Workshop Speakers


Theresa A. Bivaletz, MSW, LSW

Theresa A. Bivaletz Theresa A. Bivaletz holds a Master’s degree in social work and is a licensed social worker who has been in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault as an advocate for the past 11 years. She currently works at William Paterson University as Campus Victim Services Coordinator. Theresa provides advocacy and support to student survivors of abuse, coordinates prevention education, and organizes awareness and training events with various departments and student groups. Prior to arriving at William Paterson, Theresa worked in the non-profit sector at several organizations serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit, Unchained At Last.


Dr. Phyllis Bolling

Phyllis Bolling is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and has been employed at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for more than 25 years. She currently serves as Director of NJIT’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (C-CAPS).  Dr. Bolling has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from State University of New York at Albany and a B. S. in Biology from Syracuse University.

Dr. Bolling’s interests include: campus mental health, cultural competence and multicultural/cross-cultural counseling and psychotherapy, working with persons with disabilities, mood disorders, and trauma. In addition to her work as a licensed psychologist, Dr. Bolling currently serves as Secretary on the Board of the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) and Vice President on the Board of the New Jersey College Counseling Association (NJCCA). 



Tricia B. O’Reilly, Esq.
Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga, LLP

Tricia B. O’Reilly, EsqTricia O’Reilly is a founding partner in the firm Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga, LLP, and an accomplished litigator and trial attorney with more than twenty years of experience in the fields of commercial litigation, employment law, and internal investigations. Tricia also has a depth of experience in representing institutions of higher education across a broad range of issues, including investigating Title IX complaints and defending against Title IX claims. She has been named one of New Jersey’s Women Leaders in the Law, Labor and Employment and to the 2017 “Best Lawyers” directory for Commercial Litigation. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar New Jersey, and a Trustee of the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice.



Mariel L. Belanger, Esq.
Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga, LLP

Mariel L. Belanger, Esq. Mariel Belanger focuses her practice on litigating commercial and employment-related disputes for clients across a wide range of industries and provides strategic counseling to employers on various personnel issues. In addition, Mariel has significant experience representing institutions of higher education, including investigating Title IX complaints and defending against Title IX claims. 






Dr. Laura Valente

Dr. Laura Valente is Dean of Students, Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Title IX Coordinator at NJIT.  Dr. Valente has over 20 years’ experience in student affairs administration and has special expertise in enforcement of behavioral expectations including prohibition of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Her commitment to offering all avenues of support to complainants as well as providing all elements of a fair adjudication process for respondents is well known. Dr. Valente recently appeared before the NJ State Task Force on Sexual Assault to help inform the department of legislation to address assault on college campuses. Prior to arriving at NJIT in July of 2015 Dr. Valente led the student life program for 10,000 resident students, including crisis response and community standards.




Anthony LaViscount, M.A.Ed

Anthony LaViscountAnthony LaViscount currently serves as the Director of Campus Life at NJIT and is responsible for overseeing Student Involvement & Leadership, Commuter Assistance & Resource Services, Diversity & Inclusion, Evening & Weekend Programs, Fraternity & Sorority Life and working with the Student Senate and Graduate Student Association.

Prior to his arrival at NJIT, Mr. LaViscount served as the Director of Student Activities at Stony Brook University. He also served as an instructor within the Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies departments, serving as the Lead Instructor & Program Coordinator for Sexual Assault Facts and Education (S.A.F.E.) Peer Education program.  The SAFE Peer Education program was a 6-credit, two-semester internship in which students were trained to go into their communities and educate others on the topics of rape and sexual assault awareness and prevention.  Students were taught skills to assist them in outreach as well as gaining knowledge on the topics that affect the global issue in order to engage students, faculty, staff and the community in a meaningful dialogue about sexual assault prevention.



Holly C. Stern, Esq.
General Counsel and Vice President, Legal Affairs
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Holly C. Stern is currently General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs at NJIT, where she has been employed since 1993.  She also serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees and serves on the Board of Directors for New Jersey Innovation Institute.  In her role, she oversees all aspects of the university’s legal agenda, and oversaw the development of the university’s Title IX policy.  She works closely with the university’s Title IX Officer in providing legal advice to implement Title IX initiatives, including issues regarding training and investigation.  Prior to that time, she has worked in both the private and public sectors.

Ms. Stern is a graduate of Stanford University (BA ’76) and University of Southern California Law Center (JD/MPA ’79).  She has been a speaker at National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), College & University Professional Association for Human Resource Professionals (CUPA) and Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).  She has twice been a finalist for NJBIZ General Counsel of the Year (public sector).



Christine S. Li, Esq.
Associate General Counsel and Ethics Liaison Officer
NJIT’s Office of the General Counsel

Christine S. Li is Associate General Counsel and Ethics Liaison Officer, New Jersey Institute of Technology. She focuses her practice on employment, civil rights discrimination, regulatory compliance, litigation, student affairs, and ethics.  Her focus draws upon her prior experience as in-house counsel for a Silicon Alley start-up and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. 



Catherine Maranto LCSW-R

Catherine Maranto LCSW-R is a licensed clinical social worker, who specializes in addiction in the states of New Jersey and New York.  She is currently employed at NJIT as a Staff Clinician in the C-CAPS Department where she does individual counseling and group therapy for NJIT students.  She runs numerous groups, among them “High Impact”, which is a group mandated for students that have received Drug and Alcohol Violations. In addition, she runs “Breaking Bad Habits”.  Prior to NJIT, she has worked at many of the top addiction programs in Manhattan in postitions ranging from clinician to most recently, Divisional Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health at The Lower Eastside Service Center.  That encompassed directing Outpatient Dual Diagnosis Programs, Probation Programs, Parole Programs, DWI Programs, ACS (Agency of Children’s Services) Programs and Day Treatment Programs. She has private practices in New York, NY and Maplewood, NJ currently and for the past 20 years.


Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Esq. 

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan is a Staff Attorney in the National Headquarters Office of Lambda Legal. His work spans all aspects of Lambda Legal’s impact litigation, policy advocacy and public education efforts, with particular emphasis on relationship recognition, LGBT youth, transgender rights, and issues affecting Spanish-speaking LGBT and HIV-affected communities.

Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Gonzalez-Pagan worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant Attorney General, a Special Assistant District Attorney, and an Associate General Counsel to the Massachusetts Inspector General.  Gonzalez-Pagan received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. He also possesses a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cornell University. 



Jean Semelfort Jr, M.A., LAC

Jean Semelfort, M.A., LAC is licensed by the state of New Jersey as an associate counselor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Psychology and obtained his Masters at College of Saint Elizabeth in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling and Forensics. Jean is experienced in treating issues such as anger management, oppositional defiance disorder, anxiety, depression, sexual deviance, substance addiction, and many others through individual, group, and family counseling. Jean is highly sensitive to multicultural issues, ranging from gender to sexual orientation, in treating our clients. He is skilled at utilizing REBT and CBT interventions in his daily practice. Jean believes that therapy is an effective tool that supports the achievement of a holistically balanced life. In assisting our clients develop insight, we strengthen their ability to address life’s challenges and teach our clients how not simply to survive, but how to live.



Brian Edwards, M.S.Ed

Pronouns: he, him, his, they, them, their

Brian Edwards M.S.Ed currently serves as the Assistant Director for the Office of Equity & Diversity/Coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Center at Montclair State University. Brian holds a B.F.A. in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College and an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College, CUNY. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in education with a concentration in higher education administration at New England College.

Brian Edwards is also an adjunct professor in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies department teaching courses in the LGBTQ Studies minor. In addition, he serves on the Prevention Coalition for SAVE of Essex County and the Community Advisory Board for ProjectLOL of the Hyacinth Foundation. He is a member of the Association of College Unions International, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. He has served as a regional representative for the Consortium and is currently part of a committee that is developing Standards of Practice for LGBTQ Center Professionals nationally.  




Jessica Mahmoud

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Jessica Mahmoud is a senior Journalism major with a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies at Montclair State University. She is a Lavender Leader and facilitator at the LGBTQ Center at Montclair State and leads its new group Q-bility, looking at the intersection of LGBTQ+ individuals with disabilities. In her free time, you'll find Jessica educating the internet world on her blog




Justin Lemley

Pronouns: they, them, theirs

Justin is in the first year of the Master of Arts in Teaching: Music and Teacher of Students with Disabilities program. Justin spent 6 years working on LGBTQ advocacy campaigns across the U.S. in coordination with local communities, focusing on training, volunteer programs, and voter education. They currently teach before and after school music programs for elementary school students, which is a blast! Justin is a proud bicycle commuter, gender non-conforming person, and trombonist. Ask them about their vision for a more just and pro-arts future.


Sean Dowd, MEd

Sean joined NJIT as the Director of Residence Life in August 2016.  The Director provides visionary leadership and direction for the department; manages the student housing program for the university; directs departmental operations; sets department goals; budget development; coordinates assessment efforts; and establishes learning outcomes and implementation strategies for the department.

Prior to NJIT, Sean worked for Residence Life at Rutgers University – New Brunswick as Campus Director and member of the department’s senior leadership team. Originally from Connecticut, Sean received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from Eastern Connecticut State University and a graduate degree in Education from Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT). Prior to his work in Student Affairs, Sean served as a HIV Prevention Counselor and Health Educator at an urban non-profit LGBTQ heath center.

Sean’s professional interests include advising, programming education, student learning and development.  His personal interests include travel, all things NFL (Go Patriots!), and spending time with his partner Brian and golden retriever named Jersey. 


Dr. Satarupa Dasgupta

Satarupa Dasgupta has twelve years of experience working in social and healthcare initiatives, grassroots organizing and advocacy programs in sexual violence support services. Satarupa has a PhD in health communication from Temple University. Satarupa specializes in sexual assault advocacy, health education and promotion, and sexual health program development. In her current role as an sexual assault advocate at Manavi, a not for profit organization based in New Jersey, she is designing and implementing culturally and linguistically specific sexual assault support services for immigrant populations in New Jersey.  



Chandana Guntupalli, B.A.

Chandana Guntupalli has a BA in Psychology and BA in Philosophy from Michigan State University. She was involved in the local crisis intervention hotline and was also a part of the sexual assault response team. She currently works as an advocate at Manavi - a non-profit organization that works with victims of violence. At Manavi, she works directly with victims of violence, conducts outreach and training programs, and is developing a comprehensive sexual assault support services program.