Who We Are

Professional Staff

professional headshot of Jennifer Drake-Deese. While woman, straight blonde hair, with glasses, a green top, and a black blazer. She's smiling.
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

Watson Undergraduate Academic Advising

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

Professional Headshot of Meghan Crist. A white woman with brown hair and glasses, in a red blazer and a beige turtleneck. She's smiling.
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

Professional headshot of Shira Clark. A white woman, with brown wavy hair, in a black shirt and a pink blazer. She's smiling.
Shira Clark
Shira Clark, 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 

A photo of Rachel Higgins
Rachel Higgins
Rachel Higgins, Academic Advisor

Pronouns: They/She

Rachel  received their Bachelors in Media Studies from UC Berkeley and their Masters in Higher Education: Student Affairs from University of Redlands. They have worked at BU as a Resident Director since 2021, working in the Mountainview, College in the Woods, and Newing communities. They are an out member of the LGBTQ+ community and are an advocate for  students of color and LGBTQ+ students.

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn 
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Abbott Elementary
Dream Vacation: Northern Lights or Jamaica
Class Superlative: Most likely to quietly take over the world

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Sophie Ryan
Sophie Ryan, Graduate Student Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her

Sophie has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in English Teaching with a focus in secondary education and a Master’s in Student Affairs Administration from Binghamton University. Sophie has experience in community engagement and outreach, advising, and career consulting. She also has research interests including students with disabilities in higher education, community engagement among faculty as well as student mental health in local Broome county school districts.  

Favorite Movie Snack: Brownies 
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Modern Family
Dream Vacation: Lake Como, Italy 
Pets: Loki (Bernedoodle) & Machiavelli (Kitten!)

Photo of Tetiana Lockburner
Tetiana Lockburner
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.  

Molly Doran, Head Peer

Photo of Molly Doran
Molly Dorn

Pronouns: She/Her

Molly is a senior majoring in Industrial Science and Engineering. This summer she interned for the Yonkers Department of Public Works to assess the city's recycling processes. On campus, Molly is eager to participate in all programs that advocate for women in STEM and is a member of the Professional Engineering Sorority, Alpha Omega Epsilon. 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: Never Have I Ever
Dream Vacation: Brighton, England 
What I would bring to the potluck: Buffalo Chicken Dip
Class Superlative: Most likely to cry happy tears

Nicholas Bustamante

Photo of Nicholas Bustamante
Nico Bustamante

Pronouns: He/Him

Nicholas is a senior studying Computer Engineering from Queens, New York. He’s the President of the Student Organization the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) which leads hispanics in STEM in finding jobs, internships, and a community to be a part of on Campus. Over the summer Nico interned at Jaros, Baum, and Bolles (JB&B), an engineering consulting firm, as an electrical engineer.

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 

Sarah Horvath

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Sarah Horvath

Pronouns: She/Her

Sarah is a sophomore studying Computer Science. Currently, Sarah is a Student Ambassador Program Supervisor, a Residential Computer Consultant, the Director of Shabbat Experience at Hillel, and the Vice President of Internal Affairs for Alpha Omega Epsilon, Watson's professional engineering sorority.

Wendy Jiang

Photo of Wendy Jiang
Wendy Jiang

Pronouns: She/Her

Wendy is a sophomore studying Industrial and System Engineering. She's a part of SASE at Binghamton and is in charge of the multimedia chair. Over the summer, Wendy worked as a barista and spent time with her friends and family.

Favorite Movie Snack: Jalapeno cheetos
Favorite TV show to binge: Bloodhounds (kdrama)
Dream Vacation: Maldives
What would you bring to potluck: Sushi

Mishu Kaur

Photo of Mishu Kaur
Mishu Kaur

Pronouns: She/Her

Mishu is a junior majoring in computer science. This past summer she interned at Capital One as a software engineering intern and explored DC. She is passionate about increasing diversity in tech and on campus is the Vice President of Programming at Girls Who Code.

Favorite Movie Snack: Ben & Jerrys
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Gossip Girl
Dream Vacation: Literally anywhere as long as it's not a resort -- I'd rather learn about the place and the people 
What Would You Like to Bring to a Potluck: Penne Alla Vodka 

Jaden Keener

Photo of Jaden Keener
Jaden Keener

Pronouns: She/Her

Jaden is a Junior studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Sustainable Engineering. She's an Undergraduate Course Assistant (UCA) for EDD 103/104, and is also part of many clubs on campus such as SWE and Topsoccer. In her free time, Jaden loves being outside, hiking, listening to music, and hanging out with friends and family! 

Krish Varati

Photo of Krish Varati
Krish Varati

Pronouns: He/Him

Krish is a senior studying Computer Engineering. He is an international transfer student from India. He becomes more of a talker than a listener when it comes to the NBA, F1, and FPS games. Krish is an active member of the professional engineering fraternity, Theta Tau. 

Tyler Zierer

Photo of Tyler Zierer
Tyler Zierer

Pronouns: He/Him

Tyler is a Senior studying Mechanical Engineering from Niskayuna, NY. He is involved on campus with Binghamton Motorsports and the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. You can find him off campus often exploring nature via local mountain bike trails or skiing. This summer Tyler is working for the Department of Defence and taking weekend trips around the East Coast.

Favorite Movie Snack: Chips and Guacamole
Favorite Bingeable TV Show: Gravity Falls
Dream Vacation: European Road Trip
What Would You Bring to a Potluck: Enchiladas

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