Senior Administration

Andrea Kalyn

Andrea Kalyn


Location: Jordan Hall Building

Amy Giannini
Executive Assistant

At Oberlin College & Conservatory, Andrea Kalyn spent nine years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before being appointed Dean of the Conservatory and Professor of Music in February 2014. As chief academic officer of a school of 580 undergraduate musicians and 120 faculty and staff, Kalyn was responsible for establishing and implementing the vision and priorities of the conservatory within the context of Oberlin’s broader educational mission. She secured funding of more than $6.5 million, as well as significant donations of musical instruments and a major gift from jazz legend Sonny Rollins.

Kalyn played a lead role in the creation of Oberlin’s entrepreneurship program, Creativity & Leadership, and – as director of that program for seven years – she collaborated with an active group of alumni to establish LaunchU, Oberlin’s start-up accelerator and pitch competition. The spirit of both entrepreneurship and collaboration was evident throughout her curricular work, which included establishing the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy in partnership with the Lake Como International Academy; creating the department of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PACE); launching a new major in jazz voice; extending the programming of the American Roots residency; overseeing the launch of the Artist Diploma in Piano Technology and developing new partnerships with Steinway & Sons and the Shanghai Conservatory; and, in collaboration with Oberlin’s Dean of Arts and Sciences, designing Oberlin’s innovative Center for Convergence, StudiOC.

Kalyn is fundamentally committed to advancing the place of music in the world and to strengthening connections among composers, performers, and audiences. Under her leadership, Oberlin opened the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, an underground performance club in Oberlin’s new Gateway Complex; restructured its composition department, a project she initiated by hiring renowned composer Stephen Hartke as department chair; commissioned a full-length concerto for English horn by Bernard Rands in partnership with the Cleveland Orchestra and Oberlin professor Robert Walters; relaunched the Oberlin Music recording label distributed by Naxos; and supported significant connected-learning initiatives, including extended programming around opera performances and cross-disciplinary residencies by Jenny Koh, Billy Childs, Du Yun, Royce Vavrek, Mimi Xu, and others. The Oberlin Orchestra and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble continued to tour extensively during her tenure, performing most notably at Chicago’s Symphony Center and Ganz Hall, Kennedy Center, Ojai Festival, and Bang on a Can Marathon, with upcoming performances in January 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Thomas Novak portrait

Thomas Novak

Vice President and Provost

Phone: 617-585-1308
Location: Jordan Hall Building

A member of NEC’s administration since 2001, Thomas Novak served as Performance Outreach Manager and Director of Admissions within his first two years on staff. Novak’s role expanded as Assistant Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid in 2003, and in 2007 he was appointed Dean of the College. In 2012, he was promoted to Provost and Dean of the College, and, following President Woodcock’s departure in 2015, he served as Interim President.

An active chamber musician and freelance bassoonist in New York for 10 years, Novak was a founding member of the Amerigo Ensemble, presenting educational programs under the auspices of the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music Northwest. He is a former member of Quintet of the Americas, with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1992, recorded four albums, and presented concerts in Bermuda, Colombia, Venezuela, and around the United States. Novak has also performed at such festivals as Tanglewood and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

Kathleen Kelly portrait

Kathleen Kelly

Vice President for Advancement, Engagement, and Partnerships; Chief Strategy Officer

Phone: 617-585-1154
Location: St. Botolph Building

Kathleen Kelly brings more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing entrepreneurial fundraising strategies; leading campaign planning; driving stakeholder engagement initiatives; and building impactful relationships with diverse constituencies including board leadership and prospective donors. Kathleen oversees a team responsible for philanthropic relationship building and revenue generation, along with implementing programs to increase engagement across the global NEC community. In addition, Kathleen serves as an essential member of NEC’s senior leadership team that sets the strategic direction for the institution.

Prior to joining NEC, Kathleen led strategic planning and successful fundraising initiatives garnering over $250 million dollars for institutions including WGBH, Concord Academy, Milton Academy, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern University, and Providence College. Kathleen holds a M.Ed. in Counseling and a B.A. in Social Science with a concentration in History from Providence College.

Elizabeth Dionne headshot

Elizabeth Dionne

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Phone: 617-585-1211


Location: St. Botolph Building


Elizabeth oversees and manages finance and accounting, budgetary administration, database administration, and information technology at New England Conservatory. Elizabeth joined NEC’s senior leadership team from the College of the Holy Cross, where she has served as the Director of Finance and Assistant Treasurer since August 2015 and was responsible for accounting, tax compliance, planning, budget, purchasing, treasury/cash management, debt issuance, and financial reporting. A majority of Ms. Dionne’s career was with KPMG LLP in St. Louis, Missouri where she served as a senior manager in the audit practice providing services to higher education, non-profit, and governmental clients. After leaving KPMG LLP, she worked for the University of Wisconsin System as its Director of Internal Audit, and later as Director of Investment Finance for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin, where she provided oversight to the investment accounting and reporting team, as well as led technical research and consultation on the accounting implications of investment, hedging and debt issuance strategies. Ms. Dionne earned her B.S. in Business Administration (emphasis in accounting and marketing) and M.S. in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001 and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.

Mike Sarra is wearing a suit jacket and tie and glasses and smiles at the camera

Michael Sarra

Vice President for Communications

Phone: 617-585-1139
Location: Jordan Hall Building

Michael Sarra leads NEC's strategic marketing and communications efforts, spanning a diversity of audiences, campaigns, and platforms. He joined NEC from Emerson College, where he served as Associate Vice President and led the College’s marketing efforts serving numerous audiences, industries, and campuses. During his tenure at Emerson, Mike's established a team that strengthened the institution’s brand, and modernized the College’s marketing and communications strategies, campaigns, and collateral.

Prior to his role at Emerson, Mike served at New York University, where he led a cohesive team responsible for externally-facing digital, print, and experiential marketing and communications efforts, including oversight for major events and the university’s visitor center. Previously, Mike served in marketing and communications roles at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration.