Disability Services Directory

  • Wendy Hargraves joined Columbia Health in 2011. In her current role as Administrative Coordinator 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 Senior 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.

  • Michele joined Columbia Health in 2020. In her role as Learning Specialist, Michele does the following:

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

    In her free time, Michele enjoys doing yoga, reading, singing, walking her dog Val in Astoria Park, and spending time outdoors. 

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • Emma McFarland joined Columbia Health in September 2019 as a Student Services Coordinator at Disability Services. In her current role, she

    • Serves on Registration & Intake team
    • Guides prospective and current Columbia students through registration process providing 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

    Emma is originally from Canada and has lived all over the East coast from Maine to South Carolina. In her spare time, Emma writes and dramaturgs unique theatrical experiences, curates a weekly book review blog @fivestarbookreview, and explores the far-flung theatres of New York.

    • Deanna Friedland joined Columbia Health in February of 2018. In her current role as Senior 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.

    • 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 Assistant Director, Intake and Registration, Ashley:

      • 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.

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