Graduate Admissions Blog

Navigating Bank Street: When in Doubt, Reach Out!

Advisor with a graduate student
Student Services Advisor Adrienne King with a graduate student

Personalized attention is a point of pride at Bank Street.

Across our community, from faculty and staff to on-site mentors and our national network of alumni, you’ll find people who’ll collaborate with you and who’ll become a lifelong network of support on your path toward success.

As a grad student, you’ll also have your person—your own dedicated Student Services Advisor (SSA) who’ll stay with you from the moment you start at Bank Street until you graduate.

This support intends to ensure you’re successful at Bank Street. They help you to stay on top of your program plan, liaising with your program director and faculty advisor to map your course trajectory and help you meet expectations.

Your SSA will help you know when and how to register for courses, how to access and accept your financial aid, and how to understand your bill and when payments are due. You’ll get biweekly newsletters from your SSA with upcoming events, deadline reminders, and tips and tricks for student success. Your SSA will also check in with you throughout the semester to see how you’re doing and help you problem-solve as needed.

Maybe most important, you can contact your SSA whenever you have a question or concern. As one of our SSAs, Niurka, says, “When in doubt, reach out! That’s what I’m here for.”

We sat down with our SSAs, and here’s what they’d like you to know.

Student Services Advisors
Niurka Jimenez-Jailall, Ali Piotrowski, Adrienne King, Bettina Tillman, and Mia Gillespie


“As an SSA, I love helping my students get to the finish line. I enjoy connecting with each student, helping resolve obstacles in their journey and keeping them focused on what matters most—honing their craft.”


“The most impactful thing I have learned from both my colleagues and my students is that we are all human. We all need to support each other to be successful. I spend my days helping each one of you make the most of your time at Bank Street.”


“I am here for you and will help you with any concern you might have. For example, if at any time you find yourself having an issue with your coursework, I will encourage you to talk to your professor. They care so much about each and every student. They honestly want to help you achieve your goals and succeed professionally. I can promise you they will listen and help. It’s why they, too, are teachers.”


“Here’s my advice when times get tough: Completing your degree can be stressful, and sometimes you may want to give up. But I am always here for you, and we will roll up our sleeves and work together. I will remind you to think about why you wanted to work in education and how you’re going to improve the lives of so many young people. I’ve helped others make it through—and so will you!”


“When you start at Bank Street, you’re entering an environment of extremely supportive and like-minded faculty and staff. My role is to support you outside of the classroom, always being sensitive to your specific needs. Over 100 years ago, Bank Street’s founder, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, wrote a credo that still guides how we act toward one another as human beings. For me, her idea of being sensitive is so important. She said we need to embody “sensitivity—not only to the external formal rights of the ‘other fellow,” but to him as another human being seeking a good life through his own standards.’ You see, it’s all about you here at Bank Street!”

Kristin Paintal, our chief enrollment officer and registrar, oversees our SSAs. She said, “Remember, you’re not in this alone. We’re here to help you be a successful graduate student and enjoy your time at Bank Street. Your SSA is personally dedicated to you as your central point of contact, but the entire staff of the Graduate School is here to partner with you to ensure you have the tools you’ll need to get the most out of your program.”