Meet the Advising Staff

Juliette Punchello

Juliette Punchello

Director


Joined Thomas Edison State College: 1999


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BS, Communications
    Drexel University
  • MA, Communications
    LaSalle University
  • MS, Higher Education Instruction
    Drexel University

Professional Experience:

Juliette has been with the College for 15 years and served in various positions of increasing responsibility. Juliette was instrumental in standing up the Learner Support Center and demonstrated exceptional leadership in quickly establishing the center’s reputation for quality service across a wide spectrum of student support issues.

Now, as the Director of the Office of Academic Advising, she leads a team of student centered academic professionals who work alongside our students in identifying and responding to academic queries, including course selection, degree choices and credit earning options.

Over her years in higher education, she has built a culture of excellence and teamwork through open communication, respect for staff insight, and implementation of process improvements.

Juliette has been accepted to present at international and national conferences regarding innovative student services to students at a distance.

  • Presenter: Online One Stop: Improving Efficiency and Quality of Service, Academic Impressions Webinar, 2014
  • Presenter: Using Emerging Technologies in a One Stop Center, AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference, 2014
  • Presenter: Ready, Set, Go! Designing and Operationalizing a One Stop Service/Call Center in 12 Months!, 19th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning, 2013
  • Presenter: Calling all Techies & Non-Techies...Start to Finish in One Year: Virtual One Stop Student Service Center, AACRAO's Strategic Enrollment Management Conference, SEM XXII, 2012
  • Presenter: Virtual One Stop Service Center: Serving Our Students-Virtually! 18th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning, 2012

Words of wisdom:

Check-in to the Student Moderated Discussion Board frequently to learn from fellow students.

Nia I. Abuwi

Nia I. Abuwi

Associate Director


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • ASM, General Management
    Thomas Edison State College
  • BSBA, General Management
    Thomas Edison State College
  • MA, Liberal Studies
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Professional Experience:

Nia Abuwi has more than 25 years of higher education experience. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, she worked at the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, Office of Health Professions Education. She has also served as an adult educator for the Ewing Township Board of Education and a Return to Learning workshop facilitator for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. At Thomas Edison State College, Abuwi has had the opportunity to work in the Office of Registrar, the Office of Admissions, the Division of Academic Affairs and the Office of Learner Support Services. She is the first Thomas Edison State College employee to earn a college degree while working at the College.

Words of wisdom:

Slow and steady wins the race!

Relationship with students:

Since I believe that people support what they create, I encourage students to be the architect of their own programs, where possible.

Interests:

Transformational thinking, reading, travel, watching news/talk TV, spending time with family, home remodeling/decorating and youth mentoring.

Carleen M. Baily

Carleen M. Baily

Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA, English Literature
    University of Illinois
  • MA, History of Art
    University of Michigan

Professional Experience:

Carleen Baily has had a varied career with several positions in the arts. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, she served as a curator of Education for a Midwest regional museum, a manager of a university performing arts series and a lecturer in the history of art at the University of Michigan-Flint. Baily’s experience in higher education also includes serving as a senior admissions officer at Rutgers University and a prior learning assessment specialist at Thomas Edison State College before moving to the Office of Academic Advising. She has also served as an assistant editor of The Lion Magazine, a publication of Lions International, and as a contract copy editor for Gale Research. Due to personal circumstances, Baily is knowledgeable about disability issues in education and has served as an advocate for her own children and others by representing disabled students’ interests within her home school district.

Words of wisdom:

Be open to all kinds of learning. You never know where it will take you.

Relationship with students:

Be ready and willing to engage. The hard work of learning yields rich rewards that are yours for a lifetime.

Interests:

Art history, issues of quality in the art of the 1960s and 1970s, gardening, modern dance and travel.

Rhonda Beckett

Rhonda Beckett

Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • AS
    Peirce College
  • BA
    Thomas Edison State College
  • MAS
    Fairleigh Dickinson University

Professional Experience:

Ms. Beckett has 20+ years of experience in academia. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, she worked in various capacities at two-year institutions. At Thomas Edison State College, Ms. Beckett primarily advises students focused on degree programs in human services and liberal studies. She also assists pre-law students by locating resources to pursue acceptance into law school.

Words of wisdom:

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

Relationship with students:

I try to instill a sense of self-confidence and independence in the students I work with by providing them with as much information and guidance as possible

Interests:

Entrepreneurship, art and teaching art appreciation.

Sherwood Brown

Sherwood Brown II

Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    William Paterson University
  • MBA
    Rider University

Professional Experience:

Sherwood Brown has worked both in the corporate sector and government before entering academia. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, he worked at Merrill Lynch in the benefits and insurance department. He later joined the public sector working for a local municipality and focusing on workforce development. Brown has also worked as a consultant helping small business owners.

Words of wisdom:

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” (George Washington Carver)

Relationship with students:

I am an advisor for the business degree programs.

Interests:

Being entrepreneurial, writing, watching football and basketball, movies, listening to music, video games and traveling.

Patricia Certo

Patricia Certo

Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    Rosemont College
  • MBA
    Rosemont College
  • Certificate in Women’s Leadership
    Rosemont College

Professional Experience:

Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, Patricia Certo worked as an admissions recruiter for Rosemont College. She worked as an admissions counselor at Thomas Edison State College before moving to the Office of Academic Advising.

Words of wisdom:

Every goal that has ever been reached began with just one step, and the belief that it could be attained.

Relationship with students:

I primarily advise students in the business degrees. I have a friendly personality and am eager to assist students reach their academic goals.

Interests:

Her husband and young son, football, traveling overseas, reading about ancient history and shopping for purses and shoes.

Carla Colburn

Senior Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    Niagara University
  • MA
    University of Delaware
  • MS
    State University College of New York at Buffalo

Professional Experience:

Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, Carla Colburn served in the U.S. Navy working in the field of electronic communications. She has worked as an academic advisor at a number of institutions during and following her military service. At Thomas Edison State College, she advises students pursuing degrees offered through the School of Applied Science and Technology.

Words of wisdom:

All the courses you need for your degree may not be easy. Remember, everyone has their own unique areas of expertise and talent. You can accomplish anything you really want as long as you never give up.

Relationship with students:

Since my students are all adults, I try to act as a guide who can advise them on the selection of appropriate courses for their chosen degree. My role is to provide my students with help so they can attain their academic and career goals as quickly as possible.

Interests:

Spending time with my family, reading, history and traveling to historic sites.

Donna K. Keehbler

Senior Program Advisor


Joined Thomas Edison State College: 1995


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • EdM
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • MLIS
    Southern Connecticut State College

Professional Experience:

After earning her undergraduate degree, Donna Keehbler worked as a cartographer for Hammond Publishers working on the final edits of state and country maps to be entered into their database. While earning her first graduate degree, she worked for the Cook/Douglass Learning Resource Center and for the Douglass College dean’s office processing the pregraduation audits. After earning her EdM, Keehbler taught preschool for a year at a Montessori school.

In 1995, she joined Thomas Edison State College as a transcript evaluator for the BSAST degrees. In 2000, she joined the advisement staff as an advisor for the BA and BSAST programs. Today, Keehbler focus solely on the science and technology degrees.

Words of wisdom:

Speaking from experience, try not to procrastinate. It is easier to learn over a full semester, not just in the final weeks of a course.

Relationship with students:

My role is to guide students to degree completion by letting them know all their options for completing requirements.

Interests:

Reading, rollerblading, snowboarding, walking my dog and watching hockey and baseball on TV.

Andrea O. Mirsky

Andrea O. Mirsky

Senior Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • MEd
    University of Georgia

Professional Experience:

Andrea Mirsky has worked both in the corporate sector and education. After graduating from college, she worked at Chemical Bank for their International Division as a customer liaison and then as a recruiter for the bank’s Management Training Program. She also worked in sales for an educational marketing company. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, Mirsky was a graduate admissions counselor at Holy Family University in Philadelphia.

Words of wisdom:

Nothing is impossible if you persevere!

Relationship with students:

I am here to help guide you to the full realization of a personal goal. I will use whatever tools I have at my disposal to assist you in determining the best path to finishing your degree.

Interests:

My children, movies, reading and watching tennis and baseball.

Michael Patrick

Program Advisor


Joined Thomas Edison State College: 2003


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BA
    Monmouth University
  • MS
    American Public University

Professional Experience:

After graduating from Monmouth University, Michael worked for a global publishing company and then for a corporate social responsibility firm. Michael joined the college in 2003 as a transcript evaluator. Michael recently joined the advisement staff and advises for the Bachelor of Arts program.

Words of wisdom:

Being a non-traditional and an adult student come with a variety of challenges and pressures. Family responsibilities and professional obligations sometimes make the simplest task seem impossible. When times get tough, remember these quotes:
“No pressure, no diamonds.” (Thomas Carlyle)
“Never tell me the odds.” (Han Solo)

Relationship with students:

Many of the Bachelor of Arts programs have a lot of flexibility. I usually start my student interaction by asking them “What's on your mind?” It is my desire to help students find degrees and credit earning options that accentuate their strengths and interests.

Interests:

My family, baseball and small business management.

Doris G. Simmons

Senior Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • BS
    Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • MA, Business Management
    Central Michigan University

Professional Experience:

Doris Simmons has several years working with students in higher education. Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, she served as assistant to the Registrar at Burlington County College and as center coordinator for Central Michigan University’s program at McGuire Air Force Base. At the College, Simmons worked as transcript evaluator before joining the Office of Academic Advising.

Words of wisdom:

Courses at Thomas Edison State College are very time consuming. I encourage you to put aside enough time to study and complete assignments.

Relationship with students:

I have a friendly relationship with the students and many have expressed appreciation for the guidance and advice I have provided. I am an advisor for our business degree programs.

Interests:

Reading and crocheting.

Don Stoltz

Don Stoltz

Program Advisor


Phone: (888) 442-8372

Degrees:

  • AAS, Culinary Arts
    The Academy of Culinary Arts
  • BA, English
    Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • MAT
    Fairleigh Dickinson University

Professional Experience:

Prior to joining Thomas Edison State College, Don Stoltz worked as an academic advisor at Salem Community College. Don has also held positions in admissions and residence life at several other institutions. In addition to Don’s experience in higher education, he has a great deal of experience in the culinary industry. At Thomas Edison State College, he advises students pursuing degrees offered through the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences.

Words of wisdom:

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” (Sydney J. Harris)

Relationship with students:

I’ve had the pleasure of working with students from many different personal, professional, and educational backgrounds. My role as an advisor is to guide students through their degree programs. I assist students in choosing courses, as well as helping them obtain their educational and professional goals.

Interests:

I enjoy sports, camping, cooking, and reading. I also have a strong interest in career advising.