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Administration and Faculty

Elise Jaffe is the Director of the Roosevelt Scholars Program. She also serves as the Director of the Pre-Law Program at Hunter College. Elise has a background in academics, policy, and law. 

Before joining Hunter College, Elise was an associate with a large New York law firm where she focused on employee benefits and corporate governance issues in the public and private sectors. Elise holds a J.D. from St. John's School of Law, which she attended on scholarship and graduated magna cum laude. Earlier in her career, Elise earned graduate degrees from Yale University (M.A., M.Phil.) and the University of Wisconsin (M.P.A.), in political science and public administration, respectively. Her work has touched many areas of policy, including compliance, advocacy, and implementation. At Yale, her research focused on unemployment benefits and due process in healthcare. Elise has developed and taught political science classes at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Hunter College. Her teaching experience includes Advocacy in the Courts, Bureaucracy & Democracy, Politics of the Welfare State, and Introduction to American Politics. Elise received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

The parent of a teenager, Elise is married and lives with her family in Queens.

Elise can be reached at She holds walk-in office hours from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays in 712 East.


Brian Buckwald is the Director of Scholar Programs and joined the team in 2012. In his role, he works closely with campus faculty and administration to oversee merit scholarships, learning communities, and specialized programming for Hunter’s high-achieving students.

Brian received his MS in Academic Advising from Kansas State and BA in Sociology and BS in Human Resources Development from Georgia State University. He has presented at several regional and national conferences, and held numerous leadership roles in the National Academic Advising Association.

During off hours, Brian he loves to cook, travel, read, game, and follow college football (go Panthers)!

Brian can be reached at


Sommer Dowd is the Program Assistant for the Roosevelt Scholars Program. She coordinates programming, liasons with the program directors to ensure successful student achievement, handles the administrative demands of the program, and creates marketing materials and publications including, our bi-weekly publication Rapid Roos.

In 2015, Sommer earned her MA in English Literature at Hunter College graduating magna cum laude with a 3.9 GPA and presidental recongnition at the 2015 winter commencement. In 2010, she earned her BA in English Literature and German Literature at Hunter College.

In her spare time, Sommer tests her figure skating skills with U.S. Figure Skating Association, volunteers at the local skate school, reads, travels and spends time with her husband and their dog.

Sommer can be reached at

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Scholar Programs, Division of Student Affairs, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021
212-396-6888 | email us
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065