Faculty

Transforming students' lives.

Foundation Year's faculty members are dedicated to helping you succeed. They will work with you individually to identify your strengths, and bring together the right resources to address your specific needs. When you have a question or concern, you can reach faculty either in person, or by phone, email, or text.

Foundation Year employs full-time faculty—experienced practitioners who are devoted to promoting dynamic, active learning.

Molly Dugan
As Director of Foundation Year, Dr. Dugan oversees all aspects of the program—from admissions and curriculum development to faculty hiring and marketing. She has extensive experience teaching English and literacy courses to high school and college students and previously worked as 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.

John Wolfe 
Dr. Wolfe teaches Humanities courses in the Foundation Year program. For the past eight years, he has been a part of Northeastern University faculty at the College of Professional Studies. Prior to joining Northeastern's faculty, Dr. Wolfe held teaching, professional development, and administrative roles at Bank Street College. He holds his Ed.D. and a Master's in Special Education from Teachers College and Bank Street, respectively.

Amy Lantinga
Dr. Latinga teaches English at Foundation Year. Before joining the program, she held various positions at the secondary and postsecondary levels including as Assistant Headmaster of Teaching and Learning at Boston Community Leadership Academy, writing coach for Write Boston, and instructor at Harvard, UMass Boston, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned an Ed.D. in Secondary English Education and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Sean O'Connell
An English teacher at Foundation Year, Professor O'Connell brings extensive experience teaching English in middle schools, high schools, and colleges—most recently at Westfield State College. Professor O'Connell's interests focus on the students' transition from high school to college and their language use. He holds an M.A. in English Composition from UMass Boston.

Peter Plourde
As a mathematics professor at Foundation Year, Professor Plourde brings a wealth of experience to his role. He helped launch the Alternative Program at Lowell High School and has taught courses in mathematics, music, and entertainment at several Boston-area colleges. When he is not teaching, Professor Plourde can be found writing and performing music--a passion since his teenage years. He is currently researching the connection between mathematics and music with a Harvard professor. Professor Plourde earned his M.S. in Mathematics from UMass-Lowell and took courses toward his degree at Harvard University's Department of Continuing Education.

Martha Loftus
Professor Loftus is a student advisor for Foundation Year, where she remains focused on helping young people achieve their dream of attaining a college degree. She has worked with a variety of organizations ranging from the COACH program at Harvard University to The Education Resources Institute (TERI) to the high school superintendent's office in the Boston Public Schools. Professor Loftus holds two Masters degrees; one in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and another in Secondary School Counseling from UMass Boston.

Esther Tutella
As a student advisor, Professor Tutella works closely with students to address specific challenges, provide academic support, and foster good learning habits. Previously, Professor Tutella was a transitions manager and education coach supervisor at More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school. She brings to her role extensive experience in designing programs to help youth learn about education, employment, self-efficacy, and financial literacy. Professor Tutella earned a BA in English with a minor in secondary education from Moravian College in Pennsylvania and a MEd in Human Development Counseling: School Track from Vanderbilt University.

Silvani Vejar
Professor Vejar teaches mathematics in the Foundation Year program.  She has extensive experience teaching mathematics at Middlesex Community College and Massachusetts Bay Community College.  She brings to her role a dedication to promoting learning in the mathematics, science and engineering fields. As a doctoral student she was awarded the National Science Foundation G-K12 Vibrations and Waves award. The goal of this fellowship is to expose high school students in urban schools to STEM initiatives. Professor Vejar earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology from UMass Lowell.