Who We Are

Professional Staff

Jennifer Drake-Deese
Jennifer Drake-Deese, Director of Undergraduate Advising

Jennifer Drake-Deese

Director of Undergraduate Advising, Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science

Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science

Pronouns: She/Her

Jen has a Bachelor's degree from Oswego State University in Communications and Russian and a Masters from St. Lawrence University in Counseling and Human Development. Jen has been advising students for over 20 years. As an active member of NACADA , she is passionate about the profession of advising and the positive impact it has on student success.  

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn with tons of butter
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Schitt's Creek and Bridgerton
Dream Vacation: Anywhere in Asia 
Pets: Dog - Wanda and a Cat - Tommy


Meghan Crist
Meghan Crist, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising

Pronouns: She/Her

Meghan is a Watson College alumnae with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering, both from Binghamton University.  She worked as a Systems Engineering for 8 years before becoming an Academic Advisor.  Meghan is an advocate and a mentor for all students and is involved with both the Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code on campus.

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn with M&Ms mixed in
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Parks & Rec or The Office
Dream Vacation: National Parks Roadtrip 
Pets: 2 dogs, Chewie and Bindi, big orange cat, Merry, and 5 chickens!
Class Superlative: Most School Spirit


Lauren Garnett
Lauren Garnett, Academic Advisor

Pronouns: She/Her

Lauren has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in School Counseling from UMass Boston. She’s worked as a school counselor and as a university counselor, and is a strong advocate for mental health awareness and encouraging the balance of work and personal obligations. 

Favorite Movie Snack: Sour rope candy
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Criminal Minds
Dream Vacation: Hobbiton in New Zealand
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Cupcakes with buttercream frosting & sprinkles
Class Superlative: Loudest Laugh


Patrick Talvi
Patrick Talvi, Academic Advisor

Pronouns: He/Him

Patrick graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a BA in psychology, then went on to complete a MS in student affairs administration at Binghamton University in 2019. For his two years as a graduate student, Patrick served as a graduate assistant in the Services for Students with Disabilities office, where he developed a passion for educational accessibility. Patrick is a strong advocate for mental health awareness as well as mental health resources and services provided at Binghamton. He works closely with our Watson Support and Success Program to ensure students on academic probation can succeed and return to good academic standing. 

Favorite Movie Snack: Movie theater popcorn
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Friends or New Girl
Dream Vacation: Japan


Shira Williamson
Shira Williamson, Academic Advisor

Pronouns: She/Her

Shira is a double Binghamton alumni with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration. She has worked in various roles at different colleges and has a love for advising students and serving as an advocate for them.

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn with cookie dough candy mixed in
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Friends, Parks & Rec, or The Office 
Dream Vacation: Scotland (going for my honeymoon!)
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Oreo balls 
Class Superlative: Most likely to brighten your day 


Tetiana Deuel
Tetiana Lockburner, Administrative Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her or They/Them

Tetiana has worked on campus since 2018, she started in Campus Mail Services. They are an open member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and are passionate about inclusion and labor rights.

Favorite Movie Snack: Raisinets
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Dream Vacation: Iceland for the black sand beaches and somewhere in Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Something to fill a niche the other dishes don't


Peer Advisors

What Are Peer Advisors?

They're engineering and computer science students just like you.

Peer advisers are typically stationed at the front desk as you enter the Watson College Advising Office.

These students have received special training to help you work through the experience of being a Watson College student. They have a deep knowledge of the campus, including our academic support systems, registration processes and policies, and how to navigate academic departments. They also know where to go for answers and will save you time and effort by pointing you in the right direction and making knowledgeable referrals.

From filling out forms to filling up a meal card, they've experienced Watson College from the inside. And if you need to complete a form, they're also helpful in directing you to the correct one to fill your need.

Peer advisers are usually rising juniors or seniors who have already experienced much of what you will go through as a student. They are selected for their strong communications skills, capacity for discretion, diplomacy, and resourcefulness.  

Ashley Ramos, Head Peer

Ashley Ramos

Pronouns: She/Her

Ashley is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering on a pre med track with a minor in spanish. Outside of the office, Ashley is the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers which leads hispanics in stem. Throughout the summer, Ashley spent her time working at Starbucks and traveling to Florida. In Florida, she went to disney world and attended a SHPE Presidents Summit Conference called NILA.

Favorite Movie Snack: Nachos
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Vampire Diaries 
Dream Vacation: European Mediterranean Sea Cruise
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Authentic Birria Tacos
Class Superlative: Most able to get along with anybody


Beatrice Arana

Beatrice Arana

Pronouns: She/Her

Beatrice is a senior majoring in computer science. Currently, she is the Marketing Director for the Watson student organization, a member of Women in Tech, and a Supplemental Instruction Leader for CS 220. As someone who is also passionate about music, her dream job would be to work on the technical side of the music industry in the future.

Favorite Movie Snack: Cheetos
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Attack on Titan
Dream Vacation: To visit the beautiful Philippine Islands again and get together with relatives
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Sweet desserts, like homemade cakes and banana pudding 


Nicholas Arfanis

Nicholas Arfanis

Pronouns: He/Him

Nick is a senior majoring in industrial science and engineering with minors in sustainable engineering and general anthropology. He is also involved in the Hellenic Cultural Society, Binghamton Sound, Staging, and Lighting, and the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. Nick has spent the summer working as the summer peer advisor for Watson Advising.

Favorite Movie Snack: Raisinets
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: One Piece or Supernatural
Dream Vacation: Backpacking through Europe or exploring Japan
What Would You Like to Bring to a Potluck: Stuffed Bell Peppers or Apple Pie and Ice cream 
Class Superlative: Best Smile


Nicholas Bustamante

Nicholas Bustamante

Pronouns: He/Him

Nicholas is a junior studying computer engineering from Queens, New York. He’s the student chair for the IEEE branch, along with the co-tech chair for the IEEE student club. Nicholas is also serving his second year on the SHPE eboard, this time as a professional chair.

Favorite Movie Snack: Honey Roasted Nuts
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: King of the Hill or One Piece
Dream Vacation: Carnavales de Columbia
Class Superlative: Most Talkative 


Molly Doran

Molly Doran

Pronouns: She/Her

Molly is a junior majoring in industrial science and engineering. This summer she spent her time in the sun, whether that be lifeguarding or at the beach. On campus, Molly is eager to participate in all programs that advocate for women in the STEM field. She is also interested in promoting social justice on campus and has participated in our Women’s March and Pride March. 

Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Stranger Things
Dream Vacation: Brighton, England 
What I Would Bring to a Potluck: Rice crispy treats
Class Superlative: Most likely to cry happy tears


Antonio Rizzo

Antonio Rizzo

Pronouns: He/Him

Antonio is a senior majoring in computer science and he is also a member of the Professional Engineering Fraternity here on-campus, Theta Tau. Over the summer, he spent his time in Norway interviewing and finding work at Norwegian companies, while hiking and traveling around the country during his free time. 

Favorite Movie Snack: Sour Patch Kids
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Ozark
Dream Vacation: Italy or Japan
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Triple Chocolate Brownies


Benjamin Seltzer

Benjamin Seltzer

Pronouns: He/Him

Ben is a sophomore studying mechanical engineering and is also a part of Binghamton Motorsports’ Formula SAE. This summer he went to Florida to enjoy the beaches and see family.

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Breaking Bad
Dream Vacation: Hike in Colorado Springs
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Mac & Cheese


Bhavna Sonare

Bhavna Sonare

Pronouns: She/Her

Bhavna is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering with a concentration in pre-med. This past summer she interned at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center through the SPURS Program where she conducted research on NK Cells. On campus, Bhavna is involved with the Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority where she currently serves as Treasurer. 

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn, Pocky (not really movie-ish), Ramen and Hot Sauce
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Criminal Minds, K-dramas
Dream Vacation: Anywhere as long as it’s not too hot and it’s somewhat quiet
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Coconut water, passionfruit green tea, french biscuits 
Class Superlative: Most likely to have the highest levels of caffeine 


Interested in becoming a Peer Advisor? Keep your eye out for the application on Handshake in the spring semester!