Meet the StudentAdvisor Staff

Dean TsouvalasDean Tsouvalas is StudentAdvisor’s Editor-in-Chief and the mastermind behind The Top 100 Social Media Colleges. He believes in changing the way students learn about college through StudentAdvisor. Dean began his professional life as a high school English and Journalism teacher. Later, Dean left teaching to pursue broadcast journalism in New York City and served as a field producer for ABC News’ 20/20 and Primetime Live.

After many years in television Dean transitioned into the world of digital media and joined Lycos where he became Director of Content and writer/producer of the The Lycos 50. Later he went on to hold executive content positions at and Eons. Since launching StudentAdvisor’s Top 100 Social Media Colleges, he has been routinely invited to speak to students and educators on social media best practices. Dean lives north of Boston with his wife and three children.

Dean is a graduate of Stonehill College where he was a Resident Assistant and studied Communications, Journalism, and Education. For speaking inquiries please contact


Duane MorinDuane Morin’s diploma says “Computer Science.” His title at StudentAdvisor is “Director of Engineering.” His followers call him “Shakespeare Geek.” Duane Morin is on a mission to prove that how you educate yourself and what you want to do with your life are not mutually exclusive propositions. By day, he’s a software engineer with 20 years of experience working on everything from medical devices to education websites, while in his spare time, he entertains and educates his thousands of Twitter and Facebook fans with all things Shakespeare. Duane lives in Massachusetts, is married, and has three young children, all of whom can quote Shakespeare. Duane is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).


Preeti JainPreeti Jain joined the StudentAdvisor team in September of 2013 as Senior UX/UI/Graphics Designer. Preeti believes lifelong learning is a necessity and not a choice. Her goal is to enhance MOOCAdvisor to meet the needs of lifelong learners.

Preeti has over 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups in technology, finance, health care, insurance, and publishing. She has worked for the New York State Department of Health, Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fidelity Investments, and PWC Coopers. Preeti is also the cofounder of Sonitech International. Preeti was the lead UX designer for the New York Health Insurance Exchange, deployed in 2013.

Preeti holds a BA from Meerut University, a certificate in web design from Boston University, and a certificate in graphic design from Northeastern University. Preeti is coauthor and designer of Jain Way of Life, a book on vegetarian cooking. Preeti believes in giving back to the community and volunteers at a local Sunday school as a director, teacher, choreographer, and designer. Preeti is the mother of two, one currently in medical school and the other a practicing doctor. She lives with her husband and family in Massachusetts.


Melissa Southwell

Melissa Southwell is the Managing Editor at StudentAdvisor and oversees the company’s editorial development.  She brings a versatile background in educational publishing and curriculum development to StudentAdvisor. In her former roles at Delta Education, Six Red Marbles, and Pearson, Melissa has managed the development of print and digital educational products and upheld high standards for content quality. As a reporter for her community newspaper, The Beacon Villager, she also has a knack for writing compelling profiles of the amazing things people do every day. Melissa is passionate about creating accessible educational opportunities for learners of all kinds and empowering people around the globe to succeed through the latest innovations in learning.

Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing and French studies from Bradford College and is bilingual. In her free time, you can find her planning her next trip abroad or out running. StudentAdvisor is happy to announce that Melissa will be participating in the 2014 Boston Marathon!


Diane ThomasDiane Thomas is a veteran member of StudentAdvisor’s editorial team. She is the mother of two college graduates, two college students, and one high school student searching for a college. Diane is an alumna of the Boston University College of Communications and also works part-time as a newspaper photographer.  Diane is the author of StudentAdvisor’s blog series, Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Intern—a very real, fun, and insightful take on returning to the workplace at StudentAdvisor.



Nici BrownNici Brown is a graduate of the Writing, Literature, and Publishing program at Emerson College. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she moved to Massachusetts at the end of 2011 to pursue her educational dream. She is passionate about all things editorial and writing—and that includes the oxford comma! Her creative writing has been featured in several college literary magazines and her editorial has appeared on blogs for Denver’s The Westword and Boston’s Harvard Common Press. Her nontraditional experience in education inspires her to approach the higher-education stratosphere with an open mind, and she seeks to represent many different backgrounds in her work as the Editorial Assistant with StudentAdvisor.