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.

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 papaprofessional staff. Nick has an extensive backround in Residence Life and Housing, academic advising, best pedagogical practices, 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 meets with students frequently when academic, personal, or social concerns should arise. Nick is also responsible for the BRIDGE and Mathematics Immersion Program (MIP). Nick earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish Language and Culture, and Masters of Arts in Teaching for Secondary Education from Drew 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.

Vanessa Falco

Technical Assistant

Vanessa Falco joined the STEP team in November of 2013. Prior to joining Stevens Vanessa was the Teen Coordinator at The Jubilee Center in Hoboken. This prior experience in youth development greatly contributes to her successful interaction with students. As the Technical Assistant for STEP Vanessa assists with the daily functions of the department, including managing the webpage, publishing a monthly newsletter, and database management; she is also often the first point of contact for students in the office. Vanessa earned her undergraduate degree from Morgan State University.