Meet Our Staff
We are proud of our dedicated, professional, and adventurous team.
Lauren Buffone | Coordinator of Student Support & Internship Year Advisor
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!
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.
Michael Downs | Admissions & Outreach Coordinator
As the newest member of the Dynamy staff as of summer 2018, Mike will be working with the admissions team. He will coordinate outreach to high schools and colleges to teach students and families about Dynamy, and he will work with the Dynamy Summer Program. Mike is passionate about helping individuals discover opportunities for growth and is very excited to be a part of the team.
Mike received his B.S. in Communication & Psychology from Eastern Connecticut State University and an M.S. in Counseling with a concentration in student development from Central Connecticut State University. Prior to coming to Dynamy, he was at the College of the Holy Cross working as the Assistant Director of Student Programs. When he’s not working, Mike can be found either at a concert, on the beach, reading a Harry Potter book or playing with his cat Luke.
Gregg Frew | Assistant Program Director & Internship Year Advisor
Gregg began working with Dynamy as an Internship Year Advisor in 2014 and is now the Assistant Program Director. In addition to providing guidance for our interns, Gregg oversees our Residential Life services and staff. 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.
Jake Harrity | Maintenance Coordinator
Jake joined the Dynamy team in 2016 as our very first Maintenance Coordinator. Jake maintains the Dynamy facilities, including our staff offices as well as all intern apartments. Jake is responsible for mowing the lawns and also snow blowing the walkways in wintertime. He handles any maintenance issues that arise during the year from burned out light bulbs to clogged drains to holes in drywall to broken kitchen appliances.
Outside of work, Jake enjoys coaching his kids’ soccer team and spending time with family. He is also an avid woodworker, most recently making custom coffee tables, shelves, and cutting boards.
Stephanie Kozlowski | Assistant Director of Admissions
Stephanie joined the Dynamy team in 2011 and now works as our Assistant Director of Admissions, helping prospective students and families through the application process. Whether it be giving an information session or leading a tour, Stephanie is extremely passionate about helping young adults find their niche. Having lived in the Worcester area her entire life, Stephanie thoroughly enjoys showing prospective students and families all that Worcester has to offer students.
In addition to her role as Dynamy’s Assistant Director of Admissions, Stephanie serves as the Business Manager and On-Site Coordinator for USA Gap Year Fairs, a national fair series that aims to promote gap year programs and opportunities for experiential learning worldwide. As the Business Manager and On-Site Coordinator, Steph represents Dynamy at the fairs in cities across North America. 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.
As the mother of a college student herself, she understands firsthand the importance of helping students find their goals, passions, and strengths during this pivotal time in their educational career and young adult lives. Her attention to detail helps both at work and at home; she loves gardening, refinishing old furniture, and traveling with her family. Both she and her husband are avid New England sports fans and run their local youth football and cheer program.
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!
Laura Sargent | 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 quickly desired an administrative position as to utilize her full skill set. From event planning to managing our social media posts, Laura thoroughly enjoys the ins-and-outs of administration at Dynamy.
While away from Dynamy, Laura enjoys singing, playing guitar and participating in outdoor activities with family and friends. Laura also enjoys coordinating and event planning at her local church, where she and her husband are active participants. There, Laura is able to pursue her passion of reaching out to her community and sharing her music with others. Laura may have a slight obsession with Disney World as you can often find her vacationing there.
Katelynn Shea | Director of Admissions
Katelynn joined Dynamy Internship Year as the Director of Admissions in 2017. Prior to Dynamy Katelynn spent nine years working in college admissions where she found a passion for guiding students and their families through the college search process. Katelynn takes great pride in helping young adults navigate opportunities for growth, independence and happiness.
Katelynn completed her B.A. in Communications from Regis College and her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University. To keep a pulse on higher education Katelynn is an adjunct professor at Becker College for the evening accelerated program.
A huge sports fan, and former college athlete, Katelynn can often be found hanging with friends and family watching sports or coaching basketball. In her free time she likes to cook (and eat!), exercise (walking is her favorite), shop (retail therapy does exist), travel (Argentina was her last big trip) and catch up on various Netflix series (the list is endless).
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.
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.