Meet Our Staff
We are proud of our dedicated, professional, and adventurous team.
Lauren Buffone | Coordinator of Student Support
Lauren began working at Dynamy as an Internship Year Advisor in 2015 and is now the Coordinator of Student Support. 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. Lauren is a big proponent for experiential learning. She especially enjoys watching students grow and develop a greater sense of independence through their internships, community involvement, and team building activities at Dynamy.
Lauren’s passion for working within the community has driven her to work with diverse groups of people. Prior to Dynamy, she worked with youth and adult mentors, helping them to develop and maintain positive relationships. Lauren has also worked in a shelter for homeless men where she arranged services to help with transitions into permanent housing as well as a program for adolescent girls where she was 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!
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 15
Kate DeMaio | Internship Year Advisor
As a self-proclaimed “Jill of all trades”, Internship Year Advisor, Kate is certainly not a stranger to the self-exploration process experienced by the interns here at Dynamy. Having grown up in Worcester, Kate decided to stay in the city to pursue her interests in social work and counseling. She attended Clark University where she majored in Sociology and minored in Education and Human Services. During her years at Clark, Kate began interning at local nonprofits and public schools. Shortly thereafter, Kate received her M.A. in School counseling at Assumption College, completing her practicum hours at South High Community School and Burncoat Middle School in Worcester. Kate is excited to work with Dynamy interns and hopes to help them further develop their unique passions and interests, as she believes everyone should have the opportunity to explore and dabble in a variety of fields, no matter how “offbeat” they may seem!
When she is not advising at Dynamy, Kate can be found sketching and painting, reading boring sociology books, training at the gym, or roasting root vegetables from the farmers market. She especially enjoys spending time with her big orange cat, Cyrus. Kate is also a licensed cosmetologist, a trade she pursued while working towards her master’s degree in order to satisfy her creative itch and fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a hair stylist.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 11
Gregg Frew| Internship Year Advisor
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 has led him to roles in high school, college, and mentoring settings. He taught within the classroom and consulted with college human resource departments regarding 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. Additionally, music is a passion for Gregg and he plays guitar, drums and bass.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 22
Laura Greska| Administrative Assistant
As our Administrative Assistant, Laura provides a tremendous amount of day-to-day support for our team. Her enthusiasm and positivity brighten our front office. Before joining Dynamy, Laura was a preschool teacher at The Guild of St. Agnes, but always desired an administrative position.
Laura enjoys coordinating and event planning at both Dynamy and her local church, where she is an active participant. There, she is able to pursue one of her passions of reaching out to young children through teaching Sunday school classes. In her free time, she enjoys going on outdoor walks and hikes with close family and friends. Laura currently attends part-time classes at a local university where she is working towards her Associate’s Degree to further her career in administration.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 17
Stephanie Kozlowski | Admissions Associate
Stephanie joined the Dynamy team in 2011 and has been infusing our community with her positivity and willingness to help in all aspects ever since. She now works as our Admissions Associate, helping prospective students and families through the application process. 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.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 21
Francine Kupferman|Director of Admissions
Francine started at Dynamy in May 2016, as the Director of Admissions. She received her B.S. in Management at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Suffolk University. She has worked at Quincy College in the Admissions Office and most recently was the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Recruitment at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Francine is passionate about building relationships with students and their families during the application process and throughout their Internship Year with Dynamy.
She also enjoys traveling, being outdoors, spending time with friends and family and rooting for Boston sports teams. In her spare time, she likes to bake and cook – Snicker’s Dip is one of her favorite things to make.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 18
Elizabeth Machado| Lead Residential Coordinator
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.
Alia Pialtos| Assistant Director of Admissions|Director of USA Gap Year Fairs
Alia joined Dynamy in 2015 and is currently the Assistant Director of Admissions. She 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. In addition to holding info sessions, tours, and interviews for prospective families at Dynamy, she is also the Director of USA Gap Year Fairs, a national fair series that aims to promote gap year programs and opportunities for experiential learning worldwide. As the Director, Alia coordinates fair logistics and represents Dynamy at the fairs in over 30 cities across the country.
Born in Worcester, Alia returned from Colorado after 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. 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!
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 16
Monica Potter| Director of Internship Year
Monica started with Dynamy in 2010, and her most recent role is 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!
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 14
Isaac Santner | Assistant Program Director
Isaac began working at Dynamy in August 2016 as the Assistant Program Director. He is excited to work with students from around the country and to bring enthusiasm and energy to the position.
Isaac is from New Paltz, NY, and graduated from Clark University, with a BA in English and an secondary Masters in the Art of Teaching. He spent the past several years as the Education Coordinator at the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an environmental education and advocacy nonprofit. He ran outdoor education programming onboard The Clearwater, the organization’s 107 foot long historic tall ship, and is excited to bring his experience in the alternative education world to the Dynamy program.
When Isaac is not at work he enjoys reading, hiking, boating, and most sports. He loves the New York Knicks, and hopes you will ask him how their season is going.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 20
Chizu Shiono | Internship Year College Counselor
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.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 11
Courtney Smith | Internship Year Advisor
Courtney began working as an Internship Year Advisor with Dynamy in 2016. She earned her B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in sociology from University of California at San Diego, and earned her M.A. in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute.
While in graduate school, Courtney developed a passion for working with young people on experiential programs focusing on leadership, community building, and professional development. Prior to Dynamy, she worked as a study abroad advisor, teacher, and program facilitator for World Learning. Courtney loves building relationships with students and families, and seeing the passions of young people take shape as they realize the power of their own abilities.
Outside of Dynamy, Courtney enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, drinking tea, and planning adventures. While originally from California, Courtney has also lived in Taiwan, Japan, Vermont, and Connecticut, and enjoys traveling.
Phone: 508.755.2571 Ext. 13