Announcing New Director of the College Advising Office

Seeking the right fit for the college years is an integral aspect of the Hotchkiss experience. The seasoned advisors in the College Advising Office have a wealth of knowledge about colleges and universities across the United States and beyond. They bring this, together with a deep understanding of the intricacies of the application process, to the journey they take with each Hotchkiss student.

Hotchkiss's New Director or College Advising Serena Oh CastellanoIt is with great pleasure that we announce that Serena Oh Castellano will join Hotchkiss as director of college advising on July 1, 2022, as Rick Hazelton P’19,’22, who has led the College Advising Office for the last 16 years, begins an exciting new role with the School. 

Serena brings a great depth of experience and enthusiasm having held leadership positions in admission, financial aid, and college counseling throughout her career in education. 

She comes to Hotchkiss most recently from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City where she has been director of college counseling since 2008. Prior to this, she served as an associate director of college advising at St. Paul’s School, at Wellesley College as both an associate director of admission and earlier in her career as the associate director of financial aid, and at Princeton University as an associate director of admission. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Master’s in higher education administration from Stanford University.

We will be delighted to welcome Serena to Lakeville this summer when she relocates with her husband and their children.

Director of College Advising Rick Hazelton P'19,'22Rick Hazelton P’19,’22 is excited to become the new director of Hotchkiss’s Center for Global Understanding and Independent Thinking (CGUIT). This position will allow him to capitalize on 25 years of college advising experience to establish program-enhancing partnerships with colleges, peer schools, and community-based organizations. He will bring speakers of distinction and a variety of other resources to campus to enhance the academic program. Rick was previously instrumental in developing the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL) program at Woods Hole with the University of Chicago, and he also initiated Hotchkiss’s work in the recruitment of Native American students with Hopa Mountain and St. Labre's School, both located in Montana.  

In addition, Rick will assume leadership of Hotchkiss’s Summer Portals program, beginning with the summer of 2023. Here he will focus on continuing to enhance and differentiate the School’s strong summer program.

Tom Drake, director, Center for Global Understanding and Independent Thinking, The Hotchkiss SchoolTom Drake, who will reach the remarkable milestone of 40 years on the Hotchkiss faculty next year, has decided to transition out of his current role leading the CGUIT, a position he has held since 2017. Happily, Tom will remain on the faculty and will continue to teach history, his abiding passion. He will also serve as an advisor, liaise with Hotchkiss families in Asia, and strengthen the community through his substantial institutional knowledge and broad perspective.

Hotchkiss Director of Summer Portals Paul Oberto P'24,'25Paul Oberto P’24,’25 has decided to step down from his current role leading Summer Portals at the conclusion of the summer 2022 program to return to the classroom full-time. Next fall, Paul will continue to teach chemistry and will focus on the development of research-based opportunities in the sciences. The first step in this work is a new and exciting partnership with Stan-X, a Stanford University-based program that engages students in hands-on genetics and molecular biology research. Paul will serve as the director of the Stan-X program at Hotchkiss.

We are enthusiastic about these changes for the upcoming academic year. Please reach out to these individuals directly with congratulatory wishes or questions.

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