Advisers Biographies

Heather Calchera, Senior Academic Adviser

Campus: Pleasantville and New York City, Downtown
Phone: PLV: 914.773.3781 / NYC: 212.346.1518
AIM: HCalcheraDyson
Facebook: Search Heather Calchera in the Pace network.

About Heather
I started working in Dyson College as a Student Assistant in 2002. I graduated from Pace in May 2004 with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Science in Counseling, and was hired as an Academic Adviser in Pleasantville in June 2004. In 2007, I was promoted to Senior Academic Adviser and began working on both the New York and Pleasantville campuses, overseeing the Advising Offices. I am currently an instructor for UNV 101-Introduction to University Community and teaching PSY 391- Practicum in Psychology I.

I really enjoyed my experience as an undergraduate and graduate student at Pace and feel that it really helps me to connect with our current student population. I love being involved with UNV 101. The enthusiasm of the incoming students this year has been wonderful and makes me so proud to be a part of the Pace community. I have the same excitement working with the Psychology students. Most of the students in the course are seniors and are enrolled in the internship course so that they can find their passion. I took this same course as an undergrad while working in Dyson. Obviously I found something that I love to do and hope I can help my students do the same!

Working in the advising offices has proven to be a very rewarding experience. I have been working here full-time for four years now, which means I advised the Class of 2008 since they were freshmen. It was such an amazing feeling watching that class walk across the stage at Commencement and celebrating with the students and their families after the ceremony. Knowing that I made some sort of positive influence on the Dyson students during their time at Pace really had a huge impact on me.

Outside of Pace, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends from both high school and college. I lived at Pace during my undergraduate years in Martin Hall and in the Townhouses, so if you have questions about campus life, feel free to ask me. I am also a huge Yankee fan and love going to games as often as possible.

I want students to know that we are here to help! Often times, students will say that they don’t know who to talk to about a certain issue, but if they reach out to us, we’re more than happy to assist or connect them with a staff or faculty member who can. It’s so important that students connect with an advisor or mentor early in their academic career to ensure that they are getting the most out of their time at Pace.

Alexandra Sansone, Academic Adviser

Campus: Pleasantville
Phone: 914.773.3781
AIM: ASansone Dyson
Facebook: Search Ali Sansone in the Pace network.

About Ali
I transferred to Pace from St. John’s University in Queens, where I was a Fine Arts major, for my sophomore year of college. I continued on at Pace to pursue a combined degree program in Counseling Psychology. I graduated with a BA in Applied Psychology and Human Relations, and an Art minor as well as a 60 credit MS in Mental Health Counseling. I am now a full-time Dyson College Academic Adviser, while also teaching four undergraduate courses at Pace. This fall I am teaching COM 200 – Public Speaking, PSY 392 – Practicum in Psychology II, and UNV 101 – Introduction to University Life.

I grew up in Westchester and spent most of my extracurricular time dancing at the Logrea Dance Academy, and with the Westchester Ballet Company, the Joffrey Ballet (NYC) Trainee program, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. I still perform as a guest dancer in the Westchester Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker each December at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, so find us on, and come see the show!

Students should know that the Advising Office truly is here to help; we want to do all that we can to make each student’s time at Pace as rewarding, fulfilling, and smooth as possible. The best way to help us help you is to come see us, give a call, send an email or IM early! Plan ahead, and we will be able to help you avoid obstacles and take advantage of the many doors that are now open to you as a Pace student.

Elizabeth A. Blank, M.S., Academic Adviser

Campus: NYC Downtown
Phone: 212.346.1104
AIM: LBlankDyson
Facebook: Search Elizabeth Blank in the Pace network

About Liz
I am happy to be the new Academic Adviser for Dyson College on the NYC campus. I finished my graduate assistantship at SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, NY in April 2008 at the Career Development Center and then continued to work there part time as an Internship Coordinator and Career Counselor over the summer before beginning at Pace in August. Besides being an Academic Adviser at Pace, I also teach University 101- Introduction to University Community on Monday afternoons.
I am an undergraduate (2001) and a graduate (2005) alumna of Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, so I am very familiar with the university and campus life! Anything you want to know about Pace just ask me. While attending Pace, I was a Resident Assistant for two years and very involved in my sorority, Alpha Lambda Sigma, holding two Executive Board positions. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, hot yoga, staying active, and spending time with my boyfriend Andy (also a Pace grad!), my family, and my girlfriends. I am a big Giants and Yankees fan and was an athlete myself during childhood and in high school playing basketball, softball, and on the swim team in the summer.

Bottom line: My door is always open. Any student who wants to come in and see me with any questions or concerns is always welcome. Most common questions include, “Can you tell me if I am going to graduate on time?”, “What classes do I still need to fulfill my major?”, “Can I substitute this class for that?”, and “I need a signature!” I am available Monday-Friday from 9-5. I look forward to meeting you.

Annie Blinkoff, Graduate Assistant Adviser

Campus: New York City, Downtown
Phone: 212.346.1921
AIM:  DysonAdvrNY

About Annie
I grew up in New York City. After high school, I moved to Washington, D.C. to attend The George Washington University. There, I majored in psychology and minored in communications. During my junior year of college I studied abroad in Barcelona.

After graduating from college, I moved back to NYC to begin the School-Clinical Child Psychology Doctorate program at Pace. I am currently in my fourth year of the program.

This is my third year as a Graduate Assistant Adviser at Dyson. I help students choose appropriate classes, make sure that they are on track for graduation, and direct students to resources that can help them succeed. Additionally, I work with incoming freshman and transfer students during orientation and other special Pace events.

We are on the 16th floor of 41 Park Row. Coming to visit us definitely makes your life a lot easier. We can help you plan out your classes and make sure that you can graduate as soon as possible.

Amy Reale, Graduate Assistant Academic Adviser

Campus: New York City, Downtown
Phone: 212.346.1921
AIM: DYS Advising NYC

About Amy
Originally from Bergen County, NJ, I attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for my undergraduate degree. I majored in Psychology and had a minor in Dance. I also studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand during my Junior year. Immediately after college, I worked for two years in mental health agencies before starting the School-Clinical Child Psy.D. program at Pace in 2005. I worked part-time for two years as an Administrator at McShane Center for Psychological Services, the graduate student clinic, prior to joining the Dyson Advising team last August.

Thus, this is my second year as a Graduate Assistant Academic Adviser, and I love it! We are here to answer questions regarding credit requirements for graduation as well as provide references for resources at Pace, including who to speak to at the Transfer Credit Evaluation office, OSA, Financial Aid and the respective departments, etc. We frequently answer questions such as "What courses do I need to take to graduate?"; "How many more semesters do I have left?"; "Will I graduate on time?"; and the best one, "Do I really need to take a math class?" I enjoy working with students and do anything that I can to help them feel supported and empower them to be their own advocates for their academic career here at Pace.

Tina Wilson, Administrative Assistant

Campus: New York City, Downtown
Phone: 212.346.1518
AIM: TinaWilsonDyson

About Tina
I have been employed at Pace for ten years. I started in the Challenge to Achieve Program (CAP) for two years and have been working in the Dyson Dean’s Office for the past eight years as an Administrative Assistant. I have a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts from City College.

Outside of Pace, I enjoy hanging out with my family, going to the movies, sewing, reading, and watching television. I am currently in the process of obtaining my Masters Degree in Adolescent Urban Education, with a concentration in English.

I try my best to assist the students with their situations, whether they’re Dyson students or not. If I don’t know the answer to their questions, I will always try to find out the answer from one of my colleagues. The most common questions that I get from students are: “I need my situation resolved immediately”; “Why can’t you sign the form, it does not matter what my major is”; and “OSA will take the form because it’s from you.”

Students should know that the Dyson Advising staff is very caring. We try our best to assist the students no matter what the situation; however there are some situations that we can’t fix. In these cases, we always try to refer them to someone who can.

Christina Musso, Graduate Assistant Academic Adviser

Campus: Pleasantville
Phone: 914.773.3781
AIM: DysonAdvsr

About Christina
I am currently in the 60-credit Combined Degree Masters Program in Counseling with a concentration in Substance Abuse. I completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology and Human Relations with a minor in Spanish here at Pace and was accepted to the Masters Program my junior year. During my undergrad I was very involved on campus and was also able to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. The summer before my sophomore year I studied abroad in Rome for a one month 6-credit program, my junior year I took a spring break travel course and spent a week in Barbados learning about cultural diversity and in the fall of my senior year I spent a semester abroad in Seville, Spain to work on my Spanish minor.

Studying abroad and getting involved on campus gave me some of the best experiences I have had at Pace. During my undergraduate years I was an Orientation Leader, the VP of North Hall Council, the VP of Student Association, a student representative for the Board of Trustees, a Student Ambassador for the Office of the President, a Peer Leader for University 101 and more. I also worked in the Office of Student Development and Campus Activities for all four years of my undergraduate and worked in the Human Resources & Benefits Office for a year. I am from Fairfield, Connecticut but have recently moved closer to Pace since I am working and taking graduate classes five days a week.

If anyone ever has questions about getting involved on campus, studying abroad, advising or anything else, please come see me!

Maria Shirling, Graduate Assistant Academic Adviser

Campus: Pleasantville
Phone: 914.773.3781

About Maria
I am currently a student in the 60-credit Combined Degree Masters Program in Counseling. I completed my undergraduate coursework in 2007 with a major in Applied Psychology and will receive my Masters degree in May 2009. During my undergraduate career, I tried to take many different types of classes to see where my greatest interests were but soon came to realize how much I enjoyed all of my psychology courses, which is why I chose to pursue this area with my Masters degree.

I commute from The Bronx, where I have lived my entire life. Looking back at my time here at Pace, I realize that I was definitely not as involved as I could have been during my undergraduate years; however working in the advising office has really given me such a great opportunity to not only work more closely with the students and faculty, but to also learn more about the university in general. There are so many wonderful programs for students to take advantage of, and it is inspiring that each year individuals continue to express enthusiasm about becoming an active student and role model.

I enjoy my work here at Pace and being able to help students who are in need, especially knowing what they are going through as a Pace alum who was once in their shoes. Please feel free to come in with your questions or call anytime to set up an appointment. There are probably very few concerns that are unique to only one person, so never hesitate to stop by the Advising Office for some help!

The Dyson Advising Offices are located on the 16th Floor of 41 Park Row in NYC or the 2nd Floor of Choate House in PLV. You can also find the entire Advising team on Facebook by visiting the Dyson College Advising page.