The Honors Program Office is open from 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Students may stop by during office hours for advising help, or to use the computer lab and student lounge.
Northeastern University Honors Program
360 Huntington Ave.
150 Richards Hall
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2333 Phone
(617) 373-5300 Fax
Paola Cesarini, Ph.D., Director
Paola Cesarini is the Director of the University Honors Program. A native of Italy, Dr. Cesarini earned her Laurea in Political Science summa cum laude from the Libera Universitá degli Studi Sociali in Rome. She was then awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Columbia University, where she completed a Masters of International Affairs. Dr. Cesarini served for several years as an international civil servant at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, UNESCO in Paris, and the World Bank in Washington D.C., working on economic and social development, human rights, environment, education and gender issues. She returned to Columbia University to earn her Ph.D. in Political Science and has taught for over a decade at institutions including Columbia University, New York University, SUNY, Bentley University and, most recently, Providence College. Dr. Cesarini has written extensively about human rights, transitional justice, and democratization in comparative perspective, and carried out field research in several European and Latin American countries. She is co-editor of Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe (University of Notre Dame Press), and author of the chapter on “Transitional Justice” in the Sage Handbook of Comparative Politics. Her work has also appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Latin American Studies and International Studies Review, and various scholarly edited volumes. She is currently working on a book about the long-term political consequences of transitional justice. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Cesarini has significant experience in curriculum development, student-engaged and outcome-oriented course design, and global education. At Northeastern, she is also an affiliated faculty member in our Department of Political Science and teaches courses on comparative politics, international relations, human rights and public policy. Dr. Cesarini is fluent in six languages.
Lauren Pouchak, Senior Associate Director
Lauren Pouchak is a Senior Associate Director for the Honors Program. Lauren specializes in upper-class advising including assisting students with strategies for applying for Fellowships and Scholarships as well as global opportunities, in addition to managing the Honors Program global education initiatives, the Honors First Year Experience, and the campus-wide First Pages initiative. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. Lauren also has a Masters Degree in Education from Lynchburg College and a Masters of Public Administration from Northeastern University. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education at Northeastern University and plans to study the impact of short-term study abroad on First Year students. Lauren is entering her eleventh year as part of the Honors Program.
Sheryl O’Brien is a Senior Associate Director for the Honors Program. Sheryl oversees all of the advising for the program and specializes in advising students for Honors in the Discipline. Sheryl also works closely with Undergraduate Admissions, helps to advise the Honors Ambassadors and works with Residential Life in coordinating the Living Learning Community. She also works with the new Sophomore Year Experience for Honors. She received her undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Maine. She also has a Masters of Education, specializing in Higher Education Administration, from the University of Maine and is currently working on her Doctorate of Education at Northeastern University. Sheryl has been with the Honors Program for seven years, and at NU for twelve.
Colleen Cronin, Assistant Director
Colleen Cronin is an Assistant Director for the Honors Program. She specializes in First Year Advising in addition to working with the Enhancing Honors course, Honors Mentors, and coordinating the Honors Outreach Program. She is interested in student leadership, and civic engagement and has participated five times as a University Representative for Alternative Spring Break including the Honors Program ASB to Ecuador. In summer 2014 she helped lead, along with Professor Bucar, the Honors Dialogue to Spain. She earned her M.S. in College Student Development & Counseling from Northeastern University in 2010. Colleen began working in the Honors Program in 2008 as a graduate assistant before she transitioned into her role as an academic advisor. She advises College of Science and Undeclared Honors students.
José Ivan Román, Assistant Director
José Ivan Román is an Assistant Director for the Honors Program. José Ivan specializes in advising students majoring in the engineering disciplines. He will also work on initiatives promoting engagement of Honors Program alumni. He is interested in education pipeline programs, student enrollment and retention issues, graduate and professional school preparation, and diversity in higher education. Prior to joining the Honors Program staff, José Ivan spent 10 years working in undergraduate and law school admissions and financial aid. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University (CT) and M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. He advises College of Engineering Honors students.
Justin Silvestri, Academic Advisor
Justin Silvestri is an Academic Advisor for the Honors Program. Justin specializes in Second-Year, Halftime, Honors in the Discipline, and Fellowship advising. He is interested in student leadership, undergraduate research, and student fellowships/scholarships. He contributes to the development of programming and events for the new Honors Second-Year Experience. Justin is also involved in the Honors Arts Initiative, drawing on his background as a trained actor and vocal performer. He is a 2007 Fulbright Fellowship Alumni, having taught at conversational English in Sartrouville, France. He received his B.A. in History & French at Union College and earned his M.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He advises College of Computer and Information Science and College of Social Science and Humanities Honors students.
Katie Merrill, Academic Advisor
Katie Merrill is an Academic Advisor for the Honors Program. She specializes in First Year advising, Senior Clearance, and works with the Honors Ambassadors. Katie is interested in leadership initiatives, experiential learning, international programs, and cultural events in the city of Boston. Katie received her B.A. in Art History from Boston College, and completed her M.S. in College Student Development and Counseling from Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. Katie uses her interests in arts and culture to develop the Honors Arts Initiative, as well as social and community programming for the Honors Program. She advises College of Arts, Media, and Design, D’Amore-McKim School of Business students, and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Honors students.
Dan Guarracino, Administrative Coordinator
Dan Guarracino is the Administrative Coordinator for the Honors Program. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also worked for several years as a Peer Advisor for Commonwealth Honors College. He is currently taking graduate courses in Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, where he is focusing his studies on how states, cities, institutions, and communities can increase resilience to climate change. Dan is entering his third year of working for the Honors Program.
Bernadine Desanges, Graduate Assistant
Bernadine Desanges is a 2nd year Graduate Assistant for the Honors Program and previous College Seminar Instructor for Northeastern University’s Torch Scholars Program. Bernadine received her B.A. in Sociology from Emmanuel College and is currently in pursuit of her M.S. in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences; where she is focusing on advancing her student affairs skills to better serve college students. She is interested in student leadership, academic advising, mentoring, and providing support for underrepresented college students.
Frances Van Pelt, Graduate Assistant
Frances van Pelt is a Graduate Assistant for the Honors Program. She is currently a CAGS student in the College Student and Development Program with a primary interest in promoting the benefits of complementing academic learning with co-curricular learning. Frances received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Sussex in England, which included a study abroad year at the University of Tubingen in Germany. After completing a Masters in Education at Boston University, she became a HS Math teacher in the greater Boston area for several years.