Meet the Staff

Tom Merrell

Assistant Dean and Director

Tom Merrell is a graduate of Santa Clara University where he received his Master's degree in Special Education. Prior to coming to USF, he worked as a special educator and teacher trainer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education in San Jose, CA., and Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA. Tom's teaching and research interests include educating at-risk and gang-identified youth; accommodations, documentation, transition, and assessment of adults with LD & ADHD; and program evaluation, including retention of students with disabilities.

Jessica Kench

Associate Director & Disability Specialist

Originally a native of northern Virginia, Jessica has lived in San Francisco since 2006. She earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont and her Master's degree in Family Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her experience in working in education includes tutoring, working in residence life, academic advising and disability services. Prior to working at the University of San Francisco, she advised students on academic probation and coordinated services for students with disabilities at the Art Institute of California, San Francisco. When she is not at USF, you'll find her spending time with her 2 young daughters and husband, cooking, and taking advantage of all that San Francisco has to offer! 

Corey Barber 

Assistant Director & Disability Specialist

Corey has her Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is an alumna of the University of San Francisco where she received her Master’s degree in counseling psychology. She has considerable experience implementing accommodations for college-aged students with disabilities as well as experience counseling and mentoring adolescents/adults with all disability types including psychological, health, and AD/HD as well as physical disabilities and cognitive disabilities. In her spare time, Corey can be found enjoying the California sunshine in wine country or one of San Francisco’s glorious parks.

Danielle Rockley

Disability Specialist

Originally from Southern California, Danielle has called Northern California home since 2007. A graduate of the University of the Pacific, Stockton with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and a master’s degree in communication, she has worked in the disability services field for over 10 years. She started her career as a student worker in the Office for Services for Students with Disabilities at the University of the Pacific in 2008, subsequently serving as assistant/test proctoring coordinator and coordinator of administrative services before moving to her current position at USF. In addition, her real-world experience includes serving as the online classroom services coordinator at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. In her free time, Danielle can be found experimenting with new cake and cookie recipes, making her way through the library’s fiction section, or exploring the California coast. 

Gregory Lee

Office Coordinator

Born and raised in San Francisco, Gregory graduated from USF in 2015 with a degree in Finance and a minor in Computer Science. During all four of his undergrad years, he was a student worker for Student Disability Services, assisting with alternative testing, electronic text conversions, and account management. He is very familiar with the accommodations provided by the department and is eager to learn more. While a USF office coordinator by day, by night he is the head coach of the Chinatown YMCA's youth and adult swim team.

Melissa Bautista

Office Coordinator

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Melissa graduated from USF in 2018 with a degree in Psychology. During her years as an undergraduate, she worked as a student worker at the Learning, Writing, and Speaking Center. Melissa is interested in pursing her Master’s Degree either in Counseling or Special Education. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her younger sister.