Meet Our Staff

We are proud of our dedicated, professional, and adventurous team.

Jess Bove

Jess is a great addition to the Dynamy team as an Internship Year Advisor with her encouraging personality and positive outlook. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut and M.S. in Family Therapy from UMass Boston.  Her desire to work with young adults emerged from her role advising UConn college students towards academic success and volunteering at the University’s Academic Achievement Center.  Before transitioning to Dynamy, Jess held positions as a counselor working with adolescence and as a clinician.  She highly values her training as an Adventure Challenge Experience (ACE), which encourages the use of experiential learning to guide youth in discovering their full potential.

Outside of Dynamy, Jess has a passion for health and fitness.  She loves activities such as weight lifting, tennis, rock climbing, and hiking and is always up for the challenge.  She is also an avid Patriots fan and cherishes every opportunity she gets to watch football with her family.

Lauren Buffone

Lauren began working with Dynamy as an Internship Year Advisor in 2015.  She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Health and Counseling from Emmanuel College, and earned a Master of Social Work from Simmons College.  She enjoys witnessing the journey of students as experiential learners at their internships and seeing them grow to be independent at Dynamy.

Lauren’s passion for working with others in the community has driven her work with children, adolescents and adults.  Prior to Dynamy, she worked with youth and adult mentors within the community helping them develop and maintain positive relationships.  She has also worked in a shelter for homeless men arranging services to help with the transition into permanent housing and worked with adolescent girls as a community and school based mentor.

Lauren is an avid reader, loves a good cup of coffee, spending time with friends and family, traveling and has two cats: Boots and Badger!

Kathy Cheng

As the Director of Admission, Kathy enjoys communication with families and students about Internship Year. In addition to holding info sessions, tours, and interviews for prospective families, she also is a director of USA Gap Year Fairs, a national fair series that travels to over 20 U.S. States. Kathy joined Dynamy’s team in 2010.

Kathy received her B.A. in International Business and Chinese Studies from Assumption College, and her Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College. She worked at Emerson College in the Admissions department, and later became Assistant Director of Admissions at Clark University. Kathy enjoys working with youth to help discover their path from gap year to the college process.

She enjoys attending the many wonderful events and festivals throughout Worcester with her husband and two dogs. Kathy also frequently hosts foreign exchange students from China and Korea, and during the summers she loves to travel to remote locations; her last trip was to Myanmar.

Gregg Frew

Gregg began working with Dynamy as an Internship Year Advisor in 2014. He graduated from Assumption College with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in cognitive-behavioral therapy. During his time in graduate school, he was involved with a research team that studied the links between memory and emotion with emerging adults.

Gregg’s interest in working with teenagers and young adults s has led him to roles in high school, college, and mentoring settings. He taught within the classroom to consulted with college human resource departments around student access and policies.

Gregg is a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and enjoys spending time outdoors exploring New England. He is an avid reader with interest in history, science fiction and fantasy. In addition, music is a passion for Gregg and he plays guitar, drums and bass.

Fred Kaelin
Fred began at Dynamy in 1997 as an Advisor. Throughout his tenure he served in many roles, including as Residential Coordinator, and Program Director for both of Dynamy programs, Internship Year and the Youth Academy. Prior to his current position as Executive Director, he was Dynamy’s first Director of Education as well.

Fred earned his B.A. from Hamilton College in 1995 and a Masters in Teaching English from Tufts University in 1996. He loves being an educator and a student. Beside leading as Executive Director, he also oversees the Clark University seminars, including instructing the courses. He is an expert (but don’t tell him we used that word) in experiential education, gap years, and mentoring. During his career he has presented at numerous national conferences and won a number of awards and recognitions. Most recently, he was a finalist for the 2013 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Leadership Award, and was selected as one of the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 under 40 for 2013.

Growing up the second oldest in a family of seven, Fred understands the importance of helping students to define their personal path in life and to set and achieve their goals. He is a champion for increasing educational support and resources, personalizing learning, and for innovative strategic planning. An avid writer who has won a number of essay awards during his academic life and has published a short story, Fred enjoys his family, sports, a great cup of coffee, and reading voraciously.

Stephanie Kozlowski
Stephanie joined the Dynamy team as an Administrative Assistant in 2011, and has been infusing our community with her positivity and willingness to help in all aspects ever since. She received her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Quinsigamond Community College. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff to a State Representative and worked at the Mary Elizabeth McGrath Educational Center.

Working with teenagers is her passion, and she spends as much time with kids as she can. She is a married mother of two, and has mentored children at her local church youth group since 2008.
Her attention to detail helps both at work and at home; she loves gardening, refinishing old furniture, event-planning, and traveling with her family.

Elizabeth Machado

Elizabeth started at Dynamy in 2013 as a Residential Coordinator and in 2014 began working as an Internship Year Advisor. Elizabeth received her B.A. in Liberal Arts and Education. She plans on working her Masters in Clinical Social Work. Elizabeth has a long standing passion for working with adolescents and young adults. This passion began in her work as the Transition to Adulthood Coordinator at a local non-profit called the Center for Living & Working, Inc. While there she created a class to help students with different learning disabilities study the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual as well as creating a vocational internship program for adolescents with varying disabilities. She then began work as a therapeutic mentor for YouInc. working with children and adolescents who have mental health diagnosis develop the skills they need, in order to be successful in the community, before transitioning in to her work at Dynamy.

Elizabeth is an avid reader, enjoys going to the movies, finding new places to eat, painting, DIY projects and spending time at the beach. She is a fan of baseball and her favorite team is the New York Yankees. Elizabeth can often be seen walking her dog around Elm Park.

Andrew Mahoney
As the Assistant Program Director for Internship Year, Andrew brings a high level of energy and capability to his position of advisor and mentor to our interns. His role at Dynamy began in 2012, and his students often attest to the benefits of his amenable counseling style. In his role, he also oversees the residential life component of the program.

Andrew graduated from Assumption College in Worcester with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Leadership. Andrew started his career at Y.O.U., Inc., our parent agency, in 2005. Previously he was the Director of Admissions at the Joy and Robert Wetzel Center for Children, and went on to win a 2010 agency-wide Employee of the Year Award for his extensive efforts in supporting the education, care, and well-being of students. He is also an Adventure Challenge Experience (ACE) facilitator for Y.O.U., Inc., where he leads therapeutic and experiential learning groups for students of all ages.

Andrew keeps an active lifestyle. He is an avid fan of hockey (especially the Boston Bruins). Andrew also plays the position of catcher on a semi-professional kickball team. He also enjoys rock climbing, hiking and playing sports of any kind. He also aspires to someday hold a senior management position in the agency.

Alia Pialtos

Alia joined Dynamy in 2015 as our Admissions Associate. She is a unique addition to our admissions and marketing initiatives. Alia earned a B.F.A. in Ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art & Design and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is especially excited to meet with prospective students and their families while traveling for the USA Gap Year Fairs, to coordinate fair logistics with schools and exhibitors, and to represent Dynamy at the fairs in over 30 cities across the country.

Born in Worcester, Alia has returned from Colorado after completing her graduate studies and teaching undergraduate art courses at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. There, she developed an affinity for teaching and inspiring students to chase their passions. Alia is excited to encourage others to seek out internship opportunities, as her own experiences as an artist’s studio assistant and a Worcester Art Museum intern really influenced her desire to pursue the arts.

As an artist, her own creativity and curiosities have led her to travel extensively across the United States and Europe, visiting museums, installing exhibitions, and getting to know individuals from different cultures. Most recently, Alia traveled to research photographic archives at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris and collections at Tate Modern in London. Aside from her work at Dynamy, she is an Artist in Residence at Worcester Center for Crafts, a Dynamy internship site.  She looks forward to seeing some of our Dynamy interns hard at work around the studio!

Monica Potter
Monica started with Dynamy in 2010, and her most recent role is as Director of Internship Year. Her commitment to our interns is evidenced in everything she does, from personal advising to coordinating with students and families on individualized support. As the Director of the program, she is also responsible for overseeing all the various elements of the program, and truly gets to know each and every student and family.

As a licensed mental health counselor with a Masters of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, and Certificate for Guidance, from Assumption College. Monica has energy and heart to spare. Monica has worked for Y.O.U., Inc., our parent agency, since 2000: as a clinician at the Joy and Robert Wetzel Center, and the Clinical Director at the McGrath Educational Center.

Monica is a married mother of two who loves being active, whether it’s playing soccer, riding bikes or swimming with her family. Although she self-describes as someone who “hates” running, she organized a running group with past Internship Year students and enjoyed the experience so much she has gone on to run multiple 5K’s and even a triathlon!

Chizu Shiono
Chizu joined Dynamy in 2011 and provides college counseling and post-Dynamy guidance to students in the Internship Year. A former college counselor at Phillips Exeter Academy, Chizu has been an educational consultant since 2003. In addition, she has 20-plus years of experience working in the admissions offices at seven colleges and universities.

Chizu earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She attends numerous professional conferences and has been a faculty member, workshop director, and committee/commission member for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. An active member of the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, Chizu has served on the organization’s Executive and Governing Boards. With a passion for international education, she also belongs to the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling.

Together with her husband, she enjoys travel and has been to more than a dozen countries on four continents (Australia and New Zealand are on her wish list.) To date, she has visited over one hundred colleges and programs across the country and abroad.