Meet the Graduate Admission Staff

The Suffolk University Graduate Admission staff is here to assist future students.

With a wide range of skill sets and experience, our Graduate Admission Office is here to answer questions and provide information.

Heather O'Leary, Director of Graduate Admission

Heather started at Suffolk in October 2017 as the Director of Graduate Admission. Prior to coming to Suffolk, Heather has worked in admission and higher education consulting for over 17 years with Northeastern University, Eduventures, and the University of California - Davis. She holds a BS in Psychology from Roger Williams University and an MBA from UC Davis. Heather is responsible for oversight, recruitment, admission and enrollment management for the Office of Graduate Admission at Suffolk University, working with graduate programs from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and Sawyer Business School (SBS). Email Heather

Director of Graduate Admission Heather O'Leary

Mara Marzocchi, Associate Director - Operations

Mara came to Suffolk in 2005 as the latest step in a varied career. Originally from Pennsylvania, Mara completed her Bachelor of Science in Archaeology at Boston University, MBA from University of Phoenix, and graduated from the Master of Science in International Economics program from Suffolk University. She wears a lot of hats, jumping from meeting with prospective or incoming students in the office or on the road to managing operations within the admission office. Email Mara

Associate Director - Operations Mara Marzocchi

Ariana Balayan, Associate Director - Recruitment

Ariana came to the Office of Graduate Admission in February 2016 with over seven years of graduate admissions experience at private institutions. She has worked with traditional and non-traditional students in a variety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. Ariana earned her Doctorate of Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, is published in the Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly and The Journal of College Student Retention, Research, Theory & Practice, and has presented at national and regional conferences. She also has a Master of Education from Lesley University and Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (MA). Her responsibilities in the Office include assisting prospective students, strategic recruitment plan development, travel coordination, and managing the Alumni Admission Network. Email Ariana

Associate Director - Recruitment Ariana Balayan

Stephanie Burns, Senior Assistant Director of Graduate Admission Communications

Stephanie returned to the Office of Graduate Admission in January 2019 after previously spending two years at Suffolk. A native of Boston's South Shore, she has over 10 years of experience in higher education, with a primary focus on communication and marketing. Stephanie has worked with undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies populations and is passionate about helping students reach their educational and career goals. She is responsible for communication and social media, and loves collaborating across the University on these efforts. Stephanie holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in Theater Studies, both from Emerson College. Email Stephanie 

Emily Kormann, Assistant Director of Graduate Admission

A native Floridian, Emily has lived and worked in Boston since 2012. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French Language, she worked in Graduate Admission at Simmons College with prospective students for Behavior Analysis, Education, Public Policy, and Liberal Arts programs. She joined the Office of Graduate Admission at Suffolk in March 2018. In addition to her programmatic responsibilities, Emily coordinates on-campus events. Email Emily

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission Emily Kormann

Katherine Theriault, Graduate Admission Counselor

Originally from Connecticut, Katherine relocated to Boston in 2016 after earning her bachelor's degree in American Studies. She worked as a lead recruiter for CVS Health through Sevenstep before joining Suffolk's Office of Graduate Admission in February 2019. Katherine is the primary recruiter for Suffolk's graduate programs in Accounting, Taxation, Business Analytics, Marketing, and Administration of Higher Education. Additionally, she conducts domestic and international travel, and provides event and office support as needed. Email Katherine

Scott Carlson, Graduate Admission Counselor

Scott joined Suffolk's graduate admission staff in fall 2018. Previously, he worked in the banking sector for several years while finishing his bachelor's degree in psychology at Bridgewater State University. Shortly after joining our team, Scott enrolled in Suffolk's Master of Education in Administration of Higher Education program and then moved into the graduate admission counselor position. Scott is responsible for assisting prospective students in the public administration, mental health counseling, crime and justice studies, and government programs. Additionally, he conducts events on campus and engages in travel both domestically and internationally. Email Scott

Graduate Admission Assistant Scott Carlson

Jessica Soto, Admission Coordinator

Jessica has been working for the Office of Graduate Admission since October 2009. As an admission assistant, she works closely with prospective and enrolled students as they navigate the application process. She assists applicants in understanding their degree options and admission requirements while also completing administrative and operational duties within the office. Email Jessica

Graduate Admission Coordinator Jessica Soto

Leah Vargas, Admission Assistant

After completing her Associate in Arts in Communication, Leah began her time at Suffolk in mid-2017. She has previously worked in the admissions offices at Mass Bay Community College and Wheelock College, and particularly enjoys the challenge of working with the 'non-traditional' student. Leah’s role as an Admission Assistant in the Office of Graduate Admission consists of helping prospective students with any questions they have about the application process, required materials, or their program of interest, and, from an operational standpoint, ensuring those applications and materials have been received and processed as necessary. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in Global & Cultural Communication at Suffolk. Email Leah

Graduate Admission Assistant Leah Vargas