Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Our professional staff and Service Advocates (students who work at FCSA, some receiving work-study benefits, while others volunteer their time and talents) are united in their passion to serve the Siena community and the wider community of the Capital Region. Our Service Advocates develop, plan and lead all FCSA events throughout the academic year. If you are interested in becoming a Service Advocate, please speak with any of these students, or a member of our Professional Staff.

Ms. Judith L. Dougherty, '06

Judy is a native of Albany, NY and a graduate of Siena College, Class of 2006. She also earned a Certificate in Franciscan Studies from American & Franciscan Colleges & Universities (AFCU).

Judy began working at Siena in 1994 in the Chaplain’s Office and worked there for 10 years before transferring to the Franciscan Center for Service & Advocacy. Moving to the FCSA gave her the opportunity to put faith into action and share various kinds of volunteer service work with students. From SIENAserves community service days, advocacy walks, to service immersion trips, Judy loves getting to know and serving with students. Her great joy is sharing Siena’s Franciscan Tradition of being in service to others.

Judy is the Advisor to three of the largest clubs on campus: Siena’s Habitat for Humanity Club, the American Red Cross Club and the Volunteer Ministry Club. She sits on the Boards of FVM (Franciscan Volunteer Ministry) and Habitat for Humanity Capital District.

In 2009 & 2010 Judy was honored with the Trustco Bank Certificate of Excellence and Achievement for dedication and commitment to service programming for the Siena community. In 2012 she was honored with the College’s Jim Knust Award for Excellence in Administration.

Contact Judy Dougherty at

Fr. Sean E. O'Brien
Associate Director

Fr. Sean E. O’Brien, is a native Albanian who grew up a couple miles from Siena College. He graduated from Niagara University with a B.A. in English Communications. Prior to entering the friars Sean worked in the legal service industry before heading off toCovenant House in New York City, where he worked with homeless and runaway youth.

Sean entered the friars in 1991 and has been privileged to serve in a variety of pastoral ministries. Before returning home he served nine years as a parish priest atSacred Heart Church in Tampa, Florida.

He enjoys running, skiing and hiking, and is looking forward to working in Franciscan Center For Service and Advocacy and being part of the mentoring program.

Contact Fr. O'Brien at

Ms. Kara James

Kara provides administrative support to the FCSA supervising Service Advocates and assisting with programming and special projects, as well as managing day-to-day office affairs.

Originally from Central New York, Kara previously worked as Marketing Assistant in the public relations department at Morrisville State College where she gained experience in event planning and volunteer coordination.

She received her associate’s in Journalism from Morrisville State College (formerly SUNY Morrisville), and bachelor’s in Journalism and minor in Communications from Utica College.

Contact Kara James at