-building training and student organization policy training, and her research revolves around student leadership. She is a dedicated watcher of the Food Network, enjoys bowling and mini golf, likes to take road trips to beautiful places, and enjoys rearranging and decorating her home with her husband Jason, son Teddy, pug Lenny, and cats Sammy and Ginny.
Interim Assistant Director for Student Living
Marissa Finch Marissa joined the Utica College family in January of 2014 as an Area Coordinator after working as a Graduate Resident Assistant for Pratt Munson-Williams-Proctor of Utica, NY. Prior to working at UC Marissa graduated from SUNY Cortland in May 2013 where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood and Early Childhood Education. While working at UC Marissa finished earning her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University. While working at Utica College Marissa has been involved in Diversity Committee, she has previously worked closely with the SafeZone initiative, the Gender Inclusive Taskforce, and the Residence Hall Association. She is currently a Captain for Team UC for the Heart Run and Walk and the advisor for the Class of 2019. Marissa’s current responsibilities include overseeing all operational components of the student living program, supervising the Area Coordinators, as well as developing and overseeing all residential programming initiatives and assessment processes. Outside of Utica College, Marissa enjoys baking, cooking, cuddling with her cat Kiara, watching and playing sports, and traveling to exotic places.
Assistant Director for New Student Programs
Coordinator of Student Living and College Engagement for Events and Services
Fran Lucia Fran joined the UC Family in the summer of 2004. If someone were to ask Fran about her UC experience, she would immediately smile and say that UC is her extended family. Having all of her daughters graduate from UC, Amie '05, Carrie '08, and Sarah '11, Fran feels that Utica College has given her daughters a solid foundation. Also, as the Greek Life Advisor, Fran takes great pride in working with the active Greek Organizations on campus. Fran is the recipient of many awards and certificates of appreciation, including Womyn’s Resource Center Mentor of the year 2005-2006, Women In a New Direction Certificate of Appreciation 2005, SCT Certificate of Recognition 2006, Student Senate Outstanding Advisor 2008-2009, and Dean Robert Woods Student Life Award 2010. When Fran is not on the UC campus, she is enjoying family time with her daughters, her husband Ralph, and her beautiful grand-daughters, Juliet and Lia.
Lauren Waszkiewicz In 2015, Lauren made the return to the Mohawk Valley, which was her childhood home. After developing a passion for higher education in undergrad at SUNY Oneonta, Lauren worked in admissions and residence life at two prior institutions before finding Utica College. Currently acting as an Area Coordinator, Lauren oversees Alumni, Bell, and Tower Halls. With this work, she manages the Global Village Program and BeUC Program. In addition, she is happy to advise the Gay/Straight Alliance, Hall Councils, and Class of 2020. In her spare time, Lauren does freelance graphic design and website editing, enjoys watching her favorite TV shows, reading, and writing poetry. She lives right here on campus with her husband Josh, and pampered pup, Stannis.
Jason Francey Jason joined the UC family in the summer of 2018. Prior to this he worked at Juniata College as a Residential Life Coordinator. Jason has a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College (2016) and a bachelor’s in Theatre from SUNY Potsdam (2014). Currently Jason oversees North and South Halls as well as the First-Year themed communities. When not on duty, Jason’s interests include hiking, Tai Kwon Do, Doctor Who, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, reading, 8 playing video games, traveling, weight lifting, meditating, practicing cello, and hanging out with his two cats, Louie and Pippin.
Mathew Vincent Mathew joined the Utica College family in June of 2018 as an Area Coordinator after working as an Area Coordinator for The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Prior to working at UC Mathew graduated from The College of Saint Rose in December 2014 where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education, and his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Leadership and Administration. At his previous institution, he worked as a member of the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention committee, and the leadership retreat planning committee, as well as advised Colleges Against Cancer. Mathew’s current responsibilities include being the Advisor for the Residence Hall Association and Class or 2021, as well as overseeing Boehlert Hall and Burrstone House. Outside of Utica College, Mathew enjoys spending time with his nieces and nephews, enjoying Utica food, and working on his goal of visiting all 50 states.
Administrative Assistant III
Abbie Gorczynski Abbie comes to Utica College after working at SUNY Poly for 36 years in the student affairs division. She has an Associate's degree from Powelson Business Institute in Syracuse and a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Polytechnic. She is from Holland Patent, NY.
Administrative Assistant I
Michele Desmarais Michele started working at UC in the summer of 2015 in the Office of Residence Life. Prior to that, she worked at Utica National. Married for 18 years, she is a mother of three daughters, ages 16,14, and 12 who keep her extremely busy playing year round sports, including soccer, volleyball, and softball. Michele loves all sports, but is especially a Bruins fan! She loves to read about 4 books a week, loves Disney World and wants to spend every vacation there, if only she could convince her husband! She thrives on working and interacting with students and giving "Mom" advice when needed!
College Engagement Graduate Assistant
Student Living Graduate Assistant
New Student Programs Graduate Assistant
Ivan Iton Ivan Iton became apart of the Utica College family back in 2014 and received his bachelor’s in biology in 2018. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Physical Therapy here at UC. Ivan was a part of the UC athletic community and played basketball his four years at Utica College. He also was the Senior class treasurer, a member of S.A.A.C, a Resident Assistant, and an orientation mentor. In his free time, he enjoys lifting weights, running, playing basketball, and supporting the UC community in as many ways as possible.
OFFICE OF STUDENT LIVING AND COLLEGE ENGAGEMENT
The Gay Alliance
The SafeZone program was created to develop, enhance and maintain environments in workplaces, schools and other social settings that are culturally competent and supportive to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) individuals, as well as straight, cisgender people who care about diversity, equality and inclusion.
What is a SafeZone?
A safe zone or a safe space is a place where all people feel welcome and safe. It may be a room, a car, or an entire college campus. The Gay Alliance SafeZone program aims to increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills for individuals and address the challenges that exist when one wants to advocate for their LGBTQ peers, family members, friends and co-workers. Creating safe zones or safe spaces is a proactive step that schools, agencies and corporations can take to create welcoming, inclusive spaces so that all people are empowered to reach their full potential.
Contact Dean of Diversity and Student Development Alane Varga at avarga
for more information or how to become SafeZone Certified