Meet Rollins’ ADAPs

August 12, 2021

By Karina Antenucci

Among the differentiators of the Rollins experience is the level of support students receive from faculty, chairs, deans, and staff from the time of acceptance through graduation—and beyond. One group that is particularly impactful are the Rollins assistant and associate directors of academic programs, referred to as ADAPs (pronounced “ay-daps”). This group, with one to three individuals designated to each department at Rollins, not only works to advise students, but as guides and points of contact throughout their academic experience.

ADAPs differ in role and function from faculty advisors. “Faculty advisors are experts in the fields in which students are here to study, and will each guide a small number of students based on their specific interest areas," says Ariadne Swichtenberg, senior associate director of academic programs in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health. "ADAPs advise all of the students in their departments on the nitty-gritty, day-to-day things, such as registration and enrollment. If students are struggling with courses, they can talk to us about academic concerns or any personal issues affecting academics as well.” 

In addition to group informational sessions and individual advising, ADAPs’ tasks include creating class schedules in coordination with instructors; supporting faculty as needed for their courses, such as hiring TAs; assigning student faculty advisors; and advising faculty on resolutions when any class or student issues may arise. Some ADAPs may also have their own school-wide responsibilities. For instance, Swichtenberg helps coordinate the Charles C. Shepard Award, a prestigious school-wide process and event to identify the best thesis.

Despite the busy nature of the role, Swichtenberg, who has worked at Rollins since 2007 and Emory since 2000, says, “We all really enjoy our jobs, feel valued by the school, and see continued support from students, faculty, and chairs.”

Delivering a high-interaction student model during the pandemic and remote studies meant the ADAPs had to adapt certain processes and communications. Instead of going back to the way things were done pre-COVID, they discovered that some of the changes made sense to keep in the long-term. For example, Zoom office hours will continue to be offered in addition to in-person visits and group advising sessions will continue to be recorded so students can revisit them when needed. Additionally, the ADAPs will maintain a centralized online resource through Canvas, a learning management platform, where various announcements and helpful information live.

As the ADAP team welcomes returning students and a new cohort for the fall, it’s an opportune moment to shine a light on this outstanding group and the work they do to support Rollins students. Read on to learn more about a few of our individual ADAPs at Rollins.

ADAP Spotlights  


Melissa Sherrer, MEd

Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

How long have you worked at Rollins?

17 years

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love helping, aiding, and advising the students.  Having that personal interaction and seeing the students succeed is extremely fulfilling and rewarding.

What keeps you passionate about your work?

I stay passionate about my work through seeing and being a part of the success of the students. To see them cross the stage at graduation to receive their MPH or MSPH degree and know I helped in any way for them to complete this great accomplishment is the ultimate sense of pleasure, honor, and joy. Also, the faculty and staff in BIOS makes my job so enjoyable and fun. They are a pleasure to work with, which makes me grow more passionate about my job.

Why did you choose this career path?

I absolutely love working with college/graduate students. It brings me such joy.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Hanging out with my life-long friends and laughing so hard that my belly hurts. Volunteering in church events and social activities. Walking in various parks. Trying out new/different restaurants all over Atlanta. 


Theresa Nash, MA 

Associate Director of Academic Programs, Hubert Department of Global Health

How long have you worked at Rollins?

18 years

What is your favorite part of your job?

How complex it is. There is no such thing as a normal day. This job has challenged me for 18 years now and is certainly not slowing down anytime soon. 

What keeps you passionate about your work?

Working with world-renowned faculty and students who are motivated to improve access to health around the world. 

Why did you choose this career path?
I am a counselor by training and love the excitement of working in higher education. This job is my sweet spot!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Atlanta outside of work?
Work out at Blomeyer Gym—a quick walk just on the other side of Clifton Road from Rollins


Rachel Whitney Corbett, MA

Assistant Director of Academic Programs, Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences

How long have you worked at Rollins? 
Since March 2020

What is your favorite part of your job? 
Interacting with the students. I enjoy hearing about their aspirations and seeing their faces light up when they talk about their world-changing ideas. It’s always gratifying to play a role in the personal and professional development.

What keeps you passionate about your work? 
I have a background in mental health counseling and I’ve worked in higher education since 2012. I love helping students problem-solve. I see many aspects of myself in the students and I always learn from the work environment. I appreciate that students come to me with just about anything and they are able to use me as a resource for their success.

Why did you choose this career path? 
It chose me. I fell in love with all aspects of engaging with students, faculty, and other staff. I had no clue that I would still be working in higher education almost a decade later. With a Bachelor of Science in sociology and Master of Arts in counseling, BSHES is the best of both worlds. I’m able to use my years of experience to help students and my counseling skills to offer them a comprehensive approach to advising. I love helping people see their goals through.

What’s your favorite place in Atlanta outside of work? 
I love to eat so I’m always looking for a new restaurant to try. I love hiking Stone Mountain and taking a blanket to Piedmont Park to relax for a few hours. And finally, hanging out with my 12-year-old Shih Tzu. 


Noni Bourne, MA

Associate Director of Academic Programs, Department of Epidemiology

How long have you worked at Rollins?

I started at Rollins in October of 2019.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Getting to know the students! 

What keeps you passionate about your work?

What keeps me passionate about my work is constantly discovering new ways to improve what I’m doing. Our world is changing, our students are changing, and so is our understanding of how to best support students. 

Why did you choose this career path?

I chose this career path because I believe in the transformative power of education. I love seeing my students reach and exceed their goals, and it brings me great joy to support their success.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Atlanta outside of work?

When I’m not at work, you can find me exploring local parks and playgrounds with my 5-year-old twins. 


Farah Dharamshi, MEd, JM

Associate Director Academic Programs, Department of Epidemiology

How long have you worked at Rollins?
I have been with Rollins since October 2019, but previously worked at Emory Law (from where I graduated) from 2014-2019 as a director in the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Services.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The students!

What keeps you passionate about your work?
I had an amazing experience as an Emory student and decided to stay. The great minds and diversity on campus makes each day an adventure.

Why did you choose this career path?

I love working with students and helping individuals reach their highest potential. It is very rewarding for me to see the change, growth, and development that happens when students find and pursue their passion. I am also excited about the tremendous amount of collaboration both within Rollins and across Emory to provide an exemplary student experience.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Atlanta outside of work?

I love to run! I’ve run in a lot of amazing cities around the world. It’s the best way get to know a place. I run daily at the school track and park in Dunwoody (Brook Run Park), but do my long weekend runs by the Chattahoochee River, which is beautiful. 

Departmental ADAPs

Zelda Ray, Executive MPH

Noni Bourne, Epidemiology (Students with the last names A-L)

Farah Dharamshi, Epidemiology (Students with the last names M-Z)

Rachel Corbett, Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences

Melissa Sherrer, Biostatistics

Ariadne Swichtenberg, Environmental Health, Global Environmental Health and Environmental Health/Epidemiology (Joint Program)

Flavia Traven, Global Health (Students with the last names A-L)

Theresa Nash, Global Health (Students with the last names M-Z)

Kathy Wollenzien, Health Policy and Management

Lisa Raines, Health Policy and Management