Meet the Equity Team

Kelly DownesKelly Downes photo

Chief Equity Officer and Title IX Coordinator

Kelly Downes has been at Berklee since March 2018. Previously, she was the institutional equity investigator at Simmons College and a member of the Simmons bias response team, which strived to promote a positive and inclusive campus environment. She was also a practicing lawyer for several years, focusing primarily on investigations, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence.

She received her undergraduate degree in political science at Boston University and attended law school at American University's Washington College of Law, graduating with honors. While in law school, she developed her strong interest in working on issues of sexual and relationship violence. In her current role, she leads the Berklee equity team in responding to alleged violations of its Equity Policy and Process, which prohibits and addresses sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and discrimination and/or harassment based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, mental illness, military/veteran status, national and ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, or any other characteristic protected by law. This includes supervising investigations; meeting with affected students, staff, and faculty; and ensuring that individuals receive appropriate support.

Outside Berklee, as a parent to three kids she attends a lot of soccer games and swim meets. She also loves to read, dabble in photography, listen to music, plant flowers, attend concerts and theater, and travel. Her ultimate travel dreams are to go to Africa and Iceland. You can reach her at equity@berklee.edu.

Jaclyn CalovineJaclyn Calovine photo

Deputy for Equity Investigations

Jaclyn Calovine started at Berklee in July 2018. She most recently served as the director of community standards at Babson College. In that role, she provided direct leadership for and management of all undergraduate and graduate student conduct functions. She also served as Babson’s lead investigator in all student-related gender-based misconduct grievances. She spent six years in the Office of Community Standards at Babson in a variety of roles, first as a coordinator, then as an assistant director, then as an associate director, and finally as director.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Roger Williams University and a Master of Arts in higher education and student affairs from the University of Connecticut. In her role, she serves as Berklee’s lead equity investigator, conducting investigations of reported discrimination and harassment, including sexual misconduct and/or discrimination of any protected characteristic. More generally, she also serves as a member of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, working to make Berklee a more inclusive and equitable community.

She loves working out and trying new fitness studios around Boston. Her favorites are B/SPOKE Studios and Barry's Bootcamp. She is also a diehard New York Mets fan and named her dog Shea after Shea Stadium, the Mets' former home. You can reach her at jcalovine@berklee.edu.

Lee Helmken CherryLee Helmken Cherry photo

Deputy Equity Officer for Administration, Advising, and Support

Lee Helmken Cherry has been at Berklee since February 2018. Previously, she served as a health educator at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she co-led their sexual and relationship violence prevention and survivor support initiative. In that role, she was responsible for strategic planning efforts as well as planning, implementing, and evaluating sexual violence prevention and response programming and trainings on campus. She also led a peer education program for sexual violence prevention and, before that, served as a project coordinator of the administrative and research cores at the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory University.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in health and society from the University of Rochester and a Master of Public Health in behavioral sciences and health education from Emory University. She's a certified health education specialist. In her current role, she serves as the deputy equity officer for administration, intake, and support within the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She's a first point of contact for those members of the community who have experienced or witnessed harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct, and she provides resources and options while coordinating support services and accommodations. Additionally, she focuses on building collaborative programming, campaigns, and training for both prevention of and response to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.

Born and raised in Vermont, she's excited to be back in New England. As a new Boston resident, she's looking forward to exploring the city and finding every coffee shop possible. You can reach her at lcherry@berklee.edu.

Amanda BedfordAmanda Bedford photo

Administrative Coordinator and Outreach Assistant

Amanda Bedford started at Berklee in June 2018 and brings a wide range of experience from the fields of higher education and the arts to this role. She most recently served as a project coordinator for Lesley University's Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative. Prior to her work at Lesley, she held positions at the Boston Children's Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

She attended Hartwick College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in musical theater and a theater arts minor. In her current role, she supports creative programming, equitable policy, and institutional diversity to help the center serve as an educational and positive resource for the Berklee community.

Outside Berklee, she is very involved in community theater, serving on the board of directors of the Footlight Club, America's oldest continuously running community theater, and participating on stage as much as she can. Also an avid reader, she lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and two cats.