Meet the Dean’s Office Staff
Robin Côté, PhD
Dean, College of Science & Mathematics
Dean Robin Côté earned his PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MSc in physics from Université Laval, and a BSc in physics from the Université du Québec à Rimouski. Dean Côté was appointed dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) at the University of Massachusetts Boston in August 2019. Prior to joining UMass Boston, he served as the associate dean for the Division of Physical Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut, where he also oversaw Graduate Studies. Read Dean Côté's full biography.
Ricardo Castaño-Bernard, PhD
Associate Dean Ricardo Castaño-Bernard earned his PhD and MSc in mathematics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and a BSc in mathematics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He joined UMass Boston in 2015 and served as a Graduate Program Director from 2016 to 2021. He was appointed Associate Dean for the Faculty Personnel, Research and Graduate Studies of the College of Science and Mathematics in 2021. Prior to joining UMass Boston, he was a Program Director in the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation.
Alexia Pollack, PhD
Dr. Alexia Pollack, Associate Professor of Biology, is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Academic Programs, and Policy. Dr. Pollack has been at UMB since the fall of 2000 and her research interests are the neuropharmacology of the basal ganglia and active learning strategies for STEM classrooms. Her neurobiology publications always include student co-authors and have appeared in journals such as Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior; Pharmacology; Synapse; Brain Research; Neuroscience. She has also published six innovative pedagogy articles in the Journal for Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, which include how she transformed her teaching at UMB into Team-Based Learning.
Executive Assistant to the Dean
Assistant Dean, Personnel and Operations
Laura is responsible for managing all functions related to personnel and operations with a focus on advancing CSM’s management enterprise. She leads the design and implementation of the CSM management standards, best management practices, and standard operating procedures, and acts as a liaison to external and internal stakeholders regarding CSM operations.
Prior to joining the college in 2016, Laura was a successful business owner, HR Generalist, Communications Analyst, and Executive Assistant. She earned her B.A. in Communications from Stonehill College and a master’s degree in management from Cambridge College. Currently, Laura is enrolled in the MBA program here at UMass Boston.
Assistant Dean, Administration, and Finance
Director, Strategic Initiatives
As CSM’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Alexander helps build and maintain the capacity of the college to follow its strategic direction, drive change efforts and lead work streams for key strategic initiatives. He works with senior leadership, faculty, and staff on the design and implementation of transformative projects to promote the mission of the College and to enrich the collaboration among students, faculty, and staff. Alexander also assists with targeted fundraising efforts and helps identify, establish, and maintain strategic partnerships. Additionally he leads the development of compatible management processes and suitable monitoring and evaluation plans for strategic initiatives.
Alexander has more than 15 years of international experience in scientific research institutions, corporations, and international organizations including Yale University, Coca-Cola, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UNESCO, and the Nature Conservancy. He holds master’s degrees in biophysics and ecology from Uzbekistan National University and in environmental management and policy from Yale University
Executive Director, Science Training Programs
Interim Director, Student Success Center
Student Success Program Coordinator
Velina earned her baccalaureate and master’s degrees in economics, plus an architecture diploma, in Bulgaria. She graduated from the MBA program at UMass Boston with a concentration in marketing management. Prior to joining CSM as the Student Success Program Coordinator, Velina worked as a grants and program manager for the PhD Program in Nursing at UMass Boston. Velina has taught at the Bulgarian Sunday School in Boston. She volunteers for the Board of the Meridian Academy in Jamaica Plain. Velina is currently pursuing her PhD in Higher Education at UMass Boston.