Meet the Staff

Greetings Fellow Niners!

Larry Gourdine

Associate Dean and Director of Student Assistance and Support Services

Larry proudly serve as the Associate Dean and Director for Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS). Larry's responsibilities include providing overall leadership and administrative oversight for SASS. Larry also works directly with students experiencing a broad range of issues interfering with their ability to be successful academically, socially and personally by connecting students to support services; provide assistance and support to faculty seeking help regarding a student issue or concerning student behavior and; support to parents and family members seeking help on behalf of their student(s). 

Larry graduated from Murray State University with an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education and a Masters degree in Public Health with a concentration in Gerontology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Prior to working at UNC Charlotte, Larry has had the privilege and honor of serving students at the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Larry is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at UNC Charlotte. 

Katie Russo

Associate Director of Student Assistance and Support Services

Katie Russo serves as the Associate Director for SASS. Katie received her Bachelors degree in History from UNC Greensboro and her Masters of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Virginia Tech. After graduate school, Katie worked at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, for two years. She also served as a Residential Learning Coordinator in Housing and Residence Life at Virginia Tech. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Katie served as an Assistant Director in Community Standards at the University of Connecticut, where she had experience with conduct, care team, and Title IX. In her free time, Katie enjoys reading, traveling, playing volleyball, and hanging out with her family and friends. Katie's top five Strengths are: Responsbility, Empathy, Arranger, Relator, and Developer. She can be reached at

Brian Cousin

Assistant Director for Withdrawal Services

As a proud New Jersey native, Brian Cousin serves the Office of Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS) as the Assistant Director for Withdrawal Services. Brian obtained his Bachelor of Social Work degree from the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University and his Master of Social Work degree in Clinical Social Work from Rutgers University. He began his professional career as a Youth Justice Social Worker for the Center for Court Innovation – Brownsville Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, NY. Brian later transitioned his career path to the field of higher education where he can incorporate his social work background. Serving five years at Rutgers University, he provided services as a Residence Life Coordinator and later as the Residential Care Coordinator for Student Support. He also served as a Case Manager in the Dean of Students office at Howard University. Brian is passionate about creating cultures of care, meeting students where they are, and providing them with the best support and services to assist them along their collegiate journey. He can reached at

Janay Crosland

Assistant Director for Case Management

Janay Crosland serves as the Assistant Director for Case Management. Janay obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Education from Clemson University and her Masters in Higher Education from UNC Greensboro. Janay began her professional career at Louisiana State University as a Residence Coordinator. She enjoys interior designing, traveling, reading, mentoring and spending quality time with friends and family. Janay's top five Strengths are: Communication, Strategic, Woo, Competition, and Includer. She can be reached at

Itzel Lara

Administrative Support Associate

Itzel Lara serves as the Administrative Support Associate for SASS. Itzel received her Bachelors of Arts degree in History with a minor in Social Sciences from Winthrop University. During her undergraduate career, she was a Resident Assistant (RA), Orientation Leader, and was also a member of Greek Life. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Itzel was a Veterinary Assistant at a veterinary clinic in Fort Mill, SC. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, being outdoors, reading, trying new food places (coffee shops too!) and napping! She can be reached at


  Office Information

Location: 349 Cone University Center
   Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm


    Phone: 704-687-0289
    Fax: 704-687-1969