Vote for the SEM Alumna Trustee

Calling All Alums:

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for the Alumna Trustee Position.

The time has come to cast your vote!

Buffalo Seminary is pleased to announce three vetted candidates:

Susan Kraus Harris '76

At SEM, Susan was empowered to question openly, and as SGA president, to lead confidently. Mr. Schooley inspired her to attend his alma mater, Williams College, which led her to a job in New York City. After eight years, she left the workforce to begin her family and soon was raising a blended family with four children in Westchester County and serving as an active volunteer in her church, local community organizations, and the schools through leadership positions in the PTA and countless hours volunteering in the school libraries.

When newly widowed, with her daughter Sophie beginning her own Williams career, and her youngest, Mike, still in middle school, Susan decided to return to academia and pursue a Master of Library Science while working in her local high school library. The Harvey School hired her ten years ago as their librarian. She became Director of Educational Technology and then Ninth Grade Dean, facilitating all aspects of the transition into the Upper School. Service continues to be a priority as she directs all community service activities at the school. She counsels an eclectic group of 15 advisees, and initiated and coached the first high school girls' rugby team in Westchester 5 years ago.

Her belief in SEM grows stronger each year as she becomes more enmeshed in independent schools and supports young men and especially women who are grappling with their roles and responsibilities in the world today. She can think of no better way to give a girl the lifelong gift of agency over her future than a SEM education. Little makes her prouder than to attend NYSAIS events and conferences and let people know that she is a Semmie.

Erin O'Brien '86

Erin K. O’Brien is currently Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Programs at the University at Buffalo School of Management. She is the senior leader for the full-time MBA, Masters of Science and PhD programs. In addition, Ms. O’Brien leads several strategic initiatives for the School of Management, including Scholarship and Fellowship opportunities for graduate students, health care-related collaborative initiatives, and degree programs, including online curriculum and degree delivery.

Prior to joining the School of Management, Ms. O’Brien was Director, Business Relationship Management at HealthNow New York Inc./Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western NY Before joining HealthNow, Ms. O’Brien was a Client Solutions Executive at IBM for 13 years. Ms. O’Brien is a Class of 2000 MBA graduate from the University at Buffalo School of Management, a 1997 cum laude graduate of the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In 2007, she was also the recipient of an executive certificate from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

Ms. O’Brien has held or currently holds board, business advisory or volunteer positions in several organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Buffalo Seminary Alumnae Association Buffalo Chapter.

After living outside the region for several years, Ms. O’Brien enthusiastically returned to Buffalo in 2003, where she lives with husband, Michael Swain, their two children, Patrick and Mary Catherine, a loyal black lab named Fiona, and two rambunctious cats, Ollie and Anna.

Alicia K. Saia '86

Alicia is a 1986 graduate of SEM, where she received the L. Gertrude Angell scholarship, was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and won the English, history and foreign language (French) department awards her senior year. While at SEM, she also participated in a range of extracurricular activities including mock trial, political club, theater productions, softball, and of course the Welcoming Committee! She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1990 with a BA With Distinction in Comparative Literature, and earned her MBA (marketing concentration) from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001.

She has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since graduating from the University of Virginia, where her career has included a variety of product marketing and management positions in the software industry, serving diverse industries including healthcare, life sciences, public sector, insurance, and financial services. She currently works as Senior Director of Solutions Marketing at MarkLogic, an enterprise technology firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, where she leads a team responsible for messaging and content development.

Alicia was a member of the original SEM Alumnae Engagement Task Force and currently leads the National Events and Programming committee as member of the Head’s Council on Alumnae Engagement.