Melissa DePretto Behan, M.Ed.
Melissa currently serves as the Director of Residential Living and uses her knowledge of Organizational Development as well as Student Learning to oversee the operations of one of the largest departments on Drexel’s campus.
Melissa completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Seton Hall University, and her Masters of Education in Adult and Organizational Development at Temple University. While completing her Masters she began her career in Student Affairs as an Area Coordinator in the Office of Housing and Residence Life at Rutgers University-Camden.
Melissa started at Drexel as a Resident Director in Race Street Residences and Van Rensselaer Hall in 2010, and was then given Assistant Director responsibilities in 2011 working on integrating Academic initiatives into the residential experience. Her work with Academics has led to increased academic engagement in the halls and a stronger partnership between Academics and Student Affairs.
She stepped into the Associate Director role in 2012 and used her background and passion for training to reinvigorate the training and selection processes of all of our Resident Assistants. She also began to work with Desk Operations to ensure that our students feel at home in each residence hall by coordinating the group of Residential Desk Coordinators who oversee the functions of each hall’s front desk.
Melissa has a passion for Drexel and Philadelphia and loves to find new places to eat and explore in the city and suburbs.
Gabby Mora, M.S.
Originally from Venezuela, Gabby has lived in the US since 2001. She attended college at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN with majors in Mass Media and Business Administration. Additionally, Gabby holds an M.S. in Advertising from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
With experience working in Residential Living at various institutions across the country since 2006, Gabby started at Drexel as the Resident Director of Kelly Hall in 2011. Her experience and work in student leadership development allowed her to step into an Assistant Director role in 2012. Her focus on leadership development for first-year and upper-class students has helped the department work closer with residents to ensure that we are helping them grow outside of the classroom. During her time at Drexel, Gabby also served as the Interim Director for the Student Center for Inclusion and Culture, a position that taught her the demands of running a department and how to promote educational opportunities to students. Her diverse involvement at Drexel helped Gabby move into the Associate Director position in the summer of 2013. As the Associate Director, Gabby works with leadership development as well as social justice/inclusion education for our department; both for our residents and staff.
An avid musical theater lover, you may often find Gabby attending different musicals in Philadelphia or simply listening to show tunes in her office.
Kim has been an integral member of the Residential Living team since May of 2012. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and communications from the University of Scranton in May of 2008 and immediately moved to the City of Brotherly Love. She recently started her graduate studies in Global and International Education here at Drexel University and is very excited to integrate her coursework into her current role. Kim is responsible for managing the financial processes for the department and provides administrative support to her colleagues.
Kim loves live music, the outdoors and spending time exploring Philadelphia with friends and family.
Durda Rajsic Catto, M.S.
Assistant Director / Resident Director,
Durda joined the Office of Residential Living in August 2007 as a Residential Desk Coordinator. During this time, she completed her MS in Library and Information Science. In 2009 she became Assistant Director in the Office of Residential Living, offering budgetary and administrative support. In 2010, Durda transitioned into the AD/RD position, developing and implementing the Graduate Student Experience which is housed in Stiles Hall on the Center City Campus.
Durda is a Philadelphia native and feels a strong connection to Drexel, having family members that are alumni and being an alumnus herself. Prior to coming to Drexel, Durda earned her B.S. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Bloomsburg University and was a teacher for the School District of Philadelphia.
In her spare time Durda likes to try new restaurants in the city.
Jen Tifone, M.Ed.
Assistant Director/ Resident Director,
Jen is in her third year as the AD/RD of Millennium Hall which houses the Honors Program Living Learning Community. Through Jen’s AD position she works integrating academic engagement into the residential communities. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Jen lived in South Dakota where she worked as a Complex Director at Black Hills State University. Jen graduated with her undergraduate degree in 2006 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Political Science and while out west Jen earned her master’s degree from South Dakota State University in the Counseling and Human Resource Development with a specialization in Student Personnel Services which she completed in 2010.
In her spare time Jen enjoys exploring the city and finding new places to go hiking with her dog Sammie.
Joe Peltzer, M.Ed.
Assistant Director/ Resident Director,
Race St. Residences & Van Rensselaer Hall
Joe, originally from New Hope, PA, joined the RLO team in July of 2010 and currently serves as the Resident Director of Race St. Residences and Van R Hall. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, as well as his Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University. In addition to his role as Resident Director, Joe serves as the Assistant Director of Residential Living for Student Conduct & Community Standards, working closely with our partners as we continue to educate students regarding policies and community behaviors. Joe serves on the RA Selection Committee, works with multiple student groups across campus in an advisory capacity, and works with the annual Homecoming King & Queen selection, among other ventures.
Joe enjoys sampling the many restaurants Philadelphia has to offer, cooking, spending time with family and friends in the area, and being an avid fan of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ashley Jones, M.Ed.
Ashley is a native of Virginia, and attended Longwood University. Ashley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008 with a concentration in Communication Studies. She worked full time for two years in administrative roles but realized that her passion was higher education and was accepted into the College Student Personnel Administration graduate program at James Madison University. After a summer intern opportunity at Drexel, Ashley fell in love with Philadelphia and the university. She is excited to be back and even more excited to be working in the Residential Living Office and living in Calhoun Hall.
Ashley loves walking around the city with her dog Doug. She loves trying new restaurants and most recently is dedicated to find the best places to watch her favorite Washington, DC sports teams.
Jenna C. Perez, MSW, LSW
Jenna Perez is a new addition to Drexel’s Office of Residential Living. She received her Masters of Social Work degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. During her time at Rutgers University she worked for the Department of Residence Life as an Assistant Residence Life Coordinator for upper-class students in an apartment setting.
During her time at Rutgers University, Jenna was also able to work with Rutgers Upward Bound, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program and the Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP). She worked with the residential living component of these programs, in addition to serving as an adviser, seminar instructor and program coordinator. Jenna is excited to be back in higher education after taking some time to work with various child welfare agencies.
Jenna enjoys Sunday family dinners and attempting new recipes. She also likes playing tennis and swimming.
MacKenzie Lovell, M.S.Ed.
MacKenzie joined the Drexel RLO team in July of 2012, but she has been living, working, and studying in Philadelphia since 2005. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Secondary Education and Faith-Justice from Saint Joseph’s University, and completed a Master’s of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Education, Culture, and Society in 2012. Ever the student, MacKenzie has just started a Ph.D. program in Urban Education at Temple University where she hopes to integrate her experiences in Philadelphia into her research. MacKenzie enjoys working with the RLO Assessment Committee, but she also has a special interest in civic engagement, social justice, and democratic education. She brings these interests to work through the RLO partnership with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. In essence, MacKenzie is a giant nerd.
MacKenzie is a die-hard Phillies fan, emerging foodie, and loves to go for runs around the art museum. She and her dog, Fred, are really enjoying their time together in University City.
Robert Phipps, M.Ed.
Rob has moved from Utah to join the Residence Living team in July of 2013. Rob has had the opportunity to live many different places and experience many different cultures unique to all these cities. prior to getting this Master’s Degree. Some of these places include Mexico City, MX; Trinidad; Salt Lake City, UT; Stillwater, OK; Houston, TX; Denver, CO; and Granville, OH.
Rob earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from Oklahoma State University (YeeHa! Go Pokes!), as well as his Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy with an Emphasis in Student Affairs from The University of Utah (Go U of U!). Prior to being a Drexel Dragon (Go Blue and Gold!), Rob excelled in playing Frolfing, Golfing, Snowboarding, camping/hiking and spending time with friends and family.
Rob now currently enjoys working with College Learning Communities, checking out Philadelphia and the surrounding area, all the museums, and following his favorite sports teams! Feel free to stop by my office in Myers and say "Hi" anytime!
Shardé Johnson, M.S.
Caneris Hall/ University Crossings/ The Axis
From West Philadelphia born and raised, Shardé Johnson joined Drexel University in July 2009 as a Residential Desk Coordinator for Calhoun Hall. After almost 2 years in that role she accepted the position of Assignments Coordinator of University Housing in March 2011. She is now back with the RLO team as the Resident Director of Caneris Hall, University Crossings and The Axis.
Prior to Drexel, Shardé attended the University of Delaware where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English with a film concentration and women’s studies minor. She discovered her love for education through her involvement in extra-curricular activities such as president of her sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc Mu Pi chapter and president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Delaware Chapter. After arriving at Drexel, Shardé decided to pursue a degree in higher education and enrolled in Drexel’s Master of Higher Education program.
When she’s not working Shardé enjoys learning Japanese, watching Bravo TV, anything and everything involving mustaches and conquering her fear of riding her bike through the city.