Student Support

The Office of the Dean of Students 

Barbara Ruslander, BS, MST
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Phone: 518-861-2516

Jonathan Coller-Takahashi
Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs, Assistant Dean of Students
Phone: 518-861-2502

The Office of the Dean of Students provides oversight to the Department of Student Affairs and the Frank E. O’Brien, Jr. Student Support Center. Student Affairs consists of a supportive team that are accessible to provide academic, personal, and spiritual support services throughout your time at Maria College. To learn more about the variety of support services that Maria College has to offer, as well as important policies and procedures that apply to all students, please take time to review the 2020-2021 Student Handbook

The Frank E. O’Brien, Jr. Student Support Center is located in Mercy Hall and is open during the following hours. Please note: you must present the ShareMyHealth Passport upon entry.
Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-8:00pm
Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm
Weekend College Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am-4:00pm

All students have access to the virtual Student Support Center, located in the Virtual Academic Support Center (VASC). 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email We look forward to hearing from you. 

Accessibility Services 

Jonathan Coller-Takahashi
Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs and Assistant Dean of Students
Phone: 518-861-2502

Accessibility Services provides support to students with disabilities and provides assistance with overcoming potential barriers while providing equal access to all educational programs on campus. Academic accommodations are delivered both virtually and on campus, in the Callaghan Room, depending on the course. Students can register for standard academic accommodations or COVID-19 temporary accommodations.

Counseling Services 

Michael Washco, LMHC, CASAC
Director of Counseling Services
Phone: 518-416-7293

Counseling Services support students’ overall wellness through one-on-one appointments and campus programming. Free and confidential mental health counseling is available to students across all disciplines virtually and in person by appointment. 

Maria Market Food Pantry

Phone: 518-881-2505

The Maria Market Food Pantry, one of the College’s Mission Services, is a resource offered to anyone in the campus community who may benefit. The pantry, which stocks food and personal hygiene items, is a confidential service that can be used on campus or at a distance. Since the spring 2020 semester, when access to campus was restricted due to COVID-19, the pantry has supported students via contactless pick-up and contactless delivery. The pantry has been relocated from the Main Building to McAuley 106, across from the Distance Learning Lab. Please see the weekly edition of Monday Minutes for hours of operation.

Opportunity Programs

Clarissa Hartzog
Assistant Director of Opportunity Programs
Phone: 518-861-2548

Opportunity Programs (HEOP, HOPE, and Renaissance Scholars Program) support 35 students this spring semester through in-person and virtual advisement. OP students utilize a Blackboard Site to access an abundance of resources that might be of support, including academic support,  financial literacy, and health and wellness resources. Opportunity Programs students are largely supported virtually but those who need to access campus for coursework will be provided one-on-one support on campus. 

Pastoral Care

Sr. Chris Connolly, OP
Pastoral Care Minister
Phone: 518-861-2573

The Office of Pastoral Care is available for students and employees. This service provides an environment where the dignity of each person is reverenced and a spirit of openness to ideas, and new ways of thinking and being guide the conversation. Spiritual direction is facilitated in-person and virtually by appointment. 

STAR Initiative

Jonathan Coller-Takahashi
Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs and Assistant Dean of Students
Phone: 518-861-2502

The STAR Case Management Team supports students experiencing barriers to their academic success. Through STAR, students are able to develop student success plans and make valuable connections with support services on campus including but not limited to Counseling, Maria Cares Student Hardship Fund, Maria Market, Pastoral Care, Student Financial Services, and Tutoring Services. Students with technology insecurity are also supported through STAR in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology.

Tutoring Services

Dr. Jason Coley
Director of Academic Support Services and Planning
Phone: 518-861-2598

Student Support’s tutoring services offer tutoring in most academic subjects as well as help with the core skills needed for students to succeed not only in the classroom but also in the labor market: organization, better study skills, help with technologies, and writing & communication skills. All tutoring services are available remotely in several modalities, such as one-on-one tutoring, study groups, seminars, and even asynchronous tutoring—all available for free and remotely accessible so that you can access a tutor without leaving your home.

The Mary Beth O’Brien Tutoring Center, located in Mercy Hall, also provides support for test preparation, such as the TEAS, NCLEX, and CODA. In addition, the students can visit the Tutoring Center for Blackboard support, access to computers and printing, a textbook bank, and for appointments with tutors. A team of professional tutors in Nursing and Health Sciences in addition to peer tutors are looking forward to meeting in person and virtually through walk-in and by appointment using the WCOnline appointment booking system.

The Troy Savings Bank Writing & Communications Center launched in the fall 2020. Located in the Frances Warde Room, this space provides students access to a team of peer and professional tutors to assist with matters pertaining to writing and communication support, including scholarly writing, citation mechanics, public speaking, resume and cover letter assistance, and research. This includes help with resumes and cover letters. The space has been designed with state-of-the-art technology and offers an environment conducive to creative thinking and reflection. Like the Tutoring Center, students will have access to Writing Center staff and resources virtually via Blackboard.

Student Code of Conduct 

Maria College expects that its students will act as responsible, courteous, and law-abiding citizens and will treat others and the campus facilities with appropriate respect and civility. Further, as members of an intellectual community, students are expected to maintain standards of personal and academic honesty in all coursework and examinations and to refrain from behaviors that are disruptive to the teaching and learning of others in the classroom. All students will be informed of the College’s expectations of students under the Code of Conduct during new student orientation. Copies of the Student Handbook, including its Code of Conduct, can be found year-round on the College’s website and at the Department of Student Affairs. Click here to access an online version. 

Among other items, behaviors that jeopardize or endanger the health and safety of the Mara College are to be considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  This includes, but is not limited to, refusal to abide by and/or purposeful non-compliance with federal, State, local, and/or institutional requirements relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.