Dr. Mary Loeffelholz
Dean, College of Professional Studies
Mary Loeffelholz, Dean, earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and has been a member of Northeastern’s faculty since 1988. She chaired the English Department from 2001-2006, served as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Director of the Graduate School in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2006-2007, and was Special Assistant to the President for Academic Affairs in 2007-2008. She served as Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs from 2008-2016. Dr. Loeffelholz currently serves on the Faculty Senate and was a member of the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee from 1992-1994. She has served in various leadership roles on the Faculty Senate and its committees, with a special emphasis on faculty development and academic leadership. A distinguished scholar of American literature, Dr. Loeffelholz is the author of three scholarly books, most recently From School to Salon: Reading Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry (Princeton University Press, 2004). She is the editor of Volume D: 1914-1945 of the latest edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature and a two-term past Chair of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association of America.
Dr. Patrick F. Plunkett
Senior Associate Dean, Global Engagement; Executive Director, Northeastern University Global
Dr. Patrick F. Plunkett is the senior associate dean for global engagement and the executive director of Northeastern University (NU) Global. Dr. Plunkett is responsible for advocating and coordinating international programs, advising the dean on international issues, and providing administrative oversight of the University's international affiliations and contracts.
Prior to his current appointment at Northeastern University, Dr. Plunkett 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, formerly 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 AB in biology from Saint Anselm College, an MS in physiology from Rivier College, and an EdD in higher education administration from Northeastern University. He also completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Administration
Michael Gladstone is the senior associate dean of finance and administration for the College of Professional Studies. As chief financial officer, Mr. Gladstone is responsible for budget and finance, campus facilities, and information technology. He 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. Mr. Gladstone holds a BS in business administration with a concentration in management from Salem State College and an MBA from Northeastern University. He also completed the Management Leadership in Education Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Dr. David Fields
Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs
Dr. David Fields is the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs for Professional Programs in the College of Professional Studies. Leading a large team of faculty and staff, Dr. Fields oversees the quality, growth and innovation across all academic and operational aspects of the portfolio, consisting of nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees, delivered online and among multiple global campuses. Dr. Fields serves to provide leadership to the graduate and undergraduate faculty and staff to call them together around a shared purpose to inspire and empower thousands of learners so they can achieve their potential to improve the world.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Dr. Fields served in a research post at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. He has served in multiple roles working for both private and public institutions and has developed and taught both online and on-ground courses at Michigan State University, the University of San Diego, Emmanuel College and Boston College.
Dr. Fields holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Boston College and a MEd in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University.
Dr. Molly Smith
Associate Dean, Opportunity Pathway Programs
Molly Smith leads the Opportunity Pathway Programs in the College of Professional Studies In collaboration with community-based and industry partners, Dr. Smith and her team build pathways and partnerships that advance opportunities for learners through 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. The Opportunity Pathway Programs division works with the leadership of the Professional Programs and the Lowell Institute School to create, deepen, and broaden undergraduate pathways and partnerships at Northeastern’s regional campuses and nationally.
Molly was the founding director of the Foundation Year program and has extensive experience designing programs for first year college students and non-traditional student populations. Previously, Dr. Smith worked as the associate director of teacher education at Rutgers University. She earned her Ph.D. 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 non-traditional students.
Lydia R.L. Young
Associate Dean, Graduate School of Education
Associate Teaching Professor, Graduate School of Education
Lydia Young creates innovative programs and opportunities that support educator development; designs, revises, and oversees curriculum development for the master's programs in education; and develops resources for graduate students, teacher candidates, faculty members, and various stakeholders. In her pedagogical practice and curriculum development, Dr. Young explores critical literacy, fostering teacher candidates as change agents, and constructivism. She teaches Education as an Advanced Field of Study, Language, Culture, and Literacy in the Middle and High Schools, and Teaching in the Disciplines: English Methods, as well as several other courses. From 2008 to 2011, she served as the director of field placement for the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Dr. Young is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council of Teachers of English and has presented on ePortfolios in a Master of Education program, positionality theory, and using technology with teacher candidates. She was nominated for a Northeastern University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
Previously, Dr. Young worked with the Boston Public Schools Office of College and Career Connections, the College Bound Program at Boston College, and served as a literacy consultant to small and technical high schools. Prior to working in higher education, she taught secondary English.
Associate Dean for the Student Experience
Karen Phillips is the Associate Dean for the Student Experience at the College of Professional Studies. Karen is responsible for providing strategic leadership and management for the learner experience for all students across the College. She supervises the Academic Advising and Learner Services teams and collaborates with academic and administrative leaders both in the College and across the University to increase student retention and satisfaction, including the retention and academic progress of first-generation students, international students, and underrepresented students.
Prior to joining Northeastern, Karen was Assistant Dean for the graduate student experience and services at the Boston University Questrom School of Business, where she oversaw graduate program management, academic advising, registrar, financial aid and career advising. At Hult International School of Business in Cambridge, MA, she was Associate Dean of Student Affairs and the MBA Program Dean, working in collaboration with Hult’s campuses in Dubai, London, San Francisco and Shanghai while the school grew by 33%. Karen holds an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California, an MS in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeasternn, and a BS in Health Policy & Management from Providence College.
Associate Dean of Curriculum Strategy and Product Innovation
Dr. Allison Ruda leads curriculum and program-wide assessment strategy for the College of Professional Studies. She collaborates with faculty and academic leadership to develop scalable approaches to new product development and provides strategic leadership around initiatives that enhance the College’s ability to serve a wide range of adult and professional learners. Allison facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations through curriculum domain work, and works with central services teams to ensure alignment between major digital and/or ed tech-related initiatives, College priorities, and University goals.
In her previous role as a Senior Strategist, Allison was a key architect of CPS’ undergraduate program in Advanced Manufacturing Systems, which was developed in partnership with General Electric through the federal government’s Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) experiment. She came to Northeastern in 2007 as an instructional designer, and supported the College’s efforts to establish hybrid and online programming at scale. Prior to Northeastern, Allison worked at Emerson College, Regis College, and Harvard University, and produced educational media projects on a freelance basis.
Allison holds an EdD in Curriculum, Learning, Teaching & Leadership from Northeastern, an EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College.
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. Sean 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, Sean 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 Northeastern, Sean worked for Eduventures for a decade, advising executives at hundreds of universities, education companies, and investors. Sean’s writing and commentary have been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and CBS Television. Sean’s book, The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring, was published in 2016 by Harvard Education Press. Sean holds an EdD from Northeastern University, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology, and a BS in Marketing from Northeastern.
Director of Sport in Society
Dan Lebowitz has served as the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society since October 2008. Lebowitz’s tenure has seen a wide spectrum of work, 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 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.
Dan possesses an extensive background 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. Throughout his career he has worked in and managed myriad programs toward this end, 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. Dan holds an EdM in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University and a BA in Political Science/Urban Studies from Brandeis University.
Director of Communications
Peggy Hayes is the Director of Communications at the College of Professional Studies, responsible for digital, social and print communications strategy and management, including the College website. She manages internal communications with faculty and staff on behalf of the Dean of the College and publications ranging from the annual faculty brochure to the alumni newsletter.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Peggy held two positions in higher education. At Harvard University, she was Director of Communications for the Harvard University Allston Development Group, which led physical planning, community relations and construction for the university’s expansion in the Allston neighborhood of the city of Boston. At Tufts University, she managed health sciences communications for the Tufts University health sciences campus in Boston including the Medical School, the Dental School, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Previously, she worked in public relations in New York for two national firms: Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum, and on the staff of a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C. Peggy holds an MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Northeastern University and a BA in English from Vassar College.
Assistant Dean of Administration and Employee Experience
Dagmar Whitaker is the Human Resources Manager for the College of Professional Studies. Dagmar oversees all human resources (HR) functions and initiatives, providing full-cycle human resources support for the College. She collaborates with Dean Loeffelholz, College leadership, 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. Dagmar is also responsible for addressing all employee relations matters and assists in other areas of College administration, including academic human resources, faculty experience, events, and general process improvement and design.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Dagmar held various HR positions in the education field, including at Boston University and the Foreign Service Institute. Dagmar holds a BA in Humanities and Social Sciences and an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Felicia Kornegay is the Event Manager for the College of Professional Studies. Felicia oversees all commencement and doctoral hooding ceremonies for College as well as the Dean’s dinner and luncheon. Additionally, Felicia manages the annual Faculty Development Conference and other internal events as determined by the Dean. She also serves as a resource to the College regarding best practices in events. Felicia project manages the planning and execution of events and meetings through project timelines, contract negotiation, fiscal responsibility, budgeting and approvals, data analysis and reporting, innovative and creative event concepts, elevation of the attendee experience, agenda development, and logistics management.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Felicia held various positions in higher education, including Purdue University and Cornell University. Felicia holds a BFA in Merchandising and Management from Pratt Institute in New York and an MBA with a concentration in Event Planning and Management from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.