The Honors Program recruits faculty from across campus who are nationally recognized scholars with reputations as superior educators to teach First Year Honors courses and Interdisciplinary Seminars.
Honors Program, Director
Department of Political Science
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.
In Fall 2014, Professor Cesarini is teaching HONR 1102 – Enhancing Honors and is co-teaching HONR 3310-13 – Justice: What is Right and Why.
Michael Patrick MacDonald
Honors Program, Writer in Residence
The Northeastern University Honors Program is pleased to announce Michael Patrick MacDonald will return as the 2014-2015 Honors Writer in Residence.
Michael Patrick MacDonald is the author of national bestseller “All Souls: A Family Story From Southie” (Ballantine, October 2000). He is the recipient of the American Book Award, New England Literary Lights Award (2000), and The Myers Outstanding Book Award administered by the Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America. He is currently writing the screenplay of All Souls for director Ron Shelton. MacDonald was also awarded an Anne Cox Chambers Fellowship at the The MacDowell Colony, a Bellagio Center Fellowship through the Rockefeller Foundation, residencies at Blue Mountain Center and Djerassi Artist Residency Program. Currently he lives in Brooklyn.
In Fall 2014, Michael Patrick MacDonald is teaching HONR 1205-02 – The North of Ireland: Conflict, Reconciliation, and the Ongoing Quest for Peace and HONR 3310-01 – Social Justice: The Role of Reading Writing and Understanding Non-Fiction.
Department of Political Science
Barry Bluestone is the Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, the founding Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and the founding Dean of the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Before assuming these posts, Bluestone spent 12 years at the University of Massachusetts at Boston as the Frank L. Boyden Professor of Political Economy and as a Senior Fellow at the University’s John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs. He was the Founding Director of UMass Boston’s Ph.D. Program in Public Policy. Before coming to UMass in the Fall of 1986, he taught economics at Boston College for 15 years and was Director of the University’s Social Welfare Research Institute. Professor Bluestone was raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan where he received his Ph.D. in economics in 1974.
At the Dukakis Center, Bluestone has led research projects on housing, local economic development, state and local public finance, and the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts. At the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy, he has co-chaired the Open Classroom series, a graduate seminar on critical social issues open free to the public each semester. He has also been part of the school team developing a new Masters Program in Urban and Regional Policy.
In Fall 2014, Professor Bluestone is co-teaching HONR 3310-13 – Justice: What is Right and Why.
Department of Music
Department of African American Studies
Leonard Brown is a professional musician (saxophonist, composer, and arranger), teacher, ethnomusicologist and specialist in multicultural education. During his almost four decades as a performing musician, he has appeared with many outstanding artists including Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, George Russell, Bill Barron, Yusef Lateef, Alan Dawson, and Ed Blackwell. He has performed nationally and internationally and is co-founder and producer of Boston’s annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert (www.jcmc.neu.edu). Established in 1977, this annual performance tribute to Coltrane’s musical and spiritual legacy is the oldest event of its kind in the world.
Brown is an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston with a joint appointment in the Music and African American Studies Departments. He is co-director of the Afro-Caribbean Music Research Project and has served as chair of African American Studies and head advisor for Music. From 2000 to 2003, he served as vice-provost for academic opportunity. Along with his academic and scholarly initiatives and endeavors, from 1996 to 2002, Brown served as senior ethnomusicologist and principal cultural historian to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO, the first national jazz museum in the nation.
Brown has received postdoctoral fellowship support from the Ford Foundation and is currently involved in researching African retentions in 21st century Afro-Caribbean cultures. In 1992, he received a Distinguished Scholar award from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and served as Black Scholar-In-Residence at Fairfield University in CT. In 1994, Brown was an invited member of a research team composed of African American scholars and musicians that visited Cuba for educational presentations on cultural and social transformation and music concerts featuring African American spirituals. In 1998, Brown received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute at Northeastern University. In January of 2010, Brown was named Musician of the Year by JazzBoston.
Brown is principal contributor to the book Kansas City…And All That’s Jazz (1999), a history of the Kansas City jazz legacy published by Andrews McMeel and his newest publication is John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music, released in August 2010 by Oxford University Press.
He is a member of the Center for Black Music Research, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Society of American Music.
In Fall 2014, Professor Brown is teaching HONR 3310-11 – John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme:” Jazz, Vision, and Spirituality.
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Elizabeth Bucar is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Northeastern University. She received her B.A. from Harvard University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Ethics from The University of Chicago. Professor Bucar works within the Islamic and Christian traditions on issues of gender, politics, and emergent technologies (new media and medical advances). Her books include Does Human Rights Need God? Co-edited with Barbra Barnett (Eerdmans, 2005), Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi’I Women (Georgetown University Press, 2011), and The Islamic Veil: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld Publications, 2012). Professor Bucar is currently working on two new comparative projects tentatively titled The Good of Ambiguous Bodies: The Comparative Ethics of Transsexuality and Pious Fashion: The Virtues of Hijabi Fashionistas. She co-chairs the Comparative Religious Ethics Group at the American Academy of Religion and serves on the board of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.
In Fall 2014, Professor Bucar is teaching HONR 1209-01 – The Islamic Veil: Islam, Gender, and the Politics of Dress.
Department of History
Jeffrey Burds is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, and a member of the core faculty in International Affairs. Prof. Burds completed his Ph.D. in 1990 in Russian and Soviet history. He taught at the University of Rochester for five years, and joined the NU faculty in 1998. The recipient of numerous grants and awards–and a finalist for the Excellence in Teaching Award in both 2004 and 2007–Professor Burds has published widely on the history of the Soviet secret police and Soviet espionage during the early Cold War. In 2007, he published a study tracking Soviet infiltration of foreign espionage networks in the 1930s. Currently, he is finishing a book manuscript on espionage and nationalism in Soviet Ukraine, 1944-1950.
In Fall 2014, Professor Burds is teaching HONR 3310-05 – A History of Espionage & Covert Operations in the Cold War.
Department of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Justin Craig is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Professor Craig’s primary research interests are in the area of family business and entrepreneurship. He has taught MBA and undergraduate courses in all aspects of family business and entrepreneurship. Professor Craig served as an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Family Business at Bond University in Australia and as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Oregon State University prior to joining the DMSB faculty in 2012. Professor Craig has worked with many family businesses and entrepreneurial ventures in varying stages of their organizational life cycle. Professor Craig is an Associate Editor of Family Business Review and on the editorial board of Journal of Family Business Strategy and the Journal of Management and Organization.
In Fall 2014, Professor Craig is teaching HONR 3310-04 – Entrepreneurial Thinking.
Department of Physical Therapy
Lorna Hayward is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at the Bouve College of Health Sciences. Prof. Hayward has been a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy since 1996. Prof. Hayward is primarily responsible for teaching the following courses: Research Methods, Administration and Health Policy, Professional Seminar, and PT Project I. The courses Prof. Hayward teaches reflect her professional interests in curriculum design, technology, health promotion, and research.
Prof. Hayward conducts research in the areas in which she teaches to remain current in the topic area and infuse class material with personal experience. Her most recent publication is in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education, ‘Standardized Patients and Communities of Practice: A Realistic Strategy for Integrating the Core Values in a Physical Therapist Education Program’.
In Fall 2014, Professor Hayward is teaching HONR 3310-08 – Contemporary Issues in Health Care.
Department of Art + Design
William Kaizen is Assistant Professor of Art History and Media Studies at Northeastern University. His current book project is a history of video art and politics in the 1960s and 1970s for Duke University Press. He is co-editor of the book Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics in Practice (Duke University Press, 2009), on Jacques Ranciere and the contemporary turn to aesthetics. His essays include “Steps to an Ecology of Communication: Radical Software, Dan Graham and the Legacy of Gregory Bateson” in Art Journal (Winter, 2009) and “Computer Participator: Situating Nam June Paik’s Work in Computing” in Mainframe Experimentalism: The Experimental Arts and Early Digital Computing (University of California Press, forthcoming). He recently curated the exhibition Pop Cinema: Art and Film in the U.S. and U.K. at the International House Philadelphia, for which he was award a Pew Exhibitions Initiative grant.
In Fall 2014, Professor Kaizen is teaching HONR 3310-07 – Visual Art and Visual Culture Since 1945.
M. Whitney Kelting is Associate Professor of Religious Studies. She received her B.A from Colby College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Professor Kelting is the author of Singing to the Jinas: Jain Laywomen, Mandal Singing and the Negotiations of Jain Devotion (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Heroic Wives: Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood (Oxford University Press, 2009). Her current research is examining the intersection between gender, prestige and modernity in the Jain community with two separate areas of inquiry—motherhood and temple patronage—both of which are leading towards book projects.
In Fall 2014, Professor Kelting is teaching HONR 1200-01: Theology, Ethics and Practice in the World’s Religions.
Heather Littlefield is the Associate Academic Specialist and Assistant Director of the Linguistics Department at Northeastern University. She received her MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from Boston University. Her areas of interest include the syntactic distinction of lexical and functional categories and the acquisition of syntactic categories in first language acquisition, especially in the prepositional domain. She is also interested in the syntax of African languages, especially Fula (Fouta Djallon dialect). Her publications include A Fine-Grained Approach to Lexical and Functional Syntactic Categories: Evidence from English prepositions and their acquisition; Syntax and Acquisition in the Prepositional Domain: Evidence from English for fine-grained syntactic categories; Trends in African Linguistics 6: Kinyira Njira!–Step Firmly on the Pathway; “The Developmental Patterns of Prepositions and Homophonous Adverbs and Particles;” and “Object Asymmetry in Fula Applicatives.”
In Fall 2014, Professor Littlefield is teaching HONR 1209-02 – Me Tarzan, You Jane! The Uses of Language in Literature: Linguistic Reality or Linguistic Fiction?
Department of Human Services
Dr. Emily Mann is a faculty member in the Human Services Program. Her research and clinical practice background has focused on issues of prevention and early educational interventions. Dr. Mann spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. She has presented and published papers on topics such as preschool intervention, predictors of special education, and the role of early interventions on academic and social outcomes. She primarily teaches courses on social policy, social research methods, and child intervention and treatment.
In Fall 2014, Professor Mann is teaching HONR 3310-02 – Promoting Success Through Prevention Science.
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Waleed Meleis received his B.S.E degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1990, and the M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1992 and 1996. In 1996 he joined the Computer Engineering Group of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University.
Professor Meleis’s research is on developing and evaluating algorithms and bounds for combinatorially difficult optimization problems. He has made contributions to the following areas:
- Optimal scheduling and register allocation, with spill code, for multiple-issue processors
- Microprocessor-aware scheduling algorithms for modern compilers
- Algorithms for weighted-completion time scheduling
- Design and analysis of tight lower bounds on schedule length
- Backtracking acyclic schedulers
- Parallel and scalable processing systems and programming toolsets.
- Computational infrastructure for seamless, inter-site Grid computing
- Applications of combinatorial optimization to switching, testing, and reconfigurable computing
- Multi-agent machine learning for distributed combinatorial optimization
In Fall 2014, Professor Meleis is teaching HONR 3310-10 – Limits on Scientific Knowledge: Chaos, Complexity, and Computability.
Department of Sociology
Gordana Rabrenovic is Associate Professor of Sociology and Education and Associate Director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University. Her substantive specialties include community studies, urban education and inter group conflict and violence.
Her publications include Women and Collective Action in Urban Neighborhoods,The Dissolution of Yugoslavia: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Exclusionary Communities, From Consumers to Co-Producers: Charter Schools and Education Reform in Massachusetts and Spreading the Wealth: Economic Partnership and Community Development. She is also author of the book Community Builders: A Tale of Neighborhood Mobilization in Two Cities (1996) and co-editor of the book Community Politics and Policy (1999) and the American Behavioral Scientist special issue on Hate Crimes and Ethnic Conflict (2001). She is currently studying racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions from public schools.
In Fall 2014, Professor Rabrenovic is teaching HONR 1205-04 – Angels and Demons: Studying Violence in the 21st Century.
Department of History
Matthews Distinguished University Professor Dr. Harlow Robinson is a specialist in Soviet and Russian cultural history, and has written widely on Soviet film and the performing arts. His major publications include Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography, which has appeared in five editions; The Last Impresario: The Life, Times and Legacy of Sol Hurok; and Selected Letters of Sergei Prokofiev, which he edited and translated. His book, Russians in Hollywood: Hollywood’s Russians was published in 2007. He has also contributed numerous essays, articles and reviews to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Opera News, Opera Quarterly, Dance, Playbill, Symphony and other publications. As a lecturer, he has appeared at the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival and Bard Festival. He has also worked as a consultant for numerous performing arts organizations, and as a writer and commentator for PBS, NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting System.
Prof. Robinson has served as Vice-President of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. A frequent visitor to the former USSR and Russia, he has received fellowships and grants from the NEH, American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright and the Whiting Foundation.
Prof. Robinson teaches courses on Russian Cultural History, History of Soviet Cinema, The Image of Russia in American Culture, and Prague,Vienna, Budapest 1867-1918. In March of 2010, Professor Robinson was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Film Scholar. As part of this prestigious honor, he received a grant from the Academy’s Institutional Grants Committee to support his research on the career of Oscar-winning director Lewis Milestone.
In Fall 2014, Professor Robinson is teaching HONR 3310-09- After the Walls Came Down: Central Europe Before, During and After Communism
David A. Rochefort
Department of Political Science
David A. Rochefort is an Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Political Science. A recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award, he teaches courses on health and welfare policy and has published several books in this area, including From Poorhouses to Homelessness: Policy Analysis and Mental Health Care (1997). Each year Professor Rochefort offers a course on leadership for members of the Northeastern University Student Government and other campus leaders. He also conducts a community research seminar in which he collaborates with his students on applied research projects focusing on local social issues and problems.
In Fall 2014, Professor Rochefort is teaching HONR 3310-03 – Can There Be Morality In Politics?.
School of Journalism
Professor Ross is the author of three books, most recently Fragile Branches: Travels Through the Jewish Diaspora (Riverhead Books, 2000), and one of the editors of From the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to Holocaust Denial Trials: Challenging the Media, Law and the Academy (Vallentine Mitchell, 2007). He also is the author of Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China (Free Press, 1994) and Caught in a Tornado: A Chinese-American Woman Survives the Cultural Revolution (Northeastern University Press, 1994). He served as a reporter and bureau chief for the Hartford Courant for eight years. He also served as a Fulbright professor in Ecuador, and as a visiting journalism professor at the Shanghai Foreign Languages Institute.
Professor Ross received his B.A. in American Studies from Yale University, and his M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.
Professor Ross has served as the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern and director of the Jewish Studies Program. He also has received a grant from the U.S. Institute for Peace to run a three-week seminar for Israeli and Palestinian journalists on ways to improve coverage of the Middle East conflict.
Professor Ross recently served as a Fulbright lecturer at Nanjing University, where he taught two graduate courses in journalism. He also delivered guest lectures at Henan University in Kaifeng, Nankai University in Tianjin and Yunnan University in Kunming.
In Fall 2014, Professor Ross is teaching HONR 3310-06: The Art of Narrative Non-Fiction: From the Survivors of Hiroshima to the Garbage Pickers of Mumbai .
Department of History
Benjamin Schmidt is an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University. His research is in the digital humanities and the intellectual and cultural history of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. His dissertation studies the rise of new ways of measuring attention in the early 20th century. His digital humanities research focuses particularly on text mining and massive historical datasets, with work in topic modeling, visualization, and thematic mapping. More details are available at http://benschmidt.org.
Prior to coming to Northeastern, he was the graduate fellow at the Cultural Observatory @ Harvard, in Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; his graduate work in history was at Princeton University, and as an undergraduate he majored in Social Studies at Harvard University.
In Fall 2014, Professor Schmidt is teaching HONR 1205-03: The History of “Big Data:” Quantification in Government, Science, and Business Since 1800.
Department of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Dennis Shaughnessy is an Executive Professor of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group. His teaching interests include business planning, small business management, innovation and entrepreneurship, intellectual property, law and ethics, and social enterprise. He also teaches executive education in enterprise growth and acquisitions, and management of life sciences/biotechnology enterprises.
Professor Shaughnessy was a senior executive for many years in a local life sciences technology company, where he was a principal in numerous acquisitions, financings and other strategic transactions, including a leveraged buy-out and initial public offering. He also has extensive experience in strategic planning, international business development, corporate governance, technology licensing, and management of technology-driven operations. Professor Shaughnessy was chief legal officer of a New York Stock Exchange company, responsible for global legal affairs. He was also in private legal practice representing venture capitalists and technology entrepreneurs, and prior to that, in public service.
In Fall 2014, Professor Shaughnessy is teaching HONR 1205-01 – Social Entrepreneurship and Global Development: How to Change the World for the Poorest of the Poor.