Meet the Staff - Benjamin Franklin Institute Of Technology

Meet the Staff


Jackie Cornog, Dean of Students. Jackie Cornog has been with the college since 2002. She served for many years as a faculty member in Humanities and Social Sciences as Professor and department chair. Since 2009 Jackie served in the role of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, before taking the position of Dean of Student Affairs in 2016. Jackie has coordinated several NEASC efforts at BFIT, including chairing the Steering Committee, and the Mission and Academic Standards. She has presented at regional and national conferences on such topics as retention, project-based learning, service-learning, and the teaching of writing. Jackie holds an M.A. in English with concentrations in Composition and Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB), where she also coordinated the work of the Center for Innovative Teaching.

Contact: 617-588-1343,, Office: Union Building 112.


Brett Wellman, Assistant Dean of Students, joined the college in August 2010 and manages all aspects of Residence Life, Student Conduct, Campus Activities, Student Veterans, Commuter Services, Athletics, Security, and Emergency Management.The Assistant Dean oversees and coordinates the Student Conduct system and serves as the primary conduct officer at the college. Brett has a Master of Science degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education/ English both from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. He has worked as a Residence Hall Director and Assistant Director of Residence Life in New York and the Boston area, and returned back to Boston after working as a Student Conduct Coordinator in Dallas, TX. Brett is a Past President of the Boston Area College Housing Association (BACHA) and a member of NASPA.

Contact: 617-588-1336,, Office: Union Building 113.


Shawn Ayala, Director of Student Success, comes to BFIT from KIPP Massachusetts in Lynn where he served as a Personalized Pathways Counselor. Prior to his work at KIPP, Shawn was a guidance intern at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, an Educational Assistant/Academic Advisor at the John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, MA, and was a teacher through the Teach for America program in Houston, TX. Shawn earned his Master of Education in School Counseling from Cambridge College and a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Bryant University. Shawn also holds a Texas Educator Certificate.

Contact: 617-588-1352,, Office: Union Building, U111.


Sally Heckel, Learning Specialist, served on the faculty of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology for 17 years, her last several as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Academic Development. After a hiatus at the Boston Private Industry Council, where she coordinated the PIC’s college support program for Success Boston, she returned to BFIT in her current role, providing access to students with disabilities and serving as part of the Student Success team. Sally holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the School for International Training and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.  She is a member of the New England Association for Higher Education and Disabilities.

Contact: 617-588-1378,, Office: Union Building, 1st Floor.


Chris Espinoza, Assistant Director of Student Life, joined BFIT in August 2014. In this role, Chris is the professional staff member who lives in residence with our students at 19 Stuart St. Chris has worked with student programming and residence life at the Latino Cultural Center in the Office of Multicultural Programs at MIT, in the Office of Residence Life at Boston College (BC), and at Bridgewater State University. He earned a master’s degree from BC and a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State University.

Contact:, 617-588-1374, Office: Union Building, Ben’s Den.


Charles Lai, Student Success Coach, joined BFIT in January 2017. In his role as a Student Success Coach, Charles works closely with students, advisors, and faculty associated with programs in Mechanical Technology, Electrical Technology, and Construction Management. Prior to BFIT Charles worked at UMass Boston where he served as the Assistant Athletic Academic Advisor as well as the Assistant Men’s/Women’s Tennis coach. Charles earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Communications from UMass Boston.

Contact: 617-588-1360,, Office: Union Building, U114.


Michael Felix, Student Success Coach, joined BFIT in August 2017. Michael works closely with students, advisors, and faculty associated with programs in Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Technology, Computer Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, and Health Information Technology programs. Michael joined BFIT from Boston College where he earned an M.A. in Higher Education, and served the college in many capacities, including as the Residential Coordinator for the Thea Bowman AHANA & Intercultural Center in their Options Through Education Summer Program, as the Program Coordinator for the  Center for Student Formation, and as the Graduate Assistant for Diversity & Outreach. 

Contact: 617-588-1354, mfelix@bfit.eduOffice: Union Building, U117.


Julia Lachman, Director of Student Wellness and Support. Julia earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and went on to earn her LCSW and LICSW licensure. Her most recent professional experience is from Brandeis University where she served as the Survivor Advocate and Education Specialist for the previous two years. She also worked for six years at St. Ann’s Home and School in the role of Residential and Day School Therapist.  Julia enjoys utilizing a strength-based approach, often paired with motivational interviewing and solution-focused strategies. Julia will coordinate the food pantry, connect students with outside resources,  implement mental health wellness workshops for students, develop training for faculty and staff, and be available for one-on-one counseling with students.

Contact: 617-588-1302,,  Office: Union Building, 


Geoff Lerner, Assistant Athletic Director & Head Basketball Coach, joined the college in June 2017 to restart the Men's Basketball program. Coach Lerner began his coaching career at his alma mater, Walt Whitman High School (Huntington Station, NY), where he was an Assistant Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach from 2010-2012. From 2013-2015 He was the Junior Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach at Prospect Hill Academy (Cambridge, MA) where he also works as a Physical Education teacher. From 2015-2017 Lerner was the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. During his time at Wentworth he assisted in all areas of the program, including recruiting, scouting, and film breakdown. He coached 4 All Commonwealth Coast Conference performers (2 First-Team selections), as well as the CCC Defensive Player of the Year. Known for their excellent defense, Wentworth ranked 29th in NCAA Division 3 Scoring Defense during the 2016-2017 season. Coach Lerner was a 3-year varsity player at Walt Whitman High School (Huntington Station, NY) where he was all league, all conference and won a Long Island Class AA Championship reaching the New York State Final Four (2002-03). He went on to play collegiately at Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York). He is a 2009 graduate of Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) in Sports Studies, and received a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY) in 2012.