Admissions & AidMeet the Admissions Team

Meet the Admissions Team

Kelly Watt

Senior Director of Admissions

Pronouns: She/Her
Originally from central Illinois, Kelly earned a Bachelor of Music from Illinois State University and a Master of Music from the University of Colorado. She is an active performer and has sung extensively throughout the Front Range. A member of the Naropa University community since 2011, Kelly strives to create an inclusive space where students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed, respected, and heard. In her role as Senior Director of Admissions, she oversees the prospective student experience and their journey to Naropa. She loves dogs, reading, riding her ebike, making art, and exploring her neighborhood, the mountains, and beyond with her family and friends.

Karen Wills

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Pronouns: She/Her
Karen feels right at home within the Naropa community and loves the way that students, faculty, and staff take the time to honor and connect with each other every day. For much of the last decade, Karen has been working to help students realize their potential through higher education. It’s most rewarding when she finds students who embody the tenets of Naropa University, for they are the dynamos, the positive forces that motivate others and accelerate change. If you don’t see Karen on campus, just look outside. She spends as much time as possible skiing, hiking, gardening, and taking part in art and performance with her energetic family.

Joseph Grobelny

Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Data Operations

Pronouns: He/Him or They/Them
As the Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Joseph delivers process and technical solutions for staff, faculty and students across all departments. He used to be a librarian but is now a musician and a unicorn instead.

Taylor Mackowski

Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Data Operations

Pronouns: She/Her

Taylor’s passion for data and information began at a young age when she picked up the “hobby” of reading appliance manuals, fixing her mom’s computer, and designing her own budgeting spreadsheets. Taylor received her BA in Spanish from Auburn University where she became interested in Syntax and afterwards she received her MA in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Arizona.
As Data Operations Manager at Naropa, Taylor spends her time working across the university’s various information systems. Her favorite part of this role is analyzing data to help identify inequities and barriers to success in higher education.

In her free time, Taylor enjoys working out, trying not to kill her plants, building computers, listening to NPR, social justice activism, all things Gloria Steinem, spoiling her cat, and folk music.

Evey Healy

Assistant Director of Admissions Operations

Pronouns: She/Her

Evey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and relocated to Boulder, Colorado in 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree from Naropa University in Contemplative Psychology and Yoga Studies in 2019. She now acts as the Assistant Director of Admissions Operations, handling training, on-boarding, and operations management for The Office of Admissions. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Gianpaolo Stasi

Admissions Experience Coordinator

Pronouns: He/His
Gianpaolo Stasi has a Master’s Degree in College Student Affairs and is working on his EdD in Higher Education Leadership. He loves being able to help students grow to become successful individuals and help them find their passion. He loves going to the movies, and is a huge film buff! He also used to work at Walt Disney World and had a great time in the parks. He loves being here in Boulder where he feels it’s absolutely beautiful and he’s so excited to be able to impact students here at Naropa!

Undergraduate Admissions

Peter Lenz

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Pronouns: He/Him; Contact: // 303-546-3548

Peter uses his background in journalism and videography as a lens to see the world and guide him. After being unfulfilled as a television journalist, Peter left the media industry to help students learn about themselves while using that self-discovery to plan for their future. Peter is passionate about helping students define their path forward instead of letting a degree define them. As a born and raised Wisconsinite currently living in Denver, Peter spends most of his days daydreaming of speeding down snow-capped mountains. You’ll frequently find him soaking up some Colorado sunshine with a snowboard on his feet, relaxing in a tent at his favorite campsite in the warmer months, or exercising his creative side behind a computer screen producing music. Ask about EDM music, video games, or Dungeons and Dragons and you’re sure to get him sidetracked.

Peter works with undergraduate students with last names A-I. 

Steven Wagley

Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Pronouns: He/Him; Contact: // 303-245-4780 

Steven’s love for meeting new people and making friends has brought him to Naropa. While working on his master’s degree in communications and PR, he realized working in Public Relations was not going to fulfill that love and he was lucky to find and be brought on to the admissions team at Naropa. Steven is driven by his desire to help people learn more about themselves and grow into the best versions of themselves. He also loves to travel and live in different countries to fully immerse himself in the culture and broaden his understanding of both that culture and his own. When Steven is not out making friends or traveling, he plays video games, watches anime, and collects swords. Among his collection is a life-size Buster sword from FF7! Steven is beyond excited to be working at Naropa and is looking forward to the growth he will experience while helping others grow into their own future.

Steven works with undergraduate students with last names J-Z. 

Graduate Admissions

Matt Powers

Matt Powers

Senior Graduate Admissions Counselor

Pronouns: He/Him; Contact: // 303-546-3528

Drawn to Buddhist psychology while working in the stressful environment of Washington, D.C. politics— and increasingly convinced that our conventional approaches to meeting modern-day challenges are incomplete and inadequate —you could say that Matt and Naropa was always a match meant to be. Like many who eventually find their place here, Matt arrived at Naropa through a non-linear path. He first fell in love with Boulder as an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado. After pursuing graduate work at Columbia University in the field of international relations, living and working in various locales in the U.S. and abroad in China, he found himself drawn back to Boulder by Naropa’s unique mission to help transform the world through a radical self-transformational approach to education. Matt spends his free time reading, writing, laughing, partaking in the various wonderful offerings special to Boulder and Colorado, and trying to retain his serenity while following his favorite sports teams.

Matt works with prospective students interested in: 

  • Master of Divinity (In Person and Low-Residency)
  • MA Yoga Studies (Low-Residency)
  • Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling (Low-Residency)
  • Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology


Kim Fessenden

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Pronouns: He/Him; Contact: // 303-546-3526

After teaching middle school, Kim explored his passion for building community and earned his MA in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University. There he brought his experience with mindfulness meditation into programs connecting first-year students with service-learning programs. Kim returns to Boulder now, excited to help students connect with Naropa. When not engaged in his passions for bridging community building and spiritual practice, he can be found exploring the mountains of Colorado and the canyons of Utah.

Kim works with prospective students interested in: 

  • Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy and Body Psychotherapy
  • Ecopsychology
  • Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy

Alanna Marks

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Pronouns: She/Hers; Contact: // 303-546-3586

Alanna grew up in California but moved to Boulder seven years ago with her husband and daughter Odette. In Los Angeles, she had worked as a literary agent and as a moderator for market research companies. She then traveled and taught ESL before completing a master’s in Linguistics. She had intended on studying dying languages but had a daughter shortly after completing her degree and instead focused on raising the best human possible. When she moved to Boulder, Alanna began working in administration at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. She is thrilled to join the Admissions Team at Naropa and act as a guide for students to discover a path that fits their interests and goals.

Alanna works with prospective students interested in: 

  • MFAs in Creative Writing & Poetics and Creative Writing (Low-residency)
  • Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling (In Person)
  • Transpersonal Art Therapy


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