Meet the Staff
Residential Life & Housing Operations
Director - TBD
The director oversees all aspects of the residential educational and housing operations of the Office of Residential Life. The director provides strategic direction, leadership, budget management, and supervision of the department, including facility long-term planning, residential education initiatives, staff development, and assessment initiatives. The director supervises the residential life staff, executes policy and procedures, and functions as a liaison between the residence halls and the college. The director also serves on the FIT CARE Team.
Angela Brown, Associate Director of Residential Life
The associate director of Residential Life is responsible for the development of a comprehensive residential education program, which includes the coordination and implementation of student conduct and crisis management procedures in the residence halls. The associate director works closely with the director to provide leadership and management of the department by providing educational, advising, programming, and leadership development through cross-campus collaborative efforts. The associate director also serves on the college’s CARE Team.
Ashley Wolfe, Assistant Director of Residential Life, 27th Street
Ashley Wolfe (she/her) joins the FIT Residential Life team as the Assistant Director of Residential Education. Ashley is a first-generation college student who completed her master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Augustana College (Illinois). She is pursuing a PhD in Education and Social Justice from Lancaster University.
Prior to arriving at FIT, Ashley served as a program manager at the University of Chicago and as a resident director at Fordham University. Ashley is also actively involved with NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), where she has presented at multiple conferences, including the NASPA Strategies Conference, and at the Region II Careers in Student Affairs Conference.
Outside of work, Ashley can be found swimming at the local YMCA, hiking, knitting hats and scarves for family and friends, writing, reading, and volunteering. Ashley is a volunteer for Kiwanis International, a global service organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children. Lastly, Ashley is a New York State trained sexual assault crisis and intimate partner violence advocate, with more than 200 volunteer on-call hours under the supervision of Crime Victims Treatment Center NYC.
Fun fact: Ashley's first job was in second grade as a paper route carrier!
Cody Kirkpatrick, Assistant Director of Residential Life, 31st Street
The assistant directors of Residential Life are responsible for the coordination and implementation of student learning, professional and paraprofessional staff supervision, and student conduct and crisis response. The assistant directors are also instrumental in contributing to the success of Residential Life and the FIT Division of Student Success through department-wide and campus activities including move in/out, student leadership retreats, summer housing, departmental committees, assessment, and more.
Hillary Higginbotham, Residential Education Coordinator, Coed Hall
Hillary (she/her) provides leadership and supervision for a residence hall community as well as building relationships with and assisting residents, enacting community standards procedures, and serving on an on-call duty rotation. Hillary received her BFA in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and is currently an MFA candidate in the Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program at FIT. Before serving as a Residential Education Coordinator, Hillary was a Residential Assistant during her time as a student at FIT. What she enjoys most about Residential Life is working with a creative and diverse student population. When not at work, Hillary enjoys watching niche YouTube series, entomology pinning and hunting for the best pasta in NYC.
Fun fact: Hillary is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Kayla Best, Residential Education Coordinator, Nagler Hall
Kayla (she/her) is from Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019. Kayla serves as Residential Education Coordinator; she supervises an energetic group of RAs to work together to create a supportive and safe environment for our selected residents.
When not working, Kayla enjoys exploring the city, plus size fashion, and keto cooking.
Fun Fact: Kayla's favorite quote is "Let your faith be bigger than your fear."
Alyssa Haining, Residential Education Coordinator, Alumni Hall
Alyssa (she/her) is the residential education coordinator for Alumni Hall. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz and her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University.
Before coming to FIT, Alyssa worked in residential life at Stony Brook University and as an academic advisor at Hunter College.
Alyssa spends her free time with her beloved cat Minerva, at the gym, or re-watching Gilmore Girls.
Fun Fact: The first time Alyssa rode on a plane was when she went skydiving!
Richard Moreno, Residential Education Coordinator, Kaufman Hall Floors 2-8
Richard (they/them, he/him) serves as a residential education coordinator, supporting the development of resident assistants, assisting in residential program development, and providing direct oversight to a specific residential community.
They are originally from Los Angeles, CA. They received their Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from UC Santa Barbara and their master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University.
Richard began their work in student affairs by advocating for queer and trans students in various positions through programming and student development initiatives. In their spare time, Richard enjoys reading queer fiction and trying new restaurants in the city, especially for a good brunch. They are always looking for recommendations!
Fun fact: Richard's favorite album is "Channel Orange" by Frank Ocean.
Sarah Guzmán, Residential Education Coordinator, Kaufman Hall Floors 9-14
The Residential Education Coordinator (REC) is responsible for providing leadership and supervision for a residence hall community. Reporting to the Associate Director of Residential Life, RECs oversee the daily operation of a residence hall and serve as an active and visible Residential Life staff member. RECs lead educational and community-building initiatives within a residence hall through supervision of staff, building relationships with and assisting residents, enacting community standards procedures, and serving on an on-call duty rotation. RECs are also instrumental in contributing to the success of Residential Life and the FIT Division of Student Success through department-wide and campus activities including move in/out, student leadership retreats, summer housing, departmental committees, assessment, and more.
Destini Young, Coordinator of Community Standards & Student Support
Destini Young (she/her) is the Coordinator of Community Standards, responsible for managing the daily operations associated with the residential student conduct process. These tasks include providing referrals for critical incident follow-up to students who need additional support, overseeing the procedures associated will major crisis response, and provides insight to policy changes or updates on all levels (FIT, SUNY, State, Local Laws).
While attending SUNY Purchase and earning a degree in Psychology, Destini found her passion for higher education after being a student leader herself. Helping to support student growth and development brings her great joy! Destini previously worked at Clarkson University and transitioned from Stony Brook University in 2021.
Fun fact: Destini is known for being close to her father, claiming pizza as her favorite food, and being an active Beyoncé fan. She loves to make people laugh and believes laughter brings together the community.
Meelod Wafajow, Assistant Residential Education Coordinator/COVID-19 Program Assistant
Meelod (he/him) was born in Queens, but raised in Huntington, Long Island. His family is originally from Afghanistan and he is Muslim.
Meelod earned his undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University in 2019, where he studied political science and sociology with a minor in International Affairs. He is currently earning a master's degree in International Affairs at the George Washington University, with a concentration in Conflict and Conflict Resolution. Meelod expects to graduate in Spring 2022.
Meelod is the Assistant Residential Education Coordinator/COVID-19 Program Assistant. He supports students who contract COVID-19 throughout the isolation process and ensures their personal needs are met.
Meelod also serves on FIT's Campus Anti-Violence Education Group, which is involved with programming dedicated to raising awareness about important issues in the community. He is passionate about politics, both domestic and international. He hopes to one day take his knowledge and passion into the U.S. Foreign Service to serve as a Foreign Service Officer for the United States. His hobbies playing video games on PS5 and watching basketball. He is a big New York Knicks fan!
Fun Fact: Meelod knows the capitals and flags of every country. He can also identify any country on a world map.
Asante Rivera, Assistant Residential Education Coordinator/COVID-19 Program Assistant
A go-getter from Brooklyn, Asante (he/him) finds different methods to elevate in every way.
Asante graduated from FIT in 2018 with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. After graduating, he worked at the FIT Foundation as a Development and Operations Coordinator to assist in the department's mission to fundraise for college events, scholarships/stewardships/endowments, and institutional improvement.
Fun fact: Sports, gambling, and crypto is life.
Assistant Director of Housing Operations - TBD
The Assistant Director of Housing Operations is responsible for the administrative operation of a comprehensive housing program. The Assistant Director is responsible for planning, directing, and overseeing all aspects of housing operations. The Assistant Director serves as a liaison to key College partners in facilities, IT, and Public Safety.
Adam Gray, Housing Operations Coordinator
Adam (he/they) assists with creating and maintaining processes and projects related to the housing application process, assignments, and billing for academic year and summer housing/conferences.
Adam received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Western New England University and his MSc in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University.
Before serving as the Housing Operations Coordinator, Adam was a residence director at University of New Haven and Stony Brook University. What he enjoys most about operations is learning new software, especially Excel. When not at work, Adam enjoys reading, exploring different coffee shops, and having adventures across the city.
Fun fact: Adam loves raccoons and having one as a pet is on his bucket list.
Gissell Dume-Perez, Office Manager, 27th Street
Gissell (she/her) is the Office Manager and joined FIT in 2001. In her role, Gissell assists with the daily business operations involving the Department of Residential Life. When not at work, Gissell spends time with her family, enjoys hiking and camp fires.
Fun fact: Gissell has taken more than a dozen cruise vacations. Her goal is cruise around the world.
Joann Puryear-Cole, Office Manager, 31st Street
Administrative staff assist with the daily business involving the Department of Residential Life. They work to manage phone and email requests, directing students to resources, and managing financial paperwork. They oversee the Community Assistants, and participate on departmental committees.