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 has taught College Success (COLS101) and PSYC 103 (Introduction to Psychology) also counsels students on Academic Probation.

Self care Favorites: all types of exercise, coaching and getting outdoors with his wife and kids

Favorite TV show: Seinfeld

Favorite Drink: Coffee flavored Coffee

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, 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 licensed professional counselor in NJ and art therapist. She provides counseling to students experiencing anxiety, depression, and challenging transitions. She specializes in helping people who are neurodivergent, including the Autism Spectrum. She also facilitates a new social skills program on campus called P.E.E.R.S, specifically designed to guide people who want to improve their social interactions.

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.

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.

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

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