Meet Our Counselors

Bethlehem Campus


Ross Bandics, Counselor

Ross provides academic, career, and personal counseling. He is an Academic Probation Counselor and teaches College Success 101.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking

Favorite TV show:  Curb Your Enthusiasm

Favorite food: chicken paprikash


Matt Bartholomew, Counselor

Matt is a licensed professional counselor in PA. He provides personal, academic, and career counseling to all students experiencing a wide range of issues. He believes nutrition plays a major role in mental health and will help students who want to explore this. He also counsels students on Academic Probation.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: all types of exercise and getting outdoors with his wife and kids

Favorite TV show: The Office – his favorite character is Dwight Schrute

Something surprising: has been a huge fan of Professional Wrestling since the 1980s


Ziona Brotleit, Counselor

Ziona is a licensed psychologist who assists students with a variety of issues, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, parents and relationships, women’s issues, and LGBTQ+ concerns. She provides stress management and relaxation techniques. She also provides support and guidance for a range of academic concerns, including study skills, test anxiety, professor and class management concerns, selecting a major, and career decisions. She speaks both English and Spanish.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: hiking on trails in the woods, watching movies, and contra dancing - "Contra dancing? Ask me about it!"

Elba Carides, Counselor

Elba counsels students on personal, career, and academic skills and assists students in the development of their individual educational plans and goals. She provides outreach advocacy and support for students experiencing academic difficulty. She teaches College Success 101-150 and leadership development. She speaks both English and Spanish.

Favorite way to reduce stress: exercise, like Zumba, Salsa dancing, and walking outside

Favorite food: "I can eat lasagna every day if you let me!"

Favorite animal: her Miniature Schnauzer, Suki


James N. Colon, MHSC (Master of Human Service Counseling), Counselor

James is a Spanish-English bilingual counselor. He assists students with personal life issues, such as depression, anxiety, parent and family issues, relationships, and LGBTQ+ concerns, and provides stress managment and relaxation techniques. He provides support to students on Academic Probation. He is also an instructor of College Success and Study Abroad.


Beatriz Messina, Counselor

Beatriz is a licensed social worker who provides personal counseling to students struggling with a variety of issues. She facilitates personal counseling and other services to students experiencing Substance Use Disorders (SUD). She facilitates NCC’s Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP), a campus group set up for students in long-term recovery from Substance Use Disorders who want support in their academic journey. She is also skilled at connecting students to public benefits and community resources. She speaks both English and Spanish.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: running and Zumba

Favorite animals: her two cats, Sophie and Sammy

Unusual skill: has never fallen off a treadmill, despite reading and running at the same time


Laura Salley, Counselor

Laura is a board-certified art therapist and licensed in art therapy and professional counseling in NJ. She provides counseling to students experiencing anxiety, depression, and challenging transitions.  She specializes in working with people who are differently abled including Autism. 

Favorite ways to reduce stress: yoga, gardening and making art.

Favorite TV show:  The Expanse.

Something surprising: taught English in Nagano Japan for 2 years. 

Monroe Campus

Ariane Medero, Counselor

Ariane is a Board-Certified Art Therapist, Certified Grief Counseling Specialist, and Licensed Professional who specializes in using creative arts therapy and supportive counseling techniques to assist students to cope with grief and loss, stress, adjustment, and a variety of personal life challenges. She provides an integrative approach when helping students to increase insight and self-awareness into individual wellness, challenges, academic and career goals by promoting active and creative problem-solving. She also speaks both English and Spanish.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: painting, visual art journaling, experimenting with art, nature walks, listening to lofi, playing video games, and watching anime

Favorite foods: Puerto Rican, Indian, Thai, and Japanese foods

Favorite animal: cuddly cats

Something surprising: jumped over a wall of fire during a 5k mud run

Sarah Stone, Counselor   

Sarah provides personal counseling to students struggling with a variety of issues. She facilitates personal counseling and other services to students experiencing substance use and abuse issues and connects students to public benefits and other community resources.

Abigail Charles, Counselor

Abigail is a National Certified Counselor. She assists, and provides coping tools to, students experiencing depression, anxiety, issues related to transitions, grief and loss, and relationships. She also provides stress management and relaxation techniques. She takes a holistic approach in her therapy to fully understand how she can best provide counseling and support to students.

Favorite ways to reduce stress: Exercising, long walks in nature, listening to music, cooking (and eating) good food.

Favorite foods: Thai and Korean food

Favorite TV show: “The Office”

Favorite animal: Big dogs that think they’re tiny lap dogs

Waleska Salgado, Counselor

She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the College of Staten Island, CUNY. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Study at Marywood University. Her background includes extensive experience in, residential administration, counseling and is bringing her passion for student development.

Favorite way to reduce stress: Horseback riding & Traveling 

Favorite food: Italian

Favorite TV show or movie: Modern Family

Favorite Animal: Dogs and Horses