Deborah Berkley

Dean, Student Development and Enrichment Programs
Director, Step and EoF Programs

Deborah Berkley is the Dean of Student Development and Enrichment Programs, and the Director of the STEP & EOF Programs. She began her career at Stevens as the STEP Counselor, and during her career has held other positions within the department, including Upward Bound (Pre College) Director, and STEP Assistant Director. In addition to her positions within STEP, Dean Berkley functioned as the university’s Affirmative Action Officer, managed the Stevens Study Abroad Program, coordinates the Office of Veterans Services, and is Advisor to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Stevens Honor Board which oversees the university’s student run Honor System. She also has served as advisor to several other student organizations, including the Black Student Union (BSU), Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), Latin American Association (LAA), Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Service Fraternity, and Omicron Pi Sorority.

Dean Berkley’s passion is for helping students, and she has dedicated her professional career to providing students with needed support and guidance to facilitate their success in and out of the classroom.

Dean Berkley is an alumna of Howard University, and Stevens Institute of Technology, where she earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees respectively.

Edlyn Thompson-Mettle

ASSociate director for diversity programs

Edlyn joined STEP in March 2018 and oversees the Stevens ACES (Accessing Careers in Engineering and Sciences) program, which launched in 2017. 

Nick Russo

Assistant Director/Counselor

Nick joined STEP in December 2017. Prior to Stevens, Nick was the Student Services Coordinator in the International Student & Scholar Services office at Drew University, where for three years he served as an academic advisor to first year international students, managed the New International Student Orientation program and served as the advisor to the orientation paraprofessional staff. Nick has an extensive background in Residence Life and Housing, academic advising and first year student development. In his role as Assistant Director and Counselor for STEP and EOF, Nick oversees programming and special events during the academic year and collaborates with various staff throughout campus to better engage students with the Stevens community. He currently serves as the advisor for SHPE (Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers) and is responsible for the Bridge Summer Program and Mathematics Immersion Program (MIP). Nick earned his BA in History and Spanish Language and Culture, and MA in Teaching for Secondary Education from Drew University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Seton Hall University.

Yajaira Pons

EOF Admissions Counselor

Yajaira is responsible for the recruitment and admission of prospective freshmen from Hudson, Essex, Union, Passaic and Camden Counties in New Jersey. She is also the primary recruiter of EOF (NJ Educational Opportunity Fund) eligible students. In this role Yajaira serves as the contact for all students interested in EOF. Yajaira has a BA in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in Leadership Studies, and an MS in Organizational Management and Human Resource Development from Manhattanville College.

Jessica Gruich

Administrative Assistant

Jessica joined the STEP team in January 2019. Prior to joining Stevens, Jessica was the director of Hoboken Children's Academy, where for 5 years she served as the program supervisor for staff, clients and children enrolled at the center. Jessica's experience in this role has provided her the leadership and management skills to ensure that daily operations of the office are successful. Her experience building relationships and bonds with her clients and staff are essential to her role in STEP, as Jessica is the first point of contact for the students in the office and provides the team and students a safe environment to relax, unwind and get assistance when needed. She also assists with the daily functions of the department, including managing the webpage, publishing a monthly newsletter, database management and all financial transcations. Jessica earned her BA in Communications, Public Relations from William Paterson University.