Ashton Darrett, hailing from Brooklyn, New York, came to Brown University in September 2021. Before coming to Brown, Ashton was the Associate Director of Academic Advising at the College of Saint Rose where he advised and mentored students on a number of services including academic preparedness, diversity and inclusion, career services, academic integrity, and advocacy. Prior to Saint Rose, he worked for Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, respectively, where he gained experience in Admissions, Advising, Career Services, International Student Services, and Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives. He has a B.A in Business Administration from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a M.S in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University.
Cynthia Ellis has been an Associate Dean of Student Support Services since January 2015. Prior to coming to Student Support Services, she was a therapist at CAPS. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (A.B.) and obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She came to Brown from Dartmouth Medical School where she was a Clinical Associate and Instructor in Psychiatry working with clients of all ages and diverse backgrounds, teaching, and conducting research. She has also worked in a variety of community mental health centers in both New Hampshire and Kentucky. She approaches each student with an interest in understanding their own unique experience. Areas of particular interest include trauma and resilience, neurodiversity, transgender and non-binary gender identities, students with mentally ill parents, international student experiences, and mindfulness.
Associate Dean & Associate Director
Mary Greineder began her work at Brown in 1988 as Manager of Residential Programs. In that role she helped shape the peer support for upper class students in residence by designing and implementing Community Director and Residential Programmers; she served as the director of the Resident Counseling Program as well as the Brown Adventure Program (BAP), an outdoor leadership program. She has worked as a Substance Abuse Prevention Counselor in local middle and secondary schools, as well as an Academic Advisor at Salve Regina University. She has served as a Student Support Dean since 2007. A former collegiate varsity student-athlete (cross country, indoor and outdoor track), Mary earned her B.A. in Psychology from The Ohio State University and M.S. in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College.
Associate Dean, Student Advising & Support
Anja started her role as an Associate Dean, Student Advising and Support in March 2022. In this position, she serves as an academic advising dean and student support dean while working with colleagues in the College and Campus Life to develop coordinated holistic advising structures that support the connection between students' health and personal lives with their academic plans. Anja started at Brown in April 2017 and served as a pre-health advisor and the Assistant Dean of the College for the First-Year and Sophomore Experience before taking this role. Prior to her arrival at Brown, Anja worked as a mental health counselor for adolescents and as a student development counselor at the Community College of Rhode Island. Grounded in her background in mental health counseling, she has a deep interest in working with students who experience personal and health challenges during their academic journey and ensuring that all students have a smooth and successful transition to college. Other areas of particular interest are working with students who are children of immigrants and assisting first-year students with navigating the beginning of their college experience. Raised in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Anja received her B.A. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Counseling from Providence College.
Christopher Lujan joined the Student Support Service team as an Associate Dean in the Fall of 2021. Before coming to Brown, Christopher served as an Associate Dean of Students, LGBT Resource Center Director, and Victim Advocate at Cornell University. Christopher holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a master's degree in Educational Counseling from the University of La Verne. Christopher's higher education experiences as a queer, latinx, and first-generation student have all been important factors that have shaped his career focus and passion for working with college students who seek support.
Saara has been at Brown since 2010. Prior to joining Student Support Services she worked as a Financial Coordinator for the Computer Science Department and as the Academic Records Coordinator at the Warren Alpert Medical School. Although Saara has lived in Providence with her family since 2008, she still considers herself a Midwestern-Texan-from-Baltimore at heart. Her young daughters keep her a little too busy for hobbies, but she does try to make time for her volunteer work educating caregivers about car seat safety and proper usage in her role as a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
A Rhode Island native, Christine fell in love with the Brown community through her involvement with the China Care Brown program beginning in 2007. Although working previously in law and investment banking, she found herself so impressed with the generosity and dedication of the students, she sought a career at Brown where she would be able to work directly with them. A compassionate nature and animal lover, she asserts herself as a champion of those without a voice.