Advisory Board Advisory Board

Advisory Board Mission & Charge

GSEAP Advisory Board Mission

The GSEAP Advisory Board is a leadership group that promotes the mission of the School, advises on strategic planning and programmatic initiatives, assists in fundraising, and fosters outreach and communication with professional and community constituencies.


GSEAP Advisory Board Charge

  • Promote the GSEAP mission
  • Attend 3 Board meetings a year
  • Share expertise and experience
  • Act as a GSEAP spokesperson and advocate
  • Advise the Dean on strategic direction of GSEAP
  • Identify sources of funding and support

Advisory Board Members

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession's Advisory Board met for the first time in February 2010. Founding members of the GSEAP Advisory Board are accomplished community members and professionals committed to advancing the mission of the School. Advisory Board members represent each of GSEAP's academic programs and outreach initiatives in education and the human services.


Judith Ann Conk

P'99, '95

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Judith Conk is an educator who has taught and administered at all levels of education, from preschool to graduate school, in a career that spans more than forty years. Working in both urban and suburban settings, the school systems she has led as a Principal, Assistant Superintendent and for sixteen years, Superintendent have won recognition for their outstanding educational programs that recognize the individual in each student. She retired from public school administration in April, 2001 in order to devote more time to working on high quality teaching, learning and leadership. She is presently with the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning where she serves as Senior Consultant having helped create and implement the nationally recognized International Studies Schools Network during the past seven years. During her association she has made significant contributions in the areas of coaching design for school support, developing leaders for the global age, globalizing literacy learning, the arts and, most recently, in developing an online assessment for schools to help them plan the journey of becoming a school that graduates globally competent students. In addition, she presently heads her own educational consulting firm, Consulting for Results, with varied national and international clients spanning PreK-University level education and concentrating on leadership, teaching and learning, and the arts. Among these clients is the National Middle School Association where she serves as part of the onsite professional development cadre and as a school improvement consultant.

Mrs. Conk has also held leadership positions with a variety of state and national education groups including serving as Chair of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network from 1999-2000. She was the founding Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and served in that capacity for several years. She has been a strong advocate in legislative circles for releasing the creativity in students. She presently serves on the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and serves on the Fairfield University Graduate School of Education and Applied Professions Advisory Board.

In May of 1996, Mrs. Conk was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for Educational Leadership from the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. This award, given by her peers, recognized Mrs. Conk's work as an advocate within the state for a high quality education for every child. This followed a similar award given in May of 1994 by her colleagues in Bergen County, NJ. Mrs. Conk also received the Governor's Award in Arts Education as Outstanding Superintendent of 2001. The Art Educators of New Jersey additionally gave Mrs. Conk an award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts in October 1993.

Mrs. Conk graduated from Queens College of the City of New York, where she also obtained a Masters in Education with a concentration in Language Arts. She went on to do post graduate work at the State University of New York at New Paltz in administration and leadership. She obtained a second Masters and completed all requirements except for dissertation in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been married to her husband, Richard, for 40 years and has children, Peter, a bio-medical specialist and his wife, Kirsten and a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, Director of Federal Advocacy for the National Education Association and her husband, Don. She is also grandmother to Noah and Gillian Conk as well as Will Kusler.


Randi Infusino


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Randi's professional career has focused on educating and mentoring children. She has a teaching degree and a Master's degree in teaching children with learning disabilities. A native of Chicago, Randi taught in the Windy City's public schools for eight years and was head of her school's learning disabilities department.

After a career in public education, Randi founded a tutoring business that served children who had high IQ's, but were challenged by learning disabilities. After moving to Connecticut, Randi has tutored children with learning disabilities from economically-challenged families on a volunteer basis. She has also recently begun to mentor economically-challenged young people by guiding them through the higher education application and financial support process.

Randi is a partner in SVP-CT, Social Venture Partners (SVP). SVP-CT is a community of private individuals who donate time, expertise, and funds for sustainable solutions to social problems helping the neediest members of society.

She lives with her husband, Jeff, in Westport. In her spare time, Randi is an avid bridge player.



Denise Lewis


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Denise Lewis was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the Wheeler School in Providence in 1974. In 1978, Ms. Lewis graduated magna cum laude from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics. In recognition of her academic excellence, the faculty designated Ms. Lewis an Eliphalet Nott Scholar. Ms. Lewis played on the Women's Varsity Tennis team for four years and chaired the Speakers' Forum, an organization that arranges notable people to speak to the campus community. Ms. Lewis graduated from the Quinnipiac School of Law with Honors in 1985. In addition to serving as an Editor of the Law Review, she interned for a Federal Magistrate Judge. After graduation, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton in Bridgeport and then practiced law in Fairfield County. More recently, she has been working in financial management, including the financing of higher education costs. Ms. Lewis participates in several legal associations including the American Bar, the Federal Bar, the Connecticut Bar, and the Bridgeport Bar. Ms. Lewis served on the St. Vincent's Medical Center Auxiliary board. She also served on the Parent/Faculty Education Committee, the Science Fair Committee, and the Auction Committee at the New Canaan Country School. In addition, Ms. Lewis has worked on fundraising projects to benefit the Hopkins School and Cornell University. Ms. Lewis lives with her family in Fairfield. Her pastimes include traveling, music, and playing sports including tennis, golf, and skiing.



Christen Pollock

MA '05

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Christen brings a rare combination of business know-how, applied research policy expertise, and an entrepreneurial spirit to realize her commitment to making social progress and advancements in the public education and non-profit sectors. She founded edBridge Partners LLC, a collaborative consulting firm serving K-12 and higher education. Prior to founding edBridge Partners, Christen launched and led the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, transforming the organization’s advocacy and policy agenda and establishing the Center as trusted resource for research, data, and information, with a mission to improve college readiness, access, affordability and completion, particularly among under-served students. Christen started at the College Board as an information analyst.

Christen enjoyed a successful career in the private sector, co-leading a successful technology company in the market research space, FocusVision Network. FocusVision is now the leading global provider of live video transmission, analysis and archive solutions for the qualitative market research industry. Earlier in her career she was a senior product manager with Unilever, the global consumer products company, where she was responsible for the marketing, research, and sales success of three of the company’s brands; and was a brand manager at Canada Dry Corp., working on the company’s flagship products, ginger ale and sugar-free ginger ale.

Christen earned her B.A. in communications at UCLA and an M.A. in applied psychology at Fairfield University Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, where she achieved a 4.0 grade point average and was a member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

Christen currently lives with her husband in NYC and has two sons.



Theresa D. Tillinger

MA '02

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Mrs. Theresa D. Tillinger received a B.S. in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Middle Tennessee State University. She holds a Masters in Education from Fairfield University and a Certificate in Advanced Studies for Administrators from Sacred Heart University, in addition to a Connecticut professional educators certificate in Mathematics. After working in the Information Technology field for 15 years for major corporations such as Ingram Distribution Group and Circuit City Stores, Mrs. Tillinger returned to her original plans of becoming an educator in 1998 as a middle school math teacher. She served as Upper School Administrator at Greenwich Catholic School before becoming Principal at St. Ann School in Black Rock in 2005. She and her husband Mark have two grown sons and live in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport.


Laura Wrinn

M.A. '09

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Laura has been a fifth grade teacher at All Saints Catholic School in Norwalk since 1994. She is a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society and co-membership chairperson of the Fairfield University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an organization for educational professionals. Mrs. Wrinn received a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut in 1981, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Fairfield University in 2009. Mrs. Wrinn resides in Norwalk with her husband and two sons.


Michael Xirinachs

M.A. '83

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Michael was born and raised in New York. He is a graduate of St. Johns University Class of 1981 BA, as well as a graduate of Fairfield University Class of 1983, with a Master's degree in Applied Psychology. Michael has had a lengthy and successful career on Wall Street which enables him to continue his philanthropic work among many charities. Starting with his own involvement in the Boy Scouts, where he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, Michael has always been committed to helping others and is now an executive board member of The Theodore Roosevelt Council - Boy Scouts of America. Michael also gives of his time to The National Center for Disability Services located in Albertson, New York. He is also an avid sports enthusiast and particularly loves baseball. He has been coaching a National Travel Baseball Team for the past 10 years whose participants come from all over the United States. His love of sports also carries his involvement to youth lacrosse where he was instrumental in setting up the first Not-for-Profit youth lacrosse team where its participants paid nothing to play - thus allowing all kids the chance to play lacrosse without the interference of their ability to pay. He is blessed to have three beautiful children, Michael, Matthew, and Brianna who all share their father's love of sports. His eldest son, Michael attends Bentley University and is quickly following in his father's footsteps, majoring in Management and playing on the university's baseball team, while Matthew is at St. Anthony's High School and is eager to pursue a college education to incorporate his love of lacrosse. Brianna is in middle school and enjoys playing volleyball.


Margie Gillis, PhD

Suzanne Gorab, MA'13

Randi Infusino

Jane Marrone, MA '08

Photo Gallery 2012

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession's Advisory Board photo gallery of meetings and events.

Urban Educational Reform: A New Vision for Connecticut Schools - October 2, 2012

Urban Educational Reform lecture
Opening remarks by Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.,
President, Fairfield University.

Urban Educational Reform lecture
Introduction by Dr. Susan D. Franzosa,
Dean, Graduate School of Education
and Allied Professions


Urban Educational Reform lecture
Presentation by Stefan Pryor,
Connecticut Commissioner of Education


Community Matters: Supporting Writers Beyond School - September 13, 2012

Community Matters: Supporting Writers
Beyond School reception

Community Matters: Supporting Writers
featured speaker - Dr. Bryan Crandall
and Dean Susan Franzosa

Community Matters: Supporting Writers

Fr. Paul Fitzgerald, Dean Susan Franzosa,
Judith Conk, Eileen Ward, Sharon Lauer,
Theresa Tillinger, Laura Wrinn

Photo Gallery 2010

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession's Advisory Board photo gallery of meetings and events.

GSEAP Visit to the Early Learning Center - 4/28/10

GSEAP Board members Susan Carrol and
Eileen Quick visit the children at the Fairfield
University Early Learning Center on April 28, 2010.

A lesson in American Sign Language during the
GSEAP Board's visit to the Fairfield University
Early Learning Center on April 28, 2010.


Dean Susan D. Franzosa and Joyce Abate of
Carousel Preschool discuss a project with children
at the Fairfield University Early Learning Center
on April 28, 2010.



GSEAP Advisory Board - inaugural meeting - 2/11/10

Board Chair Theresa Tillinger
and Board Member Eileen Quick

Board Member Kathy Koslow and
Dean Susan Franzosa

Board Member and GSEAP faculty member
Dr. Dan Geller and Board Member Laura Wrinn

Dean Susan Franzosa and GSEAP Emerita faculty
member Sr. Julianna Poole with Board Member
Eileen Quick and VP Stephanie Frost

Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., Board Chair Theresa Tillinger,
and Dean Susan Franzosa

Board Chair Theresa Tillinger convenes
the first meeting of the GSEAP Advisory Board

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