Staff Council Elections

All employees who are not teaching faculty, members of a bargaining unit, or full-time members of the student body are eligible to run for office from their division. Each representative will be elected for a two-year term. Each of the seven divisions of the College will be represented by one to five representatives depending on the number of employees in that division.

The following seats are open:

  • Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty - 3 seats
  • Student Life and Dean of Students - 2 seats
  • Advancement and the Alumnae Association - 1 seat
  • Enrollment - 1 seat


Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty - 3 seats

Wendy Rua

Teaching and Learning Initiative

My name is Wendy Rua and I thank you for your consideration and for your vote for Staff Council! I work as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Teaching and Learning Initiative and sincerely enjoy coming to work every day! My job encompasses facilitating faculty development opportunities, event planning, website management and budget oversight. As a proud MHC alumna, with a B.A. in Psychology & Education, coming back to campus has been a strong reminder of the lasting impact that my Mount Holyoke education provided and has sparked the renewal of my commitment to be a part of crafting its impact on future generations. The faculty and the staff who work here are the critical foundation for that success! Want to know a little more about me? My employment history includes a diversity of experiences in social work and in the public school arena. As you can see, the common theme to all of my roles has been advocacy and outreach (natural fit for Staff Council!). Currently, I serve as the Vice-Chair of the Agawam School Committee, on my fourth term as an elected official. Working tirelessly for the betterment of public education, I support my hometown schools by campaigning for resources, policies, programs, and legislative support. Born and raised in Western MA, I am also busy raising my three sons with my husband, Mario. Actively involved with my community, I am on the board of directors for Agawam’s robotics program, a Cub Scout leader, the President of the Agawam Special Needs Parent Advisory Council, and involved in PTOs and booster clubs. My strengths are building community, event coordination, developing community partnerships and passion for advocacy that makes a difference.

Ryan Lewis

Office of Student Success & Advising

Ryan works in the Office of Student Success & Advising and serves as MHC’s National Fellowships Advisor, a position he has held since September 2016. His job consists mainly of aligning student strengths with good-fitting fellowship/scholarship opportunities, suggesting strategies that can boost an applicant’s competitiveness, and listening deeply to a student’s story in order to provide considered writing advice.

He has met and made friends with other staff members across campus and is particularly interested in helping create and foster community whenever possible. Over the past two years he has served on the college’s Tobacco Free Task Force, joined other faculty, staff, and students at the 2019 Posse Plus Retreat and, most recently, participated in the “More Than An Ally” panel for Boom 2019.

Staff Council provides him with the opportunity to extend a sense of community even further, doing work that feels responsive to and inclusive of the lives of those who spend huge chunks of their days and nights on campus, regardless of degrees, job titles, or tuition bills. As a South Hadley resident, he himself spends a lot of non-work time on or near campus, having recently moved into a house with his daughter, his dog, and his cat on the corner of Park and Morgan Streets in late fall 2018.

Cara Lapenas

Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies, Romance Languages and Cultures

After serving as a public high school Spanish teacher and union and community organizer over the last 15 years, Cara joined Mount Holyoke in August 2018. She continues to be impressed with the camaraderie among the staff here and feels very welcomed! Cara enjoys making connections across diverse groups, which she gets to do in her position as Academic Coordinator for the Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies and Romance Languages and Cultures departments. As a public school employee organizer for the Belchertown Education Association (over 300 members), Cara has had lots of practice communicating with and expressing the needs of teachers and educational support professionals including instructional assistants, custodians, secretaries, food service workers, nurses and counselors. Cara currently manages our new Staff Reads book group on campus, which always welcomes new members. Cara hopes to serve on Staff Council to continue to explore, connect and build community and staff voice on campus.

Lauren O'Boyle

Career Development Center

Lauren has been part of the Mount Holyoke community for two years working as Coordinator of External Relations at the CDC. In that role, Lauren works with our external partners such as Employers and Alumni who wish to recruit our students for jobs or internships. She coordinates on campus recruiting events, info sessions and workshops and facilitates several off campus employer site visits as well. Lauren is a thoughtful and creative team player who brings true compassion and a great sense of humor to every engagement. Lauren appreciates the connectivity of the Mount Holyoke community and embraces our mission to be an institution of exceptional learning and inclusivity.

Student Life and Dean of Students - 2 seats

Latrina L Denson

Dean of Students/ Division of Student Life

Latrina L. Denson, Associate Dean of Students for Community and Inclusion, coordinates all diversity and inclusion programmatic and educational initiatives for students, in addition to other administrative initiatives under the Division of Student Life. Denson has worked at Mount Holyoke for almost six years and has served as an educator and administrator in higher education for two decades. She earned a B.S. in psychology with a minor in vocal performance from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1994. In 1997, Denson received her M.Ed. in community counseling from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

After completing her master‘s, she worked at Albion College as assistant director for residence life/wellness education coordinator, associate director for campus programs and organizations, and associate director for multicultural affairs and first-year experience. From 2003 to 2007, she was served as program coordinator for multicultural and leadership programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while pursuing a master‘s in higher education administration.

Denson served for seven years as director for the Center for Multicultural Student Affairs at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She also taught in the Organizational Leadership Program and the African-American Studies Program at Richland Community College.

Denson has been an active member of such organizations as NASPA, ACPA, NCORE and GLACLHO-I. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Born in west Texas and having spent most of her life in Louisiana, she considers herself a Southwestern girl. Her passions include social justice advocacy, mentoring young women, singing, playing the piano, traveling and spending time with her daughter Maya Starr.

Advancement and the Alumnae Association - 1 seat

Fred Baumgarten

Advancement/Grants Office

Fred joined the MHC staff in January 2018 after 8-1/2 years at Sarah Lawrence College. As director of the Office of Foundation Relations and Sponsored Research, he has a staff of 3 people (2FTE) and reports both to the Dean of Faculty and the VP of Advancement. Fred believes strongly in the mission of the liberal arts college, promoting women's education and leadership within a gender-diverse framework, and the essential role that staff play in furthering the College’s mission. He is interested in supporting and promoting a work environment that is collegial, fun, and fulfilling for staff, as well as initiatives around a “green” and sustainable workplace. He is also committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across his division and the College.

Fred recently served on the Healthcare Review Panel and is part of the Smoke-Free Campus Working Group currently in formation. He has been working with Dining on a submission to the New England Food Vision Prize competition. With the generous support of the College, he is taking part in the Leadership Development Workshop sponsored by Human Resources, alongside staff from virtually every division of Mount Holyoke, from Facilities to Finance, Dining to the Alumnae Association. As a member of Staff Council, Fred pledges to represent the interests of all staff and to promote the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability and a humane workplace.

Fred lives in Northampton with his wife, Jenny Hansell. Their two daughters are in college: the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock: the Early College. Plus one dog and two kittens. Fred is an avid “birder,” writer and lecturer, a student at Happier Valley Comedy, and will play basketball until they drag him off the court.

Janet Glick

Alumnae Association

Janet Glick will celebrate her fifth year at Mount Holyoke College in June. As a staff member at the Alumnae Association, one of her primary responsibilities is coordinating Reunion each year. Through this role she has worked with many alumnae, faculty, staff, and students. She deeply appreciates the Mount Holyoke community, is excited to build and deepen relationships, and would be proud to serve her colleagues through a role on Staff Council. Janet looks forward to offering new ideas and energy, and will work hard to be a voice for all staff on campus.

Audrey Markarian

Audrey Markarian


Audrey Markarian ’07 has greatly enjoyed having an opportunity to meet staff members across campus and represent staff interests during her first term serving on Staff Council. As a member of the Advancement team, she works closely with students and alumnae and has appreciated connecting with more members of the MHC community in her current role as Staff Council Co-Chair.

In addition to her work with Staff Council, Audrey also serves on the Wellness Committee, and the Advancement DEI Action Group and is active in the MHC Alumnae Pioneer Valley Club.

When not on campus, she enjoys hiking around the valley with her sassy corgi and discovering new breweries.

Enrollment - 1 seat