Meet Our New and Promoted Faculty

This year, the College of Professional Studies welcomed 15 new faculty colleagues and celebrated 11 faculty colleagues who earned a promotion, whose accomplishments are listed below.

The faculty of the College of Professional Studies create exceptional learning experiences that are essential to our students’ success. Along with that demonstrated excellence, the faculty also share a commitment to exploring new ways of responding to the changing needs of our students. Our faculty members’ ingenuity, expertise, and creativity in program and curriculum development prove that education can persist and even flourish during difficult times.

New Faculty:

Heidi Liu Banerjee

EdD (Applied Linguistics), Teachers College, Columbia University

Heidi Liu Banerjee is an assistant teaching professor in the NU Immerse and Global Pathway programs. Dr. Banerjee’s research and teaching interests include developing game- and scenario-based assessment and implementing learning-oriented assessment in language classrooms. Her dissertation, which investigates the construct of topical knowledge in a scenario-based language assessment, received a TIRF (The International Research Foundation for English Language Education) Doctoral Dissertation Grant and as well as ETS TOEFL (Educational Testing Service Test of English as a Foreign Language) Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment, and it was selected as the finalist for the Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award. Previously, Dr. Banerjee was a lecturer in the NU Immerse and Global Pathway programs where she taught English for academic purposes to international students. She also taught second language assessment to students enrolled in the TESOL Certificate program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Banerjee lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Alex Fronduto

DHS (Health Sciences), Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Alex Fronduto is an assistant teaching professor in the Graduate School of Education, where he teaches on topics that include strategic leadership in enrollment management, assessment and accreditation and the foundations of higher education. Dr. Fronduto’s research has ranged from the lab-based study of “Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus and Yeast-Two Hybrid System” to an investigation of team-based learning in health professions education and its impact on student achievement. He has also served as a Teaching Fellow in biochemistry at Boston University and as a Teaching Assistant in biochemistry at Simmons College. Dr. Fronduto previously worked for a decade in admissions at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where he became Associate Director of Admissions in 2017. His responsibilities included recruitment of students, supervision of staff and student workers, operations and data management, educating students on affordability and financial aid and managing events and marketing. He lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Susan Gracia

PhD (Educational Measurement, Research and Evaluation), Boston College

Susan Gracia is an assistant teaching professor in the Analytics program. She is also a former faculty member in the college’s Graduate School of Education, where she taught courses in learning analytics, data mining, data visualization, text mining and classroom assessment. For the past 20 years, Dr. Gracia has directed her own consultancy in educational research and evaluation. She previously served as a tenured associate professor at the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College, designing and teaching a variety of research and evaluation courses. She also served as the Director of Assessment at Rhode Island College and at Simmons College, where she assessed student learning outcomes and teaching effectiveness and evaluated programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has been a visiting professor of evaluation and learning analytics at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú since 2013. Dr. Gracia lives in Providence, RI, and teaches in Boston and online.

Fareed Hawwa

PhD (Mathematics), Louisiana State University

Fareed Hawwa is an assistant teaching professor in the Foundation Year program. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Hawwa worked in the financial industry, first as an equities and exchange traded funds trader in New York City, then as an analyst, partner and head of trading at a financial firm in Chicago. In these roles he provided technical analysis and risk management using logic, quantitative analysis, and expertise in the mechanics of capital markets, leading trading and strategy for funds valued at $250 million in assets under management. In the course of his graduate studies at Louisiana State University (LSU), Dr. Hawwa was a three-time recipient of the LSU Mathematics Department Teaching Excellence Award for his work with LSU students. He was also named one of eight National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellows. He managed workshops for high school students on the LSU campus and at nearby high schools and implemented technology such as video conference teaching and online learning. Dr. Hawwa lives in Rhode Island and teaches in Boston and online.

Sarmann I. Kennedyd

PhD (Strategy, Program and Project Management), SKEMA Business School of Lille, France

Sarmann I. Kennedyd is an assistant teaching professor in the Project Management program. With more than 20 years of experience in business process reengineering, information technology systems development, managing complex projects and data analysis, Dr. Kennedyd has served as a strategic financial and business analyst, consultant, and project manager with companies that include AOL, Fannie Mae, Charles E. Smith, Verizon, and USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company). He has provided corporate training sessions in project, program, and agile management to professionals from all backgrounds in many countries. Previously, Dr. Kennedyd served as an Assistant Professor of Management at Kean University – Wenzhou China and at Northern New Mexico College, where his responsibilities included teaching, research, and developing undergraduate curricula for courses in operations management and project management. His research is focused on agile project management, electronic commerce, virtual communication in projects and topics related to the connected workplace. Dr. Kennedyd lives in the greater Seattle area and teaches at Northeastern’s Seattle campus and online.

Varsha S. Kulkarni

PhD (Information Sciences), Indiana University Bloomington

Varsha S. Kulkarni is an assistant teaching professor in the Analytics program. Dr. Kulkarni has worked at the Harvard Business School as a researcher specializing as a statistician and in applied math areas, as a research affiliate at the Harvard Institute of Quantitative Social Science. Her research encompasses quantitative data analysis, mathematical modeling and socioeconomics, and she has lectured on data analytics in business, socioeconomics and applied mathematical sciences. Her research on topics of the evolution of social innovation, inflation and volatility and rising food prices is published in academic journals including the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems. She has received numerous awards and fellowships. An affiliate of Harvard University, Dr. Kulkarni conducts research in various fields. Her interests are in dynamic models in social networks, social innovation modeling, health, development, macroeconomic modeling, market volatility, financial markets, and analysis of socioeconomic systems.

Todd Loeb

MBA, Boston University

Todd Loeb is an assistant academic specialist in the Project Management program. Professor Loeb is a consultant, speaker, author and blogger in the areas of project management tactics and strategy, communications and soft skills, and staff recruiting and development. In more than 30 years in the financial services industry, his professional roles have encompassed project management, leadership and technology. He has worked with organizations including State Street Corporation, Bank of New York Mellon, Thomson Financial, Barclay’s, and Liberty Mutual Insurance, where he managed the design, development, and implementation of several multi-million dollar technology platforms and helped clients improve project management practices. Currently a vice president and program manager at a large Boston investment management firm, Professor Loeb has been a certified Project Management Professional since 2003. In 2013, he published No Project Management by Powerpoint, a book on project management in the financial services industry. Professor Loeb lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Tim Mills

MBA (Global Management), Golden State University

Tim Mills is an assistant academic specialist in the Leadership and Project Management programs. He joined Northeastern as an associate professor in 2015. An executive management consultant, Professor Mills has led global projects with KPMG Consulting and IBM Global Services, focusing on information technology strategy and design, project management and e-commerce projects. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, where he managed acquisition and implementation of fighter aircraft, integrated telecommunications and ballistic missile programs. He also earned a Master of Science in Logistics Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Professor Mills has taught on topics including global project management, agile methods, and project portfolio management at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education, California State College Sacramento and as a guest lecturer at the US Naval Postgraduate School. He is a member of the Project Management Institute, a certified Project Management Professional, and an Agile Alliance-certified Scrum Master. Professor Mills lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Mikhail Oet

PhD (Designing Sustainable Systems), Case Western Reserve University

Mikhail Oet is an associate teaching professor and the faculty lead in the Commerce and Economic Development graduate program. Currently the Director of Analytics at Financial Network Analytics, a deep technology analytics innovator, Dr. Oet began his career with the Federal Reserve System, working to strengthen the resilience of risky and complex financial service organizations. He later led research, development and the extension of supervisory technologies and financial stability analytics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In 2016, he started the Economic Forecasting Group at the Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest asset servicing company. Dr. Oet has held teaching positions in economics, finance, and supervisory analytics at the Federal Reserve System, Cleveland State University, and Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of numerous articles in refereed journals including the Review of Finance and the European Journal of Finance. He lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Lindsay Portnoy

PhD (Educational Psychology), Fordham University

Lindsay Portnoy is a cognitive scientist and associate teaching professor in the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership concentration in the Doctor of Education program. Dr. Portnoy’s research focuses on the use of immersive technologies and systems thinking to enhance cognition and create a more equitable and authentic system of education. She is a former public school teacher and a co-founder of the National Science Foundation and Institute of Education Sciences funded learning-games company Killer Snails. Dr. Portnoy has been published in academic journals and popular media outlets including The Washington Post, World Economic Forum, and EdSurge. She is the author of Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom and the forthcoming Game On? Brain On! The Surprising Relationship Between Play and Gray (Matter). A member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, a former Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Emerging Leader, and an Assessment Fellow at Hunter College, City University of New York, Dr. Portnoy lives in New York City and teaches online.

John Terpinas

JD, California Western School of Law

John Terpinas is a professor of the practice and faculty lead in the Homeland Security, Strategic Intelligence & Analysis and Criminal Justice programs. Professor Terpinas’ experience encompasses leadership, law enforcement, intelligence, and international diplomacy. His 21-year career as a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI included serving as Director of the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary, and as the FBI Chair and Assistant Professor of National Security Studies at the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Professor Terpinas held numerous managerial positions within the FBI’s National Security Division and Counterterrorism programs including serving as Director of Law Enforcement and Investigations in the White House. Previously, he was a counterterrorism specialist in the FBI Chicago Division. Before joining the FBI, he was an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in Chicago. Professor Terpinas lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Youngbok Ryu

PhD (Policy Analysis), Pardee RAND Graduate School

Youngbok Ryu is an assistant teaching professor in the Commerce and Economic Development graduate program and the undergraduate Management program. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, Dr. Ryu has conducted research with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT), the RAND Corporation, The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, South Korea’s Incheon Development Institute and other institutions. This work has included analyses of science, technology and environmental policy issues as well as the study of global special economic zones. Previously, Dr. Ryu was an instructor at NMT, where he taught courses including Business Policy and Corporate Strategy, Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and Engineering Economics and served on thesis committees and as an advisor to independent studies and student clubs. At NMT, he founded the Tech Policy Group, the first science policy group in New Mexico affiliated with the National Science Policy Network. Dr. Ryu lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Adel A. Zadeh

PhD (Civil & Environmental Engineering), University of Cambridge

Adel A. Zadeh is an associate teaching professor in the Project Management program. A civil engineering and project management educator and consultant with more than 10 years of experience, Dr. Zadeh has managed complex public/private construction projects including planning, estimating, engineering, procurement and construction. He is a certified Project Management Professional, and accredited LEED BD+C (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Building Design and Construction). Dr. Zadeh’s research and teaching focus on organizational transformation, construction management, sustainability initiatives in green building construction, and how sustainability trends impact the building and construction industry. He previously served as program director and lecturer at a number of colleges in Ontario, teaching and supervising students in advanced project management and strategic leadership, construction management and engineering, and applied research. He is the director of the Toronto chapter of the Project Management Institute. Dr. Zadeh lives in the greater Toronto area and teaches in Toronto and online.

Lin Zhou

PhD (Second Language Studies), University of Hawai’i

Lin Zhou is an assistant teaching professor in the NU Global program.

An expert in pedagogical game design and innovative course design, Dr. Zhou promotes and practices teaching that revolves around experiential learning, project-based instruction and game-supported pedagogies using new online technologies. A frequent speaker at international conferences, she has presented papers on topics including Learning Chinese in Chinatown with an Augmented Reality Mobile Game, Translanguaging in Pedagogical Drama Gaming, and An Ecological Approach to an Online Second Language Writing Course.

Dr. Zhou has taught in the Department of Second Language Studies and the English Language Institute at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her research focuses on game and course design to empower educators and foster differentiated instruction. For her PhD dissertation, she created a game-supported critical writing course for second-language learners in which students could work with peers and game characters to explore socio-political issues.

Dr. Zhou lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Promoted Faculty:

Congratulations to 11 faculty members of the College of Professional Studies who have been promoted, effective May 1, 2020. The following faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching and curriculum development. Promotion also recognizes their contributions to the college and university through their leadership, service, educational innovation, discovery and professional engagement in their fields.

Dr. Jacques Alexis

Jacques Alexis, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

Dr. Alexis joined Northeastern in 2012. He teaches in the Master of Science in Project Management program and has served as Principal Instructor for the “Foundations of Project Management” and the “Project Quality Management” courses. He developed a guide for innovation in teaching the latter, has revised existing courses and developed a new course in project finance. Dr. Alexis participates in recruiting, outreach, and orientation events, and is a founding advisor to a student network for the Project Management program. He has served on the Faculty Academic Council, on the Professional Standards committee of the Council and on a task force examining college practices in faculty merit review. Dr. Alexis previously worked in the manufacturing and power-generation industries. An active member of several management-oriented professional organizations, he earned his Doctor of Management degree from the University of Maryland in 2018. He lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Dr. Earlene Avalon

Earlene Avalon, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

Dr. Avalon designed and piloted both the Health Management Capstone and Public Health courses and has co-authored numerous conference presentations and articles, including one in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics. Other collaborations with colleagues include a grant to map the opioid epidemic in Boston using geospatial technology. An advocate for first-generation student success and a co-founder and steering committee member of the First Generation, Undocumented, Low Income (FUNL) Network at Northeastern, Dr. Avalon also serves on faculty governance committees and has been an organizer and presenter at Northeastern’s Women of Color in the Academy Conference since 2018. Dr. Avalon’s career has included roles as a financial analyst for Partners Healthcare, as Director of Nursing Diversity Initiatives at Boston Children’s Hospital and in various leadership roles in higher education. She earned her PhD in Health Professions Education from Simmons University in 2009 and joined Northeastern as a lecturer in 2010. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Cynthia Baron

Cynthia Baron has been promoted to Full Academic Specialist in the Professional Programs.

Professor Baron has contributed uniquely to the development of the Digital Media program at Northeastern, recruiting faculty, serving as the program’s Academic Director and adapting it for changing student populations. She designed and implemented a bridge program, Connect, that prepares students without undergraduate backgrounds in digital media for success in the master’s program. Professor Baron has also served as Chair of the Academic Programs Committee of the Faculty Academic Council and is the former Chair of the Council’s Agenda Committee. The co-founder and former Executive Vice President of Serif & Sans, Inc., a Boston graphic design company, Professor Baron was a partner in LeWinterBaron Graphics Multitasking, Inc., and a principal in her own firm, Phoenix Design & Communications, and she has edited, authored, or co-authored more than a dozen books. She joined Northeastern in 1988 and earned her MBA in Marketing at the university in 1993. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Dr. Darin Detwiler

Darin Detwiler, LPD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

Dr. Detwiler helped relaunch the college’s Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program and serves as its lead faculty member. The Assistant Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs, he oversees Academic Quality Assurance across the professional programs. The 2016 recipient of the college’s Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Detwiler has advised the Department of Agriculture and is the author of two books on food safety. He consults internationally on food safety and regulation, serves on advisory and editorial boards, and received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the International Association for Food Protection. Dr. Detwiler earned the Doctor of Law and Policy degree from Northeastern in 2016 and joined the university the same year. Prior to completing his doctorate, he served in the US Navy’s Nuclear Submarine Force and was an award-winning teacher in Redmond, WA. He lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Constance Emerson

Constance Emerson, EdD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

Dr. Emerson has served as Academic Quality Assurance lead for the Project Management program and as a Master Teacher, ensuring the risk management and capstone courses teach relevant curricula in innovative ways. She teaches a number of courses in the program. She contributed to the Project Management program’s reaccreditation in 2017, took a leading role connecting the Project Management program with the needs of regional businesses, and is working to build and implement the bachelor of science program in Project Management. She also served on a task force that evaluated instructor feedback and presence and the use of best practices in online and hybrid learning across courses in the college. The principal of her own project-management consultancy, Dr. Emerson joined the university in 2015. She earned her EdD from Northeastern in 2018 and previously worked with firms that included Inland Steel Company and Mitchell Management Systems. She lives in Sarasota, Florida, and teaches online.

Patricia Goodman

Patricia Goodman, EdD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Communications, Media and Human Resources Programs.

A faculty member since 2015, Dr. Goodman led the development and implementation of the concentration in Cross-cultural Communication for the Master’s in Corporate and Organizational Communication and has served as chair of the college’s faculty development conference and on its Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion. She worked with students and faculty across the university to generate definitions and expressions of global citizenship and organized the university-wide “Visions of Peace” event with Northeastern’s Center for Intercultural Engagement. She serves on the Faculty Academic Council and chairs the Faculty Development Support Committee. A frequent presenter at international conferences, Dr. Goodman earned her EdD from The George Washington University in 2004. She previously served as Human Resource Director at Florida mental health provider The Centers and in finance and program delivery at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Goodman lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

David Hagen

David Hagen, JD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Security Programs.

Professor Hagen serves as Special Assistant to the Dean for Veteran and Military Affairs, acting as a liaison to Northeastern’s Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service Members, to external agencies, and to faculty and student veterans and members of service families. He has served on committees including the Professional Standards Committee, which he currently chairs; the Academic Policy Committee; the Ad hoc Grievance Committee; and the Academic Policy Committee of the Faculty Senate. In 2019, he received the college’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Hagen earned his JD from the New England School of Law in 1984. His teaching appointment at Northeastern in 2016 followed a distinguished career in military service, and he volunteers in the military and veteran community. In 2016, he was Military Volunteer of the Year at Veteran’s Inc., a shelter in Worcester, MA. He lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Cristine McMartin-Miller

Cristine McMartin-Miller, PhD, has been promoted to full Teaching Professor in NU Global.

The program coordinator of the International Tutoring Center (ITC), Dr. McMartin-Miller recruits, trains and supervises tutors who collectively deliver more than 2,000 appointments per term. She is course coordinator of the courses “Writing for Graduate School,” “Advanced Listening and Speaking for Graduate School,” and “Foundations of Professional Communication,” and she has served on curriculum committees and university-level search committees. The Vice Chair of the Faculty Review and Promotion Committee of the Faculty Academic Council, Dr. McMartin-Miller is also a member of the university-wide International Student Academic Success Team. She regularly presents at conferences, and her team’s findings on student engagement with the ITC were presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators meetings. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for two journals in language learning.Dr. McMartin-Miller earned her PhD in English, with a specialization in Second Language Studies, from Purdue University in 2012, joining Northeastern the same year. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Dr. Pamela Wojnar

Pamela Wojnar, EdD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

Dr. Wojnar’s contributions to the Master of Sports Leadership Program since 2016 have included curriculum development; supporting the Academic Quality Assurance assessment process; representing the program at the university’s Charlotte campus; helping maintain accreditation with the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA); and engaging students in volunteering. She served on the planning committee for the college’s 2017 Faculty Development Conference, as Chair of an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee for the Faculty Academic Council, and as co-chair of the Faculty Senate Full-Time Nontenure-Track Faculty Committee. She has also served on COSMA’s Nominating Committee and as Chair of the Program and Abstract Review Committee for COSMA’s annual conference. Dr. Wojnar earned her Doctor of Education from the United States Sports Academy in 2008. Previous professional roles included serving as Director of the Athletics at both Notre Dame of Maryland University and Rosemont College. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Dr. Xiamou Zhou

Xiaomu Zhou, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

As lead faculty member for the Informatics program, Dr. Zhou has expanded and restructured the curriculum in collaboration with colleagues to address cutting-edge technology needs, emphasizing academic honesty and incorporating real-world projects. Enrollment has risen under Dr. Zhou’s leadership, and she continues to guide the college’s work towards a cross-program integrated computing environment. Dr. Zhou served on the Professional Standards Committee of the Faculty Academic Council and currently serves on the Academic Program Committee and Faculty Development and Support Committee. She is a frequent journal referee, and her participation in Boston-area professional meetings on platform strategy and open data science support her leadership in the digital transformation of teaching and learning. Dr. Zhou earned her PhD in Information Science from the University of Michigan in 2010. Before joining Northeastern in 2016, she taught in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.

Dr. Elizabeth Zulick

Elizabeth Zulick, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in the Professional Programs.

A faculty member since 2016, Dr. Zulick is Faculty Director for Health Care and Biotechnology programs, Director of the Lowell Institute School, and Special Assistant to the Dean for Research, Innovation, Discovery and Entrepreneurship. In collaboration with faculty in the College of Science (COS), she designed the first “Plus One” pathway from the College of Professional Studies (CPS) into a degree in another college of Northeastern. She secured a $4.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support students moving from a partner community college into CPS and COS earning both an undergraduate and graduate degree. She has collaborated with colleagues on another NSF grant assessing the efficacy of experiential learning in increasing the persistence of young women and underrepresented minorities in STEM careers. Dr. Zulick earned her PhD in Molecular Medicine from Boston University’s School of Medicine in 2015. She lives in the greater Boston area and teaches in Boston and online.