Student Accessibility Services

SAS Staff

The Student Accessibility Services (SAS) staff is a group of dedicated professionals skilled in collaborating with the Brown community to provide an equitable and inclusive student experience.

  • full figure photo of karen andrews seated next to her dog dooley

    Karen Andrews

    With over 12 years of higher education disability experience and more than 12 years of K-12 special education experience, Karen is a visionary leader in disability services. She has apassionate commitment to creating a culture of inclusion for everyone, recognizing the intersectionality of the disabled. She works to ensure equitable opportunities and compliance with federal laws, state regulations, best practices and University-wide and campus guidelines related to equal access, barrier elimination, and resources and services for disabled students. Karen’s work extends nationally as she serves on the Board of the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) as a Director-at-Large, is the current AHEAD Board liaison to the Knowledge and Practice Communities and is the former chair for the organization’s Race, Ethnicity, Diversity and Disability Special Interest Group. She is the 2022 awardee for the AHEAD Duraese Hall Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Every day, Karen and her service animal, Dooley, show up to serve the Brown community in advancing the cause of disability as diversity. Karen earned a BS in Elementary and Special Education from Northern Arizona University and an M. Ed. in Adult Education and Development from Strayer University.

  • headshot of Desirae Mix

    Desirae Mix

    Associate Director

    Originally from Boston, Desirae began her career at Suffolk University then onto Brandeis University with a focus on integrating technology and universal design to reshape the way we look at academic inclusion. With a passion for technology, case law and policy, she enjoys teaching and collaborating with folx who share an interest for supporting the intersectional needs of those who identify as having a disability.  She provides support for both Undergraduate and Graduate students, and currently serves as the Graduate School Liasion. Desirae holds a B.S. in Business Management / Marketing Science and Information Technology from UMASS Boston and a M.Ed. in Administration in Higher Education from Suffolk University. 

  • headshot of Jennifer Agudelo

    Jennifer Agudelo

    Jennifer leads the Exams team and assists the team with the day-to-day workflow of accommodation requests. She has a dual BS degree from University of RI in Communications Disorders and Spanish, an MA from Salve Regina University in Rehabilitation Counseling, and is certified as a Rehabilitation Counselor. In prior roles, Jennifer served as an Accommodations Lab Assistant and later as a Disability Student Services Program Coordinator at Community College of Rhode Island. Additionally, for over nearly a decade Jennifer has been in the roles of Direct Support Professional and Job Coach Coordinator at a non-profit community agency supporting adults with differing abilities. Fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language, Jennifer enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach and working on her house. 

  • Headshot of Lori Connolly

    Lori Connolly

    Student Accessibility Services Accommodation Specialist

    Lori Connolly joins the SAS team following a lengthy career as a special education teacher. She has a B.S. from Rhode Island College in Elementary and Special
    Education. Lori began her career as a special education teacher at Nathanael Greene Middle School in Providence, RI. She went on to teach in Maryland and most recently in Sartell, MN. She sees the potential and ability in every student she works with. She will assist in accommodations requests for graduate and
    undergraduate students. Lori has a passion for supporting the unique and varied needs of individuals who identify as having a disability. She enjoys finding creative ways to create equitable access to academics and experiences for all individuals.  She will work to ensure that students have access to the resources they need to
    succeed socially, emotionally, academically, and professionally. She is excited to be able to continue to use her background in special education to support the students at Brown University. In her spare time Lori enjoys spending time with her husband and children, hiking, kayaking, building furniture, sewing and baking.

  • Nicol Hernandez headshot

    Nicol Hernandez

    Nicol assists in academic accommodation requests for undergraduate and graduate students with temporary and/or permanent disabilities. She has a B.S and M.S from the University of Rhode Island in Speech-Language Pathology. Before starting her career at Brown University, Nicol was a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist at a pediatric outpatient clinic for two years. Being a lifelong wheelchair user, Nicol is passionate about creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all. She strives to make changes and help create a universal design on campus that everyone can access. Nicol works to ensure that the disabled student’s voices are being heard and they have equal opportunity to succeed academically, socially and professionally. In her spare time, Nicol is a board member of Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England and is a mentor for young children. Nicol enjoys spending time with family, painting and watching movies.

  • headshot of Erin Karalekas

    Erin Karalekas

    Erin is a RI native who has been at Brown for 25 years. She began in the Residential Life Office in 1992 and then joined the SAS Office in 2000. She received the Presidential Achievement Award for Service in 2001, the Campus Life Excellence Award for Service in 2012 and the Excellence Award for Diversity in 2016. Erin's responsibilities consist of scheduling ASL interpreting and CART for students, assisting with disability related parking accommodations, connecting the Brown community to the SAS shuttle, processing financials, note providing support and maintaining/updating our database. Erin enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, listening to music and attending sporting events.

  • Headshot of Erik McCall

    Erik McCall

    Assistive Technology Program Coordinator

    Erik assists in supporting and developing assistive technology programs with SAS.  He also assists in the creation of training materials for faculty and staff, as well as assisting in accommodated testing. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana Erik has his B.S in Health Sciences and Community Development from Wichita State University. With a passion for education and equity, Erik has worked to ensure equity through technology for all forms of disability in higher education as an accessibility specialist at Wichita State University for the last 5 years. Through his time there he worked to create novel approaches to both web accessibility and physical accessibility supporting students with varying disabilities. Outside of work Erik spends his time with his family, and enjoys hiking, exploring, board games, and playing a variety of musical instruments.

  • Photo of Melodie Vincenty

    Melodie Vincenty

    Student Accessibility Services Accommodation Specialist

    Originally from New York, Melodie assists in accommodation requests for undergraduate and graduate students. She has a B.A. in Psychology from CUNY-School of Professional Studies and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from SUNY-University at Buffalo. In her prior role, Melodie began her career as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the State of Rhode Island. She worked with adults and high school students with disabilities to obtain employment, independence, and integration into society. Melodie has a passion to ensure individuals have access to the resources they need to succeed. She is fluent in Spanish. Melodie enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with family.