Disability Services Directory

  • Wendy Hargraves joined Columbia Health in 2011. In her current role as administrative coordinator of accommodations at Disability Services, Wendy does the following:

    • Serves on administrative team
    • Handles hiring and payroll for part-time employees, including note-takers, graduate assistants, and exam proctors
    • Oversees administrative responsibilities for the department
    • Coordinates vendor contracts and payments for services

    Wendy loves traveling to new and interesting places both domestically and internationally.

  • Serena joined Columbia Health in February 2018. In her role as Coordinator, Serena does the following:

    • Serves on Student Case Management team
    • Serves as Coordinator/Case Manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
    • Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, administrators and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations

    Serena enjoys spending time with her family at Loon Lake, hiking the Adirondack Mountains, kayaking and reading a good book on the beach. She's looking forward to exploring museums, markets and restaurants in her new Manhattan home.

  • Sandra Gomez joined Columbia Health in 2014 as a learning specialist at Disability Services. In her current role, Sandra does the following:

    • Serves on Disability Services leadership team
    • Facilitates individualized sessions and small group skill-building workshops that support the development of compensatory strategies and academic skills for students registered with Disability Services
    • Specializes in working with students on organizational skills for students registered with Disability Services
    • Specializes in working with students on organizational skills, time management and study strategies, note-taking skills, exam preparation, and other areas of academic concerns

    Previously, Sandra worked as a learning specialist at Brooklyn Friends School and as a special education teacher at Winston Preparatory School in Chelsea. In her free time, Sandra enjoys writing, cooking, traveling, and stoop sale shopping.

  • Mimi Mendes de Leon joined Columbia Health in 2016. In her current role as Accommodations Manager at Disability Services (DS), Mimi does the following:

    • Serves on Testing team
    • Provides specialized oversight of exam accommodations for undergraduate students
    • Manages weekly exam schedule at Disability Services
    • Coordinates exam accommodations and proctoring arrangements for undergraduate and graduate students eligible for testing accommodations
    • Works closely with faculty and academic departments to coordinate proctoring of undergraduate exams; liaises with faculty to clarify any questions regarding testing procedures and proctoring specifications
    • Recruits, trains and supervises student staff, including exam proctors and graduate assistants

    Mimi grew up in Illinois and moved to New York to pursue graduate studies. She enjoys reading, hiking and cooking with friends.

  • Megan Kelly joined Columbia Health in 2017. In her current role as Accommodations Manager, Megan does the following:

    • Serves on Testing Team
    • Provides specialized oversight of exam accommodations for undergraduate students
    • Manages weekly exam schedule at Disability Services
    • Coordinates exam accommodations and proctoring arrangements for undergraduate and graduate students eligible for testing accommodations
    • Works closely with faculty and academic departments to coordinate proctoring of undergraduate exams; liaises with faculty to clarify any questions regarding testing procedures and proctoring specifications
    • Recruits, trains and supervises student staff, including exam proctors and graduate assistants

    Megan is a New York native and has been working in the disability services field for six years. She enjoys winter vacations, as snowboarding is her favorite hobby.

  • Laura Dayan joined Columbia Health in 2013. In her current role as associate director of student case management, Laura does the following:

    • Serves on Student Case-Management Team and Disability Services leadership team
    • Evaluates and interprets disability documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations and services
    • Serves as coordinator/case manager for a small cohort of students with disabilities
    • Support students in resolving disability-related issues that may be a barrier to accessing programs
    • Liaises with other departments within Columbia Health as well as academic advising deans, global programs, graduate and professional programs, libraries, and other administrators to implement accommodations
    • Supports faculty and administrators regarding strategies for meeting the unique needs of each of each individual student as well as implementing and coordinating accommodations

    In her free time, Laura enjoys cheering for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers, watching Broadway shows, and cooking new recipes.

  • Laura Walsh joined Columbia Health in 2016. In her role as coordinator at Disability Services, Laura reviews disability documentation; determines eligibility for services and accommodations; provides ongoing case management and supportive advisement on a range of disability and academic concerns; and works with undergraduate and graduate students

    Prior to joining Columbia, Laura worked for many years with adults living with disabilities. Laura provided ongoing social and emotional support in order for those adults to achieve their life-long goals. In her free time, Laura loves yoga, attending concerts, cooking and coaching and playing lacrosse.

  • Keshia joined Columbia University in 2013 and enjoys being back on a college campus. In her current role of Assistant  Accommodations Manager at Disability Services (DS), Keshia does the following:

    • Serves on Testing team
    • Manages daily exam schedule at Disability Services
    • Supervises undergraduate accommodated exam administration and implements testing accommodations for students with disabilities
    • Assists in the recruitment, training and supervision of student staff, including exam proctors and graduate assistants

    Keshia is a native New Yorker who enjoys baking, traveling, and playing softball with the Diablitos, one of Columbia’s employee teams.

  • Keith joined Columbia Health in 1993 and began working in Disability Services in 2008. Outside of work, Keith is a talented artist whose work is sometimes featured in the office. Keith enjoys sketching and drawing using a variety of mediums including markers, charcoal pencil, and acrylic paint.  

  • Katie Nekiunas joined Columbia Health in 2013. In her current role as a Coordinator at Disability Services, Katie does the following:

    • Serves on Student Case Management Team
    • Serves as Coordinator/Case Manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
    • Evaluates medical, psychological and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, administrators, and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations

    Prior to joining Columbia, Katie worked in other schools in New York City as a school counselor and in disability services. Prior to her work in New York City, she taught English in Tokyo, Japan for four years. Katie loves knitting, running, biking and traveling. She loves trying different kinds of food and is often exploring restaurants.

  • John James joined Columbia Health in November 2017. As a Student Services Coordinator at Disability Services, John does the following:

    • Serves on Registration & Intake team
    • Guides prospective and current Columbia students through the registration process and provides individualized guidance regarding disability documentation and accommodation requests
    • Conducts intake interviews, advises and orients students on accessing appropriate support services
    • Refers students to appropriate campus and community resources

    In his free time, John likes to hike and enjoys the outdoors.

  • Jennifer joined Columbia Health in November 2017. In her role as the Assistant Director, Accommodations Services, Jennifer does the following:

    • Serves on Testing team and Disability Services leadership team
    • Oversees all aspects of the testing accommodations and exam administration processes
    • Oversees all of DS undergraduate test proctoring services. Links students and faculty together, ensuring that DS students can efficiently access their testing accommodations, while also supporting faculty in their efforts to administer those accommodations, when applicable
    • Supervises the recruitment and training of student staff, including exam proctors and graduate assistants

    Jennifer originally hails from Georgia, but spent the last decade in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. In her free time she loves to watch college football, travel, and listen to live music.

  • Jaleassia joined Columbia Health in August 2017. In her role as assistant director of campus access and accommodations, she does the following:

    • Serves on Disability Services leadership team
    • Manages non-academic accommodations for students, including housing accommodations, service and assistance animals on campus, sign-language interpreting, and CART services as well as campus access accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students regarding accessibility issues and works closely with Housing, Facilities, Public Safety, and the University Registrar to implement campus access accommodations
    • Coordinates accommodations for students, guests, visitors, and alumni attending University-sponsored programs and events

    Prior to joining Columbia Health, Jaleassia served as an equal opportunity accommodation specialist at Delta Air Lines, where she was responsible for facilitating employee accommodations.

  • Deanna Friedland joined Columbia Health in February of 2018. In her current role as Senior Program Coordinator at Disability Services, Deanna:

    • Serves on Student Case-Management team
    • Serves as Coordinator/Case-Manager for cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
    • Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, administrators and students regarding disability and accommodation issues;  works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations

    In her free time, Deanna enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and running. She is an avid reader and likes spending time with her family and friends.

  • Dara joined Columbia Health in 2016. In her current role as the senior program coordinator at Disability Services, Dara does the following:

    • Serves on Student Case-Management team
    • Serves as coordinator/case manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
    • Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, administrators, and students regarding disability and accommodation issues;
    • Works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations
    • Serves as primary contact for graduate liaisons and program administration at CUMC to implement accommodations in a variety of academic, testing, and clinical settings
    • Provides support to faculty and staff regarding strategies for meeting the unique needs of students registered with Disability Services

    In her free time, Dara loves to travel, cook, volunteer, create and appreciate art, explore local New York City neighborhoods and restaurants, cheer on the New York Giants, and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. 

  • Colleen Lewis  joined Columbia Health in 2004. In her current role as Director of Disability Services (DS), Colleen does the following:

    • Serves on Disability Services leadership team
    • Provides vision and leadership to the design, organization, development, and implementation of services and programs offered through Disability Services
    • Oversight of student case-management, accommodations, services, and training needed to support students with disabilities at Columbia
    • Serves as a liaison to the faculty and greater campus community on issues related to a range of disabilities, accessibility, classroom and curricular accommodations, and laws related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    • Serves as campus expert for the provision and coordination of academic and campus accommodations for students with disabilities

    Colleen enjoys baking-her specialties are cakes and rustic fruit desserts! She is also an avid baseball fan and tries to visit at least one new baseball stadium each season.

    Education:

    ·M.S., University of Illinois, Rehabilitation Counseling

    ·B.A., University of Illinois, Sociology

  • Carol E. Frank joined Columbia Health in 1988. As a health services assistant, Carol does the following:

    • Provides a welcoming and hospitable reception to students, faculty, staff, and visitors contacting or visiting Disability Services
    • Manages receipt of registration, testing, housing, and other accommodation request forms so these requests can be considered by the appropriate staff member
    • Provides initial information regarding a variety of aspects relating to Disability Services
  • Ashley Schleimer joined Columbia Health in 2010. In her role as student services coordinator at Disability Services, she does the following:

    • Serves on Registration & Intake team and Disability Services leadership team
    • Oversees the intake and registration processes for Disability Services
    • Guides prospective and current Columbia students through registration process providing individualized guidance regarding disability documentation and accommodation requests
    • Reviews disability documentation and determines eligibility for services and accommodations
    • Provides consultation to students, families, faculty, and outside professionals to provide initial assessment, consultation regarding disability and academic concerns, and accommodation needs

    In her free time, Ashley enjoys going on tours of various neighborhoods in New York City for the rich cultural and historical experiences the city has to offer-and for the yummy food too!

  • Anuj joined Columbia Health in 2010. In his role as the Assistant Director of Operations, Anuj does the following:

    • Serves on Testing team, Administrative team and Disability Services leadership team
    • Specializes in implementation of academic accommodations, including note-taking services, exam accommodations and academic assistants such as lab and studio assistants; oversees the planning and execution of final exam administration and accommodations
    • Provides administrative leadership, support and assistance in resolving day-to-day operational problems related to the provision and delivery of disability accommodations and coordinates office wide initiative

    Anuj hails from the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and is very well known by his friends and colleagues as a travel enthusiast. He enjoys visiting exotic islands, plane spotting, and jetting off on last-minute weekend getaways.

  • Adam joined Columbia Health in 2010. In his current role as a senior coordinator in Disability Services, Adam does the following:

    • Serves on Student Case Management Team
    • Serves as coordinator/case manager for a cohort of students with disabilities providing ongoing support, specialized services, and coordination of accommodations
    • Evaluates medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation to identify reasonable disability accommodations
    • Provides guidance to faculty, administrators, and students regarding disability and accommodation issues; works with instructors and academic departments to implement students' approved academic adjustments and accommodations

    Before joining Columbia, Adam worked as a TV sports anchor and was lucky enough to report live from two Superbowls, three Final Fours, and a World Series. It is safe to say Adam is an avid sports fan (Yankees, Giants, Knicks).

Profiles, showing -