Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Response Coordinator and Director
Melissa Lees is the Program Manager for the Women’s Center Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response Coordinator at Loyola University Maryland. She is a confidential resource for ANY student who experiences any form of sexual or dating violence. Melissa can provide resources both on and off-campus. She is available to walk with students through both the campus disciplinary process and the city’s criminal process. Obtaining peace and protective orders, getting a S.A.F.E. (sexual assault forensic exam) exam at Mercy hospital and navigating the criminal system are a few of the many resources she can provide. Melissa is a Step Up!, Green Dot and Escalation Workshop facilitator. Faculty and staff can reach out to Melissa to meet with student clubs, organizations, classes and meetings to do training's on a variety of topics related to sexual violence.
Melissa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Marywood University in Scranton, PA and her Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Dayton in Ohio. Melissa has been a senior advocate with TurnAround, Baltimore’s rape crisis and domestic violence agency for the past seven years and a Domestic Violence Advocate at North West Hospital's DOVE program for one year. In her free time, she is a die-hard NY Giants fan, loves cooking and spending time with her 4year old niece.
Krysten Fertonardo is the Program Administrator for a grant that Loyola, along with eight additional Baltimore area institutions have received from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. The purpose of the grant is to strengthen the response of institutions of higher education to the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campuses and enhance collaboration among campuses, local law enforcement, and victim advocacy organizations. She completed her B.A. in Art History from Loyola in 2005 and her M.A. in Liberal Studies also from Loyola in 2015. She loves living in Baltimore and hiking with her husband and dog on the weekends.
Esther Weiner is the Graduate Assistant for the Women's Center. She is excited to get to know the students at Loyola through the various events she will be planning for the semester. In addition, she will also be creating the Women Center Weekly newsletters, and facilitating StepUp trainings to undergraduate students.
Esther graduated from Towson University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor over the past year before becoming a student at Loyola's PsyD program. In her spare time, Esther loves to run, cook, play guitar, and spend time with friends.
Lisa Crowell is the Administrative Assistant in the Women’s Center. Lisa worked in a variety of administrative positions in an 11-year career with Carefirst. In 2004, she left to become a full- time mom. In 2010, she started working for Baltimore County Schools. Lisa worked for six years in various positions until her employment here at Loyola University. She is an active volunteer at St. Clare Parish and in the Essex community. Lisa is a compassionate supporter of human rights and environmental issues. She is a proud alumni of The Catholic High School of Baltimore, and has been happily married to her husband, Eric, for 15 years. Lisa and Eric are the proud parents of three wonderful children.
Lisa loves helping others, and her passion to help others includes volunteering at Eastside Homeless Shelter and Baltimore Child Abuse Center. She hopes to inspire others to be good stewards. Lisa' interests include hiking, attending her children's sporting events and just spending time outdoors with nature.
Alex is a sophomore from Long Island, New York and a new office assistant this year. She is an accounting and management double major, and she also volunteers at a local charter school weekly. In her free time, Alex enjoys being with friends, fishing, and reading—she is also actively working on starting a fishing club here at Loyola! Though this is her first year working with us, Alex loves the values and mission of the Women’s Center, and she is excited to bring her contributions and personality to the team.
Beza Mamo is a first year student majoring in Business Economics at Loyola. She is from Silver Spring, MD but she's originally from Ethiopia. She enjoys watching Korean dramas and loves listening to music.