Student Affairs

Meet the Student Affairs Team

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Connect with us!

On campus? Feel free to drop by our offices (room 120) near the School’s cafeteria!

917-493-4525 |
Connect with us on Facebook: Emesem Staffairs 



  • Monica Christensen

    Dean of Students

    I worked at MSM for most of the 1990s, and returned in January 2015 — There is something very special about this place! I graduated in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College, and earned a doctoral degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where I’ve been a faculty member since 2000, and teach part-time. My husband and I are very proud of our three young adult children who were raised in Brooklyn but are now scattered across the country. When I am not busy “deaning” or teaching or being with family, I enjoy cycling, reading, and gardening.

  • Melanie Dorsey

    Director of Student Engagement & Deputy Title IX Coordinator

    I joined Manhattan School of Music in the spring of 2004 as Assistant Director of Student Life, arriving here with a strong love and respect for the arts, having studied interior design and art history at Appalachian State University, in North Carolina. In 2020 I completed my Master’s degree in nonprofit management at The New School right here in New York City. I enjoy making genuine connections with students and supporting their personal development outside of the classroom. I live in Brooklyn with my partner Jamie and rescue cat Nima. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering in my community, seeing movies, and baking treats for friends!

  • Kai Santiago

    Student Engagement Coordinator

    I am a Bay Area native from Daly City, California who moved to New York City to pursue a MA degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in Higher and Postsecondary Education. While in the program, I was the Graduate Assistant for Student Engagement for the 2020-2021 school year at MSM. Prior to my time in New York City, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University in 2017. With my background in Psychology and Higher Education, I am passionate about student leadership development and ensuring that students feel a sense of belonging on campus. In my free time, I am a freelance makeup artist who enjoys cooking traditional Filipino dishes and singing karaoke (I’m a tenor!)

  • Vaughn Watson

    Associate Director for Student Success

  • April Jenkins

    Director of Residence Life

    Originally from Upstate New York, Samantha earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education from Columbia University, Teachers College and her Bachelor’s degree from Siena College. Rooted in college student development, Samantha is passionate about engaging students at MSM outside the classroom and enriching their residential experience. Samantha enjoys spending quality time with friends & family, traveling, and cooking up something new with fresh ingredients from the local farmer’s market.