About the StAAR Center

The StAAR (Student Accessibility and Academic Resource Center) values the diverse educational and cultural experiences of every student and promotes access to an inclusive and collaborative learning environment. As a team and as individuals, we foster students’ educational growth and awareness, self-advocacy and resiliency as it relates to their Tufts academic experience and beyond. Our initiatives engage students, faculty and staff to proactively support the learning needs of the Tufts community.   The StAAR Center offers a variety of resource support to all students in the Schools of Arts and Science, Engineering, the SMFA and Fletcher.

The StAAR Team
Kristina Aikens

Kristina AikensProgram Director, Writing Support
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Kristina received her PhD in English from Tufts, during which time she taught English 1 and 2 and tutored as a graduate writing consultant. She has also tutored and taught classes in academic and creative writing at several local colleges. Kristina loves working with the writing fellows and graduate writing consultants to help them reach their goals and potential as educators.


Kirsten Behling

Kirsten BehlingAssociate Dean of Student Accessibility and Academic Resources
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Kirsten oversees the day to day management of the office. She also is responsible for determining reasonable accommodations, working with students and educating faculty. Ms. Behling also fosters collaborative relationships across campus, working to ensure that each aspect of the collegiate experience is inclusive for all. 


Tobias BennettTobias Bennett - Academic Resource Advisor, SMFA at Tufts
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Tobias is the on-site liaison for any student with a disability enrolled in courses at SMFA at Tufts. He also serves as an academic advisor for BFA students and coordinates academic resources for undergraduates at the SMFA campus. BFA students may also contact Leah Gadd, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising, or any other member of the StAAR team for assistance.


Samantha BrumerSamantha Brumer - Accessibility Services and Assistive Technology Specialist
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Samantha offers students one-on-one support by determining and implementing accommodations, and by collaborating with students to find assistive technology that works for them. Sam also collaborates with staff and faculty regarding digital access and universal design for curriculum. 


Kimberly DoanKimberly Doan - Associate Director, Accessibility Services
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

A former Jumbo, Kimberly currently advocates for accessibility needs across campus while providing individual support to students through implementation of reasonable accommodations. She encourages student growth through disability counseling and academic skill-building to students, while supporting the StAAR Center administrative team.


Julie GagliardiJulie Gagliardi Academic Coach
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Julie works with undergraduate and graduate students across campuses to help them develop academic skills. She can help you with study strategies, managing your time, and a variety of other topics. Julie also leads workshops at the StAAR Center.


Hannah HerndonHannah Herndon Writing Resources Specialist
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hannah provides individual writing support to students and coordinates the Writing Fellows Program. At Tufts, she has served as a Graduate Writing Consultant and taught in the First Year Writing Program while earning her PhD in English. She has also taught literature at other local institutions. Hannah enjoys helping students find empowerment through the collaborative process of writing.

Catherine JohnsonCatherine Johnson Academic Coach
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Catherine is passionate about helping guide students on their paths to success. At Tufts, she assists both undergraduate and graduate in creating academic goals and developing the academic skills necessary to reach those goals. 


Jeannine LenehanJeannine M. Lenehan Administrative Coordinator
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Jeannine has over 15 years of experience working with students and faculty in a university and community-based education setting. Jeannine studied the interrelation of the psychological and social health of children, media & child health, and how a child’s healthy attachments positively influence them and help foster their resilience. She enjoys working with the StAAR team, helping students and all members of the Tufts community.

Albert "A.J" Lyman

Albert "A.J." Lyman - Office Administrator
Pronouns: He/Him/His

A.J.’s primary role at the StAAR Center is to provide support for students looking to register for housing, academic, dining or parking accommodations. He is happy to assist students with registration, as well as to answer any questions prospective students or their parents have about the StAAR Center or the services we offer. He is also responsible for running the exam proctoring center at the StAAR Center. Despite growing up in Connecticut, A.J. is an avid Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins fan – feel free to stop by the office any time to talk about last night’s win! 

Monica MorinMonica Morin Academic Coach
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Monica works with students to find balance through building fundamental skills in time management, study strategies, exam stress, and much more! Monica is passionate about helping students unlock their full potential to reach their academic goals. 


Kate Pillette

Kate Pillette - School Psychology and Learning Specialist
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Kate provides direct service to students in one-on-one and small group settings. She assists StAAR students as they transition to postsecondary education by helping them enhance their academic skills, with an emphasis on self-advocacy. She also collaborates with faculty and staff to develop inclusive learning environments and campus-wide programming.


Katie Swimm

Katherine Swimm - Associate Director of Academic Support
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Katie received her PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at Tufts. Katie has worked at Tufts as a Graduate Writing and Public Speaking consultant and most recently managed the subject tutoring and study group program. She is excited to assist students across the university in meeting their academic goals!


Student Accessibility and Academic Resource Specialist, Fletcher School (Coming Soon)

The Student Accessibility and Academic Resource Specialist supports students at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as an academic resource coach and as a point of contact for students with disabilities. They meet with students to provide time-management support and organize workshops (including for test strategies and paper writing), and determine what accommodations a student may need.




Accessibility Student Support


Jocelyn Arroyo






Community Health

Location and Hours

The StAAR Center Main Office:

  • Tufts University, Dowling Hall- Suite 720
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm

*Please note the StAAR Center will be Remote on Fridays.

The Writing and Academic Coaching Centers

  • Tisch Library- Rooms 128 and 130 (One Level from the Main Entrance)
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, Reservations Required

Please see the accessibility map, the interactive campus map, and the parking map for more information.

Contact Us

Phone: 617-627-4539

Fax: 617-627-5447

Email: StAARCenter@Tufts.edu

Social Media:



Student writing a equation wearing a Tufts shirt.