Associate Dean Gerry Muir grew up the fifth of seven siblings in a military family, and defines home as wherever she finds family. Having grown up primarily in Pennsylvania, Gerry moved to Syracuse, NY to complete a dual degree in Television/Film Production and Sociology at Syracuse University. She began her career as an advocate for academically-gifted young women of color through A Better Chance Foundation, commonly referred to as "ABC." Recognizing she missed the higher education environment, Gerry transitioned from ABC to a student affairs career, working at institutions in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, and ultimately, Massachusetts. Gerry completed a Master's Degree in College Student Personnel, magna cum laude, and served as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. As the Associate Dean at Drew University, Gerry was the chief student affairs officer, with responsibility for residence life, student activities, student volunteering, diversity initiatives, risk management and judicial affairs. Her experience as a client led her to redirect her career a third-time to attend law school and become a legal advocate for higher education institutions. Gerry graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center and worked for several years in the Postsecondary Education practices for Dow Lohnes PLLC and Cooley LLC. Gerry's primary areas of practice as regulatory attorney focused on compliance with federal and state student aid regulations, accreditation standards, and institutional compliance training.
Gerry is excited that her career path has brought her back to campus where she focuses primarily on the development of students' personal and professional competencies through resource management and oversight of the various programs implemented by the Student Affairs team.
Brenda Hernandez is a native of Northampton, Massachusetts. She received her B.A. in Women's Studies from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D., cum laude, from Pace University School of Law where she focused on women and children's rights. After law school, she worked as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Pace University School of Law.
When she is not promoting racial inclusion in higher education, she is a feminist activist and writer. She runs her own blog and has been featured on several others. She was a 2012 writer-in-residence on Ms-JD.org. She is the Co-Director of the Boston Doula Project and a founding member of the Safe Hub Collective. She has spoken on issues of reproductive justice, activism and street harassement at several universities and conferences; including the Five College Queer, Gender and Sexuality Conference and Hampshire College's annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom.
Brenda enjoys reading, live music and yoga. If you ever want to engage her in conversation just bring up Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Jill Collins is originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, but has called Boston her official home since 2006. Jill received her B.A. in political science from Boston College, magna cum laude. She went on to receive her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude. During her time in law school, Jill was active in the Public Interest Law Forum, as well as with the Legal Aid Clinic focusing on general poverty law matters. Outside of the law school building, Jill spent most of her 2L and 3L time living and working in an undergraduate women's dorm as an assistant rector (a.k.a. assistant hall director). In that role, Jill counseled students on a wide range of issues and oversaw hall government, in addition to overseeing hall staff and disciplinary issues in conjunction with the rector.
Following graduation, Jill joined the Individual Clients Department at Day Pitney LLP (formerly Day, Berry & Howard LLP), and spent the next six years focusing on estate planning, estate administration, trust administration, and tax-exempt law. While at Day Pitney, Jill served as a mentor to summer associates and newer associates, and ran the Boston office summer program in 2008. She also became a mentor to a law student through the Boston Lawyers Group mentoring program.
Re-entering higher education and working directly with students was a major (though mostly secret) goal of Jill's during her years in private practice. Jill couldn't have imagined a more perfect position than this to combine her desire to work with students and her experiences as a practicing attorney.
Outside of the office, Jill loves to bake and cook (and eat!), watch bad television, take long walks along the beaches in Southie with her two little boys, and ski and travel when possible. These days Jill isn't collecting too many frequent flyer miles, but feel free to ask her to reminisce about her semester in Quito, Ecuador (and related travels to the jungle, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, and gorgeous, undeveloped beaches) or her love of exceptional croissants that developed after a long weekend in Paris.
Kelly is originally from Duxbury, Massachusetts (famous for our Island Creek oysters!), and has lived in the Boston area for the last eight years. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College, where she majored in human resources and history. After graduation, Kelly worked as a recruiting assistant for the summer program at Ropes & Gray LLP, where she first became interested in working with law students. She went on to join the Career Services Office at New England Law | Boston, which further confirmed her desire to work with students and promote college access. She subsequently attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduated this past May with an Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration.
Outside of the office, Kelly loves spending time with her huge family, playing the piano, and scouring Pinterest for new DIY projects. She’s also trying to become a better cook, so feel free to drop by with any recipe suggestions!