Meet the team that will help you navigate the college search and application process and help you find the perfect college to start the next chapter in your life’s journey.


Edward J. Connor Ed Connor

Assistant Vice President of Enrollment
Dean of Admissions

After serving in various admissions roles at Dean in the 1990’s, Ed returned to the college in 2015. In his role, Ed oversees the Office of Admissions and supervises the Admissions Team. He enjoys helping students and families navigate the college admissions process and find the school that’s right for them.

FUN FACT: Ed has traveled to over 25 countries.

Kathy Ryan Kathy Ryan

Executive Director of Enrollment Operations

Office Phone: (508) 541-1515

Kathy joined Dean College in 2003 after a successful 20-year career in the software industry. She spends much of her time bringing data about prospective students and parents into our admissions system as well as preparing letters and publications you receive from Dean in the mail. She wishes she could see your smiling faces when you open your admission letter!

FUN FACT: Kathy has two sons who both graduated from Dean. Need parental advice about Dean – Kathy is your person!

Admissions Counselors

Allison Dawes Allison Dawes

Admissions Counselor

Territory: Connecticut (Litchfield, New London, New Haven and Hartford areas), Massachusetts (495 Corridor, South Shore and South Coast), North Carolina and South Carolina.

Allison graduated in 2021 with a B.F.A. in Animation & Game Art from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and joined the admissions team in 2022.  During her time there she worked as a student ambassador which led her to joining the Dean College Admissions Team where she continues to enjoy aiding prospective first-year students. Allison also serves as the advisor for the Esports Club on campus.

FUN FACT: Allison can name a movie within five minutes of seeing or hearing it and her hobby is collecting ‘hobbies’.  See if you can stump her!

Arielle DelFino Arielle Delfino

Assistant Director of Admissions

Territory: California, New York (NYC and Long Island), and Rhode Island.

Arielle joined the Admissions team in 2016 after graduating with her master’s degree in School Counseling from Manhattan College. She is able to use her knowledge and insight with first-year students from her territories. Arielle also works with transfer students and students applying to the Arch Learning Community.

FUN FACT: Her now husband proposed to her after running the Boston Marathon. They welcomed their first child in 2022.

Chris MonteforteChris Monteforte

Assistant Director of Admissions

Territory: Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts (Greater Lowell/Andover, North Shore, North Worcester County) Montana, Nebraska, New York (Westchester/Rockland Counties), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Chris began his admissions journey at Fitchburg State University as a student tour guide, and has gone on to work on both the operations and counselors’ side of college admissions. Chris is originally from the North Shore in Massachusetts and majored in Psychology

FUN FACT: I’ve played with rescued wolves at a wolf sanctuary in New Jersey.

Ashley Reed '17Ashley Reed

Assistant Director of Admissions

Recruitment Coordinator, Palladino School of Dance

Territory: Dance Students; Florida and Massachusetts (Greater Franklin, MA).

Ashley graduated from Dean College with a B.A. in Arts and Entertainment Management and returned to Dean to work in Admissions in 2018. After her time as a student tour guide, she found her career in higher education by blending her passion for the arts and helping others. In addition to working with students in her territory, she serves as the recruitment coordinator for the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance and as an advisor for the Dean College Pom Team. 

FUN FACT: On her off hours and long drives between high schools she loves listening to true crime podcasts.

Larry Thode Larry Thode

Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

Territory: Maine, Massachusetts (Western), and New York (Upstate Counties).

Larry joined Dean College in 1983 and is our resident historian. He is also the assistant cross-country coach. In addition to first year students, in his territory, he also works with students applying to the Arch Learning Community. He particularly enjoys working with the contacts he has made in the high school guidance community over the years.

FUN FACT: Larry has never missed any of his High School or College reunions and swims at the Y at least 3 times/week.

Myra Traylor

Myra Traylor

Associate Director of Admissions, Multicultural and International Recruitment

Territory: All US Territories, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC and All International Areas.

Myra has spent over 15 years in Higher Education, working with many types of students in the admissions field. She works with first year and transfer students and is passionate about her role as the multicultural and international student recruitment counselor. She enjoys helping students find the college that is the best fit for them.  Myra also serves as the advisor for the Black Student Union and MyBlack Speaks! on campus.

FUN FACT: Myra is a world traveler and has visited 45 countries. She is also an avid crafter. If you meet Myra in person there is a good chance she is wearing jewelry she made herself.

Joe Zumbo '14Joe Zumbo

Assistant Director of Admissions

Recruitment Coordinator, School of the Arts

Territory: Theatre Students; Colorado, Connecticut (Fairfield County), Louisiana and New Jersey.

An alumnus of Dean, Joe graduated with his B.A. in Theatre and joined the admissions team in 2014. He uses his knowledge of performing arts to assist prospective students interested in studying theatre as well as those in his territory. He also coordinates the Student Ambassador program and is very active in the Theatre community outside of Dean performing in productions throughout the year.

FUN FACTS: Joe has sung for the Pope at the Vatican and can list all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in order of release. Test him if you dare!

Tracy PalanaTracy Palana

Admissions Services Manager

Office Phone: 508-541-1508

Tracy joined the Admissions team in 2021. A New England native with over 10 years of higher education experience, Tracy is the first voice you usually hear when you call the Admissions Office or come for a visit. She enjoys meeting prospective families from around the country and likes being one of the first smiling faces that welcomes you to campus.

FUN FACT: Tracy did the Sound of Music bicycle tour in Salzburg, Austria. Students - don't know about the Sound of Music? Ask your parents or older family members about this classic movie.

Marketing, Operations, and Systems

Christy Parlon '12Christy Parlon

Associate Director of Admissions
Information Systems and CRM Manager

Christy spent four wonderful years at Dean as a student earning a degree in Dance before joining the admissions team right after graduation. While working as an admissions counselor and recruiter for the dance program she also found a talent working with technology and information systems leading to her current position.

FUN FACT: Christy and her husband were students together at Dean. They now have 4 little bulldogs of their own.

Kaeley Cahill

Kaeley Cahill

Admissions Records Coordinator

Kaeley Cahill is a Colorado native and a proud alumnus of Dean College. She graduated with a B.A in Dance in 2021. While she was a student, she discovered her passion for Admissions and working in the community at Dean. She adores her role as Records Coordinator, where she can be a small part of future students’ admission.

FUN FACT: As a young girl, Kaeley was terrified of the moon because she was sure it was following her! Now, she is fascinated by the study of space and astrology.

Barbara Dutko

Barbara Dutko

Admissions Records Coordinator

Barb joined Dean College in 2021 after spending many years working at an area high school in the Guidance Office. She is enjoying working on the other side of the college process now. You will have Barb to thank for making sure all the materials required for your admissions application get added correctly to your record. She is also responsible for mailing out your admission decision letter!

FUN FACT: In her free time, Barb enjoys spending time in nature, especially gardening in her yard and bird watching.