Determining how to successfully balance responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges is imperative to a positive and productive student experience. The Student Academic Services (SAS) Support Services team in the MBA Program assists in navigating academic and personal circumstances for which students need support. SAS is available to partner with students to provide support and resources on the many facets of the HBS experience as they become immersed in the academic curriculum as well as the myriad social and co-curricular opportunities available during their time here.

So how can they help?

The MBA Student & Academic Services Support Services team provides direct support, counseling, and advising to all HBS students on academic and personal issues, wellness, mental health concerns, issues of safety, respect, and inclusion, as well as health management and disability services. Four staff members have mental health licensure in the state of Massachusetts, and all are trained sexual assault counselors. The team offers significant experience in assisting students with major life transitions as well as HBS-specific concerns including class participation and time-management challenges, navigating relationships, as well as extenuating circumstances that may arise during your time at HBS.

Academic Support

The SAS staff is committed to helping students achieve academic success, and constantly strives to enhance the suite of programs and workshops designed to facilitate the transition back to being a student and to the case method used at HBS. These programs include free tutoring, writing coaches, and workshops addressing case and exam preparation, writing and class participation. During the 2019-2020 academic year, 200 students utilized writing coaching services, and 300 first-year students worked with second-year student tutors.

Disability Accommodation and Support

Assistance is available for students with disabilities, including mobility, vision, auditory, and other physical impairments or health conditions, as well as learning differences, attention deficit, and other processing disabilities. Accommodations may include extended exam time, a distraction-free exam environment, designated classroom seating, housing assignments, excused absences, and transportation for short-term injuries. A dedicated Disability Coordinator works with individuals to provide support for their particular needs.

International Students

International students play a vital role in campus and classroom culture, and SAS recognizes the physical, personal, and emotional toll that a move to the US can sometimes take on these individuals. The team brings a wealth of intercultural experience to conversations with students about acculturation, academic concerns, and personal circumstances. SAS staff speak frequently with students on topics including, but not limited to, acclimating to American culture and living in a new country, concerns related to speaking and writing in English as a second language and how to participate effectively in class discussions, and adjusting to the case-based pedagogy.

Wellness

Particularly as everyone navigates the fluid and dynamic situation created by COVID-19, there is an essential need for our community to prioritize taking care of ourselves and each other. SAS staff offer a number of customized programs throughout the year to respond to student stressors and topics of concern related to wellness and self-care, in addition to providing a curated list of resources on frequently discussed topics. SAS staff are also able to meet with students to discuss wellness concerns and strategize individualized solutions.

Mental Health

Students may seek mental health support for numerous reasons while at HBS; for assistance with acclimating to a new country, environment, and learning pedagogy, establishing new friendships, recruiting stressors and career decisions to name a few. SAS offers three options for mental health support. Students are able to schedule an appointment with a SAS staff member for emotional and personal support on a variety of issues, or obtain a referral through Harvard’s Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS). SAS has also created a network of off-campus mental health providers in the Harvard Square area who meet with students in need of a long-term counseling relationship. Understanding what is involved in a decision to seek counseling, the SAS team is committed to assisting students in finding the most appropriate resources for their personal situations.

Parents & Family

Whether students join the HBS community with their family, are pregnant, or plan to start a family while at HBS, SAS has resources and support for balancing family and academic obligations. Common conversations involve daycare and local school options, housing, campus lactation rooms, and even course selection for second-year students. The SAS staff also maintains a strong relationship with the HBS MoMBA group, which offers a support network of students, faculty, and staff committed to ensuring that female students are supported in their family-planning decisions.

Sexual Assault & Harassment

HBS is dedicated to the prevention of sexual assault and harassment and offers support and resources to students impacted by these experiences. The team manages a 24-hour Sexual Assault hotline, offers risk reduction strategies and bystander trainings, and is connected to the Harvard Title IX office for additional resources.

Meet the Staff

Each member of the SAS Support Services staff is available to speak with students about personal and academic concerns, as well as topic-specific concerns as described below.

Suzy Conway, Director of MBA Student & Academic Services

Suzy has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and a Master of Social Work degree and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She oversees the various programs and functions of the Support Services team, in addition to facilitating students’ academic and personal success around major life transitions, relationships, and mental health concerns.

Aldo E. Peña Moses, Associate Director

Aldo has an MA in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He serves as Disability Coordinator for students who need help with accommodations as well as an on-call sexual assault counselor for the HBS 24/7 HELP hotline. Aldo also has expertise in student crisis intervention.

Joyce Majewski, Associate Director

Joyce has worked with international students and academics for 20 years. She provides one-on-one coaching around acculturation to HBS and the US as well as issues of social and socio-economic inclusion. Joyce is the first point of contact for student parents, parents-to-be or students considering starting a family. She is also a trained sexual assault counselor.

Alexandra “Sasha” Watkins, Associate Director

Sasha is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), has an MA in Mental Health Counseling, and is currently completing her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership Studies. She oversees the Tutoring and Writing Coaching programs. Being multicultural and multilingual, she is passionate about helping students from diverse backgrounds carve their unique pathways to success at HBS.

Jonna Green, Associate Director

Jonna is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She has both a Masters and Bachelor degree of Social Work and is available to meet with students for support regarding adjustment, stress and achieving academic and personal success. In her role she oversees programing related to sexual assault and gender related concerns as well as our “Live Well” wellness programming.