College Leadership

Dean of the College

Radhika Seshan profile image

Dr. Radhika Seshan
Dean, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies
Professor of the Practice

Dr. Radhika Seshan serves as the Dean of the College of Professional Studies, named in 2022, leading all academic and administrative functions of the college.

Dr. Seshan previously served as the Associate Vice President of Career Relations and Strategic Partnerships at San Diego State University. Prior to that role, she served as Dean of the San Diego State University Global Campus. Dr. Seshan has also served as Associate Dean of Business Development at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension and Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Education at Bellevue College.

Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Seshan worked in a number of executive positions in the high-tech sector, including ten years in leadership roles at Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs Innovations, now known as Nokia. Her professional responsibilities in her business career spanned global product management and marketing, program management and portfolio management.

While at San Diego State University, Dr. Seshan provided transformational leadership, guiding the evolution of their College of Extended Studies into the SDSU Global Campus, building out a platform of new degrees, and focusing on diverse and underserved communities. She has worked closely with industry leaders to develop new opportunities for universities and their students, and has worked tirelessly to promote commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Seshan holds a BA in Economics from Madras University in Chennai, India, and earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Houston. Her dissertation topic was centered on the impact and persistence of monetary policy in seven industrial nations with staggered wage contracts.


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Joe Brock
Executive Director of CPS Enrollment Marketing and Communications

Joe Brock serves as Executive Director of CPS Enrollment Marketing and Communications. He is a University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business graduate and has over 14 years of higher education marketing experience serving non-traditional, professional and international learners.

Mr. Brock’s recent experiences include the creation of digital marketing strategies for over 50 state and private universities at Academic Partnerships, LLC, an online program manager, and the re-imagining of extension studies at San Diego State University Global Campus. He has led teams developing social media, search engine optimization, email, paid digital advertising, user/student experience, and website development.

Prior to his education experience, Mr. Brock worked for 18 years at the largest movie theater chain in the world where he spent ten years in traditional marketing channels before moving into launching their nationwide digital programs.

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Magali Feruzi
Interim Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Magali Feruzi currently serves as the Interim Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the College of Professional Studies.

As CPS’ Interim Director of DEI, Magali will focus on recruitment for a DEI full time director, continued collaboration with CPS Human Resources and Senior Leadership to enhance and integrate DEI into goals and strategic plans, and the coordination and alignment of college-wide efforts with the broader university DEI goals.

Magali joined CPS as the Assistant Director of Finance in 2011, and since then, has held director positions in both CPS Finance and Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. As the Director of Operations and Partnerships, in collaboration with the Executive Director, she oversees the strategic plans, goals, and deliverables for all programs and ensures that the core competencies are organized and executed.

Magali focused on public health community development at the beginning of her career in the health field with positions in the Multicultural Affairs Office at Massachusetts General Hospital and Whittier Street Health Center. She developed deep roots within the traditionally marginalized communities and provided technical assistance to several grassroots start up youth development organizations within the city.

Magali holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Sociology from Gordon College.

Dr. Sean Gallagher
Assistant Clinical Professor and Executive Director – Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy

Dr. Sean Gallagher is the founder and Executive Director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy and Executive Professor of Educational Policy.

Dr. Gallagher joined Northeastern in 2009 and is a nationally recognized expert with nearly 20 years of experience in higher education. As Chief Strategy Officer for Northeastern’s Professional Advancement Network, he built a central strategy function unique among universities, working across colleges and academic domains to launch growth initiatives including the development of new campuses and degree programs.

Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Gallagher worked for Eduventures for a decade, advising executives at hundreds of universities and education companies, as well as investors. His writing and commentary have been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and CBS Television. His book, The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring, was published in 2016 by Harvard Education Press.

Dr. Gallagher holds an EdD from Northeastern University, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology and a BS in Marketing from Northeastern.

Daniel Gannon
Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Daniel Gannon, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs at CPS, previously worked at Southern New Hampshire University, where he held various roles since 2013, including Associate Dean. His work there focused on supporting underserved student populations in General Education and STEM fields. Gannon has also worked in First Year Experience and Academic Advising.

Daniel holds a BA in Political Science and Theatre from Keene State College, a Master’s in Education Administration from Northeastern, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Law and Policy at Northeastern. His research aims to identify policy solutions and best practices that support equitable pathways to post-secondary education for socially vulnerable communities. Daniel is committed to creating social change through high-impact student experiences both in and out of the classroom.

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Dr. Eliot Gattegno
Executive Director of CPS Strategic Initiatives
Professor of the Practice

Dr. Eliot Gattegno serves as the Executive Director of CPS Strategic Initiatives for Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, where he also holds a faculty appointment as a professor of practice.

Dr. Gattegno is a sought-after partner for companies and organizations wishing to be successful in highly competitive, global environments. Over the course of a twenty-year career, Dr. Gattegno has demonstrated a knack for spotting growth opportunities and realizing them. In all his endeavors, Dr. Gattegno has energized teams to think big while never losing sight of the details.

Dr. Gattegno was a Fellow at Harvard University, earned his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy.

Michael Gladstone
Senior Associate Dean for Administration, Finance and Business Planning

Michael Gladstone serves as senior associate dean for administration, finance and business planning for the College of Professional Studies, named in 2014. As chief financial officer, he is responsible for budget and finance, campus facilities, and information technology.

Mr. Gladstone has held numerous positions at Northeastern University, including roles in central administration and teaching as an adjunct instructor in the College’s Information Technology Program.

Prior to joining Northeastern University, Mr. Gladstone held various management positions in the private sector. He holds a BS in business administration with a concentration in management from Salem State College and an MBA from Northeastern University and completed the Management Leadership in Education Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

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Dr. Joe Griffin
Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Teaching Professor

Dr. Joseph Griffin serves as the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, where he also holds a faculty appointment as a teaching professor in project management.

Dr. Griffin formerly served in a variety of roles within the university’s Chancellor’s Office and College of Professional Studies including as the Vice Chancellor of Educational Innovation, the Associate Vice President of Business Development, and Acting Vice Chancellor of Regional Campuses within the Office of the Chancellor. He also served as Associate Dean of Partnership & Engagement and as faculty director for graduate programs in analytics, informatics, and project management.

Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Griffin worked in an array of project-oriented roles within the construction, land development, and real estate industry.

Dr. Griffin holds a doctorate in Workplace Leadership and Ethics from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Master’s of Project Management from Western Carolina University, and an MBA from Lenoir-Rhyne University. 

Mariah Hwedi
Executive Assistant to the Dean

In 2023, Mariah joined Northeastern University as an Executive Assistant to Dean Seshan. Mariah is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she completed her undergraduate studies. During her time there, she pursued a major in English and a minor in Theater, graduating with Honors and Summa Cum Laude.

Before joining Northeastern, Mariah gained extensive experience in administrative roles across various industries including hospitality companies, wealth management firms, and in digital commerce.

Dan Lebowitz
Executive Director of Sport in Society

Dan Lebowitz has served as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society since 2008.

Under Mr. Lebowitz’s leadership, the center’s work has ranged from a partnership with the National Football League around sexual harassment prevention to a solidified position as one of the most sought-after resources for capacity-building and leadership education to sport and social change organizations. The center has also done primary violence prevention work with Major League Baseball, the U.S. military, the Boston Police Department and other community-engagement entities involved in positive youth development and normative culture change.

Mr. Lebowitz has extensive experience in the design, development and implementation of educational and employment programs aimed at opening opportunities for urban youth and the many underserved and diverse populations of Boston. He has worked in and managed many such programs, including Brandeis University’s Transitional Year Program, the Waltham Group, Upward Bound, the City of Boston Employment and Economic Policy Administration, the Boston Private Industry Council’s Boston Compact Initiative and Summer Jobs Program and the Department of Transitional Assistance’s Housing and Housing Services Division for the Homeless.

Mr. Lebowitz holds an MEd in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University and a BA in Political Science/Urban Studies from Brandeis University.

Dr. Patrick F. Plunkett
Senior Associate Dean, Global Engagement; Executive Director, Northeastern University Global 

Dr. Patrick F. Plunkett serves as senior associate dean for global engagement and executive director of Northeastern University (NU) Global, advocating and coordinating international programs, advising the dean on international issues, and providing administrative oversight of the University’s international affiliations and contracts.

Dr. Plunkett formerly served for two years as the acting dean of the University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. He led the college through a period of transformational change by integrating 137 full-time faculty, 38 academic programs, and five research centers, previously housed in two separate colleges, into one college. Before becoming acting dean, Dr. Plunkett served for nine years as the associate dean for academic affairs in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. For seven years, he directed the University’s Minority High School Student Research Apprentice Program.

Dr. Plunkett holds an EdD in higher education administration from Northeastern University, a MS in physiology from Rivier College and an AB in biology from Saint Anselm College. He completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Allison Ruda
Associate Dean of Curriculum Strategy and Product Innovation 

Dr. Allison Ruda serves as Associate Dean of Curriculum Strategy and Product Innovation, named in 2019, leading curriculum and program-wide assessment strategy for the College of Professional Studies. Dr. Ruda collaborates with faculty and academic leadership to develop and scale educational innovations that serve a wide range of learners. She is involved in university-wide initiatives focusing on modular learning design, micro-credentialing, and AI-enhanced skills mapping. Dr. Ruda leads the college’s Academic Quality unit which focuses on data-driven, continuous improvement planning, program evaluation and reporting, and coordinated faculty development. She works with centralized teams and academic units across Northeastern to advance key initiatives including the university’s digital badging implementation, the learning management system transition, and the lifelong learning platform strategy.

With two decades of experience in the learning design and ed tech field, Dr. Ruda has collaborated with academic researchers, practitioners, technologists, and industry leaders around the shared goal of expanding access to experiential education. Prior to Northeastern, Dr. Ruda worked at Emerson College, Regis College and Harvard University and produced educational media for non-profit clients on a freelance basis.

Dr. Ruda holds an EdD in Curriculum, Learning, Teaching & Leadership from Northeastern, a MEd in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College.

Dr. Molly Smith 
Associate Dean, Opportunity Pathway Programs
Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Molly Smith leads the Opportunity Pathway Programs in the College of Professional Studies, named in 2018, building pathways and partnerships that advance opportunities for learners.

The Opportunity Pathway Programs division works with the university to create, deepen, and broaden undergraduate pathways and partnerships at Northeastern. In collaboration with community-based and industry partners, Dr. Smith and her team utilize asset-based advising models and academic curricula that meet learners’ immediate needs while building the competencies needed to be successful in 21st century educational and career environments.

Dr. Smith was the founding director of the Foundation Year program and has extensive experience designing programs for first-year college students and nontraditional student populations. Prior to joining Northeastern, she worked as the associate director of teacher education at Rutgers University. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Her research interests include higher education access, persistence, and attainment of first-generation and nontraditional students.

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Dr. Corliss Thompson
Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education
Teaching Professor

Dr. Corliss Thompson is a Teaching Professor who serves as the Associate Dean of Graduate School of Education (GSE). She previously served as the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs in the GSE and Special Assistant to the Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Prior to becoming an administrator, Dr. Thompson taught in the Doctorate of Education and Masters of Education programs at Northeastern. In 2017, she was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Professional Studies.

As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Thompson has consulted with leaders in higher education, non-profits and on DEI and program evaluation. She has led workshops and spoken to a wide range of audiences on systemic oppression, implicit bias, and action planning for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Thompson has presented on issues of social justice at academic conferences and practitioner gatherings. She volunteers her DEI expertise in her community and has focused on issues of equity in her scholarship, including a National Science Foundation grant to spur more underrepresented students’ interest in STEM fields.

Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Thompson was a program evaluator and elementary school teacher. She holds a PhD and a MA in Education from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a BS in Elementary Education and History.

Dagmar Whitaker
Assistant Dean of Administration and Employee Experience

Dagmar Whitaker serves as head of the Human Resources, Administration and Employee Experience in the College of Professional Studies. Named to the position in 2019, she oversees all human resources (HR) functions and initiatives for staff and faculty and provides full-cycle HR support for the college.

A passionate advocate for positive impact, keeping employees engaged and enhancing creativity and diversity in a workplace, Ms. Whitaker collaborates with the Dean, business partners in Human Resources Management, and the Office of the General Counsel to provide strategic direction related to the role of HR within the college. She is responsible for addressing all employee relations matters and assists in other areas of college administration, including academic human resources, faculty experience, employee engagement, process improvement and design, and workforce planning and development. She is also actively involved in various professional working groups within the college and the university helping to enhance employee satisfaction, experience and learning.

Prior to joining Northeastern University, Ms. Whitaker held various HR positions in education, including at Boston University, Foreign Service Institute, and Charles University in Prague.

Ms. Whitaker holds a BA in Humanities and Social Sciences and an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Anglo-American University in Prague. She is an active member of various HR professional organizations such as Society of Human Resource Management, Northeast HR Association, HR Certification Institute and Human Capital Institute, and she holds several HR professional certifications.