Russell Sage College Cabinet

Christopher Ames


Christopher Ames is the 10th president of Russell Sage College. He joined Sage in July 2017 from Shepherd University, the public liberal arts university of West Virginia, where he served as provost. He previously served as provost and senior vice president at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and as provost and dean at Washington College in Maryland. He is a graduate of Harvard’s Institute of Educational Management and the Aspen Institute Executive Seminar on Leadership.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ames earned a Ph.D. in English Literature at Stanford University. He taught 20th-century literature and film for 15 years at Agnes Scott College, a liberal arts college for women in Atlanta.

Theresa Hand

Theresa Hand, OTD, OTR/L, CHT


Theresa Hand, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, was appointed provost at Russell Sage College in 2019. She was most recently interim provost, associate provost and dean of Sage’s School of Health Sciences. A faculty member since 1993, she has served as chair and program director of the Occupational Therapy program and held leadership roles in health-care organizations. Hand holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree from Russell Sage College and a doctorate from Creighton University.

Kate Adams

Kate Adams

Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Kate Adams was named vice president, Institutional Advancement, at Russell Sage College in 2018. She was previously associate vice president of institutional advancement for six years and also held leadership roles at The Nature Conservancy and Emma Willard School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University.

Rick Barthelmas

Rick Barthelmas

Vice President of Finance and Treasurer

Rick Barthelmas joined Sage in 2017, after 23 years with the State University of New York and Empire State College. Rick began his career at the SUNY system office, serving as an accountant, financial analyst and assistant director of business affairs. He then moved to the multi-location Empire State College, where he was associate vice president for administration. Barthelmas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and has been a CPA since 1994.

Trish Cellemme

Trish Cellemme

Vice President, Student Life

Trish Cellemme became vice president for student life at Russell Sage College in 2005. She has also served as dean of students, associate dean of students and director of student services and residence life since joining Sage in 1997 as associate director of residence life on the Albany campus. Cellemme is the college’s chief student conduct officer. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Russell Sage College and her master’s degree in Education from the College of St. Rose. She is a member of NAPA, the leading association for the student affairs profession, and the New American Colleges and Universities Board of Directors.

Thomas Nesbitt

Thomas W. Nesbitt

Vice President, Enrollment Management

Thomas Nesbitt joined Russell Sage College as vice president for enrollment management in 2019. Nesbitt, who has nearly 30 years of higher education experience, previously served as director of admissions and enrollment planning at SUNY Potsdam for 19 years. Prior to Potsdam, Nesbitt was director of admissions at SUNY Delhi. He has also held enrollment management and student affairs positions at North Country Community College, Providence College, Davis & Elkins College and Paul Smith’s College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts at Marist College and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at West Virginia University.

Laura D’Agostino

Chief of Staff & Executive Assistant to the President

Laura D’Agostino was named chief of staff and executive assistant to the president in 2023. She previously served as director of human resources, following roles as executive assistant to the provost and executive administrative assistant to the President. She joined Sage in 2004 as assistant director of conferences and events. D’Agostino holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Doug Gruse

Doug Gruse

Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

Doug Gruse was named senior director of marketing and communications at Russell Sage College in 2020. He joined Sage from SUNY Adirondack, where he led marketing and communications projects that received Best of SUNY awards and honors from the national Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He has worked as an editor, journalist and designer at both newspapers and publishing companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Louisiana State University.

Geoffrey Miller

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Geoffrey Miller (he/him) is an award winning professional currently serving as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As a higher education professional who believes in the power of economic mobility through professional and educational development, Geoff is passionate about creating opportunities for others through developing and implementing strategies and tactics with outcomes that lead to accessible and equitable opportunities for all students. Prior to Russell Sage College, Geoff worked for the Albany Symphony and Hudson Valley Community College Foundation in leadership fundraising roles. By connecting partners with crucial programs, Geoff has enjoyed a career committed to improving the quality of life for citizens in the Capital Region. Geoff is also an active volunteer. He has held several leadership roles to support the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce’s Tech Valley Young Professional Network, and volunteers for the Capital Region Sponsor-a-Scholar and Albany Symphony. Geoff earned his bachelor’s degree in piano performance at SUNY at Fredonia and master’s in Higher Education Administration and Leadership at the College of Saint Rose. He is currently working towards his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Russell Sage College.