Office of Student Life welcomes two new advisors, says goodbye to one

Edgar Llivisupa

In a series of personnel changes, the Baruch College Office of Student Life welcomed two new advisors and saw the departure of former Assistant Director of Student Activities Talia Gurstel.

Margaret Van-Ess Holman will fill the position left vacant by Gurstel. Brianna Braun joins the department as the assistant director of student activities and operations.

Gurstel departed from Baruch on Sept. 28 after working for two years.

“It’s been a pleasure advising each of your organizations and getting to know all you as students,” Gurstel said in an email statement to student club leaders. “I will miss greatly the Baruch community and will always cherish my time working with the wonderful student at Baruch!”

She is now an academic advisor at New York University, her graduate school alma mater, according to her LinkedIn page.

Van-Ess Holman joined Baruch after working at the Educational Housing Service as the associate director of residence life for eight years, according to her LinkedIn page. She hired staff, marketed the Office of Student Life and planned student events during her employment.

She was also the associate director of student life and residence hall director.

Currently, Van-Ess Holman is the contact for the Black History Month Planning Committee, which is recruiting students, staff and faculty to organize campus events during February 2022.
Van-Ess Holman attended SUNY University at Albany, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in

communication and media studies and a master’s degree in Africana studies.

During her graduate studies, Van-Ess Holman organized the departments’ Kwanzaa and Black History Month celebrations and developed programs and forums to raise awareness on issues affecting Black students.

Braun was an adjunct faculty and program coordinator at the University of Connecticut School of Business, her undergraduate alma mater, according to her LinkedIn page.

She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Arizona State University.

The Office of Student Life, Holman, Braun and Gurstel all refused requests for comment from The Ticker about the personnel changes.